Forgotten military accidents.

Most often because we would get a note from the back that said “It’s the Sgts first flight/last flight/scared of flying/granny has just died/ RAF are poofs/Crabs can’t fly/we prefer the Navy….”, a quick look back and a waggle of the hands results a cabin full of thumbs up and away we go.

Thing is, you chaps didn’t know if we were at 20ft or 50ft or 100ft, 60° or 90° angle of bank, 120kts or 150kts, you were having a good time (mainly, sometimes one of you was actually scared of flying and the rest of you were just bastards) so there was no need to push it to the limits. Some of us got that, others didn’t. Catterick is a good example of a crew who didn’t.
Sadly the Navy was not an option at the time so we had the choice of the RAF who couldn't find a DOP to save their lives (to be fair, I was never dropped more than about a mile off target) and the AAC who couldn't find a PUP if it got up and smacked them in the face :)
 
Most often because we would get a note from the back that said “It’s the Sgts first flight/last flight/scared of flying/granny has just died/ RAF are poofs/Crabs can’t fly/we prefer the Navy….”, a quick look back and a waggle of the hands results a cabin full of thumbs up and away we go.

Thing is, you chaps didn’t know if we were at 20ft or 50ft or 100ft, 60° or 90° angle of bank, 120kts or 150kts, you were having a good time (mainly, sometimes one of you was actually scared of flying and the rest of you were just bastards) so there was no need to push it to the limits. Some of us got that, others didn’t. Catterick is a good example of a crew who didn’t.
And then there was 2Lt GPE S**ff, with half of his platoon in back of the Puma, and him on the little seat between the two pilots.

And LCpl Monty, in the rearmost seat, loses it and pukes his breakfast into the cabin . . followed like a row of dominoes by the rest of the platoon . . . . and for some reason GPE turns round and sees it happening . . . then whips round to face front again, before he too spews, all over the cockpit and its crew.

At the end of that Eagle patrol, it was a joy to watch the bedraggled wretches flop out of the back . . . and then watch the Puma, as it ascended, being "waggled" (for want of a better word) in an effort to get some of the vomit to slop out of the side doors . . .

Middletown, Co Armagh, summer, 1976.
 
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That would have been a fascinating tour. Were you tempted to immigrate?

I did Long Look in NZ and had had blast and have returned there and. To Aussie a number of times.

I worked with an extremely experienced Australian infantry Col and he used to get quite cross and vocal about the myth of Gallipoli and the cult of 'mateship'. He took the opportunity being in the UK to organise a Staff Ride to the peninsula and surprised those who attended by going to beaches away from Anzac Cove where the Aussies and Kiwis had also landed, as well as visiting the French sectors on both sides of the Dardanelles.
Do you have any idea why the Australians became so fixated over Gallipoli in particular as symbolic of WW1, whereas Canada instead picked Vimy Ridge, which is celebrated as a brilliant victory?
 
Do you have any idea why the Australians became so fixated over Gallipoli in particular as symbolic of WW1, whereas Canada instead picked Vimy Ridge, which is celebrated as a brilliant victory?
First-line they got to grips with the enemy in the Great War and popularised at home War Correspondent CEP Bean War and others...
 
I mentioned early a bus crash in Charlton Kings on the edge of Cheltenham, where the bus, returning RAF personnel from a dance collided with a broken down, unlit lorry, and burst into flames (petrol engine) there is no memorial, and yet the road appears straight and clear, however talking to an old friend, i found that the origional course of the road was quite different to the present one......

Josh, I don't know if you're aware but National Library of Scotland Maps is a great on-line resource, and it's free access. With a bit of searching you might find the previous road alignments shown on there.
 

surfincivi

Old-Salt
HMS Dasher, a converted aircraft carrier doing flight training in the Clyde. In 1943, 378 men died, the cause is suspected to be a discarded cigarette igniting some petrol vapour and the resulting explosion sank the ship. this was hushed up as the loss of a carrier in training was thought to be bad publicity.
 
Compare that attitude with those Dutch kids who look after the war graves in the Op Market Garden area.
After the failure of Market Garden the main eastward thrust of 21st Army Group left large areas of northern and western Holland under German occupation right until the end of the war. The Dutch Government in exile had ordered Dutch railway men to strike to hamper German resistance, and this continued as long as there was any occupation. The Germans had warned that this would only bring hardship to the Dutch people, and so it proved. Food supplies ran out, and the Dutch people suffered the Hongerwinter of 1944-45. Starvation is reckoned to have killed 20,000 Dutch folk.

