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1944-06-08 The Losses of Mitchells FR150 (Dobson) and FR182 (IJsselstein)

Crash Site: Horsham, West Sussex, England

Crash cause: flying accident, collision, probably due to zero visibility

Aircraft of 320 (Dutch) Squadron RAF Bomber Command from RAF Dunsfold, crashed in the very early morning of June 8th, 1944, after a mid-air collision over Horsham, West Sussex, 10 miles from base.

1. Description of events

Aircraft were climbing during forming up on a dark night for an attack on Vire Railway Station, Dépt. Calvados, France. Both aircraft carried four 1.000 lb bombs, and nickelings (propaganda leaflets). Crash took place at approx. 00.40h, June 8th, 1944, after take-off at 00.31h (Dobson) and 00.35h. Aircraft were to circle over Horsham at different altitudes, during forming up for the attack flight. Clouds were thick, no rain. Early June, 1944, weather had deteriorated to become a record low (976,8 millibar) for the United Kingdom. The invasion was postponed because of this, from the 5th to the 6th. The height of the deck of clouds over Dunsfold at the time of the crash is unknown.

Both aircraft crashed in Denne Park, Horsham, one mile from each other, eight miles from base. FR150 came down on Picts Hill at Kay's Lane, close to Worthing Road and the Fox & Hounds pub, currently called the Boar's Head. FR182 came down in a field along Kerves Lane, directly North of the entrance of Amies Mill Farm. Here it hammered a very deep crater in the ground, rendering the aircraft initially invisible to the Horsham Fire Service team. Both exploded on the ground after a while, just before the Fire Service men had reached the aircrafts. All eight crew were killed, all were Dutch. No Fire Service casualties on the ground. At Kerves Lane, the firemen had a narrow escape, as the shockwave from the explosion was directed upWards out of the crater.

Source for location details: Local Fire Service records, via Margareth "Magpie" Baldwin

The explosion blew an engine of FR182 into an attic room of Amies Mill Farm. The lady living there was taken to hospital in shock. Near Picts Hill, buildings sustained damage, and a person in the Fox & Hounds pub was injured. One engine of FR150 ended up in a nearby farmhouse garden. In the year 2000, two shallow impact areas can still be seen.

Source: Simon Clark, "Flightpath to disaster", article in West-Sussex County Times, date uknown, possibly 2000

Later on this same night, at approx. 01.30h, the 320 Sqn Mitchell flown by Henk Hamilton of Silverton Hill & crew was lost over France, presumed to have been downed by Flak. Two men were killed and buried at St. Laurent-sur-Mer, whilst Hamilton and Sgt. Frans Kuijpers remained missing-in-action. This was the blackest day of the War for 320, losing 3 crew, 12 men.

Source: 320 Sqn Operations Record Book

The remaining aircraft returned to base at approx. 03.00h.

Source: Flying Logbook Jan Kloos, by email 8/3/2005


Name

1. Dobson, Willem Castor

W.C. Dobson, 1942 Source: SLH Brookwood 050618 Dobson

Rank

Off Vl 2kl, F/Lt., Pilot

Decorations

None known

Born

22/3/1915

Place

Tjilatjap, Java, NEI

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR150 NO-W

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Sussex, GB

Mission

Raid on Vire railway station, Calvados, F

Status

KIA, collided with Mitchell FR182 during forming up in a dark night

age

29

Killed

8/6/1944

Place

Horsham, Sussex, GB, 10m E from base

Buried

13/6/1944 at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Sussex, GB, RAF plot, grave 25/D/8

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

2. Off Zwnr 3kl J. Meester, Nav - KIA

3. Sgt Vltg Telegr R.D. Stoffels, Wop/Ag - KIA

4. Sgt Vltg Sch J.H. van Hagen, Ag - KIA

Remarks

The aviators had no sight, either by eye or by instruments, as radio beacons were down that night.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

GB arrival

Trained at JAAB, USA, and send to GB

Data

Confusion

De Haan: crashed Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk

Gedenkrol KM: started from RAF Morley, Norfolk

Geldhof (3): Buried Brookwood American Cemetery


Name

2. Meester, Jacob (De Lange)

J. Meester, 1942 Source: SLH Brookwood 050618 Meester

Rank

Off Zwnr 3kl, F/O., Nav

Decorations

None known

Born

19/7/1923

Place

Utrecht, NL

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR150 NO-W

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Sussex, GB

Mission

Raid on Vire railway station, Calvados, F

Status

KIA, collided with Mitchell FR182 during forming up in a dark night

age

20

Killed

8/6/1944

Place

Horsham, Sussex, GB, 10m E from base

Buried

13/6/1944 at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Sussex, GB, RAF plot, grave 25/D/12

