I have been in touch with Mary Taylor and Simon Maguire over the past few months and she has kindly allowed me to post this on the site.
The actual open air service anyone can attend, but the buffet lunch after is by invitation only.
The Chaucery Memorial.
February 17th 1945.
I was almost 15 when I went out cycling with my cousin John, as we often did, on a Saturday morning. We were in Holmes Lane Rustington, when we saw a troop of soldiers on a route march, so we cycled behind them.
Suddenly we heard the strange noise of an aeroplane in trouble, it was really making such a noise, banging, crackling and popping, John said” That plane is going to crash”, and then for a split second we saw it. very low and going so fast, & then a very loud bang. The soldiers set off at the double and we followed them. We saw a group of bungalows in ruins and on fire; the noise was amazing with the sound of canon shells exploding etc. One of the soldiers turned around to us and said “You two had better get off home, no place for you here”, which of course we did, scared stiff and so frightened.
Now here almost 65 years later, I realised that nothing had ever been done about this tragic event, which killed 5 people including the two air crew. Two people, a mother and her 3 month old baby Angela, were miraculously saved from one of the demolished houses, injured and burnt; they were taken to the Queen Victoria Hospital at East Grinstead, the Burns Unit.
Thanks to Richard E. Flagg and his Web site, my husband and I were able to make contact with the pilots Grandson Simon Maguire in June of 2009. Since that time, with the help of a friend ex RAF William (Bill) Kelsey BEM, President of the Littlehampton RAFA, we have formed a committee called The Chaucery Committee, in order to have a War Memorial Plaque, detailing the names, the plane, date etc, placed on a road island site with a Memorial Garden. This is opposite where a De Havilland Mosquito MK NFX111 aircraft MM 550, based at Ford of the Fighter Interception Unit, crashed on 17th. February 1945, destroying 4 bungalows, badly damaging two others, killing both air crew and three civilians. And injuring a mother and her 3 month old baby Angela.
In order to achieve erecting the memorial plaque on the 65th Anniversary February 17th 2010 at 12 noon (approx time of the crash) an appeal has been launched for grants and donations.
The Son and Grandson of the pilot with other members of the family will be attending the Dedication Service, and one of them will unveil the new Memorial. As Simon Maguire said, “Do the thing properly this time”
Also driving down from Wales to attend will be Angela (the baby injured in the crash) along with her husband.
Representatives of ex service organisations with their standards will be attending the service.
Last edited by REF; 24-12-2012 at 09:26.
View from rear of the memorial showing one of the bungalows that the mosquito crashed into, Mr REF is roughly fifth from the left.
Hello, I was wondering whether anyone could tell me what the livery of this Mosquito (MM550) night fighter would have been?
Would it have been painted Matte black, or dark camouflage?
I need the info for a painting, that is to be auctioned at the Chaucery Memorial Jazz Night on the 19th of February (1930s and 40s Standards by The Jazzooits, feat. Sally Hurst and Barry Prockter).
Also the registration marks either side of the roundel.
Any information, or ideas of how I could find them out would be gratefully received.
I have a photograph of MM682 a NF.XIX (Thimble nose) variant of the FIU here in front of me. Shows it as being matt black undersides with camo upper surfaces. But I cannot distiguish which pattern the upper surfaces are painted in. Unit codes were ZQ by the way.
looking through my collection of Mosquito books as I am typing!
Thank you Denis. Any images would be great.
So the two letters before the roundel would have been ZQ?
And the one after it?
I'm Sorry I'm so uneducated
This is all really good information, thank you so much x
I cannot say the actual aircraft letter, but the FIU unit code was ZQ. Lets suppose for example that the aircraft was 'T' and use 'O' as the roundel. As standard, the port side would be marked thus TOZQ and the starboard side would be ZQOT. Most likely the paint scheme could have been the Day Fighter Scheme (Dark Earth/Medium Sea Grey) with Matt black underside, but this must be confirmed.
I have posted on a Mosquito forum regarding the markings for you, and if indeed MM550 was built as a Thimble nose or as standard.
What I do know is that the aircraft was lost while testing an American type altimeter. I have checked through the many books I have on Mosquitos in an attempt to find an image of MM550, but without luck so far.
Upper wing would carry the 'B' type roundel as per first image, fuselage would carry the 'C1' roundel and aircraaft code and squadron letters would be in off white with 'MM550' in black just forward of the tailplane(elevator). The fin flash was 24 inches square, Red 11 inches, White 2 inches, Blue 11 inches.
Hope this helps for markings. If it proves impossible to determine the actual A/c letter then it may be an idea to paint the angle of the aircraft so the wing hides it!. The aircraft shown is marked in RAF Day fighter Scheme and this was used on nightfighters and intruders albeit with the matt black undersides.
Last edited by Denis; 07-01-2011 at 22:45.
Thank you Denis. Please email me an address, so I can send you a print when it's completed. Thank you, Sally (email@example.com)
I sent you a private message with some more information I have received tonight.
Definately a Thimble nose variant, but a NF XIII, not a NF XIX. Just waiting for a couple of answers to the basic design changes between variants. If anything it will be very minor items that wont differentiate to any extent.
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