Royal Engineers Italy-- Spr. Roberts killed by 'friendly' bomb?

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by ejb, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Steve that's the one I mentioned Peter VMed me about, see post #23.
    Details are on my profile.
    As it not 40 sqn , as mentioned in war diary, we discounted it.

    Hello Owen,

    I misread what you posted, but I don't think the No 40 Squadron reference is right. That aeroplane crashed near Rome... that's where Google tells me Genzano - Velletri is.

    No 40 and No 104 Squadron were the units making up No 236 Wing of No 205 Group RAF, Italy. A BIG connection and the No 104 Squadron aeroplane crashed near Foggia.

    I think that the No 104 Squadron aeroplane is most likely to be the connected crash.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    This one fits better than other one, 40 Sqn, mentioned in war diary.
    House mentioned, soldier on ground mentioned, one crewman survived injured as mentioned in war diary.

    17-18 February 1944

    40 Squadron
    Wellington X HE237
    Place. Genzano - Velletri
    Crashed into a house immediately after take-off. A soldier and several civilians were also killed. Three bombs exploded, the remaining being defused by Armaments Officer F/O. Carruthers. Only the rear gunner of the aircraft survived the crash and subsequent fire.
    Crew.
    F/O. K W. Lyon RAAF +
    F/S. S E P. Pillinger +
    Sgt. K R. Reader +
    Sgt. D H. Knight +
    Sgt. F. Jones RAAF Injured.

    Source - Sweeping The Skies - D. Gunby
    This one, 104 sqn not 40 sqn.
    All crew, same amount as in the other aircraft listed as dead.
    No ground losses mentioned.


    17 February 1944
    104 Squadron
    Wellington X LN334 A (Apple)
    On the 17th Feb 1944 the aircraft was returning from Porto San Stafano when 2 miles from Foggia Mains Airstrip they lost control and dived into the ground.

    AUS414634 F/Sgt (Pilot) Anderson, Andrew Charles. +
    AUS426027 Sgt (Nav) Bingham, Kevin Joffre. +
    1017190 Sgt W Op/AG Morgan, Hubert James. +
    1481014 Sgt B/Aimer Scott, Robert Samuel. +
    1602883 Sgt AG Betteridge, Eric Edward. +
     
  3. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Owen,

    The War Diary Appendix said four bombs exploded, not three. It's a puzzle...

    Would the RAF have air crash investigation reports for WWII accidents/crashes? Maybe that's the answer, as not only should it clarify which crash is the pertinent one it may also give the place/site of the crashes.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    With a number of Australians in both crews, a search of the much more accessible Australian archives should provide confirmation. We know from the incident report that bombs exploded on the ground and there seems to have been a considerable quantitiy of fuel which both point to an aircraft taking off rather than returning.

    I find the army's concern over the damaged vehicles a little surprising. This is the same army that had left 100,000-odd in France.
     
  5. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    It is definitely the Lyon kite (HE237)

    From the A705 Casualty Repatriation file of 415478 F/O Kenneth William Lyon, held by the NAA, page 21 of 36:

    http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/NAAMedia/ShowImage.asp?B=1072594&S=21&T=P

    As the copy is rather blurred, here are the highlights which may identify the location:

    2. The aircraft took off at 20.16 hrs and crashed almost immediately afterwards about half a mile beyond and to the right of the runway

    4. After the crash, the aircraft lay in a patch of open ground, burning fiercely; a nearby house was also burning and reports indicate that a wing of the aircraft crashed into the roof of the building and the interior became drenched with petrol. Six dead bodies were removed from the burning house, one of them, that of a British soldier, and the others, those of Italians.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  6. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Thanks for the clarification, Dave. The Genzano - Velletri reference in the HE237 information refers to the intended target, not the site of the crash. Now we have a definite tie in to Foggia and an approximate location for the site of the crash.