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

1. Off Vl 2kl W.C. Dobson, Pilot - KIA

3. Sgt Vltg Telegr R.D. Stoffels, Wop/Ag - KIA

4. Sgt Vltg Sch J.H. van Hagen, Ag - KIA

Remarks

The aviators had no sight, either by eye or by instruments, as radio beacons were down that night.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

GB arrival

Was at Bandung Christelijk Lyceum, NEI, when War broke out. Trained at JAAB, USA, and send to GB

Data

Confusion

De Haan: crashed Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk

Gedenkrol KM: started from RAF Morley, Norfolk

Geldhof (3): Buried Brookwood American Cemetery


Name

3. Stoffels, Roelof David

R.D. Stoffels Source: SLH Brookwood 050618 Stoffels

Rank

Sgt Vltg Telegr, Sgt., Wop/Ag

Stb.Nr. 16376

Decorations

None known

Born

27/8/1920

Place

Groningen, NL

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR150 NO-W

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Sussex, GB

Mission

Raid on Vire railway station, Calvados, F

Status

KIA, collided with Mitchell FR182 during forming up in a dark night

age

23

Killed

8/6/1944

Place

Horsham, Sussex, GB, 10m E from base

Buried

13/6/1944 at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Sussex, GB, RAF plot, grave 25/D/11

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

1. Off Vl 2kl W.C. Dobson, Pilot - KIA

2. Off Zwnr 3kl J. Meester, Nav - KIA

4. Sgt Vltg Sch J.H. van Hagen, Ag - KIA

Remarks

The aviators had no sight, either by eye or by instruments, as radio beacons were down that night.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

GB arrival

As Lichtmatroos on Hr.Ms. Willem van der Zaan. Trained at JAAB, USA, and send back to GB

Data

Confusion

De Haan: crashed Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk

Gedenkrol KM: started from RAF Morley, Norfolk

Geldhof (3): Buried Brookwood American Cemetery


Name

4. Hagen, Johannes Hermanus van

J.H. van Hagen, 1942 Source: SLH Brookwood 050618 Van Hagen

Rank

Sgt Vltg Sch, Sgt., Ag

Stb.Nr. 13451

Decorations

None known

Born

12/12/1916

Place

Breda, NL

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR150 NO-W

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Sussex, GB

Mission

Raid on Vire railway station, Calvados, F

Status

KIA, collided with Mitchell FR182 during forming up in a dark night

age

27

Killed

8/6/1944

Place

Horsham, Sussex, GB, 10m E from base

Buried

Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Sussex, GB, RAF plot, grave 25/D/14

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

1. Off Vl 2kl W.C. Dobson, Pilot - KIA

2. Off Zwnr 3kl J. Meester, Nav - KIA

3. Sgt Vltg Telegr R.D. Stoffels, Wop/Ag - KIA

Remarks

The aviators had no sight, either by eye or by instruments, as radio beacons were down that night.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

GB arrival

Trained at JAAB, USA, and send to GB

Data

Confusion

De Haan: crashed Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk

Gedenkrol KM: started from RAF Morley, Norfolk

Geldhof (3): Buried Brookwood American Cemetery


Name

1. IJsselstein, Jacobus Adrianus

J.A. IJsselstein, 6/1943 Source: @St.M.Vl.P. 1939-50 Brookwood 050618 IJsselstein

Rank

Off Vl 3kl, F/O., Pilot

Decorations

None known

Born

23/5/1917

Place

Soerabaja, Java, NEI

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR182 NO-R

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Sussex, GB

Mission

Raid on Vire railway station, Calvados, F

Status

KIA, collided with Mitchell FR150 during forming up in a dark night

age

27

Killed

8/6/1944

Place

Horsham, Sussex, GB, 10m E from base

Buried

13/6/1944 at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Sussex, GB, RAF plot, grave 25/D/10

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

2. Off Zwr 3kl G. Mulder, Nav - KIA

3. Sgt Vltg Telegr P. Engels, Wop/Ag - KIA

4. Sgt Vltg Sch Z/m Th.P. Mensingh -Ag - KIA

Remarks

The aviators had no sight, either by eye or by instruments, as radio beacons were down that night.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

