Wellington Bomber Crash 29th May 1943.

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by ozzy16, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Last week Liz and I had a pub lunch at The Star Inn, Pershore.We went there deliberately in order to see
    The Brandy Cask Hotel (as it was known in 1943) which was next door,and was hit by a Wellington Bomber in 1943.

    On the 29th May 1943 during Pershore's Wings for Victory and fund raising activities,an organised fly past was arranged by the Commander of RAF Pershore in which 11 Wellington Bomber crews took part.
    F/O. G. S. Hynam DFC (RCAF) and Sgt. P.E. Zoeller (RAF) were piloting Wellington X3704 and 3 ground crew had gone along for the ride- Corporal H.Allen, Aircraftsmen G.R.Band and W.A.Garvell.

    The Starboard wing fell off, taking the engine with it.Control of the aircraft was lost and it crashed into the back garden of the Brandy Cask Hotel (now private apartments,see photos.) The plane burst into flames and all 5 crew members perished.
    Later after repairs to the hotel, It was clamied one of propellers from the Wellington Bomber was attached to the back wall of the hotel as a memorial to the crash.During my visit there, I was unable to view the rear wall due to a 20ft high brickwall spanning the whole length of the garden.


    F/O.G.S. Hynam and Sgt. P.E.Zoeller were buried at Pershore Cemetery with full military honours.

    Graham.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  2. CL1

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

    Aircraftman 2nd ClassGRAVELL, WILLIAM ALYN
    Service Number 1411885

    Died 29/05/1943

    Aged 21

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Son of Thomas and Maria Gravell, of Blaina; husband of Mary Freda Gravell, of Nantyglo.
    Buried at NANTYGLO AND BLAINA (BLAINA) CEMETERY
     
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  3. CL1

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

    CorporalALLAN, HARRY
    Service Number 1368090

    Died 29/05/1943

    Aged 22

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Son of William and Letitia Marion Allan; husband of Wendy Veronica Allan, of Edinburgh.
    Buried at EDINBURGH (PIERSHILL) CEMETERY
     
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  4. CL1

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

    Aircraftman 2nd ClassBAND, GEORGE RUPERT
    Service Number 1417073

    Died 29/05/1943

    Aged 22

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Son of Leonard R. Band and Gertrude M. Band, of Brimfield.
    Buried at BRIMFIELD (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD

    from my photo collection
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Graham Stanley Hynam - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial - Veterans Affairs Canada

    [​IMG]

    From Hugh Halliday's Honours and Awards database:

    HYNAM, P/O Graham Stanley (J15652) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.420 Squadron - Award effective 31 December 1942 as per London Gazette dated 12 January 1943 and AFRO 232/43 dated 12 February 1943. Born in New Tredegar, Wales, 28 October 1920; home in Akron, Ohio. Enlisted in Niagara Falls, 24 October 1940. With No.8 (BR) Squadron, North Sydney, 12 November 1940 to 13 January 1941. Posted to No.1 ITS, Toronto, 16 January 1941; graduated 21 February 1941 and promoted LAC. To No.10 EFTS , Mount Hope, 22 February 1941; graduated 22 April 1941 and posted to No.1 Manning Depot; to No.8 SFTS, Moncton, 3 May 1941; graduated 27 July 1941 and promoted Sergeant. To Halifax, 29 July 1941; taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 8 September 1941; to No.16 OTU, 23 September 1941; damaged Hampden P2080, 28 January 1942, at which time he had flown 153 hours 50 minutes on all types and 43 hours 45 minutes on Hampdens (sliding on a muddy airfield surface on landing, “came into contact” with an Anson tail). Joined No.420 Squadron, 12 February 1942. Commissioned 22 June 1942. Completed 28 operational sorties as pilot of a Hampden bomber, including targets at Lubeck, Hamburg, Essen, Rostock, Stuttgart, Warnemunde, Cologne, Bremen, Duisburg and Dusseldorf. To No.23 OTU, 21 November 1942 as an instructor of bomber pilots. Killed in a flying accident on 29 May 1943, whilst serving with No.23 Operational Training Unit (Wellington X3704). Medals sold at auction, 2 June 2002 for £ 1,100.


