WWII Mosquito fighter-bomber rises from the mud

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    WWII Mosquito fighter-bomber rises from the mud
    16 Mar 07
    The remains of a crashed De Haviland Mosquito World War II fighter-
    bomber have been discovered in Milton Keynes.

    Among the wreckage was one of the plane's Rolls-Royce Merlin engines,
    guns and ammunition. The wooden fuselage had long since rotted away.

    The wreck came to light during building work on a John Lewis
    distribution centre. After striking a heavy object hidden in the mud
    builders contacted the police who in turn brought in the Royal Air
    Force when they realised it was part of a wreck.

    The RAF team identifited the aircraft as being from No 51 Operational
    Training Unit which had been based at RAF Cranfield in Bedfordshire.
    The twin-engined aircraft had been on a routine training misson when
    mechanical failure forced the pilot to bring it down in a field in
    what was then Buckinghamshire and is now the outskirts of Milton
    Keynes.

    It took off on its ill-fated cross country night flight at 1735hrs on
    14 January 1945. Pilot Warrant Officer Gavin Harvie and navigator
    Sergeant Martin Sydney Card quickly discovered that some of the
    Mosquito's equipment was malfunctioning and radioed a distress call
    just minutes into the flight.

    Changing course, they turned back towards RAF Cranfield while talking
    to the ground controllers. The radio transmission suddenly went dead
    and a flash was seen from the crash site.

    John Munnelly, Senior Project Manager of the distribution centre,
    said that uncovering the wreckage 60 years later was emotional:

    "It was a moving experience being shown the crash site of the
    aircraft, especially given that it is exactly where the entrance to
    the site will be located."

    There are now plans to mark the crash site with a plaque at the
    distribution centre's entrance while the Mosquito's engine will be
    displayed in the central estate office of the logistics park on which
    the John Lewis distribution centre will stand. John said:

    "It is fitting that we should commemorate the lives of the two crew
    members."

    This article was written by Heath Reidy and is reproduced with the
    kind permission of the John Lewis Distribution Chronicle.
     
  2. R-2800

    R-2800 Member

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  3. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Many thanks for posting this.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

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    Very cool thanks.
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting, thanks for posting.
     
  6. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    Interesting, wonder whether there are any photos of that engine available. Would probably be in pretty good nick once cleaned out. Wonder what caused the crash... An engine problem or something?
     
  7. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    8) THX.
     
  8. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    There are some potential questions about this mosquito crash. A fuel leak catching fire, because there was a report of an equipment problem and then the flash and a crash? Was the flash some fuel catching fire? All the reports seem to say is that there was a flash suggesting that something caught fire or some ammunition exploded...
     
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