Accident Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B Mk V N1421,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 226082
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Date:Tuesday 30 April 1940
Time:01:05 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic whtl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B Mk V
Owner/operator:102 Sqn RAF
Registration: N1421
MSN: AWA.1575
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Brennigen, Toverudmarka, Sylling -   Norway
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Kinloss, Morayshire
Destination airport:RAF Kinloss, Morayshire
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V N1421 ("DY-C") of 102 Sqaudron, RAF Driffield: Lost on combat operations on night of 29-30th April 1940. Took off from RAF Kinloss, Morayshire, along with 5 other Whitleys on a mission to bomb Fornebu airport, Oslo, Norway. This was their third mission to Norway within two weeks. At 01:05 hrs local time, the Whitley received hits in the tail section and the starboard engine by German flak and crashed. Officially listed as "Whitley N1421 crashed at Brennigen in Toverudmarka in Sylling, Norway, 30 April 1940". Of the five crew, four survived to be captured and taken as POWs, and one was killed

Pilot : Flying Officer Kenneth Hugh Pelly Murphy MBE RAF 39327 [PoW]
Leading Aircraftman John Ellwood RAF 533022 [Killed]
Sergeant John Francis Graham RAF 543228 [PoW]
Corporal David Magee RAF 548828 [PoW]
Sergeant Cyril Warner RAF 566233 [PoW]

Leading Aircraftman John Ellwood is buried Sylling Churchyard, Lier kommune, Buskerud fylke, Norway.

The following is an eyewitness report on the loss of Whitley N1421:
"My great aunt watched the burning plane go down. I have been to the crash site several times and based on the pieces of fuselage left is was damaged hard by flak. Pictures taken of the wreck on the crash site the day after the crash show a plane damaged by flak. Based on the reports "DY-C" was hit by flak during the bombing of Fornebu. The flak was hard.

Four crew members jumped from the wounded plane. Two over Asker and two over Sylling. Murphy and Graham came to a farm and told the story of the crash, they where later taken prisoner and sent to Germany. I talked to one of the farm members and based on the story told by F/O Murphy, John Ellwood was killed by flak over Oslo, the plane was burning and over Sylling the engines stopped. A big explosion was heard just before the plane came down from NW and crashed onto the ridge named Brennenga.

Witnesses told that it crashed at 0105LT. The wristwatch of LAC Ellwood had stopped at this time. Based on his wounds he was killed instantly, and blood in the front of the plane showed that he was not in his rear turret, but most likely helping out the stop the fire. John Ellwood was found outside the plane. And uncle of mine spoke to F/O Murphy on his visit to LAC Ellwood's grave in 1949. Murphy said the same. Flak damage and fire forced the plane to crash."


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/178:
10. Rob Davis Bomber Command Losses Database


Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mark Vs of No. 102 Squadron RAF being prepared for a leaflet-dropping ("Nickelling") sortie at Driffield, Yorkshire. The nearest aircraft, N1421 'DY-C', was shot down over Norway on the night of 29/30 April 1940, while N1382 'DY-A' was lost during a raid on Augsburg on 16/17 August 1940. Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk Vs of No. 102 Squadron RAF being prepared for a leaflet-dropping sortie at Driffield, Yorkshire, 7 March 1940. C921

Revision history:

11-Jun-2019 20:28 Dr. John Smith Added
12-Jun-2019 12:51 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
29-Apr-2024 06:33 Rob Davis Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Apr-2024 06:34 Rob Davis Updated [Narrative]

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