GB arrival

Trained at JAAB, USA, and send to GB

Data

Confusion

De Haan: crashed Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk

Gedenkrol KM: started from RAF Morley, Norfolk

Geldhof (3): Buried Brookwood American Cemetery


Name

2. Mulder, Gerhardus

G. Mulder, 1942 Source: SLH Brookwood 050618 Mulder


Rank

Off Zwr 3kl, F/O., Nav

Decorations

None known

Born

1/10/1915

Place

Amsterdam, NL

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II B-25D Nr. FR182 NO-R

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Sussex, GB

Mission

Raid on Vire railway station, Calvados, F

Status

KIA, collided with Mitchell FR150 during forming up in a dark night

age

28

Killed

8/6/1944

Place

Horsham, Sussex, GB, 10m E from base

Buried

13/6/1944 at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Sussex, GB, RAF plot, grave 25/D/9

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

1. Off Vl 3kl J.A. IJsselstein, Pilot - KIA

3. Sgt Vltg Telegr P. Engels, Wop/Ag - KIA

4. Sgt Vltg Sch Z/m Th.P. Mensingh -Ag - KIA

Remarks

The aviators had no sight, either by eye or by instruments, as radio beacons were down that night.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

GB arrival

Trained at JAAB, USA, and send to GB

Data

Confusion

De Haan: crashed Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk

Gedenkrol KM: started from RAF Morley, Norfolk

Geldhof (3): Buried Brookwood American Cemetery


Name

3. Engels, Petrus

P. Engels, 1943 Source: @St.M.Vl.P. 1939-50 Brookwood 050618 Engels

Rank

Sgt Vltg Telegr, Sgt., Wop/Ag

Stb.Nr. 15251

Decorations

None known

Born

24/4/1921

Place

Nijmegen, NL

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II B-25D Nr. FR182 NO-R

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Sussex, GB

Mission

Raid on Vire railway station, Calvados, F

Status

KIA, collided with Mitchell FR150 during forming up in a dark night

age

23

Killed

8/6/1944

Place

Horsham, Sussex, GB, 10m E from base

Buried

13/6/1944 at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Sussex, GB, RAF plot, grave 25/D/13

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

1. Off Vl 3kl J.A. IJsselstein, Pilot - KIA

2. Off Zwr 3kl G. Mulder, Nav - KIA

4. Sgt Vltg Sch Z/m Th.P. Mensingh -Ag - KIA

Remarks

The aviators had no sight, either by eye or by instruments, as radio beacons were down that night.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

Naamplaat


GB arrival

Trained at JAAB, USA, and send to GB

Data

Confusion

De Haan: crashed Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk

Gedenkrol KM: started from RAF Morley, Norfolk

Geldhof (3): Buried Brookwood American Cemetery


Name

4. Mensingh, Theophiele Pierre

Th.P. Mensingh, ca. 1942 Source: SLH Brookwood 050618 Mensingh


Rank

Sgt Vltg Sch Z/m,Sgt., Ag

Stb.Nr. 40420/D

Decorations

None known

Born

16/1/1920

Place

Magelang, Java, NEI

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II B-25D Nr. FR182 NO-R

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Sussex, GB

Mission

Raid on Vire railway station, Calvados, F

Status

KIA, collided with Mitchell FR150 during forming up in a dark night

age

24

Killed

8/6/1944

Place

Horsham, Sussex, GB, 10m E from base

Buried

13/6/1944 at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Sussex, GB, RAF plot, grave 25/D/15

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

1. Off Vl 3kl J.A. IJsselstein, Pilot - KIA

2. Off Zwr 3kl G. Mulder, Nav - KIA

3. Sgt Vltg Telegr P. Engels, Wop/Ag - KIA

Remarks

The aviators had no sight, either by eye or by instruments, as radio beacons were down that night.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

GB arrival

Trained at JAAB, USA, and send to GB

Data

Confusion

De Haan: crashed Horsham St. Faith in Norfolk

Gedenkrol KM: started from RAF Morley, Norfolk

Geldhof (3): Buried Brookwood American Cemetery

4. Crash detail confusion

1. According to Van der Kop, the aircraft exploded in mid-air, debris was scattered over a large surface. From one of the other 320 Mitchells airborne that night he saw a flash from an explosion. When told about the fatal collision after the sortie, he assumed a mid-air explosion of the two planes.

Source: H.J.E. van der Kop, "Neem het over", 1975, page 299.