    Anyone any good at overlays; Idler?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Lesley

    that article is the correct one where I mentioned crashes of aircraft near Foggia -

    Lucera was obviously on the flight path for take offs and landings at Foggia and it was

    busy most days and nights - sounds like this crash was taking off at the time but that will

    be lost as they get into the technicalites - fact is - not too many aircraft returned WITH

    their bombs and lots of fuel - but what do I know - I was there

    Cheers
     
  8. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    sounds like this crash was taking off at the time but that will be lost as they get into the technicalites

    Tom,

    It most certainly won't be lost. The report is quite clear - takeoff at 2016 hrs and crashed almost immediately. The report goes into detail about the pilot's attempt to jettison the bombload as well as the petrol igniting the building.

    But I am aware of aircrew being recalled to base with both petrol and bombload. It did happen.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    alien

    I am aware of the official report and also very aware of how normal threads tend to go off on a tangent and quite likely this one will do the same and it will be a Spitfire crashing at Velletri after dropping a bomb at Lucera when the pilot was aiming at Monte Cassino

    Cheers
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Well done and found Dave - I'll have a closer look tonight to see if I can narrow down the location of the RE sketch map.
     
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Would there be anymore info in the Sqn ORB ?
    | The National Archives


    • Reference:AIR 27/413/3
    • Description: Squadron Number: 40 Summary of Events: Y
    • Date: 1944 Feb 01 - 1944 Feb 28
     
  12. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Would there be anymore info in the Sqn ORB ?
    | The National Archives


    • Reference:AIR 27/413/3
    • Description: Squadron Number: 40 Summary of Events: Y
    • Date: 1944 Feb 01 - 1944 Feb 28


    I'll have a look when I go to Kew on Thursday (unless someone looks before I go). There might also be a page in the
    RE war diary that Andy would not necessarily have looked at and copied, that gives a map ref. I'll have a look at that as well.
     
  13. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    A little more info!

    RAAF FATALITIES IN SECOND WORLD WAR AMONG
    RAAF PERSONNEL SERVING ON ATTACHMENT
    IN ROYAL AIR FORCE SQUADRONS AND SUPPORT UNITS

    Source:

    AWM 237 (65) NAA : A705, 166/25/116 Commonwealth War Graves records
    Aircraft Type: Wellington
    Serial number:
    Radio call sign:
    Unit: ATTD 40SQN RAF

    Summary:

    A Wellington aircraft of 40 Sqn RAF crashed half a mile beyond the end of the runway
    at Foggia Main landing ground, Italy, immediately after take off on 17th February 1944.
    Four of the crew were killed and Sgt Jones (RAAF) was uninjured.
    After taking off the aircraft failed to gain height and began a swing to starboard. The
    Captain called out that he was attempting to jettison the bombs, but this was not
    accomplished, as when the aircraft crashed the bombs remained aboard and later
    exploded whilst the aircraft was burning.
    Sgt Jones was quickly rescued from the aircraft. Six bodies were also recovered from a
    nearby burning house. A wing of the aircraft crashed through the roof of the building and
    the interior of the house was drenched with petrol.

    Crew:

    RAAF 415478 FO Lyon, K W Captain (Pilot) †
    RAF Flt Sgt S E P Pillinger, (Navigator) †
    RAF Sgt K R Reader, (Wireless Operator Air) †
    RAF Sgt D H Knight (Air Bomber) †
    RAAF 427511 Sgt F W Jones, (Air Gunner) (Survived)


    The four crew who lost their lives are buried in the Bari War Cemetery, Italy. The
    cemetery is on the outskirts of Bari, Locality Carbonara.
     
    Owen likes this.
  14. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hello Peter,

    Have you got better particulars on where this Wellington crashed?


    Wellington LN334 A (Apple)
    • AUS 414634 F/Sgt (Pilot) Anderson, Andrew Charles.
    • AUS 426027 Sgt (Nav) Bingham, Kevin Joffre.
    • 1017190 Sgt W Op/AG Morgan, Hubert James.
    • 1481014 Sgt B/Aimer Scott, Robert Samuel.
    • 1602883 Sgt AG Betteridge, Eric Edward.
    On the 17th Feb 1944, returning from Porto San Stafano, when 2 miles from Foggia Mains Airstrip they lost control and dived into the ground. They were buried in Foggia Cemetery and at war's end they were re-buried in Bari War Cemetery - Plot 15. Row A. Common Grave 28-32.

    Wellington's generally had a crew of six and only five death's reported here.

    Best,

    Steve.


