Stirling Crash, Norfolk, July 1941

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I took a trip to St Neots last Saturday to visit the intrepid group who are building a Stirling forward fuselage & cockpit there, and mightily impressed was I as to the dedication and quality of the workmanship. This was all thanks to 12jaguar (John) on here.
Whilst there I picked up a copy of 'The Stirling Story' by Michael J. Bowyer for a small donation.
The book mentions a crash of a Stirling Mk.I of 7 Sqn. at the Norfolk village of Newton Flotman on the morning of 15th July 1941, following a raid on Hannover. My other stuff relating to No.3 Group is currently elsewhere but I'm just wondering if anyone present can give me aircraft serial, list of crew (There was a Keith Deyell on board) and any other information on where the crash site was, and if it has subsequently been investigated, dug, explored etc?

Original post

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23 years

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Andy

N6022, Stirling 1, 7 Squadron from Oakington.

MG-D

All crew survived

Moggy

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Thanks boys.
We're off to a good start.
A.

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15 years 5 months

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I have some small bits of this aircraft..the type retrieved from the surface rather than dug..ask the Stirling Project..

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19 years 3 months

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Thanks.
Have you visited the site..?
That part of sunny old Norfolk isn't a million miles from where I spent my formative years.

While I'm on the subject of that neck of the woods.
Does anyone have details of the aircraft which crashed into one of the Chain Home towers at Stoke Holy Cross, I think early in the war.
It might have been a Beaufighter.

A.

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No,never visited,picked them up a Shoreham years ago..I`m sure The Stirling Project would be able to tell you if it`s been dug or not.

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The location is given as Shotesham Park, Newton Flotman.

A quick googlemap search shows an odd tree-filled crater in the middle of a cultivated field beside the house.

Moggy

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Yes, thanks Moggy, I see that too.
Interesting stuff.
A.

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The only thing giving me pause for thought is that T/O was given as 2300 and impact at 0340.

The target was Hanover, so are we to assume the aircraft was on its return?

That crater looks far more like the explosion of a bomb load, rather than an empty aircraft

Moggy

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Moggy.
It was certainly on the return.
It had bombed at Hannover and the account I have to hand mentions no hung up bombs.

A.

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Hi Andy

It was great to meet up. As you would have seen the workshop is in a bit of a state of chaos with the building work going on. Now that I know the tail number I'll have a dig through the boxes and take a picture of what if anything we have and post it next week

cheers

John

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Thanks John.
Looking forward to it.
A.

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Edit from Operations Record Book [F540/541]
N6022
Up 2300 14th Jul
Down 0330 15th Jul
Crew of 7
Bomb Load 5 x 1,000; 7 x 500; 420 x 4 Incendiaries; Stick seen to burst across large sheds producing very large fires and explosions. Ran out of petrol and crashed at Newton Slotman (Flotman?). Crew baled out, 2 slightly injured. F540 states ‘finding that his petrol consumption had assumed alarming proportions, made hurried turnaround and ordered his crew to prepare for landing at sea. They reached the coast however, and baled out.

Bob
Ex 7Sqn History Custodian

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Bob.
The book says 'Slotman' too, but I just thought this was a mis-print.
It's certainly Newton Flotman.
Thanks for the further info though.
Keith Deyell apparently landed by a railway line.
The main Norwich-Ipswich-London mainline is close by, so I kind of guessed it would that railway line--of course it could be one of many others.

Andy.

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Glad to be of assistance. Have full list of crew, but unable to tell if any are still with us. Can PM them if you wish
Bob

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Bob.
Yes please.

Drop me a PM.
A.

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Andy
Tis on its way
Bob

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Andy

The aircraft that collided with the radar pylon at Stoke Holy Cross, just after 3 pm on 18 June 1942, was Blenheim Z7304.

The aircraft was on the strength of 18 Squadron based at Wattisham and had been on an air test. The test should have taken place in the vicinity of the airfield, but the pilot elected to fly to the coast, where he ran into low cloud and poor visibility. Flying west to find clearer conditions, the aircraft hit the Stoke Holy Cross pylon just 10 ft from its top.

The crew were:
P/O P H Lowther (pilot)
Sgt G B Crawford (WOp/AG)
Sgt K C Ellis (navigator)

There was also an unofficial passenger, Ken Tagg, an 18 years-old meteorological assistant who had only been at Wattisham a few days.

The crew and passenger are remembered by a memorial plaque that was placed on the old base of the pylon on 18 July 1992. (Actually I think it might have been moved in recent years.)

Brian

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Thanks chaps.
As a kid I remember seeing I think three of those tall steel masts--I don't remember the wooden CH towers as they went before I arrived.
One of those steel towers was shorter than the others and my Dad always told me that it was the one hit.

It was only a couple of miles away from there at Colney, that on a foggy morning in I would think 1940, my Dad was out shooting and a Heinkel 111 flew over him so low that he reckons it went under a line of power cables that ran across the fields there in the direction of the old A11 road.
He said he could see the face of a crew member in the under fuselage gondola windows.