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B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 16 Mar 2008, 17:19
by greenman22
Does anyone out there know anything about a USAF Boeing B17 crash landing on Snettisham beach in 1944? I believe I read something once on the internet and would like to try to find more about it.

Greenman22

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 16 Mar 2008, 17:35
by choks

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 16 Mar 2008, 17:35
by choks

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 17 Mar 2008, 10:29
by greenman22


Cheers Choks!
The links were very informative indeed and has opened a new question where was;
USAAF Station No. 172 -Snettisham, Norfolk.

My family that lived in the village till about 20 years ago and they never mentioned anything about USAAF being in the village during the war. Does anyone know where in the village, USAAF Station No. 172 was sighted?

Greenman22

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 17 Mar 2008, 10:57
by EWW
This link gives 172 No 1 CMBT CREW GUNNERY SQUADRON "SNETTISHAM"

http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/world_war2/ ... ingdom.pdf

It appears that a lot of them were satalite bases controlled by the nearest
large usaf base "IE" SCULTHORPE. Hope this helps.

Could have been just an AA BATTERY there. :smt017

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 17 Mar 2008, 11:12
by EWW
Just found it on another site, and it has 172 Snett as a gunnery school.

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 17 Mar 2008, 12:30
by greenman22
EWW wrote:Just found it on another site, and it has 172 Snett as a gunnery school.

Cheers, Again saved and filed!
I do know that ballast was dug from the coast line at Snettisham. Which was used in the construstion of the runways in nearby USAAF airbases etc. The only place I think would have been a good place for USAAF Station No. 172 - gunnery school would have been along the coast. Maybe firing out to sea.
If anyone can enlighten me, please post a reply, thanks.


Greenman22

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 06 Jul 2019, 06:31
by Hornchurch
greenman22 wrote:
choks wrote:I hope these links are ............ok

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/archive/index.php?t-65038.html

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q= ... arch&meta=


Cheers Choks!

The links were very informative indeed and has opened a new question where was;
USAAF Station No. 172 -Snettisham, Norfolk.

My family that lived in the village till about 20 years ago and they never mentioned anything about USAAF being in the village during the war.

Does anyone know where in the village, USAAF Station No. 172 was sighted??? (sic, "sited")



Greenman22
'




Jeeez, I'm "well late to the party" here, having only just this sec' having read it - As late as July 2019, therefore "only eleven years on" :lol: :lol:

As far as what you guys have written, after a few posts, you've pretty much nailed it down - Yes, it WAS along the coastline


Also, take note = it was WELL AWAY FROM SNETTISHAM VILLAGE = In fact, it was right down the other-end (Beach Rd, more-or-less where 'Kim Cairns' is)

Believe it or not, the full address of the main H.Q building area & "mess-hall", etc, was HERE....

Name: Snettisham Beach Park**
Address:
34, BEACH RD
PE31 7RA Snettisham

I guess the next question is, how do I know ??

Well, with some degree of irony, around the exact time you guys posted this thread, I joined the Pool-team at S.B.P**, naturally unaware of this thread.

Being there both for games, league-matches (plus practice), I spent a LOT of time there, circa 2008-2014.

Naturally, I was & became friendly with the (then) owners, both 'Timmy', thence/thereafter, Richard ('Dick') & Sandy, who's team I played for.

I'd often chat to Sandy & she knew my passion for 8th.A.F - Hence as to "why" I learned a lot of valuable stuff & info' regarding "Station.167".

To my utter amazement, I not only found-out that the FRONT of S.B.P** both was & is the original-building, but that it WAS used & utilised by the USAAF

During the 2008-2012 period, Sandy herself gave me about a dozen, or half-dozen photo's of S.B.P** in the 1930's & 1940's, plus an absolute hidden-gem.

I've alluded to it over on this thread I've just opened, today, on Sat' 6th July 2019, which is also related to Station.167 & a tragic event there....

https://www.kingslynn-forums.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9501&p=58505#p58505

In fact, when 'ArmyAirForces.com' was still in operation, there was a SUPERB thread on there, detailing the station & gunnery-school - Best on the 'net & not-seen elsewhere

Sadly, it seems that, now THAT site has gone-defunct, ALL that wonderful & scarce-info' has been lost - such is the transient nature of website forums.

