Incident Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V N1376,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 227519
 
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Date:Sunday 19 May 1940
Time:23:25 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: N1376
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Goch, near Wesel, district of Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia -   Germany
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V N1376 (DY-O) of 102 (Ceylon) Squadron, RAF. Written off (destroyed) when lost (failed to return) from combat operations on 19 May 1940. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/428): "Whitley N1376 crashed near Wesel, Germany, 19 May 1940. Aircraftman 2nd Class A Murray, Leading Aircraftman J McClutcheon, Flight Sergeant E L G Hall, Sergeant D L Dick and Pilot Officer J T Glover: prisoners of war".

Airborne at 20:10 on 19 May 1940 from RAF Driffield to attack a synthetic oil plant in the Buer district of Gelsenkirchen. Part of a force of 36 Hampdens, 30 Wellingtons and 12 Whitleys dispatched to a number of targets in France, Belgium and Germany. 102 Squadron sent four aircraft. Extremely severe opposition, two Whitleys lost, N1376 and N1417, both from 102 (Ceylon) Squadron.

Hit by Flak over the target and later abandoned in the vicinity of Goch, near Wesel, district of Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. All five crew survived, were captured, and taken as PoWs. According to an eyewitness report (see link #7):

"During an bombing raid on Gelsenkirchen the aircraft was hit by flak, the aircraft made it as far as the lower Rhine and then the crew started to bail out between Goch and Uedem. Two came down at a place called Buchholt where they were almost immediately captured and taken to a neighbouring farm (Kempkeshof) which had a telephone, here they were seen by a 14 year old girl who saw them through a crack in the door, they seemed to be not injured and looked apprehensive as what was going to happen to them.

As they were not injured they were probably Glover and Dick. The rest of the crew did not bail out but came down in the aircraft just outside Uedem at Meursfeld, 50 meters from the old railway line. The crash must have been very heavy as Hall had to clear a row of houses on the edge of the field and came to rest 200 meters behind them. They were found quite quickly by the police hiding in the hen house on the farm. From here they were taken to a wooden barracks that had been used by a group of polish force labourers"

Crew of Whitley N1376:
Flight Sgt Edgar Louis Graham Hall MBE RAD 564838; survived, captured, taken as PoW. Interned in Camps 8B/L1/8B/L6/357, as PoW No.13116.
Pilot Officer John Thomson Glover RAF 41683; survived, captured, taken as PoW. Interned in Camps 9AH/L3, as PoW No.510
Sgt David Livingstone Dick RAF 581171 survived, captured, taken as PoW. Interned in Camps L3, as PoW No.52559.
LAC James McCutcheon DFM RAF 515871 survived, captured, taken as PoW. Interned in Camps 8B/L3/L6/357, as PoW No.13088. Awarded the DFM 22 Nov 1940 while in captivity
AC.2 A. Murray; survived, but injured captured, taken as PoW, confined in Hospital due to injuries sustained

Flight Sgt Hall was later awarded an MBE on return to the UK after the war for his "activities" whilst a POW. The citation for this award was Gazetted on 6th September 1946, it reads..."Warrant Officer Hall was captured near Goch in May 1940, after his aircraft had crashed, and he was imprisoned in various camps in Germany. During his captivity he carried out the work of Senior non-commissioned officer in three different camps; he also served on various Escape Committees, organising and assisting in several tunnelling operations. In May 1942, he and a companion jumped from a moving train whilst being transferred to Stalag VIIIB (Sagan). They walked most of the night and next day but were recaptured three miles beyond Frankfurt. Warrant Officer Hall and another left a column during a halt in April 1945, intending to wait for Allied troops, but they were recaptured four days later."

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1977 p 7)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/428: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502099
3. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-armstrong-whitworth-aw38-whitley-v-near-goch
4. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/102_squadron.html#192005gel
5. https://www.fightercontrol.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=137403
6. http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/05358.php
7. http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/yorkshire/york40/n1375.html
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goch
9. Rob Davis Bomber Command Losses Database

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
23-Jul-2019 23:08 Dr. John Smith Added
23-Jul-2019 23:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
24-Jul-2019 08:18 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
15-May-2024 09:02 Rob Davis Updated [Source, Narrative]

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