ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 70933
Last updated: 4 May 2016
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Narrative:Attack the Brauweiler Switching station, Cologne. Missing (op.Brauweller) 25.8.1942
de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk IV
|Owner/operator:||105 Sqn RAF|
|C/n / msn:|| GB-O|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Blauwhoeve, Paaltjesdreef Wood at Westmalle, nr Antwerp -
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||RAF Horsham St.Faith, Norfolk|
T/o for ops to a bomb switching station at Brauweiler but hit high tension power cables at Westmalle, near Antwerp, Belgium while low flying.
The Mosquito crashed through pine trees but despite this both he and his. Navigator W/O Broom survived though Costello-Bowen was badly injured. Broom was unconcious but when he came around he managed to help the injured pilot to the Belgian resistance, and both crew made it back home via France & Spain,
"We took off from RAF Horsham St Faith at 19:30 hrs. and went in formation to the Dutch Island at the mouth of the Scheldt where we split up and proceeded individually. Not long after crossing the coast and the islands, we were very low and brushed the tops of the trees.
A few minutes later after crossing another small wood, an electricity pylon suddenly loomed in front of us. We pulled up but the starboard engine struck the pylon at its top. Immediately the engine and the propeller stopped. The action of hitting the pylon jammed the controls.
We were eighty feet up and there was nothing we could do. We were doing about 250 mph and just had to wait until we hit the ground. I said to Costello-Bowen, ‘Well this is it’.
It’s a funny thing, but neither of us was worried and we were very calm, although death stared us in the face. We lost height steadily and crossed a couple of fields. Then the pinewoods loomed up in front. We were bound to crash into them – this was about half a minute after hitting the pylon.
Just before we hit I instinctively released my safety harness; why I don’t know. Then we hit and everything went black; no physical pain, just darkness and I felt myself rolling over and over like a ball. I must have been unconscious for a time. [They had crashed in Paaltjesdreef Wood at Westmalle in the Belgian hamlet of Blauwhoeve].
When I awoke I was covered in branches and bits of aeroplane and there was a strong smell of petrol. I was amazed I had no injuries; not even a scratch. I must have been flung out of the top of the cockpit as I was right in the front with the nose of the aircraft. It was amazing that the aircraft did not catch fire or the bombs explode. The nose of the aircraft must have passed between two trees. How lucky can you be?
My next thought was Costello-Bowen. Although it was nearly dark, I found him in some wreckage about twenty yards away. He was unconscious and looked in poor shape. The rudder pedals had torn off both his shoes. After talking and patting his face for a few moments, he finally awoke. I lifted him up and half carried him about 400 yards away, where we both sat down. He gradually recovered and we were soon talking. We both felt very despondent at the thought of being made prisoners of war."
F/Lt (46332) Edgar Alfred COSTELLO-BOWEN AFC (pilot) RAF - injured
W/O (515779) Thomas John BROOM DFC (obs.) RAF - injured
http://www.airhistory.org.uk/dh/_DH98%20prodn%20list.txt http://www.evasioncomete.org/fbroomtj.html http://ww2today.com/25th-august-1942-perils-of-low-level-mosquito-bombing
ORB 105 Sqdn RAF
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||Dr. John Smith
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