    This officer, who has taken part in attacks on many of the enemy's most heavily defended targets, has achieved success with almost unfailing regularity. He is a gallant and determined captain of aircraft, who has always pressed home his attacks with the greatest resolve and spirit and has set an excellent example to all.


    An assessment is worth noting. On 18 November 1942, W/C D.A.R. Bradshaw wrote of him:


    A sincere type of officer. Pleasant personality. Carries out all his duties efficiently and well. He is held in high regard by his brother officers. A skilful operational pilot. Keeps calm under the most trying circumstances.


    Circumstances of death. He was piloting X3704, one of eleven Wellingtons in a flypast for Pershore “Wings for Victory” campaign. The first flypast was at 1,500 feet in vic-formation. The aircraft then changed to echelon starboard. Hyman was in No.8 position. W/C J.A. Roncoroni testified:


    The formation approached two miles west of Pershore, flying on a southerly course at 1,500 feet. The aircraft then peeled off at intervals of three seconds by making a 90 degree turn and flying over the Pershore cricket ground at 200 feet. I was flying the leading aircraft throughout this manoeuvre and my maximum IAS was 220 mph. P/O Hynam’s aircraft apparently levelled out, and whilst flying over the cricket ground at approximately 150 feet, the starboard wing broke off in the air. The aircraft damaged the roofs of two houses, killing the crew and slightly injuring one civilian, The starboard wing, complete, landed some 400 yards from the main wreckage
     

    Attached Files:

  6. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    cheers Dave,
    Thankyou for your time and for the additional information.
    A tragic end to a brilliant pilot. And indeed to the rest of the crew. R.I.P.

    Graham.
     
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  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It looks as if structural failure occurred shortly after the Wellington had performed what appears to have been a normal manoeuvre within its normal flight envelope.... a spar failure.

    I am not aware of the quality assurance as applied to these aircraft during manufacture....there can't be much warning in flight of a spar failing and there was not much G force rating from normal flight conditions to that declared as maximum on these aircraft. I wouldn't have thought there was such a maintenance technique as NDT performed at a Major service.

    Like many from the US,their service with the RCAF was enacted by crossing the border in to Canada...presumably FDR's administration raised no objection as a neutral country to the practice. In this case P/O G S Hynam was Welsh born but residing in the US.....not clear if he was a US citizen when he joined the RCAF.
     
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  8. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Harry,
    With the RAF favouring the big bombers of the Heavy Conversion Units (HCU) Lancasters and Halifax, The wellington bombers were passed down to the Operational Training Units (OTU) to use for training purposes.
    Some reports claim these Wellingtons were badly worn out.I'm just wondering if this may of played a key role in the tragic accident to Wellington X3704.

    Graham.
     
  9. CL1

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

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  10. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Cheers Clive,
    Typical of some of the reports I have read concerning patched up aircraft being put back into use.We have to remember there was a war on and so spare parts were often salvaged off other damaged/crashed aircraft that was not always available in spite of the fact production was running 24/7.
    However the question has to be asked, just how safe were these patched up aircraft.and should they be allowed to fly again.I guess we will never know the answer.
    Going back to X3704, to lose a complete wing and engine at 150ft I can't imagine how terrified the crew must of been in those final seconds.

    best.......Graham.
     
  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It was the usual practice that exhausted front line aircraft were relegated to training units.I would think that while there would be a maintenance history of front line servicing,minor and major servicing in second line servicing there would be no reference to any overstressing of an aircraft airframe unless it was obvious by evidence of rivets being sheared, popped and panels off....then repairs were then actioned and if the aircraft eventually was declared not suitable for front line operations,the aircraft would be relegated to OTUs and HCUs. When the Lancaster Fishing Schools were established.it appeared that they received newer aircraft and occasionally HCUs might get the odd newer aircraft but this came when the Lancaster aircraft production was a maximum.

