02.06.1942 No. 1452 Flight Boston III W8257 F/O. Anthony F. McManemy
Operation: Turbinlite training
Date: 02nd June 1942 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 1452 Flight
Type: Boston III (Havoc DB-7)
Base: RAF West Malling
Location: Fant Farm, Farleigh, Kent
Pilot: F/O. Anthony Francis McManemy 67661 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Obs: Sgt. Gordon Richard Fennell 902039 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
1452 Flight: On operations they co-operated at first with the Boulton Paul Defiants of 264 Squadron and later with the Hawker Hurricanes of 32 Squadron. The flight was replaced with 531 Squadron on 8 September 1942, but officially disbanded as late as 22 January 1943.
During a Turbinlite training run a Hurricane from 32 Squadron was involved in a mid air collision with Havoc W8257. It is understood that the Czech pilot, Fl/Sgt. Josef Vejlupek 787449 RAFVR although injured, managed to crash land his Hurricane. The pilot and observer from the Havoc were both killed when their aircraft crashed at Fant Farm, Farleigh, Kent.
UPDATE: December 2016 - Aircrew Remembered have been contacted by the daughter of the Hurricane pilot. Ms. Linda Vejlupkova will be providing us with further details soon. After the accident he was hospitalised, then went to Medicine Hat as an instructor prior to returning to UK for further active service.
Right: Fl/Sgt. Josef Vejlupek 787449 RAFVR
Transferred back to the Czech Airforce in Czechoslovakia, August 1945, he later escaped the Communist Coup and persecution of the returning Czech airmen and rejoined the RAF as a 'Ferryman', taking the last Spitfires and Meteor jets out to Penang and Singapore. He flew one of the three spitfires that were the last to participate in action. Sadly Fl/Sgt. Vejlupek passed away in 1997 and is buried at Klatovy, Czech Republic. (Born 30th January 1919 - retired as Flying Officer - also known as Frank Walters)
Above photographs courtesy of Steve Airzee
531 Squadron, which had taken over men and machines, carried on flying the Turbinlite Bostons and Havocs till the system was abandoned on 25 January 1943, when Turbinlite squadrons were, due to lack of success on their part and the rapid development of AI radar, thought to be superfluous.
F/O. Anthony Francis McManemy. Sevenoaks Cemetery (Greatness Park) Sec. B. R.C. Grave 0593. Son of Joseph and Margaret McManemy, of Sevenoaks, husband of Audrey McManemy, of West Malling, Kent, England.
Sgt. Gordon Richard Fennell. Maidstone Cemetery, Kent. Plot C.C.1. Grave 122. Son of William and Ethel V.M. Fennell, of Plymouth, Devon, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Steven Airzee, his mother being a niece of the observer. With thanks to sources as shown and also to the chaps on the RAF Commands Forum for some of the information.