Accident Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V P4963,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 22150
 
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Date:Tuesday 4 June 1940
Time:03:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic whtl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V
Owner/operator:10 Sqn RAF
Registration: P4963
MSN: AWA.1667
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Lower Manor Farm, Battisford, 2 miles WSW of Needham Market, Suffolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Dishforth, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Wattisham, Suffolk
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B.Mk.V P4963 (ZA-B), 10 Squadron, RAF: Written off (damaged beyond repair) when crash landed near RAF Wattisham, Suffolk on return from a combat operation on 4 June 1940. Of the five crew members, one was killed, three were injured, and one was uninjured. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/759): "Whitley P4963 force landed near Wattisham, Suffolk, 4 June 1940. Sergeant D Donald, Flying Officer A S Phillips, Flying Officer G L C Bagshaw: injured. Pilot Officer A H Fields: report of death. Leading Aircraftman R Nicholson: uninjured"

Airborne at 21:19 hrs on 3 June 1940 from RAF Dishforth, North Yorkshire. Target: Hamburg, Germany. Encountered thick fog on return and crash landed 03:45 on 4 June 1940 at Lower Manor Farm, Battisford, 2 miles WSW of Needham Market, Suffolk on approach to RAF Wattisham. Pilot Officer Fields was killed in the crash, and three others were admitted to Ipswich Hospital with quite serious injuries. Flight Lt Phillips recovered from his injuries sufficiently well to resume operational flying. He was Killed In Action on the night of 21/22 October 1940 and is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.

Crew of Whitley P4963: -
37590 Flying Officer Geoffrey Lionel Corden Bagshaw (pilot) Wounded In Action
43257 Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) Allan Smith Phillips, RAF 39153, Wounded In Action (NCO:591357 Commission Gazetted : Tuesday 14 May, 1940)
Sgt David Donald (Observer, RAF 580608) Wounded In Action
Sgt Robert Edward Nicholson (Wireless Op./Air Gunner, RAF 611204).
Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) Antony Henry Fields (Tony), RAF 43257, age 18, killed in action 04/06/1940, buried at Cleethorpes Cemetery, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, UK

Whitley P4963 was built to contract 75147/38 by Armstrong Whitworth Ltd. at Baginton and was awaiting collection on 27th April 1940, it was delivered to 10 Squadron at Dishforth later in the month during the unit's conversion from Mk.IV Whitley's. Cat.M/FB damage was recorded following flak damage and the aircraft was repaired on site and returned to the unit. On the night of 21st / 22nd May 1940 it was again damaged by flak and repaired on site. On 4th June 1940 it sustained Cat.W/FB damage after a crash landing while returning from ops to Hamburg near Battisford, Suffolk. F/Lt Phillips was the pilot on this occasion and he was injured, as was Sgt Donald while the promoted Sgt Nicholson escaped injury. One of the then crew later died of his injuries but was not with him on 17th/18th May 1940.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft P1000-P9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978)
2. National Archives (PO Kew) File AIR 81/759: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502368
3. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2417139/fields,-antony-henry-(tony)/
4. http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/yorkshire/york40/p4963.html
5. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/10_squadron.html#030406hb
6. Rob Davis Bomber Command Losses Database

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
04-Aug-2008 09:55 Anon. Added
19-Jun-2013 11:11 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Sep-2019 01:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
17-Sep-2019 19:32 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
22-May-2024 17:39 Rob Davis Updated [Source, Narrative]

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