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Crashes On and Around the Elsham Wolds Airfield.

During WW1 and WW2 there were quite a few crashes in the area or within a few miles. It is an interesting theme to explore and I will do more on this in the future. In the meantime there is a list below. It is something of more local interest so I have included it on the RAF Elsham Wolds site.

These are within an approximate 5 mile radius of Elsham village. All involve loss of aircraft and at least 1 fatality. I have included the 2 103 Sqn aircraft that crashed in the Humber Estuary and also the aircraft destroyed in an explosion on the airfield for general interest.

Most are of these incidents are WW2 but there are 2 WW1 and also 1 post war. I shall set up a map for these in due course.

If anyone wants to make any corrections, additions contributions or comment on any of these they are welcome to do so.

Crashes around Elsham Wolds – WW1

 27th November 1916 – 33 Sqn - FE2b - Zeppelin alert - Lt James Arthur Menzies ( buried at Gainsborough )  – Canadian - 1 killed. Death certificate states that he crashed at Elsham in "Church Catholt Wood" (but I suspect that this probably refers to "Church Garth Holt Wood" which according to a 1908 map would have been close to the airfield).

26th March 1918 – 33 Sqn - FE 2b – Patrol duty - Lt James Wilson Ross ( buried in Edinburgh ) 2 killed. Crashed at Elsham "in a field or at Dunn's Farm near the Aerodrome of the RFC in the Parish of Elsham". 2 killed. Other fatality possibly 2nd Lt C W Brook or 2nd Lt E P Wykes or 2nd Lt E F J Pullen.

Crashes around Elsham Wolds - WW2

05/06/1942 - 15(P)AFU - Oxford - P6804 - Training - Coote - Hit tree at Pepperdale Farm, Howsham whilst low flying. 2 killed.

05/05/1942 - 103 Sqn - Wellington - X9816 - Training - A N Other - Crashed landing short of runway at Elsham Wolds. 1 killed.

04/05/1942 - 15(P)AFU - Oxford - AT739 - Unknown - Goff - Port engine failed. Crashed near Barnetby. 1 killed.

.01/08/1942 - 103 Sqn CU - Halifax - R9379 - Training - Bagley - Stalled on approach at Elsham Wolds. 12 killed.

7/08/1942 - 103 Sqn - Halifax - W1225 - Ops Duisberg - Gilby - Crashed into Humber Estuary on return. P/O J N Gilby was an experienced pilot. It is thought the aircraft was damaged and the navigator was flying the machine at the time of the crash. 6 killed, 1 missing.

22/09/1942 - 103 Sqn CU - Halifax - W1243 - Training - Fulbrook - Overshot on landing at Elsham Wolds. 6 killed. W/O R J Fulbrook DFC had recently completed a  tour with 103 Sqn.

27/02/1943 - 103 Sqn - Lancaster - W4857 - Training - Stubbs - Lost rudder due to structural failure during fighter affiliation demonstration. Crashed in woods near Elsham Hall.. The pilot, F/L R N Stubbs DFC DFM failed to escape. He was a most experienced officer. The crew were able to escape by parachute. 1 killed.

09/09/1942 - 15(P)AFU - Oxford - BG270 - Training - Jones - Failed to climb after take off from Kirmington and crashed 1 mile SSE of airfield. 1 killed and 1 died of  injuries at Rauceby Hospital.

19/02/1943 - 466 Sqn - Wellington - HE531 - Ops Wilhelmshafen - Rosser - Crash landed at Kirmington on return in damaged condition. 1 missing and 2 injured.

19/07/1943 - 1485TTGFlt - Wellington - BK235 - Training - Heard - Aircraft was involved in gunnery and fighter affiliation demonstration for 4 senior officers on an assessment course. Structural failure of starboard wing. Aircraft crashed 1 miles S of Appleby. 6 killed. Amongst the dead was G/C B E Lowe a former OC 103 Sqn.

23/08/1943 - 103 Sqn - Lancaster - W4323 - Ground - Explosion at Elsham Wolds. 1 killed. Sgt H Wheeler hit by shrapnel in nearby aircraft.

03/10/1943 - 103 Sqn - Lancaster - JB346 - Air Test - Andrews - Crashed immediately after take off from Elsham Wolds at Turnpike Farm. 6 killed.

19/10/1943 - 166 Sqn - Lancaster - ED993 - Ops Hannover - Rabett - Early return to Kirmington due to port outer engine fire. While preparing to land port inner failed and aircraft crashed. 6 killed.

