HMS Fernieness/HMS President III/HMS Jackdaw

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Kieron Hill, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Hi Guys,

    I was looking a bit more into my grandads services as a DEM and
    HMS President III and I came across this wartime tragedy. There
    are three names missing from this list so can anyone fill in the missing
    servicemans names and anymore information

    During WW2 Ferny Ness, East Lothian was used as a dive bombing range (Fleet Air Arm) and a Naval Gunnery Practice Range. The spellings 'Fernie Ness' or 'Fernieness' were used as a ploy to confuse the Germans as to its location.

    A report about the accident at H.M.S. Fernieness on 27 April 1943:

    "On 27/04/43 a Fleet Air Arm aircraft was practising dive bombing at the range. It had successfully completed one pass. On the second it lost control and crashed in front of an SMT bus, bounced and hit the bus.

    In the ensuing fire 14 lost their lives".
    :poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy:

    Details of the air crash:

    Fleet Air Arm, 770 Squadron, H.M.S. Jackdaw, air crash


    HARTLEY, Robert, Acting Leading Airman (Aged 20) H.M.S. Jackdaw
    Fleet Air Arm / FX 86655, killed
    Additional details - Son of Robert and Margaret Ann Hartley, of Gipsyville, Hull
    (Remembered with honour HULL NORTHERN CEMETERY, Compt. 157. Grave 32.)

    JOLL, Kenneth R., Temporary Sub Lieutenant (A) (Aged 20) H.M.S. Jackdaw
    Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, killed
    Additional details - Son of Eustace Sanders Joll and Winifred Joll. of Northampton.
    (Remembered with honour ABINGTON (SS. PETER AND PAUL) CHURCHYARD, Grave 1538)


    Details of some of the others killed as a result of the accident:

    BESWICK, Ernest, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), C/JX 223520 (Age unknown)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Next of kin details not listed on CWGC records
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Coll. grave 803).

    BROOKES, David, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), D/JX 338095 (Age 20)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of David and Maria Brookes, of Stourbridge, Worcestershire.
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Coll. grave 803)

    CARR, Ernest G., Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 201363 (Age 23)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Ernest Lawrence Carr and Marion Garbutt Carr, of Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire.
    Mentioned in Despatches
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Coll. grave 803)

    CURRAN, Patrick, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), D/JX 337908 (Age unknown)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Next of kin details not listed on CWGC details
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Coll. Grave 806)

    DODSON, Leslie J., Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 289242 (Age 23)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of John Henry and Ethel May Dodson, husband of Ivy Joan Dodson, of Gosport.
    (Remembered with honour GOSPORT (ANN'S HILL) CEMETERY Plot 188. Grave 71).

    KENNAN, Patrick, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 2230 (Age 28)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Patrick and Catherine Keenan, of Glasgow.
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Grave 718).

    LAVERACK, Walter, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), C/JX 262492 (Age unknown)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Walter and Sissey Laverack; husband of C. Laverack, of Drax.
    (Remembered with honour RAWCLIFFE CEMETERY, Row C. Unconsecrated Grave 42).

    MACLEOD, John, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), C/JX 289681 (Age 30)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Mr and Mrs. John MacLeod; husband of Margaret MacLeod, of Leith, Edinburgh.
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Grave 686).

    RUDD, Alexander, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 334136 (Age 20)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Alexander and Hannah Rudd, of Frizington.
    (Remembered with honour FRIZINGTON (ST. PAUL) CHURCHYARD, Grave C.3)
     
  2. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    Hi Keiron.

    I can't help with the missing names but, for what it's worth (know how newspaper reports can be a bit dodgey at Times):

    The Times, Thursday, Apr 29, 1943
    AIRCRAFT CRASH ON NAVY BUS
    TEN SERVICE MEN AND DRIVER KILLED

    Eight naval ratings, two R.A.F. men,
    and a bus driver were killed when an
    aircraft crashed into a stationary bus in
    south-east Scotland on Tuesday after-
    noon, setting the bus on fire. Eighteen
    other men who were in the bus escaped,
    although six of them were badly injured
    and were stated yesterday to be still in a
    serious condition. The occupants of the
    aeroplane were among those killed.

    The accident happened shortly after 4
    o'clock, when naval ratings who were under-
    going a gunnery course at a naval depot had
    settled down in the bus for the return journey
    after the day's work. The aircraft came down
    out of control and crashed on to the bus.

    Blazing petrol from the crashed aircraft set
    fire to the bus while the passengers were
    struggling to get out. Men from the training
    depot rescued six of the injured and 12 others
    managed to smash their way out with only
    slight injuries. Several of them suffered from
    shock and were taken to hospital. No attempt
    could be made to reach the other men until
    the flames had died down.