There is little doubt that the planes collided in mid-air. Mr. Van der Kop states in his book 'Neem het over', 1975, that the planes exploded in mid-air, disintegrated, scattering debris all over the area. He assumes that in the collision the eight 1.000 lb bombs detonated in mid-air. Even the detonation of a single one of those bombs would disintegrate both planes. That's not impossible, but this did not happen. The Fire Service diary proves him wrong. A disintegrated aircraft does not hammer a sizeable crater in the ground. Two planes disintegrated in mid-air do not present two defined crash sites, where bodies were found and salvaged. The flash he saw in the distance, must have been one of the two explosions on the ground. The bombs were not yet armed. We have to assume that, in each aircraft on the ground, a bomb detonated a short while after impact, no doubt as a result of high temperature caused by fire. The crater on Kerves Lane may have resulted, not only from the plane's impact, but also from a bomb exploding during impact. Another bomb to detonate later, as the Fire Service approached.

2. According to De Haan, the collision took place over Horsham St. Faith, North of Norwich, Norfolk.

Source: De Haan, unpublished crash datasheets, collection SLH

Horsham St. Faith is too far out of the way to connect between take-off from RAF Dunsfold and a mission to Calvados in France. In fact this triggered the search for more data about these crashes.

3. According to Bosch, the collision took place during take-off.

Source: J. Bosch, "De Engelse periode", unpublished typescript, collection SLH

The accident took place approx. 5 minutes after take-off of the last of the two aircraft. Inter-aircraft distance was 4 minutes. According to Mr. Jan Kloos, who was also present on this sortie, it was wise to spread out whilst climbing and circling at night, because the danger of a collision was obvious. Back at base after the sortie, the aviators were told that the two planes had collided over base.

Source: Jan Kloos, email 8/3/2005

This statement proved to be inaccurate, the crashes took place approx. 8 miles ESE of Dunsfold.

All this demonstrates that the aviators of the Squadron did not have/were not given accurate information at the time. It can be understood that the aviators at the time had little interest in the details of these horrible occurrences. They must have been focussed on their own survival.

After the War, even the Squadron's CO, who had set his mind to writing books about the Wartime events, did not obtain more accurate information. He certainly had access to relevant documents.

These cases were closed decades ago, if investigated at all. Nevertheless, and even from the distance of sixty years, new bits of information can be found, that shed new light on old cases. That may be quite irrelevant for the fate of the casualties, but for an understanding of history we first need to get the basic facts right. After that we can try to make sense of it all. As in understanding how these collisions could occur. The Horsham accident is not an isolated case. 15% of the lost Dutch RAF aviators were killed as a result of collisions, with no enemy in sight. That's a significant amount.

5. Cause of crash

Unfavourable weather and a lack of night flying experience in these crews are mentioned as causes for this accident. The RAF accident report states that both pilots failed to keep adequate lookout.

Source: Simon Clark, "Flightpath to disaster", article in West-Sussex County Times, date uknown, possibly 2000

It remains to be seen if adequate lookout was possible at all. The collision may well have taken place in clouds. The night was dark, and aircraft speeds were high. The aircraft had no other means of avoiding collisions than the eyes of the crew. These eyes may have been blinded, either by darkness or by clouds or by both. Again, the finger is pointed at individual aviators. That's easy, but again, this author must question whether it is justified. Aircraft were send out in the same direction, to gain height. Pilots may have been blind, but still they navigated so accurately that the aircraft collided. The risk of this type of accident would have been much less if aircraft would have been ordered to gain altitude by flying circles wide apart. Especially during a climb through thick clouds in a dark night.

Email from Jan Kloos, 11/3/2005:

Morgen Rob,

Antwoord op jouw bericht heb ik moeten uitstellen voor 2 redenen: de eerste en belangrijkste : ik moest een kwalijke brief schrijven aan mijn fiscale lui en 2) heb ik je al verteld dat ik van mening ben dat de Dobson botsing te danken is aan a) te weining afstand tussen de toestellen b) slecht weer en c) zeker ook weinig ervaring in nacht

