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

Vickers Wellington Mk.X at the Royal Air Force Museum

 

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.

View of the crash site of Vickers Wellington W5719 on Far Upper Tor, Kinder Scout, Edale
The crash site seen from to top of the outcrop.
Wreckage at the crash site of Vickers Wellington W5719 on Far Upper Tor, Kinder Scout, Edale
Some of small remains for W5719 below Upper Tor in early 2002.
Crash site of Vickers Wellington Mk.IC W5719 on Far Upper Tor, Kinder Scout, Edale
A photo of the site from 2009, most of the remaining parts have now been gathered up into a small pile on the edge of the scar.
Crash site of Vickers Wellington Mk.IC W5719 on Far Upper Tor, Kinder Scout, Edale
The crash site in August 2014.
Crash site of Vickers Wellington Mk.IC W5719 on Far Upper Toor, Kinder Scout, Edale, with rock out crop behind
Looking up hill from just below where the previous photograph was taken, on the rock face behind is a small memorial plaque.
View across Grindsbrook Clough towards the crash site of Vickers Wellington Mk.IC W5719 on Far Upper Tor, Kinder Scout, Edale
This photograph shows the crash site of W5719 from the opposite side of the valley.
Grave of Sergeant Jack Douglas Evelle, Royal Canadian Air Force, at Manchester Southern Cemetery
Sergeants Evelle and Haswell were buried at Manchester Southern Cemetery.
Sergeant Evelle has a marked grave, above, while Sergeant Haswell is commemorated on the screen wall adjacent to a grassed over war graves plot, below

Screen wall at Manchester Southern Cemetery commemorating Sergeant Joseph Arthur Haswell

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