Incident Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V N1528,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 185435
 
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Date:Wednesday 22 May 1940
Time:01:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic whtl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V
Owner/operator:102 (Ceylon) Sqn RAF
Registration: N1528
MSN: AWA.1656
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Metz, Moselle 57 -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V N1528 (DY-E) 102 (Ceylon) Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (Failed to return) from a combat operation on 22 May 1940. All five crew survived. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/466): "Whitley N1528 force landed near Metz, France, 22 May 1940. Pilot Officer R F Beauclair, Aircraftman 2nd Class A Sedgley, Pilot Officer G H Womersley, Aircraftman 1st Class H F Hurt and Sergeant J Derbyshire - uninjured".

On the night of 21-22 May 1940, a force of 124 RAF aircraft (52 Whitleys, 47 Wellingtons, and 25 Hampdens) were tasked to attack German railway lines. 3 Wellingtons, 1 Hampden and 1 Whitley lost.

Target: Bombing - road/rail communications at Euskirchen, Julich and Rheydt. 10 Squadron sent ten aircraft, all of which bombed the target (from between 2-6,000 feet). 51 Squadron sent 12 aircraft, all of which bombed the target, One Failed To Return. 58 Squadron sent 12 aircraft, all bombed the target in the face of moderate to severe opposition. 77 Squadron sent seven aircraft. One returned early U/S (Unserviceable), six bombed the target. 102 Squadron sent nine aircraft. Two returned early U/S, one Failed To Return - and that was N1528/DY-E.

Crew:-
Pilot : Pilot Officer Geoffrey Harland Womersley DSO DFC RAF 43696 (NCO:580131 : Commission Gazetted Tuesday 25 June, 1940)
2nd Pilot : Pilot Officer Robin Fochaig Beauclair RAF 41983
Observer : Sergeant John Derbyshire RAF 580768
Wireless Operator / Air Gunner : Aircraftman 1st Class Harry Franklin Hurt RAF 543293
Rear Gunner : Aircraftman 2nd Class Alan Sedgley RAF 621033

Airborne at 21:24 on 21 May 1940 from RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire. Abandoned at 01:00 on 22 May 1940, near Metz (Moselle), Grand Est, France. The crew bailed out, and returned safely, via Paris, to their unit, arriving at Driffield 25 May 1940. Cause of abandonment not established, but possibly Flak/AAA.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1977 p 8)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File Air 81/466: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14501996
3. https://sites.google.com/site/wo2vpr1/home/1940-07-27-whitley
4. http://francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=1929
5. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/102_squadron.html#212205
6. https://www.baaa-acro.com/index.php/crash/crash-armstrong-whitworth-aw38-whitley-v-near-metz
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metz .
8. Rob Davis Bomber Command Losses Database

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
15-Mar-2016 15:11 gerard57 Added
15-Mar-2016 18:11 gerard57 Updated [Total fatalities]
02-Nov-2018 19:35 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
29-Jul-2019 19:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
29-Jul-2019 19:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
03-Jul-2022 01:52 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
16-May-2024 12:35 Rob Davis Updated [Source, Narrative]

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