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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 226254
Last updated: 15 June 2020
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Date:10-MAY-1940
Time:afternoon
Type:Silhouette image of generic bttl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairey Battle Mk I
Owner/operator:142 Squadron Royal Air Force (142 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L5578
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Rodange, Pétange -   Luxembourg
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Berry-au-Bac, France
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Fairey Battle Mk.1 L5578 (WT-P) 142 Squadron, RAF: Lost on combat operations - officially described as "Battle L5578 crashed in Luxembourg, 10 May 1940". Airborne 12:00 from Berry-au-Bac. shot down by ground fire at Rodange, Pétange, Luxembourg. All three crew killed

Crew of Battle L5578:
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Frederick S. Laws, RAF 41431, age 22, killed in action,
Sergeant (Observer) Robert F. Miller, RAF 521994, age 31, killed in action
Aircraftman 1st Class (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Leon M. Langton, RAF 615807, killed in action

All three crew were buried at buried Petange (La Madelaine) Communal Cemetery, Luxembourg. AC.1 Leon Langton came from Heanor, Derbyshire. In 1947, a post war review of the incident resulted in the following story in the local newspaper on the fate of AC.1 Leon Langton

"RIPLEY & HEANOR NEWS 18th AUG 1947
CROSS HILL AIRMAN
Missing since 1940

The following official message has been received by Mr and Mrs A. Langton, of 32 Cross Hill, with regard to their youngest son Sergt L. M. Langton affectionately known as "Jack" who was reported missing while serving with the R.A.F. which he joined at the age of 19 years.

"It is with sad hesitation that I refer. After so long an interval to the sad loss of your son Sergt L.M. Langton, but no doubt, you would wish to know that our missing research and enquiry service have located his grave No 27 in the village cemetery of La Madelaine. This cemetery lies on the France-Luxembourg frontier.

He is buried next to the other two members of his crew. The grave will be suitably inscribed and registered, and no doubt, in due course you will receive a photograph of it. It is hoped that the knowledge of your son's final resting place, belated though it is. maybe of some comfort to you in your great loss".

The crash site at Rodange (German: Rodingen) is a town in the commune of Pétange, in south-western Luxembourg. It lies next to the border with Belgium, across which is the town of Athus. The town is to the south-west of the town of Pétange and to the west of the smaller town of Lamadelaine at approximate co ordinates 49°32′48″N, 5°50′23″E. May 10, 1940 was a bad day for the Fairey Battle, with at least fifteen aircraft being shot down in a single day.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 36)
2. The Battle File (Sidney Shail, Air Britain, 1997 p 154)
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/214: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14142039
4. http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/10294.php
5. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/142_squadron.html
6. http://www.anciens-aerodromes.com/?p=33864
7. http://www.codnor.info/resources/LM_Langton.txt
8. http://www.binbrook.demon.co.uk/html/Fairey_Battle.html
9. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2259038/laws,-frederick-stanley/
10. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2259039/miller,-robert-finlayson/
11. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2259037/langton,-leon-meredith/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
16-Jun-2019 23:48 Dr. John Smith Added
16-Jun-2019 23:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
17-Jun-2019 09:50 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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