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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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44 Squadron Crest
15.02.1939 No. 44 Squadron Blenheim I LII55 Fl/Lt. Withy

Operation: Training

Date: 15th February 1939 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 44 Squadron

Type: Blenheim I

Serial: L1155

Code: JW-?

Base: RAF North Coates

Location: Close to airfield

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Ernest Michael Withy RAF Age 25. Killed

Obs: AC. 2. John Henry Richardson RAF Age 23. Injured

W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC.2. Joseph Raymond Lisgo 551607 RAF Injured


Researched by Simon Glancey for Aircrew Remembered May 2018.

Taking off from RAF North Coates at about 07:30 hrs on a train flight. The aircraft had been checked an the engines run for about 25 minutes prior to take off.

After taking off an when at about 75 ft the engines began to splutter and backfire. This did improve and the aircraft climbed. The when at about 150 ft the engines started spluttering again, the aircraft turned to the left and then side slipped into the ground.

The pilot was found dead next to the wreckage, AC2 Richardson was also outside the wreckage and alive. AC2 Lisgo was still inside the aircraft and witnesses pulled him clear of the debris.

Both serving crew were then taken to Grimsby Hospital, John Richardson died shortly after admission from shock and multiple injuries.

Joseph Lisgo (shown left) suffered head injuries but recovered and eventually returned to service. Joining the RAF air-sea rescue on the high speed launches where he was awarded a MiD for managing to restate the boat engine whilst under fire. Gazetted in the King's New year Honours on January 1st 1941.

He later married Marieka Vandenburgh a Dutch undergraduate he met in Amsterdam whilst with 110 Squadron. He eventually retired from the RAF in 1983. He passed away on the 04th April 2007 leaving three daughters, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, Mr. Lisgo was 86.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Ernest Michael Withy. The son of Captain E. Withy RASC of Southroyd, Saxlingham, Nethergate, Norfolk.

AC. 2. John Henry Richardson. St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne. Of Belper Road, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England.

AC.2. Joseph Raymond Lisgo. St Mungo’s Church, Bromfield, Cumbria, England. Of Whiteclosegate, Carlisle, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources shown, Grimsby Evening Standard, The Scotsman, The Shields Evening News.

KTY 02.04.2018

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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