vliegen. Vergeet niet wij werden zomaar van day-bombers op night-bombers overgeschakeld met één nacht cross-country training flight ! Deze herinner ik me zeer goed want die nacht waren er duitse night intruders en ze hadden dus alle navigatie middelen afgezet wat voor ons niet bijzonder prettig was. Dus op basis van die ene nachtvlucht werd er besloten welke crews in staat waren om op nachtelijke ops te gaan. Dat moet je onthouden. Er werd niet besloten op basis van het aantal ops die de crew of navigator had gevlogen. Zoals eerder vermeld was ik persoonlijk helemaal niet happy met het idee van nacht-operaties. Daarom heb ik me ingezet om alle mogelijke middelen te gebruiken die ik maar kon vinden: zuurstof gebruiken op lage hoogte zoals ik dat op Night Vision School geleerd had, de crew in het donker een half uur voor de vlucht, en last but not least, bij onderzoek van de kaart zag ik dat het helemaal verkeerd zou zijn om langs Cherbourg op de RAF hoogte van 5.000 ft te vliegen gezien er van beiden kanten elland Alderney en Cherbourg een grote kans van flnke Flak was. We vlogen dus op zeehoogte en konden alle sodemieters zien die op de aangewezen hoogte zaten, midden in zware Flak en projectors. Rob, mijn beslissingen zijn gebaseerd op pure ervaring. Dus in conclusie, heb ik die beslissing van de RAF om over te gaan naar night-bombing vrij kwaad genomen gezien onze verliezen. Maar ja, wat kan je doen tegen de heren. Voilà wat ik op deze fijne zonnige dag in beautiful Zwitserland te vertellen had. Groet -jan-

cc André Hissink, FYI.

6. Eyewitness accounts

'My Father was a Fireman in the Horsham Fire Brigade during World War Two. I had been researching into our Family History and found that there is little knowledge, of the work Horsham Fire Brigade did at this time.

(By Margaret 'Magpie' Baldwin)

JUNE 1944

WEDNESDAY 7TH (Continuous Duty)
Pumping at South Water Brick works
Double plane crash at Kay's lane and Kerves Lane, Horsham.

THURSDAY 8TH
Pumping at Southwater until 4.30a.m. Then attended plane crash at Kerves Lane.
Then back to Pumping at Southwater Brick Works. Cold drizzly weather.
TWO MITCHELL 11 AIRCRAFT COLLIDED OVER HORSHAM
The two planes had taken off from Dunsfold Aerodrome, loaded with leaflets, which were to be dropped over France the two planes collided above Horsham, crashing in Denne Park. It was a dark night. One plane was burning on the hill. As the N.F.S. got the pumps into position it exploded. dispersing parts of the plane, bodies and limbs of the crew , and thousands of leaflets, all over the hillside. The second plane had crashed at Kerves Lane, But wasn't visible; the Fire Crew spread out in the darkness to find it. The reason it could not be seen was because it laid in a very deep crater, as the men approached, an unexploded bomb on board went off, all the men had a very lucky escape, because of the depth of the crater, the force of the blast went upWards. All the aircraft's crew was killed.'

Email from Magpie, 7/3/2005:

'I think Kay's lane was either a local name or one that may not exist now, as Horsham has been one big building site for many years.

Kerves Lane is still there and is in Manning's Heath on the edge of Horsham towards Brighton, as you know.

From what I remember (Dad never spoke much about the War) but he did say one of the planes came down in Denne Park, again on the outskirts of Horsham on the Worthing Road, Kay's lane may of been one of the tracks that they used to reach it.My mother spoke of leaflets from the aircraft landing all around the area of Salisbury Road and Worthing Road.That would put both planes some distance apart when they hit the ground. As you say Kerves lane is long I do not know the exact location that plane crashed in ,as Dad attended the one on the hill in Denne park

I would love information of the crew to add to my records,and grateful to receive anything that can added to make sure what these men did is never forgotten. feel free to use anything that may be of help from my web site.

If I manage to Locate Kay's Lane I will get back to you.I get information in dribs and drabs ,as they say. with no written information of the time and most of those that served in the War now elderly or gone it gets increasingly difficult to gather facts.'

Amiesmill House, that was damaged by the explosion of FR182, 150 meters from the house. At the time, the large house served as a training center for Canadian Special Forces. Source: current owner, 050618. Horsham 050618 Amiesmill House

From Magpie, email 10/3/2005. Article by Simon Clark, probably published in the West-Sussex County Times:

PLANE CRASH STORY.

'A RUSTINGTON man has contacted me after reading my story about a rare Second World War invasion leaflet.

It was recently presented to the vice president of Horsham's 655 branch of the Royal Air Force Association. This leaflet, which has been framed, was found in the wreckage of an aircraft by Norman Abrahams, vice chairman of the branch, He served during the War at RAF Faygate, a repair and salvage unit.

