Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

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wildthang001
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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#61 Post by wildthang001 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:15 pm

Hello Brian.....Terrific bit of investigation....Do you know if I would be able to obtain a copy of the newspaper report to put in my great uncles album or shall I just print the screen page

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#62 Post by Brian » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:24 pm

wildthang001 wrote:Hello Brian.....Terrific bit of investigation....Do you know if I would be able to obtain a copy of the newspaper report to put in my great uncles album or shall I just print the screen page
it's easy enough to get, just make sure you have clicked on it a couple of times to get the biggest viewable size, and then simply right click and choose (in firefox) "save image as" or (in internet explorer) "save picture as" and save to your computer. Or I can email you a copy if you wish.

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the gap
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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#63 Post by the gap » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:36 pm

Brian wrote:
wildthang001 wrote:Hello Brian.....Terrific bit of investigation....Do you know if I would be able to obtain a copy of the newspaper report to put in my great uncles album or shall I just print the screen page
it's easy enough to get, just make sure you have clicked on it a couple of times to get the biggest viewable size, and then simply right click and choose (in firefox) "save image as" or (in internet explorer) "save picture as" and save to your computer. Or I can email you a copy if you wish.
Now thats what i call service and helping fellow furum members,Brian your a gentleman. :--)

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#64 Post by Brian » Sat May 23, 2009 3:16 pm

We have recently come across another photograph of Sgt George Mosey

Image

Thanks to Ged and Billy McKinley for this one.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#65 Post by Brian » Sun May 24, 2009 3:28 pm

Further to the above, thanks to some items sent to Billy McKinley by members of the Reid family we have also managed to acquire copies of his service record. (I believe some of this information may have been used in a historical society article?)

Image
click to enlarge


Image
click to enlarge

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#66 Post by patMG07 » Sun May 24, 2009 5:22 pm

So sad to actually see the words...'Killed on active service'...a few words on a sheet of paper but for his loved ones.... so tragic.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#67 Post by wildthang001 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:55 am

Hello to you all,
It's been a while since my last visit and i am happilly suprised to see these latest documents and a further photograph that I can add to george's album. Thank you once again :cheers:

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#68 Post by Brian » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:16 pm

Image
copy of the palace letter.

Image
copy of the telegram.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#69 Post by xpaddy » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:27 am

How awful to receive that telegram
with the dreaded news that her
husband had been killed..
I couldn't imagine.
The letter from Buckingham Palace was
very much appreciated, I'm sure.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#70 Post by g ohara » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:33 pm

I lived next door(No 8 Duke Street)to the pub at the time of the air crash and can remember a body lying across our back wall next to Houricans yard

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#71 Post by xpaddy » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:46 am

How awful.
I'm sure it is an image you
will never forget.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#72 Post by escovar » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:27 pm

Apparently they were ansons,training aircraft,my dad saw it happen and my uncle willie was 1 of 2 men that rowed out to the scene of the crash.The mustang crashed in behind where dunnes was and took out a wall at the back of a coalyard,im led to believe.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#73 Post by escovar » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:29 pm

no im wrong on that.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#74 Post by California Dream'in » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:00 pm

escovar wrote:no im wrong on that.
:dance3: That would be a first @=)

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#75 Post by Martin Savage » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:44 am

