Accident Handley Page Halifax Mk V EB205,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 172472
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Date:Saturday 15 April 1944
Type:Silhouette image of generic hlfx model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Handley Page Halifax Mk V
Owner/operator:1664 HCU RAF
Registration: EB205
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 7
Other fatalities:3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Railway Cottages, Topcliffe Bridge Rd, near RAF Topcliffe, North Yorks -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF Dishforth, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire
Sent out on a routine training flight, April 15th 1944, Halifax EB205 encountered bad weather. At one point, the crew were ordered to stand down but later ordered to fly above the storm that was due to hit the area later that day. The flight went well and they could see the storm gathering below.

On returning to base at approx 23:00 hrs they hit the full force of the storm. As they were preparing to land at Dishforth, both port engines had cut. The pilot radioed ahead, and he was given priority to land. Cloud cover was down to 500 feet over Dishforth and on breaking cloud cover, they realised they had overshot. The pilot decided to put down at the nearby Topcliffe aerodrome and was approaching there with a 10 mph tailwind. As a precaution the crew were ordered to take up crash positions.

The Mid-Upper Gunner John Tynski came down from his position and laid down on the floor with his parachute over his head. The aircraft careered off the end of the runway and into the railway cottages close to the road.
Five crew and three civilians were killed, one of those Mr James MacNulty, was killed as he was cycling by at the time. The occupants of the house, Mr and Mrs Stone, were also killed. John Tynski having been knocked unconscious came to trapped by all the building rubble. On fire and fearing for his life, his first thoughts were to gather the ammunition that had spilled from the containers and move it away from the fire.
At risk of being burned alive he then made up a makeshift wall from the brick rubble that lay all around to shield him from the heat. At this point he could hear help arriving from local farmers Rooke and Starr, who eventually dragged him to safety. It was later discovered by an accident investigation team that the Flight Engineer had inadvertently turned the fuel off to the port engines thus contributing to the accident. Four of the crew are buried at the Stonefall Cemetery Harrogate, and one at Wandsworth (Streatham) Cemetery. Harry Pearce, navigator, also survived but was later killed over Belgium on Dec 18th, 1944.

The three civilians involved were:

Mr Albert George Grimwood Stone, aged 48, of Topcliffe Road Bridge, killed.
Mrs Clara Stone, aged 62, Topcliffe Road Bridge, killed.
Mr James McNulty, aged 36, of Curradraish, Foxford, Co. Mayo, Irish Republic, Irish farm labourer, killed.



Revision history:

23-Dec-2014 22:03 Dr. John Smith Added
10-May-2015 06:37 angels one five Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Narrative]
02-Nov-2018 18:46 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]
24-Aug-2020 05:26 Anon. Updated [Date]
10-Nov-2023 18:55 Nepa Updated [Time, Location, Narrative, Operator]

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