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Post Info TOPIC: 166 Squadron Lancaster crashed Bristol Channel 3rd July 1945. Seeking further information. Can anyone help?


Aircraftsman 1st Class

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166 Squadron Lancaster crashed Bristol Channel 3rd July 1945. Seeking further information. Can anyone help?
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I am trying to assist the sister of one of the crew. She would dearly like to know more about the circumstances of her brother's loss in this incident.

Mike Hughes



-- Edited by Mike Hughes on Friday 7th of April 2017 03:57:40 AM

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Leading Aircraftsman

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Information from Bomber Command Losses - 1945 from W. R. Chorley

At around 1300, dived into the Bristol Channel while on training mission.

Crew

Flg. Off. George Barlow - Pilot

Flt. Sgt. Ainsley Rupert Kirschner - F/E

Sgt. Charles Edward Butler - Nav

Flg. Off. James Doyle - A/B

Flt. Sgt. Ronald Joseph Sullivan - W/Op.

Sgt. William Frederick George Edge - MUG

Sgt. William Gibson - R/G

Five bodies were recovered.

F/O Doyle and Sgt. Gibson remembered on Runnymede Memorial panel 266 and panel 275 respectively.

Plt. Off. Barlow buried Manchester Southern Cemetery.

Sgt. Butler buried Tottenham Cemetery.

Sgt. Edge buried WATERFALL(SS. JAMES AND BARTHOLOMEW) CHURCHYARD

Flt. Sgt. Kirschner buried PORTSDOWN(CHRIST CHURCH) MILITARY CEMETERY

Flt. Sgt. Sullivan buried LEWISHAM(HITHER GREEN) CEMETERY

 



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Air Commodore

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Hi Mike,

Lancaster Mk I  SW278  AS-V.

the aircraft dived vertically into the Bristol Channel, 5 miles north-west of Kewstoke Church. The Weston-super-Mare lifeboat was promptly launched, but they only recovered the body of the pilot. As the lifeboatmen were unaware that the crashed aircraft was a Lancaster, with a crew of seven, they did not search for the rest of the crew. Five bodies were recovered, four of them after being washed up on the beach at Brean Sands over the next few days. Panels 266 and 275 respectively of the Runnymede Memorial perpetuate the names of F/O Doyle and Sgt Gibson. P/O Barlow, who rests in Manchester Southern Cemetery, had married Ann Barlow of Clontarf, Co.Dublin in the Irish Republic.

 

Regards,

Mike.



-- Edited by MikeH on Friday 7th of April 2017 01:54:48 PM

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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Hello,

Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to reply. This is very helpful information regarding the crew. It is the sister of F/O Doyle that I am trying to help. I wonder if there are any aircrew or groundcrew around who would have been at Kirmington with 166 Squadron in 1945 when this incident occurred? I am very grateful to you for taking the time to reply. Mike



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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Hello Mike H

Thank you so much from another Mike H.  This extremely helpful. I wondered where in the Bristol Channel this sad incident may have taken place. I can pass this on to F/O Doyle's sister. I will now be able to try a letter to local newspapers in the Western Super Mare area, as I have a location. This is a big help. What I would like to do is make contact with anyone in that district who have been aware of the crash. Another area of research would be to try to locate any RAF personnel who were stationed at Kirmington in 1945, or obtain a copy of a photo of a Lancaster of 166 Squadron at that period. I really appreciate your help. Best wishes, Mike.



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Air Commodore

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Hi Mike,

It might be worth contacting the local newspapers, library or church in the area. 

Iv'e just looked on google maps and the Lancaster may have crashed somewhere in the red circle?

SW278 crash site.jpg

Regards,

Mike

 

 



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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Hello Mike

This is extremely helpful. I am off to see F/O Doyle's sister this morning, so I will be able to show her this. Very many thanks, Mike.



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Air Commodore

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Hi Mike,

You might be able to find more information from the National Archives (166 Squadron Summary of Events Jun-Nov 1945).

This can be purchased online.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8436959

 

 

Regards,

Mike.



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Group Captain

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Hi, the Barlow crew, including F/O Doyle joined 166 Squadron on 13/04/45. F/O Doyle flew on food dropping operations on 04/05/45 and 07/05/44. The crew were also involved in repatriation of POWs later in the month.
There is no additional information regarding the crash in the 166 Squadron Operations record book, save an entry on that the aircraft was overdue and was subsequently reported as having crashed in the Bristol Channel. On the 13/07/45 it reports that three further bodies were recovered.
you might like to contact me on mjc41uk@yahoo.co.uk (do not use the wizard, type my email address into your email provider direct) and I may well be able to assist you further.

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Anonymous

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Very helpful led Mike. Many thanks. Mike



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Anonymous

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Hello Barnsley
Very many thanks, the information is extremely helpful. I tried to contact you via Yahoo but unfortunately email was returned.
It is fascinating about the food drop information. It seems F/O Doyle dropped chocolate over a Dutch village in a homemade parachute [a hanky]. A Dutch man traced the family in the 1980s - trying to find James Doyle - to thank him. He had been a boy during WW2.
Thank you again for your kindness in getting in touch. I would be delighted if you can assist any further.
Bet wishes
Mike


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