Midair Crash 2 Wellington Bombers.

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by ozzy16, May 14, 2018.

  1. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Is'nt it amazing what history you can find on your own doorstep.
    Today I had to pick up a key and drop an item at our local village hall,it's less than half a mile down the road from me,
    Whilst in the hall I noticed a plaque on the wall so I wandered over to have a look.It gives details of a midair collision between two Wellington bombers on the 11th August 1944 seven airmen were killed.
    The aircraft involved were LP618 and MF591.
    After the collision LP618 crashed into a field and only the pilot survived. MF591 struggled on to it's base in Honeybourne, nr Evesham.

    P,O.J,......Shwaikoski aged 30 killed.

    Sgt.........L.M. Lysak. aged 31
    Sgt.........A.E. Kidney aged 26
    Sgt.........G.O. Prime aged 24
    Sgt.........L.C. Lamb aged 24
    Sgt.........H.G. Round aged 21
    Sgt.........L.H. Fraser aged 20
    All Canadian and all perished.
    The crash site is just a few fields away from where I live.Iwill pay it a visit tomorrow.
    Who was the pilot of LP618 That survived ?

    Cheers.....Graham. shop2.jpg
  2. CL1

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

    From Chorley's BCL V7

    24 OTU Wellington MF591 departed Honeybourne at 2138 on 11/08/44 for a Night Bombing Sortie, 24 OTU Wellington LP618 departed Honeybourne at 2155 on 11/08/44 similarly tasked

    At 2303 a mid air collision occurred between the two aircraft. Bomb Aimer P/O Shwaikoski RCAF was thrown from LP618, whilst MF591 lost a wing and entered a violent spin before crashing close to this location, the Pilot of which somehow managed to bale out to safety

    LP618 managed to limp back to a nearby airfield where it crash landed. Although the plaque states it landed back at Honeybourne, Chorley's states it crash landed at Defford which is geographically much closer to the site of the tragedy
    HANLEY SWAN - Wellington (LP618) Crash Memorial
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  3. CL1

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

    Aircraft LP618 was a Vickers-Armstrong Wellington Mark X British medium bomber which crashed on the 11th of August 1944. It was produced as part of a large batch of such aircraft begun in September 1943 by Vickers of Hawarden. It belonged to 24 operational Training Unit. It crashed as the result of a mid -air collision with aircraft MF591 whilst flying over over a (target-)range. Between 1985 and 1986, surface wreckage belonging to LP618 was recorded by aviation enthusiasts outside Hanley Swan.

    Pastscape - Detailed Result: LP618
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  4. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    J18108 F/Lt SM Beuce, RCAF.

    edited to add: After reading Snailer's OTU ORB extracts it appears "Beuce" was a typo. The man's correct name was F/Lt Stuart Morris Bruce of Brooks, Alberta (1922-2002)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  5. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Thanks Clive, Dave,
    Reading the report Longdon is just a few miles from Hanley Swan which in turn is about 1 mile from the Malvern three counties showground.
    I was talking to my neighbour (mid eighties) who knows the whole history of Hanley Swan.She remembers some bombs being dropped on the Hamlet/Village.She told me she visited the crashsite on a few accasions and there was a big crater there.I suspect it's long been filled in and ploughed over.Anyway I will have a look if possible tomorrow and maybe take soom photo's.
    Defford airfield is now a museum and is only a few miles from me, might be worth another visit to see if they have any photos of 591.

    Do we know where these airmen are buried ?

    cheers guys..........Graham.

    Dave I will pm youi later, have something you might like to get your teeth into.
  6. CL1

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

    all buried in Bookwood military cemetery i believe
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  7. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Cheers Clive, Dave
    Many thanks for the excellent feed back.
  8. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    I will have to notify the local parish council and get the plaque corrected.It should read MF591 crash landed at Defford airfield,and not at Honeybourne.
    I should also point out the rest of the crew (MF591) were unhurt after the crash landing.

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  9. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    Hello Graham,
    From 24 OTU Honeybourne's Operational Record Book:-

    24 otu 1.jpg 24 otu 2.jpg

    Form 765 in Sgt Shwaikoski’s service file makes no mention of a landing at Defford, on the contrary it says “Course was set for Base where a wheels up landing was made” :-

    Shwaikoski 1.jpg Shwaikoski 2.jpg Shwaikoski 3.jpg

    The only references to Defford seem to be on the casualty notifications of the deceased airmen where it states “Killed as a result of a flying accident near Defford, Worcestershire, England.”

    It is worth contacting the RAF Museum and asking for a copy of Form 1180 for Wellington MF591 to see if there is any more detail pertaining to the landing airfield before altering the plaque.

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  10. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Pete,
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.I will now investigate this further.
    Chorley Bomber command losses Volume 7 page 309 states MF591 crash landed at Defford ?

  11. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    Yes Chorley does state that, but the fact that all the official sources i've posted never mentions a landing at Defford it's worth getting the accident form from RAFM just to be sure.
    It's free.
    Aircraft records
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  12. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Cheers Pete, I will check it all out in the coming days. And pay Defford a visit, it's only a ten minute drive from me.

  13. SMLE

    SMLE Junior Member

    Am I reading this wrong or has BCL V7 got the aircraft around the wrong way? MF591 crashing after the collision and LP618 forced landing?
  14. CL1

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

    Ah its from another site
  15. SMLE

    SMLE Junior Member

    Saw you'd quoted it from another site so I wasn't sure if the transcription on the other site has it wrong or if it is actually wrong in Chorley's Bomber Command Losses which they are supposedly quoting the detail from.
  16. CL1

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

    good point mate perhaps if someone has a copy to check
  17. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    Chorley has them the correct way round, the author of the site linked to has paraphrased Chorley’s entry rather than transcribed it and in doing so has got things mixed up.
  18. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Had an email back from the RAF Museum today and it seems they are very busy.I will have a look at the N/A and see if they have any accident copys I can download.Also I am awaiting replys from emails I sent out yesterday.

    Graham. oz1.jpg
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  19. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    I managed to find the crash site memorial yesterday.All I had to go on was, it's next to a wooden bridge going over a stream,and nailed to a tree.
    I knew where the stream was so it was just a simple case of following the stream back and hope I was going in the right direction,and there it was.
    note, two of the photos were taken at distance to give the general topography of the land and the memorial is roughly in the middle of both photos.

    Attached Files:

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