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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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RAF Crest
09.08.1943 82 OTU Wellington X MS471 P/O. Walter W. Adams

Operation: Training

Date: 09th August 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 82 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington X

Serial: MS471

Code: KA-G

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.

Burial details:

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.

KTY 09.06.2015.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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