The RAF accident report quoted on page 3 is incorrect on several details. It's worth remembering that in July 1944 the air war in Europe was in full swing and the RAF was losing up to 100 heavy bombers in one night on some raids. The collision of two training aircraft over Northern Ireland would have merited very little interest in the circumstances.
I remember my father, Frank Savage, telling me how he witnessed this accident from near the baths. He and other eye witnesses all agreed that one aircraft entered the sea just beyond the baths and not 'one mile off Warrenpoint pier' as stated. Eyewitnesses all agree that conditions were clear and sunny at the time. The reference in the report to 'due to bad weather conditions (mist)' is an understandable gesture to the relatives of the dead aircrew to avoid mentioning 'pilot error'.
The aircraft involved were a Miles Martinet and an Airspeed Oxford. The report states that the Oxford crashed in the sea while 'The Martinet crashed on public bath houses, Oxford-Duke Street'. The report author has clearly become confused by references to public baths and public houses, and by the name of the Oxford aircraft.
The Martinet was a single engined aircraft designed primarily for target towing and ground attack training. It had a rugged airframe designed to withstand the G forces involved in pulling out from a dive. The Oxford was a modified 8 seater twin engined passenger aircraft and would not have been used for aerobatics. On the day, the Martinet performed a simulated diving attack on the Square before pulling up and climbing on a south easterly heading over Church St.. With his nose high the pilot would have had no view out towards the lough. The Oxford was inbound on a north westerly heading, crossing the baths and roughly following the line of Queen St.. Since the Martinet was climbing towards him from below the pilot would have been unable to see the approaching aircraft. Therefore each aircraft was in the others blind spot until the collision happened. From the sites where the wreckage landed, at Duke St. and the baths, the collision must have occured somewhere close to the Church St., Queen St., Gt. Georges St. intersection.
I have a particular interest in this crash because in summer 1987 I was windsurfing from the beach when a speedboat that had dropped anchor just out from the baths brought ashore a piece of aircraft wreckage that had been hooked by its anchor. It was part of the framing that holds the perspex of an aircraft canopy. Specifically, it was the rectangular clear vision panel that sits directly in front of the pilot. This feature is found on the Martinet and not on the Oxford, and therefore it was the Martinet that crashed at the baths.
.
May the young men who lost their lives on that day rest in peace.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#76 Post by patMG07 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:54 am

Martin, I wonder what became of the piece of airframe that was picked up?

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#77 Post by Martin Savage » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:17 pm

As far as I remember it was taken into the windsurfer storage room under the ramp to the baths. Who knows, it might be buried in a corner in there yet.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#78 Post by victor » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:03 pm

Site of the aircrash would tally with my experience of digging up pieces of the planes in our garden at 33 Church Street in the 50's. Every time we found strange looking pieces of 'electronics', my mum would say it was a piece of the plane which crashed over the house before I was born.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#79 Post by Kinnard » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:49 pm

I can remember the incident quite well, I didn't see the actual crash it's self but I did see the plane land in the sea just beyond the baths. At that time I was a young lad of eleven and was on the beach at baths helping " Turk " White with his rowing boats I was scared out of my wits and ran home.
It was a lovely summers day and been a Saturday the top deck of the baths was crowded at that time the deck extended out over the pool it was a miracle no civilians were killed.
For weeks after the incident Turk White had me rowing up and down over the crash site while he dragged a grappling iron out over the back of the boat picking up pieces of wreckage we got loads this was all stored in the back yard of one of the house's across the road from the baths.
I can also remember pieces of clothing hanging from the electric wires along the street, there was also lots of bits of perspex from the plane windows littered about the street.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#80 Post by George Williamson » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:07 pm

My brother and I were in Belfast for the that day. Going up Grafton Street the crash was showin on a electronic sign. We were on the top tier of a tram.

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Re: Aircraft accident over Warrenpoint July 1944

#81 Post by Brian » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:12 pm

Just bringing this post back again as today marks the 70th anniversary of the accident. I've compiled a short synopsis using the information provided by the official sources and the posts from our members and have added it below.


Air Incident over Warrenpoint 15th July 1944 (70 years ago today)**


The aircraft involved in the accident over Warrenpoint were:

Airspeed Oxford I - LX598 (of 290 Sqn Long Kesh/Co. Down)


Miles Martinet TT.1 - MS626 (from the same unit)


The Martinet was a single engined aircraft designed primarily for target towing and ground attack training. It had a rugged airframe designed to withstand the G forces involved in pulling out from a dive. The Oxford was a modified 8 seater twin engined passenger aircraft and would not have been used for aerobatics.

290 Squadron:
No 290 Squadron was formed at Newtownards on 1 December 1943 from No 1617 and No 1480 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Flights. It was initially equipped with Oxfords, Martinets, Hurricanes and Spitfire VBs, most of which remained its equipment (except for the Hurricanes) for the whole of its career.

