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  #1  
Old 18th October 2010, 19:38
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hello,

I have recently found pieces coming from a british bomber, lost +/- 5 miles South of Beauvechain (centre of Belgium).
Unfortunately, there are few info's about it : crashed during the night, in January '45, in allied territory, with no casualties (at the crashsite) as, at least, 5 men jumped. Allied service men went visiting the crater, circling it and left there a nearly complete bomber in the soil where it still remains up today. No dig attempt was made at that time.

I have found some items coming from the cockpit (beside numerous .303 cartridges dated '43-'44). Here is a pic. Some artefacts are standard and were mounted on Halifax, Lancaster dashboard, ... but I am wondering if someone can identify the type with one of those little bits. The cockpit frame and the 'Brake Free Ratchet' may be a clue... Any help is most welcome!

Here are also some markings which may solve this mystery:

On bakélite plates:
- 'Hunts - London' (reverse :'00005 British made')
- A*M Ref N° 5K/2263
- VGS 342 H

- 6D/603 MK IIIA (oxygen tubing?)

- A*M 10A/2570 (earphones)

Best regards

ClinA-78

Last edited by ClinA-78; 1st May 2011 at 10:22.
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Old 18th October 2010, 22:42
Ex Shack Ex Shack is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hi
I think the metal piece with "Brake- Free- Ratchet" on it was part of the trailing aerial mechanism and would have been in the W/Op's position.Note the notches on the edge of the metal. The trailing aerial would have been wound onto a pulley probably about 8 ins across and would have been let out by the W/op after take off. He could let it out against a ratchet,or let it run free and use the brake to stop it when he had a long enough wire trailing behind the a/c.It was primarily used for the Medium Frequency band, the notches would have enabled the W/op to select the method of letting it out i.e hand winding against the ratchet, or running free and using the brake to stop it when enough was extended.He would probably use the free setting most, when winding the aerial back into the a/c prior to landing.My experience of it was post war as an Air Signaller
I think that the aerial was fairly standard for several types.
Regards
Dick

Last edited by Ex Shack; 19th October 2010 at 12:01.
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  #3  
Old 19th October 2010, 21:58
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hello Dick,

Thanks for this explanation. I suppose this standard device cannot be associated with a particular type of bomber?

Another pic with some new pieces.
Recognizeable are:
the brakes and supply pressure gauge ? (dial)
An engine starting button cover
the security cover for ignition switches (on this picture)
etc.

Any bet?


Best regards

ClinA-78

Last edited by ClinA-78; 1st May 2011 at 10:22.
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Old 19th October 2010, 23:50
Ex Shack Ex Shack is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hi
I doubt if it could be tied down to any one type of a/c, but they were not identical and the various stations for the W/op may have required some variation around a "standard" format.
If you have Cockpit parts found close by the part we are discussing it might give a clue. My use of the trailing aerial was on the later Shackleton and the W/op was immediately behind the pilots. I think that in the Lancaster he was further back in the a/c but I don't know for certain and I don't know the Halifax , Stirling or Wellington at all
Regards
Dick
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Old 22nd October 2010, 17:17
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hello,

I have focus on some pieces which may be no so standard such as : cockpit frame and this strange inox bolt?
Need to go back to the site.

Thank you beforehand of your attention.

ClinA-78

PS : sorry no penny !

Last edited by ClinA-78; 1st May 2011 at 10:22.
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  #6  
Old 22nd October 2010, 22:35
ssg keay ssg keay is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

ClinA, hi there. I hope you don't take offense, but I believe that the plane impacted shallow, in order for you to have found all the instruments. Most bombers did not come down in a steep angle and tended to splatter like an egg. Most times I excavated planes that went in in a steep angel, the instruments were meters down. Danny
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Old 23rd October 2010, 11:21
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hello Danny,

In fact, I had never seen a crashsite like that before (I use to recover some wreckage for ten years)!
The bomber made a slight depression like a trench in the field (still visible). It crashed vertically. And, as the main witness told me (he is the land owner), engines and big structure parts are still in the ground for sure. The magnetometer indicates a huge signal on nearly 20 m of width.
Sure, it is a strange kinetic paradox as the cockpit pieces thought about a 'bad' crashlanding. Non-ferrous materials (bakélite, brass, copper, etc.) were found at +/- 30 cm deep, in a layer of burned ash (few - much corroded - aluminum parts were found). I think that the front fuselage was simply torn off. The dig would learn more...

Any bet on the type?
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Old 23rd October 2010, 12:26
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hi ClinA-78,

based upon the information inyour original post, one possibility is 218 Squadron Lancaster LM187, which crashed at 1936 hrs on the night of 6-7 January 1945, close to Beauvechain, while returning from a raid on Neuss. The cause of loss was reputedly due to an engine failure and subsequent loss of control.

No crew members were killed in the aircraft, but one died when he fell to his death after he attempted to hold onto another crew member when baling out (he'd deployed his own parachute within the aircraft) - the two of them hoping to successfully utilise one parachute.

Cheers

Rod
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Old 23rd October 2010, 12:46
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hi,

in th first photo, lower left hand corner is a Type 48 microphone assembly, as probably originally fitted to a Type G Oxygen Mask. The short lead stemming from the bottom of the microphone would originally have had a bakelite connector fitted to it.

The graduated perspex immediately above the microphone may be from a navigator's ruler or plotting board (hard to say).

Cheers

Rod
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Old 23rd October 2010, 13:50
ClinA-78 ClinA-78 is offline
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Re: 'NEW' UK bomber lost in Belgium?

Hello Rod,

Thank you for your attention. I have ruled out Lanc LM187 as it crashed 1 km south of Nethen; her crashsite is thus known even if she crashed in the roughly same area.
Your hypothesis about the perspex rule is truly valid.

Best regards

ClinA-78
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