    Any deterioration in spar integrity would only be ascertained by visual inspection

    The same situation existed with engine operation.Usually engines were designed with a war emergency boost rating,ie, an increase in power output for a duration of 5 minutes where the supercharger boost output and hence power output could be increased at the discretion of the Pilot or Flight Engineer as the case might be.In Bomber Command this emergency operation was colloquially known as "Going through the gate".Emergency operation as this would not form part of the operational/maintenance history of an engine...

    An engine condition and performance would be reflected by the history of bombing/fuel load weight carried ....an abundance of ops with heavy loads increased the wear and tear on an engine.Maximum boost "through the gate" had to be established in order to achieve take off and and a safe height to clear the airfield and this was a dimension contributing to an engine requiring the appropriate maintenance.

    All Merlin engines were prone to oil leakage as evident by the oil stains downstream of the engine on the upper plane wing...Engine Fitters/Mechanics carried their trade on their oil stained dark blue/ black overalls.Engine failures and changes were the norm for this trade.
     
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  12. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Cheers Harry,
    A thoroughly interesting post.

    Graham.
     
  13. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    This is a strange case, Harry. When he enlisted his citizenship is given as British. His Province of Ontario Death Certificate says he's British. Yet, the file states that there is a Report of Death of a United States Citizen in Military Service. However, said document appears to be missing.
     
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Graham Stanley Hynam
    1920–1943
    BIRTH 28 OCTOBER 1920 • New Tredegar
    DEATH 29 MAY 1943 • Pershore, Worcestershire


    1940 United States Federal Census
    Name Graham S Hynam
    Age 19
    Estimated Birth Year abt 1921
    Gender Male
    Race White
    Birthplace England
    Marital Status Single
    Relation to Head of House Son
    Home in 1940 Akron, Summit, Ohio
    Map of Home in 1940 Akron, Summit, Ohio
    Street Dayton Street
    Inferred Residence in 1935 Akron, Summit, Ohio
    Residence in 1935 Same Place
    Resident on farm in 1935 No
    Citizenship Alien
    Sheet Number 2B
    Occupation Gunsh Teranland
    Attended School or College Yes
    Highest Grade Completed High School, 4th year
    Hours Worked Week Prior to Census 40
    Weeks Worked in 1939 26
    Income 400
    Income Other Sources No
    Household Members
    Name Age
    Gilbert S Hynam
    Martha W Hynam
    Graham S Hynam
    Thelma M Hynam
    Doreau H Hynam


    Before you ask - I have no idea what his occupation was :wacko:

    TD

    [​IMG]

    Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947
    Name Graham Stanley Hynam
    Birth Place New Tredegar, Wales
    Residence Place Akron, Ohio
    Service Number J15652
    Regiment Royal Canadian Air Force
    Rank Flying Officer
    Next of Kin Gilbert Stanley Hynam
    Relationship Father

    Graham Stanley Hynam - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial - Veterans Affairs Canada

    Honors and Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross
     
  15. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

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  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    I was thinking more along the lines of:

    What the hell does this mean - Occupation Gunsh Teranland

    TD
     
  17. Little Friend

    Little Friend Senior Member

    About 15 years ago I photographed a propeller from this Wellington that was in the Snug bar. This was with my old film camera, and no flash gun. Needless to say; it didn't come-out too good. Been there since to photograph the blue plaque. Road works in the way at the time.
     
  18. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    L/F,
    That's interesting, did you take the photo inside the Star Inn or The Brandy Cask Hotel before it was converted to private apartments?
    When we were in the Star Inn, I asked about the crash and the staff didn't seem to know.(young girls)

    Graham.
     
  19. Little Friend

    Little Friend Senior Member

    I will phone my mate tonight who lives in Pershore. He, or his wife will know for sure as these were their local pubs. I think there was also a brass plaque, but not 100%.

    Many years ago I called into a large pub along the A1 heading North. It was a place used by Guy Gibson for some wild parties. I asked a young-ish lady at the reception desk if there was anything here to remember Guy Gibson.... WHO ? she asked.
     
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  20. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    cheers L/F,
    I only live 15 minutes from Pershore, if we can find the whereabouts of the propeller I will go and get some photo's of it and upload them here.
    I see you had the same problem as me.

    Graham.
     

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