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WWII, Halifax crash near Lydbrook.

Halifax crash near Lydbrook

Terry wrote : "... please find enclosed a photo recently sent to me of the remains of the Halifax bomber which crashed near Lower Lydbrook on 7th June 1942. The aircraft was a Handley Page, Halifax V9977. ... the aircraft had a number of scientists on board and flew out of Defford. It was said to have been carrying secret radar equipment. The aircraft caught fire and crashed into a field at Lower Lydbrook on the Monastery side of the river Wye. A memorial window to the men lost in the crash can be seen at Goodrich church".*

Alison Tabrizi added (June 2014): "... Just noticed this report. My father's friend was killed on board the Halifax. His name was Brian Dear and he was a crew member. Dad went to the unveiling of the memorail window in 1992. Dad died in 1994. Dad was stationed for some of the war at Defford and Brian was a very close friend and his death left him very upset".

Louise Jenkins added (December 2016): "My great uncle was Gavin Millar who was an observer on the flight when it crashed. My grandmother told me that his coffin had a strict instruction that it was not to be opened under any circumstances as a result of the damage he sustained in the crash"

A. Michael Phillips added (February 2017); "... Algernon Michael Phillips the second pilot on this flight was my father. I never knew him as I was born the following 2nd February 1943. My mother Gwenyth was an RAF nurse & they were living at The Bell Inn Eckington at the time".

The names of the aircrew and scientists lost in this crash are:

First Pilot: Pilot Officer D.J.D.Berrington (115095)
Second Pilot: Flying Officer Algernon Michael Phillips (44185)
Observer. Flight Sergeant Gavin Millar (751019)
Flight Engineer. Leading Aircraftman Brian D.C.Dear (571852)
Wireless Op.Air Gunner. Aircraftman II, B.C.F. Bicknell (1271272)
Squadron Leader R.J.Sansom (33372) (Attached T.R.E.)
Pilot Officer C.E.Vincent (110285) (Attached T.R.E.)
Mr. G.S.Hensby, Civilian T.R.E.
Mr. Alan D.Blumlein, Civilian E.M.I.
Mr. C.O.Browne, Civilian E.M.I.
Mr. F.Blythen, Civilian E.M.I.

2017 is the 75th anniversary of the accident.

* George Mayo correctly pointed out (November 2017): "... I think you will find that the memorial window is in fact at Goodrich Castle and not at the church"

Roger Grail added (March 2019): "... After lunch on the date of the crash, my family - brother, father & mother were sitting outside our house enjoying the warm sunshine - I was 31/2 at the time and I heard my father shout ' there is a plane approaching and it is in trouble'. Seconds later I looked up and immediately above our house I saw the plane with fire gushing from its left hand side where the wing was attached. My mother shouted to my father - get the baby (my brother) indoors and approx. 10 seconds later the plane crashed on the other side of the Wye at Welsh Bicknor. Lots of people came rushing up Proberts Lane from the village of Lydbrook thinking that it had crashed in one of our fields. Our family was very lucky that the plane did not lose its wing over our house - if it had- we would certainly all have perished."

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