1642985448304.jpeg

Dutch kids in de Hongerwinter

In London, as the cumulative effects of food shortages really began to bite the Dutch Government, driven on by Prince Bernhardt (German-born consort of Princess Juliana - she was in Canada, would become Queen in 1948 ) pressed the Allies to give help. Through the good offices of the Swiss and Swedish Red Cross an agreement was reached between the Allies and Germans that food supplies could be flown in under conditions of safe conduct. The Germans promised not to fire on unarmed bombers dropping food as long as they stuck to a few agreed corridors, between certain times of day, at low altitudes.
And so was born Op Manna (RAF) and Op Chowhound (US Eighth Air Force). Manna commenced food deliveries on April 29th 1945, and Chowhound on May 1st.

1642983610057.jpeg

A Lancaster - Op MANNA


1642983800081.jpeg

B-17 Op CHOWHOUND

Within a few days German forces in NW Europe surrendered to Montgomery at Luneberg (May 4th) followed by the formalities under Eisenhower at Reims on the 7th. The German commander in the remaining occupied areas of Holland was summoned to Hotel De Wereld in Waageningen on the 4th to sign a capitulation document.
Manna and Chowhound continued. Observance of the safe conduct terms was generally good, though film photography shows that at least some American aircraft carried guns, and several crews reported rifle fire and light flak which was put down to action by rogue elements amongst the German occupiers.

Both RAF and USAAF flew “ Cook’s Tours” over Germany immediately after the cessation of hostilities, low level flights carrying non-flying personnel to show them the effects of their collaborative efforts, the devastated towns and cities of the Fatherland. General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General US Strategic Air Forces Europe, had given the go-ahead for passengers to be taken on Chowhound flights.

And so it was that on the afternoon of the last day of the War in NW Europe, May 7th 1945, an unnamed B-17 of the 95th Bombardment Group (Horham), tail number 4-8640, was returning from a Chowhound mission to Utrecht with 13 souls on board. Piloted by Captain Lionel Sceurman her route took her directly over Ijmuiden, a coastal town which had been a base for Schnellboote with massive pens which matched those of the better known U-Boat pens on the Atlantic coast of France. The Ijmuiden pens had been the site of repeated raids, with the RAF eventually deploying Tallboy. The USAAF, unable to lug the bomb loads of Lancasters had hit Ijmuiden with British designed Disney bombs, a hardened free fall bomb with rocket motors which ignited at about 5000 feet to provide a terminal velocity much in excess of what gravity alone would generate. Although effective in piercing concrete, it was very difficult to place them accurately enough.

1642984228969.png

A Disney is released over Ijmuiden S-Boot pens.

1642984361069.png


Disney bombs. The rockets ignite - Ijmuiden


Not long after passing over Ijmuiden a fire was noticed in one engine. It worsened, the motor fell away, and 4-8640 came down in the North Sea about 4 miles out from the Suffolk coast. The navigator, 2/Lt Russell Cook was picked up alive by an RAF ASR Walrus, but died soon after. The co-pilot, 2/Lt Jim Schwartz and the Togglier, S/Sgt David Condon were picked up alive by a US Navy Catalina, and were able to return to duty. The remaining six crew members plus all four passengers (Photographers and Interpreters) were killed.
The cause was believed to have been a small caliber ground fire hit over Ijmuiden.

So it was that 4-8640 was the last aircraft of the Mighty Eighth to fall due to enemy action. This is her.

1642985163333.jpeg


The men who died, the last of more than 26,000 Eighth Air Force men to be classified as Killed in Action in Europe, were Lionel Sceurman, pilot; Russell Cook, navigator; Gana McPherson, Radio man; Norbert Cooper (aka Kuper),waist gunner; Bill Langford, tail gunner; John Keller, ball turret gunner; Robert Korber, flight engineer/top turret gunner.
Passengers, Ed Bubolz, Gerald Lane, Joe Repiscak and George Walteri.

All gave some.
Some gave all.
 
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Sadly the Navy was not an option at the time so we had the choice of the RAF who couldn't find a DOP to save their lives (to be fair, I was never dropped more than about a mile off target) and the AAC who couldn't find a PUP if it got up and smacked them in the face :)
Funny you say that, we flew everywhere in North Armagh and Fermanagh and were generally well looked after with the exception of two cases with Crab air. In one case they landed my brick on the suspect culvert -that was fun! And in the other they started throwing kit out saying they were overloaded, great start for a four day cuds patrol.
Navy were outstanding and teeny weenie airlines were great, R13E I still love you!
 
