Loss of Wellington W5557 27th September 1941

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by archivist, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    Can anyone please help with information on Wellington W5557 which crashed near RAF Lindholme at about 01.30 am on the morning of 27th September 1941. Two of the crew were badly injured, one died next day in Doncaster Infirmary and the other three were killed outright. All four of the dead were buried in Newark Cemetery but there are persistent stories that some of the dead were not recovered until 1970 and 1989 when the peat bog was drained. All records I have seen just give the date of death and place of burial with no mention of years of delay in recovering the bodies. I presume the death certificates will just give the date of death as the date of the crash. Is there any practical way of establishing the dates of burial.
     
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    27 Sep. Vickers Wellington no. W5557(SM-G) While returning from bombing Cologne, the a/c crash in adverse weather conditions at Hatfield Moor, killing three civilians. Sgt Leyche, Sgt Wasilenko and Sgt Buszko were killed, while seriously wounded were Sgt Korczyk (later died in hospital), P/O Barzdo and Sgt Z. Pisarek.
    No 305 Polish Sqdn losses
     
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Kapral LEYCHE, JERZY SLAWOMIR
    Service Number P/781385

    Died 27/09/1941

    Aged 23

    305 Sqdn.
    Polish Air Force

    Kapral WASILENKO, WIKTOR
    Service Number P/781021

    Died 27/09/1941

    Aged 18

    305 Sqdn.
    Polish Air Force

    Sierzant BUSZKO, EUGENIUSZ
    Service Number P/780447

    Died 27/09/1941

    Aged 27

    305 Sqdn.
    Polish Air Force

    Kapral KORCZYK, TADEUSZ
    Service Number P/780686

    Died 28/09/1941

    Aged 27

    305 Sqdn.
    Polish Air Force
     
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  6. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    This report is one of the causes of the problem. It states that three civilians were killed - at 1.30 in the morning? In the middle of a peat bog? Other reports place it on the riverside but there is no river there. Some state that it hit a house but there are no houses there. The site was right in the cutting area of the peat. For years afterwards the peat cutters left the impact point untouched and it now stands like an island in the bog with nothing but a marker for the dead and a pile of debris from the plane. The stories are all totally inconsistent. Even the Aircrew Remembered site data base lists one of the dead and one of the injured with no mention of the other four. It is a complete mystery.
     
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    doesnt look like any civilians died in that area

    have you checked local news papers

    they keep saying reports but where are the reports
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  8. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    I made a mistake in my last comment, the two who were mentioned were the two who were injured. There is no mention of the aircraft or those who died. The Yorkshire site reports the basic facts and other websites, forums and others who mention it at all mention the house, the river and the dead civilians There are individuals who have contacted me saying that some bodies were recovered in 1970 and 1989 but I can find none of this. I have contacted the cemetery direct but I will have to wait until after the Easter holiday for any chance of a reply
     
  9. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Active Member

    Last war related burials at Newark Cemetery CWGC Polish section 11 November 1944 Halifax JN967 1662 HCU RAF Blyton. 8 minutes after take-off, after climbing to 3,000 feet, the bomber crashed in flames. It was ascertained that one of the starboard engines had caught fire and, it is thought, the Graviner system was operated before the propeller had been fully feathered. JN987 crashed in marsh land at East Ferry, 8 miles SW of Scunthorpe, Lincs.. Two bodies were found in 1944 and buried at Newark in mid-November, it was believed they baled out but their parachutes failed to open. The other five bodies were found with the wreckage in 1962 when the area was drained during major construction works and buried at Newark in the autumn of that year. That was the last war time burial at cemetery. Of the five men buried in 1962, four were Roman Catholics and one was Jewish, there was a joint ceremony with a priest and a rabbi.
    P/O Michal Wisniewski ML - Born 1910 Luslawice Poland.
    Sgt Franciszek Piwoda ML - Born 1916 Ostrow Poland , both buried 1944.
    Sgt Leszek Milewski 2xML - Born 1922 Kielce Poland.
    Sgt Stanislaw Babiacki ML - Born 1924 Lodz Poland.
    Sgt Jan Rzetelny ML - Born 1920 Sandomierz Poland.
    Sgt Stefan Manek 2xML - Born 1922 Warszawa Poland.
    Sgt Mieczyslaw Kozlowski ML - Born 1910 Miastkowo. All buried Newark cemetery 1962.