    Ambulances from a Polish Red Cross
    station in the district were quickly on the
    scene, and the injured men were taken to a
    Polish Red Cross hospital. A number of the
    injured, after receiving treatment, were re-
    moved to the nearest town. Two of them
    died on the way.


    regards,
    Martin
     
  3. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    So some of them got out alive, its a
    shame because I can not seem to find
    much info, maybe Kew might have something
    seeing they were attached to HMS President III

    thanks again Martin

    Regards
    Kieron
     
  4. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    So some of them got out alive, its a
    shame..


    I did a double-take at that sentence! :)

    I did previously search the NA catalogue for accident 1943 but didn't find anything specific, though there were what appeared to be general files on accident investigations, etc. (both ADM and AIR). Perhaps you could leaf through these files if you visit.

    Good luck.

    Martin
     
  5. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

  6. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    Yes a very interesting site, Kieron. I like the idea. So it later became HMS Bruce - I realise the obvious Scottish origins of this name but that almost sounds Australian.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Gill Park

    Gill Park Junior Member

    I hope you dont mind me contributing to this old thread. I came across it when looking for any information about my grandad who was Walter Laverack, one of the men killed in this incident. My mum was about 6 years old when he died and seems to think there is some sort of plaque at the side of the road where this happened and she has always wanted to visit it. She always thought it was somewhere near Leith but hasnt been able to find any more information, if anyone knows anymore I would be grateful to find out. I would think if there is any sort of memorial it will be somewhere near Ferny Ness as mentioned in this thread.

    Thanks, Gill
     
  8. arkrite

    arkrite Senior Member

  9. Gill Park

    Gill Park Junior Member

    The Scottish War Graves Project :: View topic - Seafield Cemetery, Leith, Edinburgh
    East of Scotland Aviation Research
    Found these links, hope they work. The post states that some names from the accident are given on the memorial . It would appear they are additions to a WW1 CWGC memorial.
    East of Scotland Aviation Research
    The second link relates to enthusiasts wishing to erect a memorial..I do hope they had their wish come true.

    This will be a great help and is very interesting, thanks so much for taking the time to find this and reply.

    Gill
     
  10. anneii

    anneii Junior Member

    My possible Uncle - Harry Horrocks is shown in 'Genes' as dying 1943 with regiment listed as Jackdaw (he was a Ty. Lieut (A)).
    I was always told he was one of three survivors and then died on The Hood - but unconfirmed as yet.
    Ann
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Anne and welcome

    Is this your uncle? CWGC list him as a Able Seaman.

    CWGC :: Certificate

    He couldn't have been killed on HMS Hood as she was sunk in 1941. The only three survivors were Dundas, Tilburn and Briggs.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  12. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Intrestingly he was awarded the DSC, do you know what for ?

    Name: HORROCKS, HARRY
    Initials: H
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Lieutenant (A)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: H.M.S. Jackdaw.
    Age: 22
    Date of Death: 25/03/1944
    Awards: D S C
    Additional information: Son of Harry and Margaret Hymer Horrocks, of Marton, Blackpool.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. B. Grave 43.
    Cemetery: BLACKPOOL (CARLETON) CEMETERY

    CWGC :: Casualty Details

    He was killed in an air crash whilst serving with the Fleet Air Arm

    FAA, 785 Sqn, Jackdaw, air crash
    HORROCKS, Harry, Ty/Lieutenant (A), RNVR, killed

    HMS Jackdaw (RN Air Station, Crail, Fife)
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Phil,

    Just had a scratching head moment then how you found him and I didn't. I searched in 1943 not 44. Funny how both were listed as with 'ships' mentioned in this thread and with the same surname.

    A
     
  14. daley47

    daley47 Junior Member

    Hi Guys,

    I was looking a bit more into my grandads services as a DEM and
    HMS President III and I came across this wartime tragedy. There
    are three names missing from this list so can anyone fill in the missing
    servicemans names and anymore information

    During WW2 Ferny Ness, East Lothian was used as a dive bombing range (Fleet Air Arm) and a Naval Gunnery Practice Range. The spellings 'Fernie Ness' or 'Fernieness' were used as a ploy to confuse the Germans as to its location.

    A report about the accident at H.M.S. Fernieness on 27 April 1943:

    "On 27/04/43 a Fleet Air Arm aircraft was practising dive bombing at the range. It had successfully completed one pass. On the second it lost control and crashed in front of an SMT bus, bounced and hit the bus.

