Accident Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V N1362,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 197034
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Date:Tuesday 11 June 1940
Type:Silhouette image of generic whtl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V
Owner/operator:77 Sqn RAF
Registration: N1362
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Lignieres-Orgeres (Mayenne), 10 km N of Pre-en-Pail -   France
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Jersey Airport, Jersey, Channel Islands
Destination airport:
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B.Mk.V N1362 (KN-B) 77 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (Failed To Return) from combat operations to Italy. All five crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/869): "Whitley N1362 crashed at Orgeres-la-Roche, France, 11 June 1940. Sergeant N M Songest, Sergeant P H J Budden, Sergeant A Findlay, Sergeant E Ombler and Sergeant R C Astbury: report of deaths~"

To mark the entry of the Italians into the war, 36 Whitleys drawn from Nos. 10, 51, 58, 77 and 102 Squadrons were tasked to raid Genoa and Turin during the night of 11/12 June 1940, although only 13 aircraft actually reached their targets due to a combination of inclement weather and engine troubles.

Airborne from Jersey Airport. Target: Fiat Works, Turin, Italy. On the return flight the Whitley crashed at 22:30, in flames, near Lignieres-Orgeres (Mayenne), 10 km N of Pre-en-Pail, France. Cause of loss not established. All five crew members died in the crash.

Crew of Whitley N1362:-
Sergeant (Pilot) Norman Martin Songest, RAF 580330, killed in action 11/06/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Philip Henry James Budden, RAFVR 742113, killed in action 11/06/1940
Sergeant (Observer) Alexander Findlay, RAFVR 749540, age 28, killed in action 11/06/1940
Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Ronald Charles Astbury, RAF 630781, age 20, killed in action 11/06/1940
Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Edward Ombler, RAF 633791, age 18, killed in action 11/06/1940,

All five crew fatalities were buried at Lignieres-Orgeres Communal Cemetery, Mayenne, France


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1977)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/869:
11. (French Text)

Revision history:

29-Jul-2017 10:09 gerard57 Added
13-Sep-2019 01:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Sep-2019 19:55 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
23-Sep-2019 21:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
25-May-2024 10:53 Rob Davis Updated [Narrative]

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