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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 202903
Last updated: 6 March 2021
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Date:28-APR-1942
Time:
Type:Handley Page Halifax Mk II
Owner/operator:7 Sqn Royal Air Force (7 Sqn RAF)
Registration: W1037
C/n / msn: ZA-U
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 7
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Vicinity of Elverumgaard -   Norway
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The aircraft and crew reached the target area, located Tirpitz and dropped their load. As the aircraft flew away from Tirpitz and into the next fjord to start making for home it was hit by heavy gun fire from some of the German ships. Initially the crew were unaware that any damage had been done to the aircraft and continued to fly on. However, the tail gunner, Sgt Curran, alerted the pilot to the fact that one of the wings was on fire and that they were trailing around 300 feet of flames.
The pilot, Flt Lt Miller, knew that with the wing on fire he didn't have much time to get the aircraft down and told the crew that he was going to ditch the Halifax on the Åsenfjord, three miles from the shore at Røkke in Skatval, which was fortunately flat calm at the time. During the landing the wing exploded. Both the Flight Engineer, Sgt Annable, and the 2nd Wireless Operator, Sgt Stott, died either during the crash landing or as a result of having been hit by flak.

Three of the crew, Flt Lt Miller, Sgt Ryder and Plt Off Roberts were rescued from the freezing water by a Kriegsmarine (German sailors) patrol vessel which was guarding the U-boat nets at the entrance of Åsenfjord and then were taken onboard the German battleship, Prince Eugen, where they spent the rest of the night before being taken ashore as PoW's.

The tail gunner, Sgt Curran, and the 2nd pilot, Sgt Gregory, had managed to climb into the aircraft's life raft and through the rest of the night paddled and drifted until they came ashore near Malvik. They were discovered as day broke and taken as PoW's

Crew
Pilot:402248 Flt Lt George Eric Miller RAAF PoW Stalag 4D/Z Annaburg. PoW Number 202.
Pilot: Sgt K H Gregory RNZAF POW Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug. PoW Number 237.
Flight Engineer: 614800 Sgt Eric Annable - Runnymede Memorial Panel 77.
Navigator: 68129 Plt Off Peter John Jagoe Roberts POW Stalag Luft 3 Zagan & Belaria. PoW Number 209.
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: 1064072 Sgt J B Ryder POW Stalag 357 Kopernikus. PoW Number 273.
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: 1058698 Sgt Herbert Harry Stott - Runnymede Memorial Panel 94.
Air Gunner: 548260 Sgt B Curran POW Stalag Luft 3 Zagan & Belaria. PoW Number 96315.

Sources:

10 Squadron ORB's
CWGC
Bomber Command Losses 1942
Air Raids on Tirpitz - Spring 1942


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
13-Dec-2017 14:10 Red Dragon Added
13-Dec-2017 14:11 Red Dragon Updated [Source, Narrative]
13-Dec-2017 14:12 Red Dragon Updated [Source]
12-Nov-2018 16:55 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Operator]

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