Wellington Mk.IC W5719 / JN-S of No.150 Squadron RAF crashed 31st July 1941 below Upper Tor, near Edale whilst returning to Snaith in Yorkshire from a raid on Koln
|Percival Harold Charles Parrot||Sergeant||Pilot||Killed|
|Joseph Arthur Haswell||Sergeant||2nd Pilot||Killed|
|Jack Douglas Evelle||Sergeant RCAF||Observer||Killed|
|Frederick Kenneth Webber||Sergeant||Wireless Operator||Killed|
|Dennis Aloysius Monk||Sergeant||Air Gunner||Killed|
|Earl Tilley||Sergeant||Air Gunner||Injured|
No.150 Squadron, which in the summer of 1941 had recently moved to RAF Snaith in Yorkshire, was ordered to provide 8 Wellington aircraft for a planned raid against the German city of Koln (Cologne) for the night of the 30th / 31st July and one aircraft to take part in an attack against Dunkirk. The later was cancelled at the last minute, meaning only eight aircraft took off. The weather in the UK on the night of the 30th July 1941 was poor with Snaith reporting low cloud and rain until about 22:30 allowing the first of their aircraft, W5719, to take off at 23.25. The last of the flight took off a little over 40 minutes later.
The target area was also covered by cloud and two elected to bomb secondary targets, one bombing the docks at Dunkirk and the other an airfield at Wevelgam near Kortrijk in north western Belguim. Five other crews reported that they had bombed the Koln area where the glow of a large fire was visible through the clouds, they used this as their target point but because of the cloud cover could not see their bombs explode.
The crew of W5719 were returning to Snaith having reportedly dropped their bombs when at 04:05 the aircraft struck Upper Tor and was completely destroyed. The crew had been passed at least one QDM to assist their return to Sniath but had descended too low in cloud at flew into the steeply rising ground on the northern side of Grindsbrook Clough. Sgt Tilley, occupying the rear turret survived when his turret was flung clear of the wreck though he was hospitalised suffering from the effects of shock and concussion.
The two aircraft whose crews reported bombing targets near to the Channel returned to Snaith around 03:30 with the aircraft which bombed Koln returning 3 hours later, this possibly suggests that the crew of W5719 had also bombed an alternative target deeper into the European mainland or turned back, which conflicts with the No.150 Sqn Operations Record Book which accounted for all eight aircraft reporting that they had attacked targets. However Sergeant Evelle’s casualty file, held at Libraries & Archives Canada, reports that one or more bombs had detonated at the crash site causing severe break up of the wreckage.