16.01.1945 No. 1653 HCU Lancaster III DV161 Fl/Sgt. Norman D. Pattinson
Operation: Training - take off and landings
Date: 16th January 1945 (Tuesday)
Unit: 1653 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit)
Type: Lancaster III
Location: Morcott, Rutland
Pilot (Pupil): Fl/Sgt. Norman David Pattinson AUS/419969 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Co/pilot (Instructor): F/O. Stanley William Goodman DFC. 156058 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Nav: Sgt. William Rous Mallory 1808885 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. John Paynter King 1335881 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. William Frank Porter 3006161 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Fl/Eng (Instructor) P/O. William Arthur Marritt DFM. 182843 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Pasquill 1038029 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr (MU): Sgt. George Leonard Longmann 1596235 RAFVR Age 22. Injured
Air/Gnr (Rear): Sgt. George Leonard Maycock RAFVR Injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 23:03 North Luffenham to practice circuit flying but crashed two minutes later while turning onto the crosswind leg, coming down at Morcott some seven miles South East of Oakham. In low level flight the aircraft struck the ground shortly after take off. The aircraft was burnt out with no definite cause of crash but it is thought that it may have been caused due to taking off with tail trim too nose heavy causing failure to climb. The engines were later examined by Rolls Royce Engineers and no obvious reasons for failure were discovered.
The two survivors were taken to RAF Hospital at Ely, Cambridgeshire where it is reported they both responded well to treatment.
Derek Longman takes up the story:
"The crew of this aircraft were under training, and performing circuits and bumps. As well as the normal crew members, an experienced pilot F/O Goodman DFC, and Flight Engineer P/O Marritt DFM were supervising the crew. The crew had apparently performed two successful take off's and landings, and were in the process of making a third take off. The aircraft became airborne but failed to gain height, and eventually crashed into farmland at the village of Moorcott, approx 2 miles from the airfield. The aircraft may have hit a tree prior to crashing into a field and bursting into flames. The majority of the crew were killed on impact, F/O. Goodman died a short time later. The two survivors were the mid-upper and rear gunners who were both thrown clear on impact - but sustained serious injuries.
The cause of the crash was not established. The aircraft's engines were recovered and found to be clear of defects. The enquiry suggested that a strong crosswind may have caught the aircraft, or that perhaps the pilot had tried to take off with the tail trim set nose heavy.
The aircrew that lost their lives in this crash were some of the many who were killed during training. The death of F/O. Goodman and P/O. Marritt is even more poignant when one considers that they had already completed and survived a tour of operations and were supposed to be resting.
My dad only ever spoke briefly of the crash and as is the way of most men who served in the world wars made light of it. During the early 1990’s the wireless operator's son, Mr Norman Pasquill Walker. His mother was approximately 2 months pregnant when the crash occurred.
Sgt. Norman Pasquill wedding to Joan
On meeting my dad Norman told him that he had done some research into the crash, visited the crash site and met a Phillip Joyce from a nearby village, who as a boy had attended the scene on the night of the crash and helped the survivors. We later arranged a visit to the old RAF camp, the crash site and met Mr. Joyce who confirmed where he found dad after the crash. It was a very emotional time.
On the 50th anniversary of the crash the four of us met up again, and Norman placed a small floral tribute at the scene. Whilst we have kept in touch we have not revisited the site together albeit when we did we felt it would be nice if we could recover some small parts of that craft to keep in remembrance of those times.
The other surviving crew member was a George Leonard Maycock (known as Bill), he joined up at the same time as my dad and apparently lived in a neighbouring Village in the East Ryding of Yorkshire. Bill died some years ago.
George Longman is on the front row 3rd from the right. George Maycock is on the middle row 2nd from the left - taken during training days.
Returning to the events following the crash. My father suffered serious head and upper limb injuries and went into a coma. When dad came out of the coma he discovered the other survivor Bill Maycock was placed in the bed next to him, this was to assist him recovering his memory. However when dad finally came around his first question was, “Where’s Pash and the lads?” The crew had been involved in a car crash a week or so before the air crash, dad had lost all memory of the time between the two incidents. Dad was eventually sent to the Leas School in Hoylake, Wirral to convalesce. During this time he met my mother. It is a sad quirk of fate that the crash that led to Norman's father being killed and robbing him of his father also ensured that my dad met mum and they had five children.
Both Bill Maycock and my dad went to Bolton and met the widow of Pash but were unable of attending any of the funerals."
Fl/Sgt. Norman David Pattinson. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave: 15956. Son of Norbert Victor and Margaret Muriel Jean Pattinson (née Sharp), of McKinnon, Victoria, Australia.
F/O. Stanley William Goodman DFC. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave: 15957. Son of James William and Florence Mabel Goodman, of New Cross, London, England.
Sgt. William Rous Mallory. Birchanger Churchyard (St. Mary the Virgin) Essex. Son of Fred Rous Mallory and Agnes of Stanstead, Essex, England (Also known as William Howley - Canadian)
Sgt. John Paynter King. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave: 15958. Son of Mrs. U.M. Paterson of Maida Hill, London, England.
Sgt. William Frank Porter. Ipswich Old Cemetery. Grave: Sec. XC. Div. 3. Grave 92. Son of frank Edward and Gertrude M. Porter, of Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
P/O. William Arthur Marritt DFM. New Road Cemetery. Grave: 379. Son of Frederick John and Mildred Florence Marritt of Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, England.
Sgt. Norman Pasquill. Bolton Cemetery (Heaton). Grave: Div.2. Sec. L.2. C of E. Grave. 42. Son of William and Lily Pasquill and husband of Joan Pasquill of Bolton, Lancashire, England.
With thanks to the son of Sgt Longman, Derek and to Norman Pasquill, son, also named Norman, Bill Maycock and Bill Bethel for sending us this information - they are very interested in hearing from anyone who may have any other information regarding this article.
George Longman visited the crash site in 1992 along with his son and also Norman Pesquill and the local newspapers covered the story.