    In the ensuing fire 14 lost their lives".
    :poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy:

    Details of the air crash:

    Fleet Air Arm, 770 Squadron, H.M.S. Jackdaw, air crash


    HARTLEY, Robert, Acting Leading Airman (Aged 20) H.M.S. Jackdaw
    Fleet Air Arm / FX 86655, killed
    Additional details - Son of Robert and Margaret Ann Hartley, of Gipsyville, Hull
    (Remembered with honour HULL NORTHERN CEMETERY, Compt. 157. Grave 32.)

    JOLL, Kenneth R., Temporary Sub Lieutenant (A) (Aged 20) H.M.S. Jackdaw
    Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, killed
    Additional details - Son of Eustace Sanders Joll and Winifred Joll. of Northampton.
    (Remembered with honour ABINGTON (SS. PETER AND PAUL) CHURCHYARD, Grave 1538)


    Details of some of the others killed as a result of the accident:

    BESWICK, Ernest, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), C/JX 223520 (Age unknown)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Next of kin details not listed on CWGC records
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Coll. grave 803).

    BROOKES, David, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), D/JX 338095 (Age 20)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of David and Maria Brookes, of Stourbridge, Worcestershire.
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Coll. grave 803)

    CARR, Ernest G., Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 201363 (Age 23)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Ernest Lawrence Carr and Marion Garbutt Carr, of Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire.
    Mentioned in Despatches
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Coll. grave 803)

    CURRAN, Patrick, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), D/JX 337908 (Age unknown)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Next of kin details not listed on CWGC details
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Coll. Grave 806)

    DODSON, Leslie J., Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 289242 (Age 23)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of John Henry and Ethel May Dodson, husband of Ivy Joan Dodson, of Gosport.
    (Remembered with honour GOSPORT (ANN'S HILL) CEMETERY Plot 188. Grave 71).

    KENNAN, Patrick, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 2230 (Age 28)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Patrick and Catherine Keenan, of Glasgow.
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Grave 718).

    LAVERACK, Walter, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), C/JX 262492 (Age unknown)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Walter and Sissey Laverack; husband of C. Laverack, of Drax.
    (Remembered with honour RAWCLIFFE CEMETERY, Row C. Unconsecrated Grave 42).

    MACLEOD, John, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), C/JX 289681 (Age 30)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Mr and Mrs. John MacLeod; husband of Margaret MacLeod, of Leith, Edinburgh.
    (Remembered with honour EDINBURGH (SEAFIELD) CEMETERY Sec. P. Grave 686).

    RUDD, Alexander, Acting Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 334136 (Age 20)
    (HMS President III, O/P), killed
    Additional details - Son of Alexander and Hannah Rudd, of Frizington.
    (Remembered with honour FRIZINGTON (ST. PAUL) CHURCHYARD, Grave C.3)


    my cousin James rudd 1922--1943 went down with the president 3 there a wall with there names on at Chatham navy dock yard Kent
     
  15. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    Able Seaman Alexander Rudd.
    P/JX 334136, H.M.S. Fernieness Range,Royal Navy.
    Who died age 20.
    On 27 April 1943.
    Son of Alexander and Hannah Rudd,of Frizington.
    Remembered with Honour.
    Frizington (St.Paul) Churchyard.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    I was looking a bit more into my grandads services as a DEM and
    HMS President III and I came across this wartime tragedy. There
    are three names missing from this list so can anyone fill in the missing
    servicemans names and anymore information

    Good day Kieron,

    Is this the article where your information about the HMS President III came from by any chance?

    WW2 - The Second World War: A wartime tragedy at H.M.S. Fernieness Range, East Lothian, Scotland

    This was an article I wrote some time ago. If that was the original source perhaps an attrbution may be appropriate?

    If you have obtained the information from another source, please could you attribute that as the source of your information?

    I would be interested in finding out further information about the incident myself. Alexander Rudd is commemorated on the 'Roll of Honour' for both Frizington and Cleator Moor, which I have been researching for some years.
     
  17. Horro

    Horro Junior Member

    My possible Uncle - Harry Horrocks is shown in 'Genes' as dying 1943 with regiment listed as Jackdaw (he was a Ty. Lieut (A)).
    I was always told he was one of three survivors and then died on The Hood - but unconfirmed as yet.
    Ann

    Harry Horrocks's Grandfather is my Great Grandfather. In other words he was my father's cousin.

    Harry served with distinction in the Fleet Air Arm in Malta and protecting Atlantic convoys. In the latter capacity he was the pilot of the first aeroplane to sink a U-boat using air-to-surface rockets. This event was important enough to be commemorated in an oil painting which I last saw on HMS Belfast, London. here

    I do not know of any service on the Hood and think it unlikely.

