218 Squadron

218 Squadron

Postby Earl » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:46 pm

I wonder if anyone can help?

My father had a step brother who flew out of RAF Downham Market during the war, who was sadly killed. Dad has decided to send off to see if he is eligible to recieve his war medal and it got me thinking it would ne nice if I could get some more information about his time at the air base, the pane he flew in, its crew and their missions and a little more information on how he died.

We are told he was killed in an accident when a returning plance crashed into him, killing him and many more on the ground.

Details:
Albert Ronald Denzy
Service number 1333519
Position: Wireless operator
Squadron: 218
Based: Downham Market
Died 14/05/43 aged 20

I have manged to get hold of a copy of an accident card which I am told is the only one listed on that day, which seems to state BF480 made a difficult landing and crashed into the watch office killing two on board with one injured, however there is no mention of fatlities on the ground other than the word '3rd Party' which i assume means there were casulaties.

Any information about the actual event or how I can build a picture of his life at the base would be welcome
Earl
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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby K4KittyCrew » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:40 pm

Hi Earl and welcome to the forum. I can't help you with this query but my father Joe Pollard and crew were involved in such an incident. These details come from my father's flight engineer, Harry Parkins.
I too, can find no reference to his incident.
John
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
http://home.clara.net/heureka/lincolnsh ... arkins.htm

Mid Air Survival by Harry Parkins

When flying on operations it was said that the last plane back to base set up the drinks in the mess for the first crew back.

Because so many airbases were within a few miles of each other it was a written rule that when flying over another base where other aircraft were flying, to land one had to join the circuit before flying off and not to go straight across (similar to the roundabout system on a road today). I did read after the war that this was how roundabouts were invented.

On our way back from our 31st raid to Stuttgart on 28 July 1944, were on our circuit preparing to land when another Lancaster ignored the rule and shot straight across and under our Lancaster, crashing into us and taking off the tail wheel and H2S cupola. I shouted, “that was hell of a slipstream” and made our crew laugh, which momentarily took away our fear. The other plane dived and crashed with no survivors. Thankfully we were able to land with sparks flashing all down the runway. Joe Pollard, our rear gunner, was shouting all the way out of fear of the sparks, it was a very nasty and frightening experience.

After debriefing we were all given seven days survivors’ leave. No counselling in those days and back again on ops when we returned.
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby - www.630squadron.co.uk/
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"
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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby Merlin » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:11 pm

Hi Earl

From Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1943 :

13-14 May 1943

218 Sqn Stirling III BF480 HA-I Op: Bochum
Sgt W C Carney T/O 0025 Downham Market: Swung on touch down at
Sgt B Garland 0455 and run off the runway, colliding with the Watch Office.
Sgt I A Jordan No serious injuries reported from amongst the crew, but two
Sgt A R Taylor airmen from a Stirling (BF413 HA-T) that had just landed were
Sgt A G Ives killed as the Stirling careered out of control. They were
Sgt L W J Durrant Sgt A R Denzy and Sgt H Lancaster.
Sgt W Stewart

218 Sqn Stirling III EF367 HA-G Op: Bochum

Sgt T J Nicholls inj T/O 0025 Downham Market. Crashed 0400 into the
Sgt D Wurr + operations block at Chedburgh airfield, Suffolk.
P/O E J Pierce RNZAF inj Sgt Cleveland RCAF, who is buried in Haverhill
Sgt J F V Hargest + Cemetery, came from Sidney Center, New York.
Sgt T A Jamieson + The others who died were taken to their home towns.
Sgt S G Cleveland RCAF +
Sgt J S Howard +

You would need to find the Sqn Operational Record Book to see what other details are available.

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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby Earl » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:01 pm

Good Morning Merlin/K4KittyCrew

Many thanks for your replies, it was very helpful and interesting to see the number of Alberts plane and get some insight on the plane that hit him and to hear about your fathers near miss - how they ever went up again after that is beyond me!

I guess the best way to get any more information about the accident and where he flew etc is as you suggest by going up to Kew and looking at the records there. The story we were told was that many were killed in the accident 21 being the figure mentioned, which I would have thought would have been mentioned in the report you found for me or were non-aricrew fatalities not mentioned?

Can I ask, the second plane that hit the watch office at Chedburgh at around the same time, could that be where the extra fatalities came from in the story my family were told even though they would appear unrelated - also was it normal for planes from 218 squadron based at Downham to land at another airfield i.e Chedburgh?

Excuse my ignorance

Can you think of any on line resources that would also be of interest?

Regards
Earl
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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby Merlin » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:39 pm

Hi Earl

My first port of call was the CWGC who are in Maidenhead. The first problem encountered being that they had no record of Sgt Denzy. I then tried Denzey and got a result. Was this a typo on your part or have the CWGC miss-spelt the surname ?

The two a/c from the same base were returning from a raid on Bochum. I don't know how far apart these airfields are but wondered if there may have been a mid-air collision between these two Stirlings: which might explain why two damaged a/c put down with such disasterous results!!! I would be most interested in the explanation.

You do not need to visit Kew by the way as they have a facility where you can now order the appropriate ORB online. There may also be a chance that someone else on this forum may have a copy of the ORB to share with you.

Good luck with your research.

Regards Merlin
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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby wayne » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:44 pm

Hi Earl,

Have you been to the 218 Squadron web site?
http://host.raf38group.org/218squadron/1936-45

A member here Steve Smith has been working on the web site for a while.
Have a look at the site or send him a P.M. here. He may be able to give you more details of the accident.

Regards,
Wayne.
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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby smudgersmith218 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:24 pm

Earl wrote:I wonder if anyone can help?

My father had a step brother who flew out of RAF Downham Market during the war, who was sadly killed. Dad has decided to send off to see if he is eligible to recieve his war medal and it got me thinking it would ne nice if I could get some more information about his time at the air base, the pane he flew in, its crew and their missions and a little more information on how he died.

We are told he was killed in an accident when a returning plance crashed into him, killing him and many more on the ground.

Details:
Albert Ronald Denzy
Service number 1333519
Position: Wireless operator
Squadron: 218
Based: Downham Market
Died 14/05/43 aged 20

I have manged to get hold of a copy of an accident card which I am told is the only one listed on that day, which seems to state BF480 made a difficult landing and crashed into the watch office killing two on board with one injured, however there is no mention of fatlities on the ground other than the word '3rd Party' which i assume means there were casulaties.

Any information about the actual event or how I can build a picture of his life at the base would be welcome


Earl,

If you contact me off board, I will send on details relating to this crash. Due to the sensitive nature of the information and cause of this crash I would rather not post it on a open forum.

Regards

Steve
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
No.3 Group RAF Bomber Command 1936-1945
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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby smudgersmith218 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:09 pm

Earl,

Being that I haven't heard back from you, I have posted these details for other forum members copies of the then P/O E J Pierce RNZAF Log Book for the crash of Short Stirling EF367 HA-G.
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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby smudgersmith218 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:52 am

Chaps,

From the above you will see the names of two of No.3 Groups most distinguished pilots, S/Ldr Geoff Rothwell DFC and W/Cdr Don Saville DSO DFC RAAF. For those interested there are two excellent books on both available. Will post reviews over the weekend.

Regards

Steve
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
No.3 Group RAF Bomber Command 1936-1945
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Re: 218 Squadron

Postby smudgersmith218 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:41 pm

The attached is a copy of the Combat Report submitted by the crew on their return, just for interest.
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