Wellington Mk.III HF613 / DD-R of No.22 OTU, crashed close to the village of Hope on the 15th February 1943
|John Douglas Kester||Sergeant RCAF||Pilot||Killed|
|Richard Foote Cairns||Sergeant RCAF||Navigator||Killed|
|William James Hackett||Sergeant RCAF||Air gunner||Killed|
|Bernard Elliott Wilkinson||Sergeant RCAF||Air gunner||Killed|
|William Arthur Billy Marwood||Sergeant RAFVR||Wireless operator / Air gunner||Killed|
The aircraft took off during the mid-morning of the 15th February 1943 from Wellesbourne Mountford near Stratford upon Avon for a cross country flight. At just after 13:00 the aircraft descended out of bad weather (possibly due to icing) and became enveloped in a snow storm, shortly afterwards the aircraft crashed, seemingly out of control, with a steep nose down attitude near to Peakshole Water. The aircraft slide for a short distance, crossing the river and striking a large embankment on the other side where the aircraft was completely destroyed.
A number of years ago after a period of heavy rain a bomb was apparently discovered in the river bank at this site.
This proved to be a practice bomb of the type that the RAF used, while not a full scale explosive device these do contain a charge, designed to break apart the casing, more than capable of spoiling someone’s day along with titanium tetrachloride which created a cloud of Titanium dioxide and Hydrochloric acid when exposed to the air. This cloud was visible to range controllers for scoring bombing accuracy.
Three of the five crew are buried at Buxton Cemtery, they are Sgt Cairns, Sgt Hackett and Sgt Kester.