    Details on W5557 26/27 September 1941 Wellington W5557 305 Sqn RAF Lindholme. Take off 19.43 to bomb Koln , crashed on return on Hatfield Moor at 01.35 in poor visability.
    Sgt Eugeniusz Buszko 3xKW ML - Born 1914 Zalasocze Poland , killed
    Sgt Jerzy Leyche 2xKW ML - Born 1918 Kutno Poland , injured , died some hours later Sgt Wiktor Wasilenko KW ML - Born 1922 Chopinow Poland, injured died some hours later
    Sgt Tadeusz Korczyk KW ML - Born 1914 Lesko Poland, injured died the following day at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. All buried Newark Cemetery
    P/O Barzdo - injured
    Sgt Pisarek - injured.

    W5557 is believed to have struck a farm house killing 3 civilians; although no record or local burials can be found to prove this. W5557 was also believed to be the aircraft referred to in the "Lindholme Willy" hauntings. The ghost of a WW2 airman was said to haunt the site asking people if the crew had returned. These haunting are said to have stopped after a wreck bomber a crew were dug up in 70's. However all the crew of W5557 were buried at Newark soon after the crash.

    The folklore ( non of it true ) A ghost nick-named "Lindholme Willy", "Billy Lindholme" or "Pete the Pole" has reputed to have been seen a number of time on Lindholme airfield and in cells of the prison which now occupy the site. He is believed to have been the ghost of one of the crew killed in the accident to W5557. In addition to this story is that the body of a Polish airman was found in the area on 23rd July 1987 during peat cutting by a local farmer, ( not true ) various stories exist as to whether he was identified or not, ( didn't exist ) but he was buried at Newark ( no he wasn't ) and the ghost stories have apparently ceased since then. There are no "Unknown" Polish graves in the large Polish plot in Newark Cemetery.
     
    ozzy16, Tricky Dicky and CL1 like this.
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Checking the Ancestry database - All UK, WWII Civilian Deaths, 1939-1945 - there no civilain deaths for either the 26 or 27th Sept 1941 in the Lindholme area.

    For the 26th there are 2 deaths in Liverpool, 1 in Holborn, 1 in Southampton, and 1 in Ilford
    For the 27th there are only 2 recorded deaths, 1 in Gloucestershire and 1 in an air crash at sea

    TD
     
    ozzy16 likes this.
  11. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    noggin1969, thank you for the information about the two air crashes. Your comment on W5557 allegedly killing three civilians is also completely correct and this is because the badly researched stories of Lindholme Willie have become intertwined with it. Almost three years after W5557 came down, a Halifax crashed in the area. This plane did hit a house, killing 2 civilians and an airman who happened to be cycling past.

    However, the story of an airman found in the bog in July 1987 is true. His body was reburied on 11th November 1987 (almost four months after being found) in Finningley church yard in a grave marked only "Known to God" Burial reference no 200 in the church records with RAF pencilled beside it. This is the man I am really interested in. I am trying to identify him so that he can have a proper headstone bearing his name and other details.

    I have analysed the list of all the Polish airmen killed and missing from their service at Lindholme and I have eliminated all but six so I feel like I am getting closer. I have also found living family for two of the six and I am working on the other 4 in case there is a need for a DNA comparison.
     
  12. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    Hello TD,

    You are quite right! These three deaths (2 civilians and an airman - not 3 civilians) were in another crash in the area almost exactly 3 years later! The myths surrounding the ghost story have been nicely entangled to make sure the truth doesn't spoil a good story!
     

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