If you go PAST the S.B.P**, Snettisham Beach Park, you then pass the RSPB area, then the road curves to the right, then up, over the hill.....

Past the old railway-embankment (as you go up/over/past the hill), then down past the Snett' Beach Chip Shop (PE31 7RA)

Keep going, till you find the KLWNDC "Car Park" over on your right-hand-side - (the road narrows there, single-lane, small distance from the beach-embankment)

It's over there, mainly lost "in amongst" both the nettles & dunes, with the 'ammunition-truck service railway' (narrow-gauge) poking-out from the sand, in places.

Being a lazy-bugger, I never bothered photographing it - I never needed to - Because Paul Bellamy had WADS of info' & pix, on the defunct-site.


The 0.50.cal "Gun Trucks" (specially built, FIXED, NOT MOBILE !!!!), were lined-up, along the upper-shoreline gravel embankments & firing went out to sea.

Aircraft would tow a 'practice-drogue' (rather like a long, extended windsock, in appearance), often towed by a Vultee Vengeance, Westland Lysander, or suchlike.

(Yes, believe it or not, the USAAF & 8th A.F, used Boulton Paul Defiants, Airspeed Oxfords, Westland Lysanders & suchlike, in VERY small numbers)

Anyways, that's all for now, as THIS post has been long-winded enough, BUT, hopefully ya get the jist, regarding "Station.167" (plus that minefield link, above)


Lastly, I've not even answered the question on the Boeing B.17 (thread subject) = a B.17-F, returning from Woensdrechcht, an Me.110 N/F base.

Laughably, I "know about it", because I was "the one" who started/initiated the actual thread over on 'Key-Publishing-FLYPAST FORUM', on 19th Nov' 2006.

( small world, it's THE now-defunct ink, up above, that Choks has included in his 2008 post )

Sadly, again, due to Key's recent (2yrs ago), platform-update, a lot of info' went missing, including the thread I'd started on the B.17 Snettisham crash landing...

It actually occurred on the 'beach' (aka, MUD-FLATS), opposite Ingoldisthorpe, Dersingham, then finally Wolferton mud-flats.

I'll relate it all, in another (next) post, once this one's been digested & dust settled.... :lol: :lol:


.

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 06 Jul 2019, 08:43
by supergt1971
Via the American Air Museum site.A very strange scheme to slap on a Defiant.

Image

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 09 Jul 2019, 08:32
by greenman22
greenman22 wrote:Does anyone out there know anything about a USAF Boeing B17 crash landing on Snettisham beach in 1944? I believe I read something once on the internet and would like to try to find more about it.

Greenman22


Recently I have found out that along with the B-17. There was also a crash of one of 617 Squadron’s Lancaster bombers on the beach. From my memory I believe the Dambuster was ‘H’ for Harry. I believe six of the crew died and it said that the crash site is now inland. Due to the reconstruction of the coastline after the 1951 floods. The aircraft was recovered from the beach and was repaired. Later went on the raid that was sadly shot down.

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 04:21
by Hornchurch
greenman22 wrote:
Recently I have found out that along with the B-17. There was also a crash of one of 617 Squadron’s Lancaster bombers on the beach.

From my memory I believe the Dambuster was ‘H’ for Harry.

I believe six of the crew died and it said that the crash site is now inland, Due to the reconstruction of the coastline after the 1951 floods.

The aircraft was recovered from the beach and was repaired. Later went on the raid that was sadly shot down.

'


Hi Greenman, first-time we've 'conversed'.

Now it's super-early in the morning & I did have a few beers last-night, so, plz-forgive me "if" I sound bamboozled by your post :lol:

Taking it stage at a time


1,) = Thanks for posting that - First I've heard of it & "if" ya like, at some later time, I'll ask around on other sites who CAN delve records.

2,) = I've got your later "inland//reconstruction of the coastline" bit, but I know the 'floods' were 1953, not 1951

This next bit, statement/question No.3, leaves me a bit perplexed ?