Its role was to provide target towing and to carry out attack simulations in order to provide continuation training for anti-aircraft units in its area, which was Northern Ireland. It moved to Turnhouse to cover Scotland in August 1944 and in January 1945 it moved onto Belgium to provide the same service to anti-aircraft units protecting Allied units on the continent. The squadron finally disbanded on the 27th of October 1945

The Accident:
It is reported that the Martinet performed a simulated diving attack on the Square before pulling up and climbing on a South Easterly heading over Church St. With his nose high, the pilot would have had no view out towards the lough. The Oxford was inbound on a North Westerly heading, crossing the baths and roughly following the line of Queen St. Since the Martinet was climbing towards him from below the pilot would have been unable to see the approaching aircraft. Therefore each aircraft was in the others blind spot until the collision happened.

Considerable amounts of debris were scattered over a wide area, and for many years after various bits of Perspex, metal and electronics were recovered from gardens, back yards and the shoreline. And in the summer of 1987 part of the framing that holds the Perspex of an aircraft canopy (specifically it was the rectangular clear vision panel that sits directly in front of the pilot) was recovered from the sea. This feature was found on the Martinet and not on the Oxford, and therefore we are able to say that it was the Martinet that crashed at the baths and not the Oxford as mentioned in the reports.

When the Martinet crashed a rescue was attempted by local boatmen and Sgt Donoghue - further reports mention that the Rev E Crawford (later to become Bishop Crawford) also attended and administered last rights towards the scene of the crash.

The Oxford crashed at the rear of Hourican’s public house in Duke Street, after damaging the roof of the cloakroom of the town hall as it came to ground, and as a crowd gathered one of the family closed the doors of the entry to stop anyone seeing the scene at the back.

The newspaper clipping that accompanies this article also mentions the bravery and skill of the pilots in that they were able to somehow steer their aircraft away from the town centre, avoiding further loss of life, indeed it must be noted that the pilot of the Oxford had managed to turn off the fuel supply to the engine therefore helping to reduce the chance of fire when the craft crashed. While some of the street names and descriptions are also wrong in the article; we do know that debris was recovered from many gardens and yards along the lengths of Summerhill, East Street and Church Street for many years after the incident and there may still be some buried there.

The personnel killed in the accident:

(All remains recovered and returned to home towns)

Name: Eccles, Lucien Arthur William Joseph
Rank: Warrant Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 290 Sqdn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 15/07/1944
Service No: 1931095
Additional information: Son of William and Anne Eccles; husband of Mary Ellen Eccles, of Hindley Green, Wigan.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. 42. Grave J. 40.
Cemetery: Leigh Cemetery



Name: Myers, Dennis
Rank: Flight Sergeant (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 290 Sqdn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 15/07/1944
Service No: 1217452
Additional information: Son of Robert Cristopher and Emily Myers, of Boroughbridge.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot D. Grave 866A.
Cemetery: Boroughbridge cemetery


Name: Sturdy, Peter
Rank: Sergeant (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 290 Sqdn.
Date of Death: 15/07/1944
Service No: 1382750
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. R. Grave 2272.
Cemetery: Willesden New Cemetery








Name: Gibb, Albert Gordon
Rank: Warrant Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 290 Sqdn.
Age: 28
Date of Death: 15/07/1944
Service No: 1118383
Additional information: Son of Albert Ernest and Ursula Ann Gibb, of Huyton.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. 6. Grave 67.
Cemetery: Prescot Cemetery


Name: Mosey, George William
Rank: Sergeant (Air Gnr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 290 Sqdn.
Age: 26
Date of Death: 15/07/1944
Service No: 1041594
Additional information: Son of Richard and Alice Jane Mosey; husband of Doreen Mosey, of Hamsterley Colliery.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. A. Grave 51.
Cemetery: Consett (Westwood) Cemetery

A relative of George Mosey was able to supply a photocopy of a photo, and later on more articles came to light supplied by the late Billy McKinley and copies of those are posted in the threads above.

**Information from:
The Royal Air Force Commands website http://www.rafcommands.com
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website http://www.cwgc.org)
Combined with local eye witness reports as posted here as it was thought some parts of the official report were inaccurate.

It must be noted that the links provided here are to those official reports for reference purposes and all information contained herein is a mixture of both sources.

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