Malaysian Vampire

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16 years 5 months

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FYI following from rec.aviation.military forum today Posted by [email]swstephe@yahoo.com[/email] "A friend of mine, who is the daughter of Malaysian royalty said that some of the native people, (they are called "Orang Asli" or "Sangkai"), found an old military aircraft deep in the jungle of Malaysia. A Malay man accompanied them into the jungle and took some videos. I'm supposed to receive a copy of the videos in a couple of weeks. I offerred to help them locate someone who might be interested in re-interring the remains of the crew and documenting the aircraft itself. Right now the details are sketchy. The Malaysian government gave up on it. The only detail I have for sure is that the tail number is "WG871". Someone said it might be a deHavilland Vampire. Anyone know what the tail numbers might signify?" Thought some in this forum may be interested in the thread... Here's a Google Link to Group... http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&group=rec.aviation.military Look for "Lost Plane Found in Johor Malaysia Cheers Mark
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Info from 'Last take off' by Colin Cummings' 17-Mar-52 WG871 Vampire FB9 60 Sqn (location) Not located in Malaya. This aicraft was No3 in a formation on a night cross country sortie. It became separated from the others and was instructed to return to base. The pilot subsequently called that he thought he had lost a drop tank and was having trouble controlling the aircraft. Later he made a further radio call asking for a homing but nothing further was heard from the pilot and despite reports of an aircraft being heard crashing into the jungle, no trace of the aircraft or it's pilot was ever found. Flight Sergeant Tadeusz Wojciechowski Let's hope that the pilot's remains can be recovered for burial. I'm sure the family will be pleased to know that he has been found after all this time. Have the MOD been informed? Geoff.

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Don't have any info wrt MOD. If this information is indeed true (hard to say what you have on the internet nowadays), it would be proper that they be notified. Would think they (MOD) would be the proper ones to vet this information and make the necessary notifications. Regards Mark

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the war graves commission may also be another possible place to contact , i know they deal with enquiries and would certainley put you in touch with the correct people to deal with this. we recently got involved with a blenheim in africa an they arranged for a british army unit in the local area to visit the site and report their findings. give them a call
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Does anyone know if the Military Attache at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has been informed? I live at the northern end of Malaysia and am willing to assist if necessary. Regards, Laurie.
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A good friend in Poland, who has been in touch with the family of Tadeusz Wojciechowski over several years, has informed them of this thread. Mark

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Mark2, I suggest that you contact the MoD, through their website, to see if they know about this at www.mod.uk, and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at www.cwgc.org See if they can tell you if the British authorities in Malasia have been informed. If you are willing to handle this, let us know here, and keep us informed of any response/progress so we can see how things are going. What we need to avoid are too many people bombarding the MoD & CWGC with info on this. Mark12, Any chance of posting a photo of Tadeusz on here, as a memorial? Geoff.
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Geoff, May I hold on that one for a while please. Mark

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Well... not sure what may come of this, but at your suggestion(s) I did email the following organizations wrt this information.... [email]casualty.enq@cwgc.org[/email] [email]public@ministers.mod.uk[/email] Will advise..... Mark

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Mark12- Yes, no probs with that. BTW I'll sort out the 'photos from the fifties' thread sometime in the next week. Mark2- Thanks for doing that, I shall look forward to hearing what reply you get. What happened to Mark1, and Mark3 to 11? Geoff. 100 up yippeeeee
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FYI, I have, this morning, spoken to the Defence staff at the British High Commission here in Kuala Lumpur. They are aware of the reported find and are working on it. I was told that the Orang Asli who are aware of the location of the wreckage have been asked not to take anyone else to it until it can be properly investigated. This should ensure that any human remains that might be at the site should remain undisturbed until they can be properly recovered. I'll pass on any updates that I get. Regards, Laurie.

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Laurie, Saw your post on Usenet as well. Well done!!! Hope the individual that started all of this does the right thing and makes contact. vr Mark
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Forgive my ignorance, but the Vampire is not an aeroplane that I am too familar with. My question is, was the FB Mk 9 fitted with an ejection seat? All the photos that I have seen so far are very indistinct and do not show any warning triangles in the cockpit area. However, some do show what appears to be a large amount of metal behind the pilot's head which could be an early version of a Martin Baker seat. Thanks in advance.

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Looking through the FB9, and single-seat Vampire losses in general, I can find no mention of a pilot ejecting only 'abandoning' or 'baling out', so I assume that an ejector seat wasn't fitted. I see from another book re the Vampire T.11 2-seat trainer that 'later aircraft were provided with ejector seats' Looking at a cut-away drawing of a single-seat Vampire, behind the pilot's seat you've got the pilot's head & back armour, and also the hydraulic system reservoir, all of which do combine to give the look of an ejector seat. Maybe someone else reading this has a more detailed book on the Vampire? Geoff.

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For some reason this thread didn't go to the top of the pile after my previous post, nor was my last post listed as the last post! Not another problem with the forum I hope! Geoff.
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I've just been glancing through De Havilland Vampire - The Complete History. Without re-reading the entire book, it appears that no RAF single-seat Vampires ever had ejector seats. It was a requirement during development of the FB.5 but the coc kpit aperture was too small. The Swiss fitted them to their FB.6s when updating them around 1960.
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Guys, Many thanks for that info. It confirms what I had suspected. The cockpit area always looked too cramped to be fitted with the early marks of the MB ejection seats. Regards, Laurie.
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Mark12, Could you please contact me off forum regarding this subject. Many thanks. For the rest of those interested in the recent find here in Malaysia, I hope to be able to post an update shortly. Regards, Laurie.
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From previous postings on the forum, you will all be aware of the circumstances leading up to the crash involving this aeroplane. You might not be aware of subsequent events. I think that a lot of people believed that this was the first sighting of the wreckage of WG871. I did initially. However, that is not so. It seems that the sight had been known of for some considerable time. In 1957, a ground party was sent in to search through the wreckage at the site for any signs of the pilot. None, unfortunately, were found. Since then the site appears to have been visited on a couple of further occasions, not officially though, I think. I have heard a report of a further search party going into the jungle around 1982/3, hoping to get to the site. It seems that this expedition was unsuccessful, as it went up the wrong river valley. That report is unconfirmed, however. The location of the wreckage is very remote indeed. To reach it involves a 2 day trek from the nearest access point and, even then, it cannot be found unless guided by someone who knows the actual location. So, there is little chance of the wreckage being disturbed by opportunists. Also, a local dignitary has taken a great personal interest in this find. He and his family, are well known among the Aboriginal community living in that part of the jungle. He has instructed that they do not take anyone to the site and his wishes carry a lot of weight and will be respected. He is also very disappointed that it has not been possible to recover the remains of Flt Sgt Wojiechowsky. FYI, yesterday afternoon, with the help of another forum member, Mark12, I was able to pass on contact details for Flt Sgt Wojiechowski’s family to the RAF authorities in the UK. They are now in the process of officially informing them of the new sighting of the wreckage. I’m sure that the thoughts and best wishes of all forum members are with them at this time. One further point, the Flt Sgt's name, along with 52 other RAF Personnel from this period who have no known grave, is recorded on the Memorial Wall of the Military Cemetery, at Terendak Camp, near Malacca. By coincidence, I served at Terendak from March 1967 to April 1968 whilst with a small RAF mobile radar unit. Unfortunately, not the ending that I think a lot of people were hoping for. Regards, Laurie.