F/Sgt Air Gunner Fred Shuttleworth

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Gary Fisher, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. Gary Fisher

    Gary Fisher Member

    In researching my cricket clubs history I have found out that a member was made POW in June 1944 after bailing out of a crashing Lancaster. In doing so he broke his leg on hitting the tailplane on exit. His name was Fred Shuttleworth. He seemingly survived the war as there is no CWGC entry for him. From the above scant information can any forum member advise further on the crash date and location and perhaps Freds squadron?
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    1891342 F. Shuttleworth was the Mid Upper Gunner on Lancaster LM542 from No. 100 Squadron. Hit by flak between Bonn and Köln. Date was 23 May 1944.

    Entire crew evacuated by parachute, Sgt Shuttleworth hitting the tail resulting a trip to a German hospital with a broken leg.


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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Wonder if this is him:
    F Shuttleworth in the UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: F Shuttleworth
    Rank: Sergeant
    Army Number: 1891342
    Regiment: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks
    Section: Royal Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

    Dont often see these records without a POW number, but it could be he was in hospital and as such they did not allocate POW numbers until they arrived at a camp.

    also from
    RAF Bomber Command Operational Losses Database
    Shuttleworth F Sergeant 1944-05-22 100 Sqd
    Lancaster III LM542 HW-S Grimsby 2244 Dortmund Abandoned near Bonn

    Others will be better equipped than I to confirm any/all details

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  4. Gary Fisher

    Gary Fisher Member

    Gentlemen - many thanks for your help here. It is much appreciated. Regards, Gary
  5. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    22/23 May 1944

    100 Squadron
    lancaster LM542 HW-S
    Op. Dortmund

    Took off at 2244 hour from Grimsby. Hit by flak after been held in a cone of searchlight beams. The aircraft was on fire and the crew jumped from around 15,000 feet.


    F/L. J C. Kennedy RCAF pow
    Sgt. E W. Bland pow
    F/O. A T. Sparks pow
    F/O. A P. Hennessey pow
    Sgt. A. Aveyard pow
    Sgt. F. Shuttleworth pow
    Sgt. K. Owst pow

    Source - RAF Bomber Command Losses Vol.5 - W R. Chorley
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  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    It seems a rare occurrence that the entire crew escaped safely from a burning Lancaster. Most similar loss records that I have viewed have at least one or two fatal casualties.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    There was always a danger of injury from a bomber aircraft's tail plane for those who left the aircraft by parachute by the rear door as in the case of Fred Shuttleworth.

    AVRO's Lancaster manual stated that the emergency exit should be by the bomb aimer's floor hatch and not the rear door.Not fit for purpose really for all the crew as there was only two doors to exit the plane.The front floor hatch involved those behind the spar,ie the two Gunners getting over the spar,a torturous path during an emergency when it would be likely that excessive G forces would be present and have to be overcome by the crew member.

    The normal escape route for the Rear Gunner would be via the revolved turret but this was not always possible when the turret mechanism had been disabled.Hence the shortest route to exit a doomed aircraft would be by the rear door ignoring the risk of striking the tail plane....many did and survived,some injured,some not but able to tell the tale.Others were killed when they struck the tail plane and others met their deaths when the tail plane obstructed the deployment of the parachute if it was deployed too early

    For the Rear Gunner,their chances of survival improved with the introduction at Group level of No 1 Group's Rice- Rose's turret which as well as packing a .5 inch punch from twin Brownings replacing the .303 calibre types, enabled the gunner to exit the aircraft through the turret between the guns.Manufacturer....Roses of Gainsborough,manufacturers of confectionery packing machinery who postwar went on to work on RN contracts.

    The failure to upgrade aircraft gun calibre to .5 inch from .303 was probably one of the fundamental errors of Bomber Command during the war.The Air Ministry had initially shown little interest in the AOC No 1 Group, AVM Rice's idea for the new turret but Rice went ahead and persuaded the AM to implement the mod.Contracts were placed with Roses who Rice had discussed the project with in June 1943. However it was not until June 1944 when the first Rose turret was used on operations by No 101 Squadron out of Ludford Magna

    Fred Shuttleworth's Lancaster, although operated by No 1 Bomber Command squadron at the time of the aircraft's loss had not been converted to the Rose turret but by the autumn 1944,conversion was well under way.

    In the case of this Lancaster,bailing out early at 15000 feet probably before the onset of excessive G forces,I would say seems to be contributory to survival.
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