Avro Lancaster relic

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jocke, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Jocke

    Jocke New Member

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    Hello everyone!
    I have got this piece from a Lancaster that crashed during the war not very far away from where i live.
    It was in Laröd (Sweden) 4th of September 1943.
    The old man who gave it to me had got it from his father that was a voluntery firefighter during the war and picked this piece as a "souvernir".
    In the southern part of sweden where i live many lancasters came crashing down after being damaged during missions mostly to Stettin and Berlin.
    I wonder if anyone can tell me what this is and where on the plane it was located.

    [​IMG]
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    I know it comes from a Lancaster Mk III designated AR-Q W4988 which belonged to the 460th squadron of Raaf.
    If anyone is intrested i can translate a rather long text about this airplane and the fate of the crewmen I have found in a
    swedish book writen about emergency landings in sweden during the war.

    Thankful for any help!
    All the best
    /Jocke
     
  2. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    I'd certainly would like to read it, in English or Swedish! :lol:
     
  3. Jocke

    Jocke New Member

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    Hej Lucky 13!
    Kul att se att det finns fler svenskar här på forumet :)
    Texten kommer från boken Brittiska nödlandare 1940-45 av Rolph Wegmann, nr 38 i boken om du har den, annars kan jag rekommendera bokserien om tre böcker som behandlar brittiska, amerikanska och övriga plan.

    The text translated:
    During the night the 3/4th of september Berlin was attacked by 316 lancasters and 4 mosquitos. After heavy losses of halifaxes and stirlings these types where no longer used by the bomber commands night raids against berlin. Pathfinderforce was made up of 26 lancasters that was to attack z-2, z standing for 23.15 with 28 markers. These where to be followed by five lancasters equiped with h2s-radar as a backup. The mainforce was set to attack between z+2 and z+14. The mosquitos dropped flares as a diversion. Most of the red markers seems to have been dropped between 3-6km west or northwest of the dicided point of attack. The five planes equiped with h2s radar was delayed on the way. When the mainforce arrived later than expected the bombs had a tendency of being dropped to early, a tendency that increced during the attack. This phenomenon was known as creep-back and was most of the time adjusted by an allseing master-bomber, if such one was part of the attack. The loss of 22 lancasters made up of 7% och the attack. One of the planes that did not return to home base was w4988 of the 460th squadron and the crew that parachuted out was spread over germany, denmark and sweden. After a start from Binbrook at 7.57 p.m and a flight in dense clouds towards the target without any problems, w4988 approaced berlin at an altitude of approximately 8000 meters. The plane emerged from the clouds over the big city and imidiately was lit up by beams of light from below. The pilot imidiately took avasive action to avoid continiued being lit up by "the silent death". Even so the air defence managed to get several hits. After F/O Randall emerged from the quick dive they where again lit up by beams while the begun dropping bombs over the markers. After this the turned towards north where there were fewer lights active. Maybe repeated turns and a slight dive could make them go clear from further being shot at. When they where down to a 4000 meters the airdefence stopped shoting at them and at that time the plane was attacked by either one or two Ju 88 or Bf 109 according to pilot (ju 88s) och backward gunner (bf 109). In an attack above from the left the left outer engine was damaged and started burning. The propeller was stopped and the fire was put out using the built-in anti fire system. The landing gear started decending by it self and slowed the speed, the bombdoors wasn´t able to close. At least two planes did repeated attacks and the topturrent was hit, the shooter got his oxygenmask hit and blownaway. He then climbed down from his place and made his way to the backgunner, as he got there the gunner was leaving his place after the backwards guns had been damaged and wasnt functioning anymore. At this thime the pilot made the crew aware they would probably have to parachute out. At a final attack the right outer engine took fire but also this one could be put out. Now german night fighters swept in and hit and damaged the two remaining engined. At this time the pilot gave the order to evacuate. When sgt. Ward got the order he left his place but could not find his parachute, while looking for it he saw sgt Bell, lit up by the burning berlin. The noticed that the plane appeared to fly regularly now and contacted the pilot. He then told them to await further instructions. However they were still slowly losing altitude. By dopping everything they could out through the still open bombdoos they managed to rise to 1800 meters. Because of the damages they now only had 2700 liters of fuel left in the plane, but again engine problems begun. The became aware that they wouldnt make the flight home to england and the pilot decided to try to make it to sweden an jump there. They now became aware that the front gunner had left his place and parachuted out over germany. When the pilot saw a coastline he assumed thay had reached sweden. The pilot stered towards the land and informed the crew that the should tell the swedish authorities the had fled from denmark. But the land he stered against was not sweden but denmark. during flight straight towards north the flightmekanic, the radiooperator and the rear gunner parachuted out. The all got different fates. F/S O´Brien was only replacing a sick man in the crew, he landed in Helsinge, was imidiately catched by germans and put in prisoncamp. Sgt Johns ended up in a tree close to the city of Esrum and started as instructed walking towards the coast, whae he met a young woman he got the question if he was an englishman, upon answering yes he was brought to safety by the danish resistance. After a few days he was shipped over to Helsingborg (sweden). After a qustioning he could travel home in the end of september. F/S Ward landed rough and got a concusion, seeing double he made his way to a farm where he was betrayed and captured by the germans. Togeter with Sgt O´Brien he was taken to copenhagen, rostock and frankfurt am main for questioning by german authorithes. They then ended up in prisoncamp and was liberated by soviet forces the 23rd of april 1945. After these three had parachuted out the pilot turned towards east, Öresund (the water between danmark and southern sweden /jocke) was covered in clouds so he didnt know that he was inbetween Helsingör (dk) and Helsingborg (se) as the prepared to leave the plane. The navigator and the topgunner jumped, at the same time the swedish air defece started firing at them. F/O Randall made himself ready and started a selfdestruct sequence in some equipment that was clasified. When the pilot jumped the plane was at a height of 1200 meters and after jumping he realised that he was over open water. He landed in the water and after swiming for 45 minutes he could be picked up by the boat hilda of Hven (an small swedish island) The shipper told him that they were heading for kyrkbacken on Hven in sweden. Outside the village of Hittarp north of Helsingborg a distresscall was heard and a boat was put in the water to search, the found an englishman floating but in good shape 450 meters of shore. After picking Randall upp they heard another cry for help further to the north. It took the crew some time to find Sgt Bell but just as he was about to give up the could resque him to. F/S Conway was never found and is still reported missing (propably drowned). The plane crashed in the small vilage of Laröd at 01.35 in the night about 450 meters from the swedish kings summer recidece Sofiero. According to a newspaper from the time a couple of young men stole a coule of brownings witch was later fired down at the beach.

