Wreckage Of Lancaster ED908 (60-Z)

Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

This is my first post on this forum and so a brief introduction is necessary. My wife's uncle, Sqn Ldr James Foulsham, DFC, AFC, was a 109 Sqn Mosquito Pathfinder pilot. At the beginning of July 1944 the pioneer Oboe Lancaster started to fly with 582 Sqn. The Lancaster crews were unfamiliar with the Oboe navigation system and so two-man Pilot/Navigator teams from 109 Sqn took turns to join one of the more experienced Lancaster crews to control the bombing run. Having previously successfully completed 5 missions, bombing through cloud, 582 Sqn Lancaster ED908 (60-Z) took off in mid-afternoon from Little Staughton on 20 July 1944 with the crew of Sqn Ldr Ben Weightman DFC (less two of the regular navigators), and James Foulsham and his navigator, John Swarbrick, from 109 Sqn on board, to lead an attack on a V-1 site about ten miles south of Dieppe. On this fateful day, the weather was clear and the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. The crew were all killed and were originally buried at the nearby church in Freulleville. They are now at rest together in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery. I am in touch with seven of the eight families of the crew - only that of John Swarbrick remains elusive. Earlier this year my wife and I visited the crash site and the remains of the V-1 site and met some of the local villagers, one of whom had witnessed the event. The wreckage of the aircraft was apparently found by advancing Canadian troops and the fuselage was removed from the crash site, but I have little information to confirm this. All that is left today is some fragments of wreckage scattered on impact, but they are still being located by one of the residents who lives next to the crash site at the edge of the forest. With the help of the Lancaster Manual, photographs available on the internet, and the helpful people at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, using photographs of the pieces found (which remain in France) we have identified over 50 items. Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I hope that there may be help available from this forum to identify some of the pieces we are struggling with, and I attach five photographs to see if anyone recognises any of these. 1. These may be brackets to secure some item of equipment - they are about the same size a the D-ring on the back of a parachute pack and seem to have a key-like attachment to the circular part. 5G. One item has an aperture, but does not seem to be an instrument panel gauge: the other has a lever-like attachment, but its pivot is off-centre which is curious. 9. The circular object shows a "Y" shaped protrusion on one side and could be a fuel cap, but it is not immediately recognisable. 15. This flanged object might be the mounting base for a piece of equipment - the metal attachment is off-centre and appears to be shaped to fit around something. W5. These items have the Air Ministry number 10B/169, but all I can find out is that this is the category for Radio (Wireless and Radar) Aerial and Mast Equipment and Insulators. Does anybody recognise anything? I have more photographs which I can post if this would help to give a better impression of size.
Original post

Member for

13 years 6 months

Posts: 791

hope you find your answers
Profile picture for user Peter

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 9,994

At first I thought the first picture was off the top of a walkaround oxygen bottle holder but it is not the same...
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

First, thanks Rob68 and Peter for your responses. It is very gratifying to see that less than 24 hours after my post, this thread has attracted nearly 400 views. I had thought that the brackets (if that is what they are) might have been attached to the fuselage by the flat edge, If so, perhaps a fire extinguisher holder could be a candidate? I haven't been able to find any photographs in sufficient detail to help. I attach the following: 1A. a photograph of several objects including the "brackets" to give an indication of size. Across the top is a bomb carrier turnbuckle, a parachute pack D-ring, brake shoes, and, at the bottom right, the larger circular item is thought to be part of the P4 compass frame. The smaller object within it is unidentified. 15B. shows what I thought could be a mounting bracket and gives an indication of its size when compared with the .303 ammunition rounds on the left. 20. shows some identified items - part of the master compass casing with some of the typed handling instructions amazingly still attached, part of the bomb aimer's canopy, and a bomb hook. The little knob has the part number AT30454 + R3 138 - possibly a radio part, but not identified. M3. shows a segment of the engine anti-vibration mount and the whole of the circular piece at the end of the propeller as it fits to the hub - it no doubt has a technical name, but I don't know what! I've no idea what the fabric is - perhaps part of a parachute? Any more ideas on identification will be gratefully received.

Member for

13 years 5 months

Posts: 3,774

I can see harness buckles and the 'D' ring pull handle. IMAGE 20, I think the piece of plexi-glass with the ring in it is from the top of the dorsal turret M3 I think is Prop base pitch gear
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

Many thanks Trolly Aux. Very helpful. Image 1 contains quite a few identified items not readily visible in the reduced size jpg photograph: the Gee Receiver, RF Unit and Servomotor serial number plates, as well as the harness buckles and D-ring you mention. Thanks for confirming the Prop base pitch gear in M3 - good to have the proper technical name!! Having looked through some of the other threads on the forum including 'Stirling Bits' and the 'Whitley Project', I wonder whether the items in 5G could be parts from the throttle box? I don't have a close-up view of the Lancaster box with which to confirm. Any thoughts?
Profile picture for user Air Ministry

Member for

11 years 9 months

Posts: 1,682

I have several Lancaster throttle boxes and I cannot recognise any of the parts in photo 5G.
MAGE 20, I think the piece of plexi-glass with the ring in it is from the top of the dorsal turret
I think the original identification is correct. The ventilator on the FN turret cupola was attached by six screws (I'll check in a little while), whereas the mounting for the "Z" equipment lamps fitted to the Bomb-Aimer's blister had nine screws as per the one in the photo. If you look at photos of S-Sugar on Flickr, you'll see several close up photos of her blister and the rings are clearly visible.
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

Thanks Air Ministry. That seems to rule out that thought. Perhaps someone viewing this topic will be able to throw some light on the mysteries! I will keep hoping!
Profile picture for user Peter

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 9,994

That definately looks like the vent for the top FN50 turret. That bomb turnbuckle you have is part of the bomb crutch mechanism, for the 4000lb cookie bomb. Just noticed this... hard to tell but the item below the D ring and to the right could possibly be one of the mass balance weights from the rudder but the pic is too small to be 100% sure..
Profile picture for user WV-903.