    Hi Steve,

    Sorry to say that's all I have on the above loss.

    Regards
    Peter
     
  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    The RAF accident report at Message # 45 has the accident at half a mile away and to the right of the runway.

    The 212 Army Troops Coy, RE, War Diary at Message # 14 has the building on the eastern side of Naples-Foggia Road.

    The Gino Lisa Aeroporto di Foggia Seap is south east of the Via Napoli = Stada Provinciale 546, which in Foggia itself becomes the Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi; which Idler referred to in Message # 36.

    The Via Napoli is much further than half a mile, but looks the likely area. I can't yet find a match for the building, but as Idler says there is a lot of new buildings in the area. There is a 'British Institutes' facility in the same area, but don't know if there is any connection.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  16. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    This is the 104sq loss details however only distance from and no specifics.

    RAAF FATALITIES IN SECOND WORLD WAR AMONG
    RAAF PERSONNEL SERVING ON ATTACHMENT
    IN ROYAL AIR FORCE SQUADRONS AND SUPPORT UNITS

    414634 Flight Sergeant ANDERSON, Andrew Charles

    Source:

    AWM 237 (65) NAA : A705, 166//3/177 Micro Film No 463 OAFH
    Aircraft Type: Wellington
    Serial number: LN 334
    Radio call sign:
    Unit: ATTD 104 SQN RAF

    Summary :

    Wellington LN334 crashed at 0450 hours on the 17th February 1944, two miles from
    Foggia Main drome, Italy. The aircraft dived into the ground while approaching the
    drome and all on board were killed.

    Crew :

    RAAF 414634 Flt Sgt A C Anderson, Captain (Pilot)
    RAAF 426027 Flt Sgt K J Bingham, (Navigator)
    RAF Sgt R S Scott, (Air Bomber)
    RAF Sgt H J Morgan, (Wireless Air Gunner)
    RAF Sgt E E Betteridge, (Air Gunner)

    All the crew were killed and they are buried in the Bari War Cemetery, Locality
    Carbonara, Italy.
    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  17. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Owen
    I can well understand that to-day is Monday and I was awakened early to answer the phone by someone who hung up as I answered - leaving me a bit annoyed - so I switched on to WW2 Talk to find that you have deleted my posting which complained that soon this thread would be subject to the usual Tangent - possibly leaving the original poster as confused - and me even more annoyed - now if you care to follow my reasoning thus :-

    Posting #37 - Plane crashed on returning
    """" #44 - plane taking off
    #45 - taking off
    #52 -taking off
    #53 -plane crashed on landing
    #55 - plane crashed on landing

    so the score is now 3-3...wonder where it will go in the next week

    Cheers
     
  18. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Owen
    I can well understand that to-day is Monday and I was awakened early to answer the phone by someone who hung up as I answered - leaving me a bit annoyed - so I switched on to WW2 Talk to find that you have deleted my posting which complained that soon this thread would be subject to the usual Tangent - possibly leaving the original poster as confused - and me even more annoyed - now if you care to follow my reasoning thus :-

    Posting #37 - Plane crashed on returning
    """" #44 - plane taking off
    #45 - taking off
    #52 -taking off
    #53 -plane crashed on landing
    #55 - plane crashed on landing

    so the score is now 3-3...wonder where it will go in the next week

    Cheers

    Hello Tom,

    It was me who introduced the 'curved ball' here. I couldn't see how the Wellington reported at Message # 25 as having crashed at:

    Place. Genzano - Velletri


    -which is near Rome, could be the aeroplane that crashed at Foggia and I think that is a reasonable conclusion based on what I read. I therefore introduced another possibility, a Wellington that did crash at Foggia on the same date. At the time of writing I thought too much reliance was being placed on what an Army War Diary was saying about an RAF outfit.

    As it transpires from the evidence produced by Dave at Message # 45 Genzano - Velletri was the 'target' and not the place of the crash, so the crash reported at Message # 25 was in fact correct and the one I introduced later was not.

    Viewers of the thread should follow the HE237 'Lyon' Wellington details.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Tom, I thought I'd deleted a duplicate post of yours , turns out in my haste I deleted both posts.
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    This thread really has turned into something - wonder why I bother sometimes :lol:
     

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