    I am sorry if there are spelling misstakes or if i got some words wrong.

    /Jocke
     
  4. Jocke

    Jocke New Member

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    If someone has an idea where i can look to search for info please let me know.
    The markings should propably be able to point in some direction!?

    /Jocke
     
  5. ssg keay

    ssg keay New Member

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    Jocke, the part is mounted in the wing of a Lancaster. If I am not mistaken, it is part of a filler. Also, do you know where Lancaster ME592 crashed? Danny
     
  6. Jocke

    Jocke New Member

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    Hi Danny!
    Thanks for the info!
    Do you know anymore about where in the wing or is it a piece found on several places in an aircraft?
    ME592 crashed in the water just outside the small village of Vejbystrand, only one in the crew survived Sgt (SO) E.W. Cunningham.
    The other crew is burried in a cementary (Pålsjö kyrkogård in Helsingborg) not far from where I live. The plane was smached into pieces upon impact and has never been salvaged.
    If you are interested in the story i can translate some additional info that i have.
    And if anyone is interested in planes that went down in Sweden during the war i have reports about almost every plane.
    Best regards Jocke
     
  7. ssg keay

    ssg keay New Member

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    Oh how I hate pressing the wrong button, the damn thing deleted all I wrote....sigh!!

    Well hallo from Bavaria Jocke, alas I do not know more about the part and what I did find out came from a friend of mine who is a Lancaster expert. I am specialized on the P-47 Thunderbolt (not by choice, but by excavating too many of them). He was also the one who asked about ME592. Do you know how far from shore she crashed?
    If I find out anymore on your part I will let you know of course.

    Have a great wekend, Danny
     
  8. Jocke

    Jocke New Member

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    Hi Danny!
    Please let me know if he knows anymore. It has become somewhat of a hobby of mine to find lancaster crash sites.
    So far i have found 4 different locations out in the forests and found scrap pieces on every spot, as soon as winter is over i have 3 more possible locations
    to take a look at, two of them i have visited before but now i got a little more info and hopefully i will find the spots this spring.
    ME 592 crashed (according to my report) about 400 meters from shore.
    If i had diving equipment it would be interesting to see if anything is still intact down there.

    Hope you have a nice weekend to!
    /Jocke
     
  9. Jocke

    Jocke New Member

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    Also Danny, maybe you find this interesting, it is a story about one of the crewmen in ME592!

    Flying Officer Gordon Leslie Piprell

    There is also a little more info about the crash.

    All the best!
    /Jocke
     
  10. ssg keay

    ssg keay New Member

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    Jocke, I have been involved in the recovery of two Lancasters with a total of seven crewmembers still in the wrecks. Our last recovery was Lancaster JB221 with four crew still inside. Danny
     
  11. Jocke

    Jocke New Member

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    Thats interesting Danny!
    Is it something you do as a hobby or is it your line of work?
    Do you have a webpage where its possible to read about the recoverys you have made?
    If you are interested in anything with swedish connections i would be glad to help!

    /Jocke
     
  12. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    [​IMG]

    How many Lancasters did crash/emergency land in Sweden?
     
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  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  14. Jocke

    Jocke New Member

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    Lucky 13 sorry for a very late reply!
    It was a lot of Lancasters that came down in sweden, especially in the southern parts.
    I have found one place out in a forrest that is full of pices and melted metal that i think is parts of engines.
    Visit Forcedlanding Collection - FLC for more info about warbirds that went down over sweden.
    Also if you have questions on any plane that went down here give me what info you have and i will try to fill the blanks!

    /Joakim
     
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