B25 Mid air collision over West Sussex

Discussion in 'Stories' started by okotokspaul, May 7, 2013.

  1. okotokspaul

    okotokspaul New Member

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    My dad who is now 76 told me a story that when he was about 4 he saw 2 B25's collide in mid-air over Rudgwick (in either 1940 or 1941) He said that the aircraft were Dutch. Was wondering if anyone has any further info please.

    Regards
    PAUL
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #2 stona, May 7, 2013
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
    The two aircraft were more accurately Mitchell IIs as they were in RAF service. They were 41-12768 (RAF Serial No FL682) and 41-12837 (RAF Serial No FR396) A report states FL682 crashed and was destroyed by fire after collision with FR396 over Alfold (mis-spelt Alfred in some reports), Surrey. FR396 Crashed five miles south of Dunsfold.

    FR396 was from 180 Squadron and FL682 was from 98 Squadron. They were returning from an operation in bad weather. I think your dad may have got the date wrong as this happened on 7th January 1944.

    These were not Dutch aircraft though 320 Squadron Royal Dutch Naval Air Service moved to Dunsfold in February 44 which may have caused confusion, maybe your dad remembers the Dutch airmen and has put one and one together to make three :) It was along time ago and he was very young at the time.

    I can't tell you what happened to or who the crews were at the moment. I probably do have that information at home.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  3. okotokspaul

    okotokspaul New Member

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    Hi Steve. Many thanks for the gen - very much appreciated.Will pass on to me dad. You prob rite bout the mix up due to his age - he abit like that these days lol. All the best PAUL
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Well done Steve.
     
  5. okotokspaul

    okotokspaul New Member

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    Hi Steve again.My dad saw them touch wings (he also said they werent flying that high) and one went one way and the other went the other both spirralling out of control. He was standing at a place called Tismans Common (with a group of 3 other kids) and saw one aircraft crash followed by a very large explosion (he said it shook the ground) so I assume it was FL682 that he saw?? My dad said he would be interested who the crew were. Once again many thanks for the information. Regards
    PAUL
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #6 stona, May 8, 2013
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
    Well his memory of the collision matches other contemporary accounts so there's not much wrong with his memory :)

    98 Squadron recorded four casualties, all fatal, on that date. These were presumably the crew of FL 682.

    Flight Sergeant SC Norton, air gunner/wireless op.

    Flight Sergeant Douglas Morris, Navigator.

    Flight Sergeant William Cross, Air Gunner.

    Warrant Officer Terence Riordan, Pilot.

    They were all in their early twenties.

    The Mitchell II typically had a crew of five I think. Either one is missing from the list, one managed to escape or there were only four on board.

    Unfortunately I won't be home for a while but I will have a look then for more details and something on the other aircraft.

    The two squadrons to which the aircraft belonged were part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force (TAF) at this time so if anyone else has losses for the 2nd TAF they might be able to help. Alternatively there may be squadron associations or similar that could help.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. okotokspaul

    okotokspaul New Member

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    Hi Steve. Many thanks for the gen on the crew of FL682 - will pass this on to my dad. All the best

    PAUL
     
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