Feb 26, 2008

Halifax Bomber

I've been doing a little research this week regarding a particular flight in a Halifax Bomber in May of 1944. Here's the official accident report:

On the night of 12th May 1944, Halifax III, N.A. 492 took off at 22.19 hours to make an attack on Hasselt. The aircraft arrived over the target at correct height, heading and time. During the run-up to the target and while bomb doors were open the aircraft was hit by a burst of light flak. Two engines were put out of action, a large hole was made in the starboard wing and the mid-upper gun turret put out of action.

The crew were ordered to put on parachutes, the bombs were jettisoned and a course set for England. Aircraft proceeded at 140 m.p.h. and slowly lost height. Whilst crossing the enemy coast over the southern end of Frisian Islands the aircraft was picked up by the searchlights but not held. By this time a quantity of petrol had been lost due to tanks being holed and supplies were low. Distress signals were transmitted while over the sea.

On approaching the English coast the wireless operator obtained two fixes and simultaneously searchlights were seen and the aircraft swung in to land. The rear gunner, in position in the rear turret, felt a violent shock and observed foliage brushing past before the aircraft crashed and burnt in some trees at the edge of the runway at 01.58 hours on 13th May 1944, at R.A.F. Station,

The Pilot, Air Bomber and Flight Engineer were killed in the crash. The Wireless Operator, Navigator and Mid-Upper Gunner received injuries and were detained in hospital. The Rear Gunner was uninjured. Crash Category K2B.

Halifax Bomber Cockpit on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum:

1 comment:

Mike said...

I am carrying out some gentle research into the short wartime career of my wife's Uncle who was the Flight Engineer killed when this Halifax crashed.
I am intrigued to know why you are researching the same event. I know that the Pilot was Canadian and the Navigator moved to Canada after the war and wonder if you have connections with either family.
I would like to send you a personal email. My email is Mikenield@fsmail.net and would appreciate an email wher I could talk to you further.