3,) = "The aircraft was recovered from the beach and was repaired. Later went on the raid that was sadly shot down"


Given that the raid took place on 16/17th May '43, that and the fact that 617 were specially formed for THAT raid....

It begs the question...... HOW ON EARTH DID IT CRASHLAND WITH 617.sqdn, THEN, GET REPAIRED IN TIME FOR THE RAID ?????


617 Sqdn wasn't even formed (or didn't even exist, before the end of March 1943 & the raid took-place, barely 6-7 weeks later**

What I mean by that is, 6-7 weeks, is hardly even enough time, to retrieve, recover, repair, test & re-fly a crashlanded Lancaster !!!!!

Let alone "turn it loose" on one of THE most secretive & pinpoint 'night-time' precision-raids of the whole entire war. :wink:


Unless I've read your wording wrong, ya make it sound like it crashed locally, killing six, then was repaired for the raid ?????


Naturally, I'm gonna assume then, that the SIX guys killed, were killed ON the famous 'Dambuster' raid, 16th/17th MAY 1943

I'll also have to assume, given the time it takes to 'repair' a crash-landed Lanc', the following POSSIBLE assumption....

I'm guessing (but could be wrong), that THIS particular Lancaster you speak of, WAS serving prior, with a DIFFERENT SQUADRON ?

By that, I mean prior to being handed-over-across to 617 ????? = (who were specially formed).


Also, this = 617 actually DID continue "on", as a specialist sqdn, bombing 'TIRPITZ' & the Bielefeld-Viaduct, amongst others.

Whilst Guy Gibson was killed in a Mosquito, over Holland (1944, IIRC), the 617 Squadron went-on to be commanded by others.

Both TONY IVERSON & LEONARD CHESHIRE are just two that spring to mind, without me checking, ALL THE ABOVE 100% reliant on my own memory.


I'm now (after reading your post), left wondering "if" this particular Lancaster airframe WAS shot-down AFTER the famous raid.....

........... as in, was it lost AFTER 16th/17th MAY 1943, & maybe actually lost on a much later raid ?????

I'll scuttle-off & see "if" anything can be dredged-up quickly - Thanks for posting, whatever. :wink:

.

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 05:03
by Hornchurch
greenman22 wrote:

There was also a crash of one of 617 Squadron’s Lancaster bombers on the beach.

From my memory I believe the Dambuster was ‘H’ for Harry.

The aircraft was recovered from the beach and was repaired.

Later went on the raid that was sadly shot down.
'



Well, Further to my reply (25-mins ago, above), we CAN deduce & say for certain = IT WASN'T 'H'-HARRY ON '16th/17th MAY 1943'

In other words, IT WAS NOT happening during THAT famous Dambusters-raid = "THE" raid that everyone-knows, i.e, the date given above

Here's why....



"16th May 1943, Flying Officer Geoffrey Rice's Avro Lancaster ED936/G, Coded AJ-H for ‘Harry’
fitted with the Upkeep mine known as the 'bouncing bomb' along with 18 other Lancaster bombers that made up the 617 Squadron"

"9.31pm, the five Lancasters that made up the second wave that Geoffrey was a part of took off from RAF Scampton on route to the Sorpe Dam"

"10.59pm, Geoffrey was flying low level past the narrow neck of Vlieland, an island in the northern Netherlands. He increased the altitude for a short while to check position, then decreased the altitude back to low level to turn south-east towards the Ijsselmeer. The bright moonlight shining on the sea made low level flying difficult, Flight Engineer Edward Smith was about to warn Geoffrey that the Altitude meter was reading zero when there was a huge jolt. Geoffrey had misjudged his altitude and touched a wave, the impact had ripped the bouncing bomb off the bottom of the Lancaster, as a result the water sprayed in through the bomb bay engulfing the fuselage in water. He fought at the controls to gain height quickly and the rear of the Lancaster hit the sea which forced the tail wheel up through the fuselage and into the Elsan toilet. He climbed to a safe altitude which made the water in the fuselage to drain out of the back, almost drowning the rear gunner, Flight Sergeant Stephen Burns. He flew on while the damage was being assessed, it was confirmed that the bouncing bomb had been lost.

Geoffrey had to abort the mission,

.... he turned the Lancaster around to head back home
.