Sadly the Navy was not an option at the time so we had the choice of the RAF who couldn't find a DOP to save their lives (to be fair, I was never dropped more than about a mile off target) and the AAC who couldn't find a PUP if it got up and smacked them in the face :)
Navy used to work under different Met rules to RAF and TWA, basically clear of cloud & in sight of surface, whereas we has min cloud base and visibility limits. So the Navy could fly when we were not allowed to.

And, still to be fair, it was no worse than the army who couldn’t find their own PUP to save their lives. And ”you’re in our 12 o’clock“ or “we are in the green field by the tree” wasn't very helpful.
 

Hairy-boab

War Hero
After the failure of Market Garden the main eastward thrust of 21st Army Group left large areas of northern and western Holland under German occupation right until the end of the war. The Dutch Government in exile had ordered Dutch railway men to strike to hamper German resistance, and this continued as long as there was any occupation. The Germans had warned that this would only bring hardship to the Dutch people, and so it proved. Food supplies ran out, and the Dutch people suffered the Hongerwinter of 1944-45. Starvation is reckoned to have killed 20,000 Dutch folk.

View attachment 633893
Dutch kids in de Hongerwinter

In London, as the cumulative effects of food shortages really began to bite the Dutch Government, driven on by Prince Bernhardt (German-born consort of Princess Juliana - she was in Canada, would become Queen in 1948 ) pressed the Allies to give help. Through the good offices of the Swiss and Swedish Red Cross an agreement was reached between the Allies and Germans that food supplies could be flown in under conditions of safe conduct. The Germans promised not to fire on unarmed bombers dropping food as long as they stuck to a few agreed corridors, between certain times of day, at low altitudes.
And so was born Op Manna (RAF) and Op Chowhound (US Eighth Air Force). Manna commenced food deliveries on April 29th 1945, and Chowhound on May 1st.

View attachment 633882
A Lancaster - Op MANNA


View attachment 633888
B-17 Op CHOWHOUND

Within a few days German forces in NW Europe surrendered to Montgomery at Luneberg (May 4th) followed by the formalities under Eisenhower at Reims on the 7th. The German commander in the remaining occupied areas of Holland was summoned to Hotel De Wereld in Waageningen on the 4th to sign a capitulation document.
Manna and Chowhound continued. Observance of the safe conduct terms was generally good, though film photography shows that at least some American aircraft carried guns, and several crews reported rifle fire and light flak which was put down to action by rogue elements amongst the German occupiers.

Both RAF and USAAF flew “ Cook’s Tours” over Germany immediately after the cessation of hostilities, low level flights carrying non-flying personnel to show them the effects of their collaborative efforts, the devastated towns and cities of the Fatherland. General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General US Strategic Air Forces Europe, had given the go-ahead for passengers to be taken on Chowhound flights.

And so it was that on the afternoon of the last day of the War in NW Europe, May 7th 1945, an unnamed B-17 of the 95th Bombardment Group (Horham), tail number 4-8640, was returning from a Chowhound mission to Utrecht with 13 souls on board. Piloted by Captain Lionel Sceurman her route took her directly over Ijmuiden, a coastal town which had been a base for Schnellboote with massive pens which matched those of the better known U-Boat pens on the Atlantic coast of France. The Ijmuiden pens had been the site of repeated raids, with the RAF eventually deploying Tallboy. The USAAF, unable to lug the bomb loads of Lancasters had hit Ijmuiden with British designed Disney bombs, a hardened free fall bomb with rocket motors which ignited at about 5000 feet to provide a terminal velocity much in excess of what gravity alone would generate. Although effective in piercing concrete, it was very difficult to place them accurately enough.

View attachment 633889
A Disney is released over Ijmuiden S-Boot pens.

View attachment 633890

Disney bombs. The rockets ignite - Ijmuiden


Not long after passing over Ijmuiden a fire was noticed in one engine. It worsened, the motor fell away, and 4-8640 came down in the North Sea about 4 miles out from the Suffolk coast. The navigator, 2/Lt Russell Cook was picked up alive by an RAF ASR Walrus, but died soon after. The co-pilot, 2/Lt Jim Schwartz and the Togglier, S/Sgt David Condon were picked up alive by a US Navy Catalina, and were able to return to duty. The remaining six crew members plus all four passengers (Photographers and Interpreters) were killed.
The cause was believed to have been a small caliber ground fire hit over Ijmuiden.

