Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

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Elaine E Baker
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Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by Elaine E Baker »

Hello
In October 1944 my maternal uncle was killed in an accident involving a Stirling Mk 111 from 1661 HCU, RAF Winthorpe.
The list of the crew was as follows: Pilot, Flight Engineer, Wireless Operator, Navigator, Rear Air Gunner, Mid Air Gunner, and Bomb Aimer. Four bailed out of the plane as it attempted to land, namely the Rear and Mid Air Gunners, the Wireless Operator and the Flight Engineer. The Pilot, Navigator and Bomb Aimer remained in the aircraft.
I have the following questions.
1. Can anyone recommend a web page showing a simple cut away drawing of a Stirling Mk 111 showing the positions of the crew? The ones I have found do not show the positions for all the crew or show crew undertaking roles other than their own.
2. In the event of crew needing to bail out, was there a particular order in which they would leave the aircraft?
3. The Navigator and Bomb Aimer remained with the Pilot. Does anyone have any suggestions why this would be the case? Could it be that the plane was too low for them to bail out safely? Were they needed to help navigate to a safe landing place?
4. How did the Rear Air Gunner leave a Stirling Mk 111 in an emergency?

Any insight would be most welcome.
Best wishes
Elaine E Baker

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K4KittyCrew
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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Hello Elaine and welcome to the forum.
'
We have some cutaways images here on our forum pages.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1345&p=7913&hilit=cutaways#p7913

I will also have a look for some other details, later and report back.
Cheers,
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

jamesinnewcastle
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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by jamesinnewcastle »

Hi Elaine

Some info for you. This is the parachute drill, but from what I've read the way in which crew left the aircraft rather depended on what was happening at the time!


James
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jamesinnewcastle
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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by jamesinnewcastle »

And the cut-away that goes with it.

James
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jamesinnewcastle
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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by jamesinnewcastle »

The tail gunner used this door - he had to go back to this door to get his parachute since the turret was too small to wear it and because the parachute was in the bin that you can see attached to the door!

The door is on a lanyard just to stop it falling and hurting someone (?) and they may have needed to get it back in flight!

The reat gunner was luckier that the rest of the crew as when he jumped there were no parts of the aircraft coming towards him!

James
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Elaine E Baker
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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by Elaine E Baker »

Hello John and James

Thank you so very much for the information. I will look at this in more detail tomorrow, but this should answer my questions.

Best wishes
Elaine

jamesinnewcastle
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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by jamesinnewcastle »

Hi Elaine

There are some rather nice models of the Stirling in cut-aways on these links (even if I do say so myself!)

http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthre ... D-4D-Model

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2279




James

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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Elaine,
Further to James' comments .................. I owe him an apology for forgetting the great work that he has done with his computer modelling, if thats' the correct term.
Were lucky to have him on the board, here.
Regards,
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

jamesinnewcastle
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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by jamesinnewcastle »

Hi

Intersting, I've just read the parachute drill in more detail myself and I'm surprised that the rear gunner goes forward to bale in a 'normal' situation. I assume that this is something related to the Captain being able to account for his crew.

Incidentally, on some Stirlings there was an independantly powered circuit that allowed the Pilot to trigger a flash bulb in the rear gunners turret. This basically meant 'get out' and was there becasue he was too far away to notice the rest of the crew jumping and was in addition to the intercom circuit which was probably subject to easy disruption with its wiring extending all over the aircraft.


James

Elaine E Baker
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Re: Crash of Stirling Mk111 October 1944

Post by Elaine E Baker »

Hello
Many thanks for all the information, the animations and modelling are extraordinary- it makes the Stirling seem new and state of the art rather than a museum piece in a glass cabinet.

Your information has given me greater insight into the Stirling and how the crew would have dealt with the impending crash.

Best wishes
Elaine

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