09.08.1943 82 OTU Wellington X MS471 P/O. Walter W. Adams
Date: 09th August 1943 (Monday)
Unit: No. 82 OTU (Operational Training Unit)
Type: Wellington X
Base: RAF Ossington
Location: Grimston Hill beween Wellow and Ompton, Nottinghamshire
Pilot: P/O. Walter Waldron Adams 150243 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Nav: F/O. Frank Graham-Bell 135747 RAF Age 32. Killed (1)
Air/Bmr: P/O. Herbert Ibbott J/24024 RCAF Age 21. Killed (2)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Roland Walter Ballauff 1390845 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter Baldwin 1861770 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
A resident from the area of the crash is compiling research on each crew member for the village records and would very much like to hear from anyone with further information - please contact us in the first instance.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off on a cross country training exercise. During the return, the starboard engine failed during the low level circuit. The pilot attempted a crash landing in a cornfield at Grimston Hill (between Wellow and Ompton - see map) but the aircraft stalled and crashed.
Police Sgt. Ernest John Thomas Flinders of the Nottinghamshire constabulary, who was nearby, attempted to rescue the crew. For this brave deed he was awarded the BEM. On seeing the Wellington crash he ran to the scene ignoring the ammunition that was exploding with the intense heat and managed to pull two crew members out of the burning aircraft but unfortunately they were dead.
Details from the London Gazette - 21st March 1944:
‘Sergeant Flinders, who was on leave, ran across two fields to the aircraft and, despite exploding ammunition, made a quick reconnaissance to locate the crew. He found three members who were seriously injured amongst the burning wreckage, dragged all three clear of the fire and cut away their smouldering clothing. With help he then extricated two more bodies from the wreckage.
A portion of one wing of the aircraft was wrenched away and lodged upside down on a stook of corn nearby. Petrol was flowing from this wing and there was danger of it becoming ignited. After getting the bodies out Sergeant Flinders directed and assisted in extinguishing the burning sheaves of corn, a large area of which had become ignited.
Sergeant Flinders showed - outstanding courage without thought for his own safety.’
(1) F/O. Frank Graham-Bell (known was Graham) a talented British painter and art critic for the New Statesman. His work included portraits, landscapes, interiors, and still life. Two of his paintings sown above. 'The Barn' - courtesy Southwark Art Collection. 'The Café' - Manchester City Galleries)
(2) Ibbott Lake southwest of Nueltin Lake was named after P/O. Herbert Ibbott in 1972.
P/O. Herbert Ibbott J/24024 RCAF and grave.
P/O. Walter Waldron Adams. Bournemouth Crematorium. Panel 1. Son of Walter Alexander and Madeline Maude Adams, of Winton, Bournemouth, England.
F/O. Frank Graham-Bell. Golders Green Crematorium. Panel 2. Son of Frank and Marjorie Graham Bell, husband of Anne Graham Bell, of Beckley, Sussex, England. Born in Johannesburg on the 21st November 1910.
P/O. Herbert Ibbott. Bedford Cemetery. Sec H. Grave 838. Son of Arthur W.P. Ibbott and Caroline Ibbott (née Whittle), of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A shipping clerk with Mitchell Corp Ltd prior to enlisting. A large family of 5 boys and 3 girls
Sgt. Roland Walter Ballauff. Ollerton Cemetery. Cons Portion. Grave 1205. Son of Henry Ballauff, and of Dorothy M. Ballauff, of Bridgwater, Somerset, England.
Sgt. Peter Baldwin. Ollerton Cemetery. Cons Portion. Grave 1180. Son of Owen and Edith Mary Baldwin, of Wallington, Surrey, England.
For further details our thanks to Harry Ree and folks at the WW2 Talk Forum, Wikipedia, plus the sources shown below.