So it was that 4-8640 was the last aircraft of the Mighty Eighth to fall due to enemy action. This is her.

View attachment 633892

The men who died, the last of more than 26,000 Eighth Air Force men to be classified as Killed in Action in Europe, were Lionel Sceurman, pilot; Russell Cook, navigator; Gana McPherson, Radio man; Norbert Cooper (aka Kuper),waist gunner; Bill Langford, tail gunner; John Keller, ball turret gunner; Robert Korber, flight engineer/top turret gunner.
Passengers, Ed Bubolz, Gerald Lane, Joe Repiscak and George Walteri.

All gave some.
Some gave all.

Just as an aside, I've several times seen Dutch people chide others for not finishing the food on their plate. They've long memories in those parts.
 
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18230184-7441627-image-m-19_1567979529835.jpg



18230182-7441627-image-a-18_1567979409343.jpg

Was there for their main annual ceremony in September 2014.
A touching and impressive event on the Sunday morning, would recommend it to anyone who might be thinking of a trip there.
The ongoing affection and respect the locals have for UK forces, notably the Parachute Regiment, is obvious – flags flown from first floor windows across the town each anniversary.
 
HMS Dasher, a converted aircraft carrier doing flight training in the Clyde. In 1943, 378 men died, the cause is suspected to be a discarded cigarette igniting some petrol vapour and the resulting explosion sank the ship. this was hushed up as the loss of a carrier in training was thought to be bad publicity.

It is regaining some prominence.
Hugh Pym, who has a family connection with the area, did a report last month on BBC news.
 
Was there for their main annual ceremony in September 2014.
A touching and impressive event on the Sunday morning, would recommend it to anyone who might be thinking of a trip there.
The ongoing affection and respect the locals have for UK forces, notably the Parachute Regiment, is obvious – flags flown from first floor windows across the town each anniversary.
Local football club Vitesse still wear maroon jerseys on 'special' days.

Around September there is an annual 'Airborne memorial' football match. During this annual Airborne-match the veterans of World War II will be honored. The Gelredome is decorated with Airborne flags, both outside and inside the stadium, and at halftime, 120 members of the Royal British Legion played the bagpipes with some other musical guests. Clubsymbol Hertog fly with the typical Airborne colours. The match is traditionally visited by veterans who were fighting in this battle, while a special shirt is worn by Vitesse. The club drop their normal striped black and yellow kit for this special match. Instead they wear claret and blue outfits, the same colours of the 1st Airborne Division, with a 1st Airborne 'winged horse' emblem also etched on the kit. Pictured on the collar sticker is the John Frost Bridge. These shirts are after the match auctioned for charity. In addition, Vitesse wearing a special captain's armband as a sign of recognition and respect for those who have fought for our freedom. In the 2014–15 and 2019–20 seasons, Vitesse played their away games in the same colours of the 1st Airborne Division.
 

Bordon/hants

War Hero
My Grandfather (WW1 buried in France in a CWGC grave) has the inscription on his stone;

"WEARING HIS WOUNDS LIKE STARS HE'LL RISE AGAIN "

I cannot find anything online about these words, other family members buried abroad in other CWGC graveyards (Germany / France / Italy) seem to have common Biblical or similar themed stuff, ie.

"I have done my duty, I have fought the fight" etc.

Can anyone shed a light?........I searched CWGC on here and this thread seems to have the most hits.
 
My Grandfather (WW1 buried in France in a CWGC grave) has the inscription on his stone;

"WEARING HIS WOUNDS LIKE STARS HE'LL RISE AGAIN "

I cannot find anything online about these words, other family members buried abroad in other CWGC graveyards (Germany / France / Italy) seem to have common Biblical or similar themed stuff, ie.

"I have done my duty, I have fought the fight" etc.

Can anyone shed a light?........I searched CWGC on here and this thread seems to have the most hits.
Rather think this is a reference to Jesus and his resurrection. As with many inscriptions of the time it was a patriotic or religious theme.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
One of the issues about memorial is not the funding for its construction but the ongoing maintenance, which is a local authority issue. For example, Westminster Borough Council is responsible for hundreds of war memories in its borough - often requiring specialist and expensive inspections and maintenance. Accordingly, when memorials are proposed (such as the Bomber Command one in St James' Park) the local authority insists there are adequate financial measures in place to sustain it in perpetuity.
I recall being told in 2004 that they wanted a maintenance find of £250k for any new memorial. That woukld generate an annuity of C 10k per year in perpetuity - but no allowance for inflation.
 