    He transferred (we think, temporarily) to "Jackdaw" to help train pilots, no doubt a welcome relief from the horrors of Malta and the Atlantic. Sadly on a standard, local non-combat flight, his aeroplane suffered a catastrophic failure (a wing fell off!) and he was killed.

    My father, Harry's cousin, is still alive and well and would be able to supply further info if needed.

    Perhaps if you e-mail me with the info you have, we can find out whether HH really is your uncle.
     
  18. David J Ostler

    David J Ostler New Member

    THE FERNIE NESS or FERNIENESS ACCIDENT 27th April, 1943

    The missing names can be found by researching Fernie Ness Range Incident, the bus driver's name eg, was Mathieson. The aircraft was a Vought Chesapeake (the British name for the US built Vindicator, an obsolete naval dive-bomber used as a target tug) Towing a target drouge the plane had been fired on by the gunners at Fernie Ness as arranged, but perhaps just a little too close for comfort. The pilot it is reasonable believed to have come down low to 'buzz' the gunners to express his displeasure but, hampered by the additional drag from the still attached drouge, may have been unable to recover his aircraft in time. Though known as a likely cause at the time, this was perhaps understandably never released at the time for propaganda reasons. There is now a plaque, not at the site, but on the low wall in front of the British Legion in the nearby village of Longniddry which was erected following a local campaign. The bus driver may be buried in Cranston Cemetery, by Pathhead, Midlothian, but I had the wrong name 'Paterson' when I last looked there.
     
  19. David Ostler

    David Ostler New Member

    Sadly, I think you will find that this incident is not as generally described here.

    The Vought Chesapeake (Vindicator) Aircraft involved, was one of a number ordered by France that were instead delivered to the British after the Nazi invasion of the continent. That day
    it was being operated, not by the RAF, but the Royal Navy Air Service 770 Squadron out of H.M.S. Jackdaw, a shore base located at Crail in Fife on the north side at the mouth of the Forth Estuary.

    Moreover, and to the best of my knowledge, it was not being used that day (27th April, 1943 - from memory) in the role of a ‘dive bomber’ but rather as a drogue-trailing ‘Target Tug’ deployed for the benefit of those seamen training at the Ferney Ness / Fernieness firing range there. Training was primarily on the dated, ubiquitous, but readily available and still effective, 6 Pounder Gun; the piece of (I think, first designed as) army field artillery was by then the type increasingly fitted to ‘Armed Merchantmen’ to try and mitigate their dreadful losses to U-Boat action in the North Atlantic.

    Already testified as obsolete, the Vindicator (Chesapeake in the U.K.) suffered a desperate mauling by Japanese AAA & Zero fighters etc during the (1942) Battle of Midway, even as ultimately, their sacrifice was not in vain because of the confusion created aboard the enemy carriers.

    The Ferney Ness Chesapeake had been operation for most of the day’s target towing, dropping its drogue and landing safely at the nearby RAF’s Macmerry Airfield to refuel as required, before the retrieved drogue was re-stashed aboard / alongside for deployment once the aircraft had attained both a safe height and speed.

    The tragedy in fact occurred at the end of the day’s training, once the trainee gunners were back, seemingly safely aboard the bus......

    The actual crash site, though reported elsewhere as at No.3* Car Park, Longniddry Bents, just off the A.198 Edinburgh - North Berwick Road, is best described as east of the extremely sharp bend located around 1/4 of a mile from where the A.198 joins the B.1348 (Coast or Golf Course Road) affording a driver their first Forth Estuary Vista. Although the once direct entrance to the (unmarked) crash site, that previously afforded access to what was once the No.4 Car Park, and most likely the one that the fated bus used, no longer exists, so vehicular access is via the entrance to the No.3 Park (* As initially mentioned) which is located about half way between the (previously mentioned) A.198/B.1348 Junction & the sharp corner at Ferney Ness/Fernieness. With the actual crash site thereafter accessible on foot from the eastern (or A.198 Road) corner end of No.3. It is unmissable as it forms an atypical deep depression in the coastal bents, through which a tarmac service road passes before the access peters out to the east.

    Someone posed the question of a memorial to those killed, and one does indeed exist. It is set into the low wall that borders the small car park of the British Legion building in nearby Longniddry Village, accessible to the north from Main Street, within yards of the Edinburgh side of the Pelican Crossing, and directly opposite the Co-oP Food store there.

    I trust that anyone who wishes to seek out either crash site or the memorial will find this helpful.
     
  20. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    One minor nit to be picked - was it not operated by the Fleet Air Arm? The RNAS had long since ceased to exist.
     

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