17/11/1943 - 166 Sqn - Lancaster - ED422 - Training - Mitchell - Bounced on landing and pilot chose to go round again but retracted undercarriage too soon. Crashed at Dunkirk Farm, Kirmington. 5 killed and 1 injured

16/12/1943 - 103 Sqn - Lancaster - JB670 - Ops Berlin  - Richter - Collision with 576 Sqn Lancaster over Ulceby. 7 killed

16/12/1943 - 576 Sqn - Lancaster - LM322- Ops Berlin - Scott - Collision with 103 Sqn Lancaster over Ulceby. 7 killed.

16/12/1943 - 166 Sqn - Lancaster - JB639 - Ops Berlin - Brown - Crashed Little Walk Farm, Thornton Curtis on return in bad visibility. 7 killed

19/02/1944 - 103 Sqn - Lancaster - ND334 - Ops Leipzig - Warnes - Collision with JB530 on approach to Elsham Wolds. 5 killed. JB530 crash landed on the airfield without injury to crew.

29/02/1944 - 1666 HCU - Halifax - JD386 - Training - Sigurdson - Daylight navigation task from Wombleton. Loss of control and crashed at Bridge Farm near Broughton. 7 killed.

16/06/1944 - 460 Sqn - Lancaster - W5007 - Ops Cologne - Straith - Returning from ops in damaged condition and attempted to land at Elsham Wolds. Aircraft crashed. 7 killed.

28/07/1944 - 554FTS/496FTG - Lightning - 42-67931 - Training - Cutler - Structural failure in mock dogfight. Crashed 1  miles SW of Thornton Abbey. 1 killed.

08/09/1944 - 555FTS/496FTG - Mustang - 42- 12154 - Training - Gunnin - Hit power line and crashed at Wootton Grange, Wootton. 1 killed.

04/11/1944 - 166 Sqn - Lancaster - NF986 - Ops Bochum - Falconer - On return aircraft hit trees and crashed at Croxton. 1 died of injuries and 3 injured.

04/12/1944 - 166 Sqn - Lancaster - LM176 - Ops Karlsruhe - Hanna - On approach to Kirmington stalled and spun in. Crashed Brocklesby Park. 7 killed.

04/01/1945 - 103 Sqn - Lancaster - ND861 - Training - Weight - Crashed into Humber Estuary in blizzard. 6 missing.

08/01/1945 - 105 OTU - Wellington - NC954 - Training - Johnstone - Engine fire. Pilot attempted forced landing and hit telegraph pole. Crashed on roadway 1 mile S off Wootton. 1 killed and 2 injured. The dead man baled out at 700 ft but his parachute failed to fully open in time.

04/03/1945 - 44 Sqn - Lancaster -  ME442 - Ops Ladbergen - Ryan - Shot down by German intruder and crashed at Brocklesby Park, Brocklesby. 7 killed

05/04/1945 - 166 Sqn - Lancaster - LM289 - Ops Lutzendorf - Ayton - On return whilst in circuit to land at Kirmington in poor visibility pilot dived to avoid another Lancaster RF211 and crashed into ground next to the main railway line at Mill Farm, Barnetby. 5 killed and 2 injured

30/07/1945 - 166 Sqn - Lancaster - PA236 - Ferry flight - Willis - On approach to Kirmington aircraft stalled and spun in at Barnetby Wold Farm. 6 killed.

Crashes around Elsham Wolds - Post war.

14/06/1966 - Bomber Command Bombing School,  Lindholme - Varsity - WF333 - Training - UK - Collided with Cessna 337A over Stallingborough. Cessna pilot killed and one of the crew of the Varsity also killed. The Varsity crash landed at Ulceby.

4 of these incidents I have written up. See below.

1st August 1942 - Elsham - 103 Sqn Conversion Flight -  Halifax W1289 - Sgt W J Bagley and crew.

16th December 1943 - Ulceby/Wootton - 103 Sqn Lancaster JB670 - F/S V Richter and crew and 576 Sqn Lancaster LM332 - F/S F S Scott and crew.

04/03/1945 - 44 Sqn - Lancaster -  ME442 - Ops Ladbergen - Ryan - Shot down by German intruder and crashed at Brocklesby Park, Brocklesby.

23rd August 1943 - Explosion of Lancaster W4323 103 Sqn at Elsham Wolds.

David Fell

 

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