My Grandfather (WW1 buried in France in a CWGC grave) has the inscription on his stone;

"WEARING HIS WOUNDS LIKE STARS HE'LL RISE AGAIN "

I cannot find anything online about these words, other family members buried abroad in other CWGC graveyards (Germany / France / Italy) seem to have common Biblical or similar themed stuff, ie.

"I have done my duty, I have fought the fight" etc.

Can anyone shed a light?........I searched CWGC on here and this thread seems to have the most hits.
I came across this;
<<
My purpose is not to glorify but to question, evoke, and to memorialize by merging the child and adult perspectives. As the Civil War soldier and jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., said on Memorial Day, 1897, “The army of the dead sweep before us, wearing their wounds like stars.”
>>
 
HMS Dasher, a converted aircraft carrier doing flight training in the Clyde. In 1943, 378 men died, the cause is suspected to be a discarded cigarette igniting some petrol vapour and the resulting explosion sank the ship. this was hushed up as the loss of a carrier in training was thought to be bad publicity.
Dasher's not that clear cut unfortunately. It's a long time since I looked at the papers in the PRO/National Archives but I did read them all and there are some massive inconsistencies/discrepancies. IIRC the RN suggested over 60 possible causes, but the investigation also managed to pretty well ignore two eye-witnesses from the shore.

Dasher did have some pretty interesting design features - including the fuel tanks venting into the mess decks, which is where the cigarette theory comes from; attributed to the stokers mess from memory. However, my money has (FWIW) been a crash on deck - a shepherd on Arran gave a statement that immediately before the explosion he witnessed a plane coming in to land too low and going into the (open, because it was a converted merchantman) stern below the round down. An explosion there would account for the other witnesses/survivors (I met some of them actually, including one who swam ashore with 3rd degree burns*) commenting on seeing the flight deck lift soaring intact into the air above the ship.

*the saddest one I met was a nurse from the hospital in Ardrossan who was on her first shift that day/night. Lacking much in the way of training they just made her sit with the dying all night. She walked out the next day. I met her and the surviving survivors in 2000, so would imagine they're gone now.

Anyway I don't suppose we'll ever really know.
 
Dasher's not that clear cut unfortunately. It's a long time since I looked at the papers in the PRO/National Archives but I did read them all and there are some massive inconsistencies/discrepancies. IIRC the RN suggested over 60 possible causes, but the investigation also managed to pretty well ignore two eye-witnesses from the shore.

Dasher did have some pretty interesting design features - including the fuel tanks venting into the mess decks, which is where the cigarette theory comes from; attributed to the stokers mess from memory. However, my money has (FWIW) been a crash on deck - a shepherd on Arran gave a statement that immediately before the explosion he witnessed a plane coming in to land too low and going into the (open, because it was a converted merchantman) stern below the round down. An explosion there would account for the other witnesses/survivors (I met some of them actually, including one who swam ashore with 3rd degree burns*) commenting on seeing the flight deck lift soaring intact into the air above the ship.

*the saddest one I met was a nurse from the hospital in Ardrossan who was on her first shift that day/night. Lacking much in the way of training they just made her sit with the dying all night. She walked out the next day. I met her and the surviving survivors in 2000, so would imagine they're gone now.

Anyway I don't suppose we'll ever really know.
from t
BRITISH
AIRCRAFT
CARRIERS

Design, Development
and Service Histories

Loss of Dasher

Dasher sank on 27 March 1943 while at anchor off Little Cumbrae Island in the Clyde, following an accidental petrol vapour explosion and fire, probably caused by someone smoking near a leaking avgas pump. She sank in only three minutes, but 149 members of her ship’s company were rescued. The Admiralty blamed the accident on the poor design of the avgas stowage and handling arrangements, especially with regard to the pipework, valves that led to the flight deck, and the tanks themselves, which were hull spaces like those used for diesel fuel with its higher flash point. The USN obviously took a keen interest in the accident and felt that RN regulations, especially those concerned with smoking in the vicinity of avgas valves, were inadequate. There was truth in both views, since the basic avgas stowage arrangements did leave much to be desired, but the RN was used to the safer stowage arrangements in British-built ships and had not emphasised the need for extreme care in ships that did not measure up to those standards. In consequence all CVEs in RN service were modified to RN avgas stowage standards, with the fuel stored in tanks inside compartments filled with water. This reduced the amount of avgas that could be carried from 75,000gal or more to 36,000gal.
 

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