06.02.1942 No. 21 OTU Wellington Ic R1047 Fl/Sgt. Richard K.R. Talbot
Date: 06th February 1942
Unit: No. 21 Operational Training Unit (OTU)
Type: Wellington Ic
Base: RAF Edgehill, Oxfordshire
Location: Rough Hill Farm, Oxfordshire
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Richard Kenneth Randolph Talbot 927586 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Pilot 2: Sgt. ‘Billy’ William Edward George Taylor R/80890 RCAF Age 21. Killed
Pilot 3: Sgt. Richard Frank Anderson R/83108 RCAF Age 25. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Arthur Edward Jaeckels 931904 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Gorman 908675 RAFVR Age ? Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Donald Hoyland Tyne 990574 RAFVR Age 22. Injured (1)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Reginald Colston Butler 631835 RAFVR Age 23. Injured (2)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Edgehill in Oxfordshire on a practice bombing over the nearby Radway ranges. During the training the port propeller along with the reduction gear came off and whilst circling at 1,500 ft height was lost with the Wellington coming down at Rough Hill Farm - less than a mile from the airfield.
(1) Sgt. Donald Hoyland Tyne is understood to have survived the crash - but, despite receiving first aid from LAC Woodward died of his injuries.
(2) Sgt. Reginald Colston Butler was listed by the RAF records according to the extract shown below. However to date, we have found no details of Sgt. Butler on this flight.
Part of the story as prepared by a Mr. Frank Bagley on behalf of former LAC D.R. Woodward 115435 for the BBC People’s War has been reproduced below (see acknowledgements):
"February 6th 1942:- After doing our daily aircraft inspections, myself and A/C Les Whyte, also a electrician, were sent out at approx 14:00hrs, to check the tail light of a Wellington Bomber parked on the end of the main runway dispersal point.
By 14:45hrs I was standing on the top of a pair of trestles to reach the tail light, suddenly I heard the sound of a high revving engine, my mate Les, shouting and pointing to the north. For a split second I could not believe what I was seeing, a Wellington bomber at a height of two to three hundred feet bearing down in our direction with no port propeller. In a matter of seconds it was past us and getting lower.
The plane was now heading for a line of Poplar trees approx half to three quarters of a mile away, it hit the Poplar’s which turned him on to his back and it fell into a small valley out of our sight, but we heard it hit the ground. A puff of smoke was seen. My mate Les and I pushed through two hedge rows and rushed towards the crash.
As we breasted the rise into the valley a terrific explosion greeted us and there was the Wellington a massive inferno upside down, the rear end standing on its tail. I saw someone half lying on the ground close to the tail, the rear gun turret doors were open, I thought it must be the rear gunner. We dashed forward with explosions going on all the time and dragged him back another twenty yards, he had a nasty head wound which I dressed with my field dressing which we always had.
By this time other RAF personnel were arriving, I told Les my mate to go back up the rise to see if our station ambulance was around because it could not get down to were we where and to send the medics down.It seemed ages before they arrived and we carried our victim and put him in the ambulance and I went with him back to our sick bay, not knowing who he was. I returned to the crash site to be greeted with “They are all dead”.
Right: Donald Tyne with his sister Virginia - understood to have been taken at Willow Water Farm near Pocklington, Yorkshire in the late 1930's. (courtesy Richard Holdridge - see below)
My mate Les and I returned to our tail light problem which turned out to need no more than a replacement bulb.I never found out who this airman was who we had helped in this crash. The years have passed and shortly after my wife passed away in June 1992 I learned that a gentleman who lived close to Shennington Aerodrome had written a book about the drome and in it he described the crash of a Wellington Bomber on the 6th February 1942.Wellington 1c R1047, crashed on a training flight after losing a propeller, there were no survivors. When I told him there was one survivor who I had helped, we came to the conclusion that his injuries must have been worse than we had realised and he must have died.
Three of the dead crew were buried in Moreton-in-Marsh, one in Windsor, one in Ireland and one in Yorkshire. For some reason we decided that the one buried in Yorkshire was private and five of the crew buried in Military cemeteries. That was 990574 Sgt. D.H.Tyne W/OP Gunner RAFVR was our missing airman, not knowing at this time there was seven crew members.
This was the end of our story or so we thought.On the evening of June 4th 2003 I received a telephone call from a lady who lived in Bolton and she told me that Sgt. Tyne was her uncle and that her mother was Sgt. Tyne’s sister who was still alive at the age of 84 years. The family had always wondered where the crash had happened. All they knew it was a place called Shennington.Via many phone calls they got in touch with the Wellington Museum at Moreton-in-Marsh. They put them in touch with the gentleman who wrote the book about Shennington who then put them in touch with me.The lady who rang me from Bolton asked me to have a word with her mother, about the crash as she was rather desperate to know where her brother had died.
The next evening this lady who lived at Kingston-on-Thames rang me, during our conversation she told me that her parents (also Sgt. Tyne’s parents) had received a letter from a Sgt. Moore (Sgt. Tyne’s best friend in the RAF) to say how sorry he was about Sgt. Tyne’s death and that Sgt. Butler the rear gunner was the only survivor, and that how lucky he was.
Can you imagine how I felt after all this time to know that the airman I had helped survived.
I immediately wrote to the RAF records department to see if they could help me find this Sgt. Butler. They sent me the list of airmen in the crash."
(Note: This list did include Sgt. Reginald Butler)
Despite many efforts over the years he has been unable to trace the surviving crew member.
Fl/Sgt. Richard Kenneth Randolph Talbot. Windsor Cemetery. Sec. G.N. Grave 441. No further details - are you able to assist?
Sgt. ‘Billy’ William Edward George Taylor. Hillsborough Church Of Ireland Churchyard (St. Malachi) Grave 401. Son of Edward George and Margaret Edith Taylor, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Richard Frank Anderson. Moreton-In-Marsh New Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 25. Son of Rexford O. Anderson and Florence K. Anderson, of Houston, Texas, USA. He grew up on a ranch in New Mexico and was well educated. He was a college graduate and liked rodeoing. He travelled to Quebec, Canada and checked into the YMCA with other Americans and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force before the US entered the war.
Sgt. Arthur Edward Jaeckels. Moreton-In-Marsh New Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 24. Son of Mrs. E. A. Parsons, of Brixton, London, England.
Sgt. William Gorman. Moreton-In-Marsh New Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 28. Son of John and Nellie Rose Gorman, of Islington, London, England.
Sgt. Donald Hoyland Tyne. Kilnwick Percy Churchyard, Nunburnholme. North Boundary. Son of Wilfrid Herbert and Dorothy Grace Tyne, of Pocklington, Yorkshire, England.
With our thanks to Richard Holdridge for bringing this loss to our attention and for the photo of Sgt. Tyne who’s father was his best friend whilst at Pocklington High School. Stephen Potts, Julia and Keld for grave photographs, for the information from 'The BBC People’s War'. For further details our thanks to the following sources.