Whitley Crew Memorial - Bushey, Watford.

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Little Friend, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. Little Friend

    Little Friend Senior Member

    P1100222.JPG P1100218.JPG P1100230.JPG

    I took these yesterday 22-09-2021. In Bushey, Watford.
     
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  2. CL1

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

    thank you for posting


    Almost two hours into the sortie the aircraft was at 12,000' and was engaged by searchlights in the Watford area. It was seen to change direction but the searchlights still held it in their beams. The Whitley then took evasive action by diving out of the beam and was heard to be diving down at high speed. At 10:15 pm it crashed into the ground and burst into flames near the allotments in Finch Lane, Bushey, Hertfordshire damaging a tall oak tree and a pear tree. No parachutes were observed. The accident investigation noted that the aircraft crashed in an almost vertical attitude and penetrated the soft ground to a depth of about 20 ft. The outer parts of both wings were found about a quarter of a mile away to the south-east. Various other minor parts of the skin and fabric of the aircraft were found up to a mile-and-a-quarter away from the main crash site. The investigation concluded that the accident was caused by loss of control during evasive action when engaged by searchlights. It is thought the pilot became so dazzled by the searchlights that, in trying to evade them, he exceeded the safe limits of the aeroplane. The excessive loads imposed on the airframe in the dive resulted in the failure of the aircraft structure which broke off both outer wings in mid flight and caused damage to other parts of the aircraft.

    The accident investigation noted that the aircraft crashed in an almost vertical attitude and penetrated the soft ground to a depth of about 20 ft. The outer parts of both wings were found about a quarter of a mile away to the south-east. Various other minor parts of the skin and fabric of the aircraft were found up to a mile-and-a-quarter away from the main crash site. The investigation concluded that the accident was caused by loss of control during evasive action when engaged by searchlights. It is thought the pilot became so dazzled by the searchlights that, in trying to evade them, he exceeded the safe limits of the aeroplane. The excessive loads imposed on the airframe in the dive resulted in the failure of the aircraft structure which broke off both outer wings in mid flight and caused damage to other parts of the aircraft.


    Hall W - International Bomber Command Centre
     
  3. CL1

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

  4. CL1

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

    New information board unveiled in Bushey - Hertsmere Borough Council



    A new information board commemorating the spot where an RAF Bomber crashed during the Second World War was unveiled yesterday (Thursday 2 September) in Bushey, on the anniversary of the crash.

    Local resident and retired geologist, Dr Nigel Moore, contacted Hertsmere Borough Council about erecting a sign informing the local community and visitors to Bushey that the site marks the spot where a RAF Bomber crashed, tragically killing the five crewmembers on board, and as a memorial to the aircrews who died during the war.

    Together with Hertfordshire County Council, who own the site, a display board has been installed providing background to the crash.

    Cllr Meenal Sachdev, Portfolio Holder for Community, Leisure, Culture and Health at Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to unveil this information board and to discover more of our local history. It is important that we remember the sacrifices our service men and women have made throughout history fighting for our country.

    “The RAF Bomber crashed in Bushey during the crew’s final operational training before being deployed. The navigational exercise was to simulate an attack on a British target using searchlights. Unfortunately, during evasive action manoeuvres the pilot lost control and crashed killing all five crewmembers.”

    Dr Nigel Moore, local resident and volunteer researcher for the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in Lincoln, said: "I became aware of the crash a couple of years ago when reading a one line entry in the appendix of a book. I set off on a research trail involving the National Archives, reference websites, books and the Watford Observer. However, that still didn't feel enough as every time I walked by the site I was aware it was 'missing history' insofar as no-one else knew of the tragic incident that happened there, hence my approach to Hertsmere.

    "It is extremely fitting that the unveiling of the information board took place on the 78th anniversary of the crash. When I started my research work for the IBCC in Lincoln five years ago I did not expect to find a bomber crash site just 600 yards from my house in Bushey."

    The information board has been installed near the footpath at Finch Lane in Bushey.
     
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