View Full Version : Chipping Norton Crash Memorial, Oxfordshire
I'm sure this is to a wellington crew ?
The plaque is to the crew of a Wellington, s/n T2257 and the crew of an Oxford, s/n T1339. The Oxford was from No6 AFU at RAF Little Rissington and the Wellington was from No15 OTU at RAF Harwell. The aircraft collided shortly after 0505hrs on 21st August 1942 with the loss of all the crew on both aircraft. Their names are remembered on the plaque.
The Oxford disintegrated near Over Norton. The Wellington flew on, on fire, shed the starboard wing over the Castle Mound which made it fly on a left hand circle over the town, losing height until it finally came to rest just short of what is now called Red Robe House (then known as Yew Dell) The occupants of the house, my mother, sister and self plus a family lodging with us caled Bainger - he was from Southampton and worked in a munitions factory in the town - miraculously escaped through the kitchen window into Church Street as the garden was a blazing inferno.
... the Wellington was from No15 OUT at RAF Harwell.
Other web sources quote:
1) Wellington s/n BJ697 Parent unit was 12 OTU at Chipping Norton. Crashed on 25 September 1942 on night flying exercise. (That should read Chipping Warden)
2) This occurred when a Wellington from Enstone collided with another RAF aircraft, also on a night flying exercise.
The truth can be elusive.
Plaque Location (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=chipping+norton&aq=&sll=51.699915,-4.142229&sspn=0.000608,0.002064&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Chipping+Norton,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.943256,-1.546798&spn=0.002421,0.008256&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=51.943256,-1.546798&panoid=5kncOo1nX5pU1ML3V5Zoqg&cbp=12,245.37,,0,-1.67)
To correct REF's Post#3 the Wellington serial number was T2557 . The details are listed in Chorley's Bomber Command Losses Volume 7 which gives the house name as Jewdell House , most likely a case of a mis-read or mis-heard name whilst someone was compiling the accident report at the time ? He also states that this was the crash site of the Oxford aircraft whilst the Wellington came down at Colts Farm , Over Norton . If the Wellington bomber had crashed in Church Street perhaps there would have been even more damage to other property although John's personal account is testimony to a lucky escape for his family .
Post#5 again quoting Chorley gives Wellington BJ697 as crashing in the Black Mountains , Brecon . Flew into high ground on night navex from 12 OTU , Chipping Warden .
Although only six years old at the time, I know that it was a Wellington. When you look at the site today it is hard to believe that an aircraft of that size could fit! The nose was resting against the house wall with the fuselage resting on what was then our coal shed and parallel to the road (Church Street) and the one remaining (port) wing along the garden. It was a hot night and the curtains of an empty bedroom caught fire through the open widow burning out the room but causing no other damage. The tail of the aircraft was only yards from the garage containing two cars (laid up on blocks for the war) which with the garage were also undamaged. The house was called Yew Dell although the yew trees never recovered from the fire. I went to the dedication of the plaque some years ago which was the result of hard work and research by a man (whose name I regret I have forgotten) who was a few years older than me and was staying at the Vicarage opposite for the school holidays at the time and had a lifetimes fascination with this incident, not least the tragic loss of life which he felt should be commemorated
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