Basil Evershed, of Old Manor Road, has sent me an interesting, eye witness account of the 'plane crash'

One night during the summer of 1944, just before the Allied forces invaded France, two planes took off from Dunsfold Aerodrome, loaded with leaflets, which were to be dropped over France, advising the population of the coming invasion and requesting help.

Unhappily, these two planes collided in the darkness above the sleeping town of Horsham, both crashing in Denne Park. That night I was the driver and pump operator of our crew at Horsham Fire Station, and within a few minutes we were at the foot of Picts Hill and could see one of the planes burning on the hillside of the park. We were just manhandling our pump into position there, when, with a mighty blast, the plane exploded, dispersing thousands of leaflets, parts of the plane and alas, the bodies and limbs of the unfortunate crew, all over the hillside. Had we been a few moments sooner on the scene, we firemen would probably also have shared their fate.

Unknown to us at the time, the second plane had come down on the far side of Denne Park, by Kerves Lane, and our second crew had been directed there, Sadly, the plane also exploded, with the loss of the air crew.'

'Picts Hill just below the railway line, about level with the number 72 and finishes just before the 7 in B2237. From what I know the plane came down almost the building under the H of PH that building is a public House that used to called The Fox and Hounds, its changed its name since then. Tower hill is a hill that starts from the pub towards Farthings. in fact Tower Hill is a small hamlet. I was born there.'

Source: Magpie, email 10/3/2005


RAF plots on Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Surrey, UK. Next to each other the graves of the 8 Dutchmen that died in Horsham on 8/6/1944. Brookwood 050618-10

7. Crash site data

Map 68. Horsham, Surrey, GB, crash sites of Mitchells FR150 and FR182

Map 69. Details of crash sites of Mitchells FR150 and FR182

At the crash site of FR182 a circular depression of about 8 meters diameter and 20 cm depth is all that remains to be seen; the explosion crater has been filled up. The crash site distance to Amiesmill Farm is 100 meters, to Amiesmill House 150 meters. In 2005 the farm is still in the possession of the same family as sixty years ago. The Fox & Hounds pub on Worthing Road close to the railway has been renamed 'The Wild Boar'.

Tony Blake, Horsham:

'I'm afraid Can't help with a map circa 1944 at the moment, I'll see what I can find, never heard of 'kays' lane either, I have done a bit of research on the planes in question myself in the past with the help of a friend of mine who was one of the founder members of the archivists who 'dug' a lot the War time crash sites in the South back in the 70's, a couple of years ago I mentioned to him about the stories dad had told me about the crash on 'Denne hill', he said he new the land owner and may be able to get permission to have a look around, so we researched it a bit further, as far as we could find out from various sources the planes did crash in mid air one landed on 'Amies Mill' house [ or adjoining cottage not 100% sure which] the occupants were visiting relatives in Horsham so no one was injured, the other plane crashed on the side of Denne Hill opposite the 'Boars Head' pub [ then known as the Fox & Hounds ], we managed to get permission from the land owner to go up there with our metal detectors, [which took a bit of pleading, as the old chap who had owned the land during the War had recently passed on and he would not let any one know where the plane had crashed or let any one go up there to investigate the site while he was alive, but his widow relented and let us go on condition we kept it to ourselves ] , we found the crash site, identifiable by a scar and indentation covered by brambles in the middle of the field and by the burnt clay about 3' to 4' below the surface once we started digging we uncovered a lot of twisted and melted aluminium and melted thick armoured glass, quite a few exploded cannon shells and heads [ sides of shell cases split open indicating they had gone off in a fire and not been fired, see attached photo ] and various odds and end's of bits of plane, nothing spectacular, my best find was the face of the planes altimeter, which is in remarkable condition considering [see attached] there is probably a lot more further down and further spread out around the bit we dug but we were limited on time, I will make some more inquiries and see if I can find out anything else that might be relevant, if you want to forward this Email, feel free I don't know if I can be of any help but Mick has a lot of contacts as he was heavily involved with most of the crash sites in the South so he may be able to shed some more light on things, I'm sure he would be glad to help if he can.'

Source: email 10/3/2005, Tony Blake, Horsham, UK

Note no rifling on round in top of picture. Although the nose indicates an impact, this round was not fired through a gun barrel. We see machine gun munition parts after bursting in fire.



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