Member for

12 years

Posts: 564

Re-pics. of wreckage. Hi BobKat, Welcome to the Forum,I'm sure you'll get a lot of help in here. Re-pic.5G The big round grotty black plasticy thing looks to me like the aircraft connector side of a 24Volts DC Ground power Plug. The famous "Trolley-accs" would be plugged into this to help Aircraft Batteries on Engine starts. Just about most WW-2 Brit Aircraft used these. You can see the very heavy duty elect terminals on the back,indicating the heavy current used. The smaller black same version has to be to do with heavy current usage too, but that might be part of some sort of relay. Also, in the 2nd batch of pics. Pic.1 has that Large turnbuckle laid out at top left. I don't think it is from Aircraft control system though, although it does look very familiar. It might be to do with ground equipment used when Aircraft away from base, so would be carried on board. Regards, Bill T.
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

Peter, Does the attached help? WV-903, Thanks for the welcome. Suddenly I have a flood of replies - marvellous!! Do you have a picture of what these things you describe looked like in situ? Or can you point me to where I might find a photo to compare?
Attachment Size
WreckageIdentification1B.jpg 53.61 KB
Profile picture for user WV-903.

Member for

12 years

Posts: 564

Pics. Not got any pics. to hand, but I'll have a search and post anything that I find,that shows. I don't know where the Ground power attach point was on Lancaster, there are guys in here who do, but probably a set of Pilots Notes or RAF Maintenance manual (Vol 1 )will. Pic W5 , those parts look like a broken rack off a "rack and pinion" set-up. They could be something that moves big radio/radar equipment in situ, (For Tuning or "aligning" components,etc ). Bill T.
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

Thanks WV-903. I'll see if I can find anything on power attachments on the internet, but my guess is that you will have better luck than me. The W5 items are each a little smaller than an instrument panel gauge, but the aircraft was carrying the Mk.II Oboe system ARI 5582. Perhaps they are connected with this? Maybe somebody recognises the AM number 10B/169? Also, Air Ministry, thanks for confirming in your edited post that the bomb aimer canopy identification in image 20 appears correct.
Profile picture for user Air Ministry

Member for

11 years 9 months

Posts: 1,682

I think Bill has identified the connector. Here's a photo of one. By adjusting the brightness and contrast of your photo, a little bit more detail becomes visible and there seems to be a good match.
Attachment Size
5c 859 Socket Type E1 BTH 2.jpg 68.95 KB
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

Spot on Air Ministry! Many thanks indeed. I have looked at my (enlarged) photos and one of the circular impressions on either side of the central screw in the left picture is clearly visible in G. Being an electrical novice, can somebody tell me what the attached lever was for - is this simply on on-off switch or something more complicated?
Profile picture for user Peter

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 9,994

The ground power plugs were located in the landing gear wheel wells mounted onto a wooden board along with priming switches etc etc.
Attachment Size
DCP03049.jpg 166.93 KB
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

Peter, A great picture - many thanks. Sorry to be a pain, but is what I am looking for to the right of centre under what appears to be a half-open flap?
Profile picture for user Peter

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 9,994

Bobkat, I tried to get a picture for you but this is the only one i have on a canadian lancaster. Canadian lancs had the north american 3 pin style ground poer receptacle in the stbd wheel well and port side was the RAF two pin type. I have seen pics online that show the one you have found would be mounted exactlywhere the three pin one is in the centre of the panel. Two more pictures, one of the port side showing the British standard GPU plug socket. and the other picture is off the mass balance weight on the rudder.
Attachment Size
maam_2010_884.jpg 29.54 KB
maam_2010_1233.jpg 14.5 KB
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

Many thanks again, Peter. What an introduction to the Forum! A real flurry of activity and some positive results. And quite remarkably, over 1,000 views in 3 days. With regard to the first additional photo on your last post, I can now see what I originally thought was a lever of some sort appearing as a metal strip heading downwards to the left of centre of the socket. Extremely helpful! I will have a closer look at what might be the mass balance weight in my photo 1. As this topic seems to have appealed to so many, I would like to give a little thought as to how to proceed from here. Perhaps, if I can draw on the goodwill of all those who have responded to my initial request, I could post a few more photos with two objectives: firstly to share on the Forum some of the more unusual finds which we have identified; and, secondly, with the help of others, to seek to identify a few more items which are still unrecognised. I will see what I can do tomorrow.
Profile picture for user Peter

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 9,994

More pics would be great Bobkat!
Profile picture for user BobKat

Member for

6 years 10 months

Posts: 876

Peter, Thanks for the encouragement. I attach another picture of the ground socket with an electrical diagram which someone may be able to understand better than me! Which piece is the shorting strip I do not know. But your picture yesterday was the icing on the cake! It seems a bit defeatist to assume that there is now unlikely to be further response to my initial enquiry, but after so much expertise has already been brought to bear, perhaps that will be so. Anyway the pictures remain for any further comment. I should now give a little more background information. We first made contact with the local villagers in 2011 and a series of photographs followed showing wreckage which had already been discovered. Then, in March 2012, it was decided to take a new series of photographs (those with the blue background), numbering them for items found in the same area and plotting these on a map. There was then further activity in the area where the fuselage was known to have come down and we were met with a trestle table full of pieces on our visit in May. More items were found later and separately numbered. I will post more photographs separately later today.
Attachment Size
WreckageIdentification5G.jpg 95.09 KB