Salisbury Plain

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Alan Jones, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Hello ,
    I have just been speaking to my cousin who says that my great uncle was wounded on Salisbury Plain approx 1942 by a quisling firing from an aeroplane. The story goes that Winston Churchill was in area at the time . My great uncle certainly was wounded and spent time in Shaftsbury Hospital but is the rest too fanciful ? I wonder if this was true where might report be ?
    Regards
    Alan
     
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hi Alan

    I think this is the incident you must be refering to.

    TRAGEDY AT IMBER

    The area around Imber on the Salisbury Plain in England, comprising of around 91,000 acres, is the traditional training ground for the British Army. On April 13, 1942, during a demonstration of fire-power from a squadron of Hurricanes, the pilot of the 6th plane to make the attack inadvertently fired into the crowd of invited military spectators. He had mistaken the spectators for the rows of dummy soldiers placed on the ground as if in marching order.
    The demonstration was immediately cancelled and all aircraft ordered to return to base. Fifteen minutes later some thirty military and civilian ambulances arrived to convey the dead and injured to hospitals. Twenty five officers and men were killed and seventy one injured. The Hurricane pilot, just approaching his 21st birthday, was found guilty of an error of judgement by the Court of Inquiry. (On June 28, 1942, seventy-six days after the tragic incident, he was shot down and reported missing in a sortie over Cherbourg).


    additional help from Dennis Burke - David Layne
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I wonder what the pilot would have received in way of a sentence if he wasn't shot down.
     
  4. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Hello Peter,
    Thank you very much for this, I was beginning to think the whole thing was too fanciful.I guess the suggestion that the pilot was a 'quisling ' and arrested was added to to spice up story even more !
    I will convey this to my cousin , who , I have told, to get her dads service record, it should show him being wounded after all .
    Thanks again
    Alan
     
  5. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Hello Peter,
    Do you happen to know please if a list of the dead and wounded was published, also do we know the name of the unfortunate pilot ?
    Regards
    Alan
     
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    More info in After The Battle issue 49.
    Anyone have it? (Dave?)
    ATB Contents
    It Happened Here - Incident at Imber - The horrendous accidental machine-gunning of a spectator stand during a live-firing demonstration on Salisbury Plain in April 1942 described by Denis C. Bateman
     
  7. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hello Peter,
    Do you happen to know please if a list of the dead and wounded was published, also do we know the name of the unfortunate pilot ?
    Regards
    Alan


    Hi Alan,

    Sorry to say I don't know of a casualty list for this incident, but I expect there will be one somewhere.

    As for the pilots name I can only surmise, going by the date of his death and looking in the relevant reference books a name springs out, but I cannot be sure so I would rather not lay the blame at someones door without confirmation, hope you understand.

    Regards
    Peter.
     
  8. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Hello Peter and Owen ,
    Thanks for replies , I understand your reasoning Peter , I would be the same myself . It would be good if someone has an After The Battle { 49 } to elaborate on story etc ,
    Regards
    Alan
     
  9. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    The pilot was Sgt.William Mclachlan...
     

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  10. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    It would be good if someone has an After The Battle { 49 } to elaborate on story etc ,
    Regards
    Alan

    You could try and purchase a copy direct from "After the Battle". Here's there website.

    Home
     
  11. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Thank you both for your info , a good idea about trying to buy copy of After The Battle. I will get in touch with them
    Regards
    Alan
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The pilot was Sgt.William Mclachlan...


    Name:McLACHLAN, WILLIAM JOHN ANDREW
    Initials:W J A
    Nationality:Canadian
    Rank:Flight Sergeant
    Regiment/Service:Royal Canadian Air Force
    Unit Text:175 Sqdn.
    Date of Death:29/06/1942
    Service No:R/74892
    Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference:Panel 105.
    Memorial:RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
     
  13. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Thanks Owen ,
    No wonder I could not find him , I was entering UK serviceman, not Canadian. I wonder if anything is known of his downfall near Cherbourg ?
    Regards
    Alan
     
  14. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    He was shot down by flak from a minesweeper.
    Source - FCL Vol 2 by N Franks
     
  15. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Thank you 52nd but excuse my ignorance but what is FCL ?
    Regards
    Alan
     
  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Since he's offline I'll take a stab at that being 'Fighter Command Losses' Alan.
     
  17. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Thank you that makes sense , I will see if a copy of the book is available .
    Regards
    Alan
     
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Attached Files:

  19. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Thank you Owen, it all adds to the story .
    Regards
    Alan
     
  20. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

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