I can tell you with 100% certainty = That on THIS instance, there was only ONE a/c coded 'H'-Harry & as per above, IT ABORTED

That means IT DID RETURN HOME TO BASE.


That just gives further rise to what I've said, presumed & suggested, in my initial replay to ya, above.....

That this particular Lancaster you speak of WAS SHOT DOWN & DESTROYED AT A MUCH LATER DATE = NOT ON DAMBUSTERS RAID (16/17.5.43)

I'm typing the above, just to set the record straight, for 'history's sake & so not to mislead anyone interested.

Also, this.....

I know from my own (half-decent), knowledge on Bomber-Command & 8th.A.F....

That during the life-span of ANY squadron or unit, they COULD be allocated THE SAME CODE-LETTERS, anything up to 10-times-over**

** By that, I mean a long-serving Sqdn like (using an example), 12 or 15 Sqdn might get thru a dozen-planes, coded 'PH-F' or 'LS-H' (Wellington's/Lanc's)

When Robert Morgan's crew, flew their 25th raid in "Memphis Belle" (91st BG), it got replaced immediately, by another 'DF-A' Boeing B.17.

There ARE shots of the 'replacement' Boeing B.17-F, also coded 'DF-A', that, over the years, people have mistakenly said, "it's the Memphis Belle"

It even sat (quite understandably), on the EXACT same dispersal-pan, at Bassingbourn, that 'The Belle' had sat, but was a different airframe s/n.


Anyways, that 617.Sqdn bird you've told us of, clearly went-down at a much later-date - My guess would be 1944 or possibly '45 ?

ALL of the above (2-posts), is working on the assumption, "617-Sqdn, crashlanded/REPAIRED, shot-down & six-killed" (Lanc's had a crew of '7')


Might be worth me punting-out a post (at a later-time), on one of the 'anorak' a/c forums, to see "if" they know more & can pinpoint it ?

617 are quite well-documented & it shouldn't be too difficult to pin it down - (ACTUAL date & loss = Clearly NOT 16th/17th MAY :wink: )

Once again Greenman, many thanks for relating it, coz it IS a new one on me.....


P.S, = Might interest you to know, that in Feb/March '45, another Lanc' crashlanded twixt Ingoldisthorpe & Anmer, WITH full-bombload on board !

Luckily, THIS one had a happy-ending & ALL the crew survived - They played cricket, waiting for the M.U armourers (recovery) to turn-up.

More on that one, another time....

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 08:11
by Hornchurch
greenman22 wrote:

There was also a crash of one of 617 Squadron’s Lancaster bombers on the Snettisham beach
.

and it said that the crash site is now inland.

The aircraft later went on the raid that was sadly shot down
.
'



Greenman, mate - Further to my detailed 2 x replies & posts to ya, above, I figured I'd best add this....


This USAAF Boeing B.17 thread is being further & further diluted & drifting well-away from the original thread-subject-matter = (Thread-Drift :wink: )

It is with THAT in mind, that I've opened another (totally separate) thread on your 'Lancaster/Snettisham/Crash' subject, lest THIS one get more de-railed


Here's your most-likely '617 Lanc' candidate ???? https://www.kingslynn-forums.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9503&p=58535#p58535


The 'Station.167' could also do with it's own separate thread (as it's a bowl all of it's own), but it's best to keep the 1944 Lanc' crash, AWAY from the 1943 B.17 crash.

Not least because it does NOT have it's own thread title or reference, but also because it dilutes the B.17 info' & takes things off on a totally different tangent....

Just my 2-cents, as they say.........


( NB :: Boeing B.17 = WOLFERTON/1943, whereas Lancaster Snettisham, 1944 = Wolferton & Snett's are MILES APART & opposite-ends of the A.149 bypass)



.

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 21:17
by greenman22
Hornchurch wrote:
greenman22 wrote:

There was also a crash of one of 617 Squadron’s Lancaster bombers on the Snettisham beach
.

and it said that the crash site is now inland.

The aircraft later went on the raid that was sadly shot down
.
'



Greenman, mate - Further to my detailed 2 x replies & posts to ya, above, I figured I'd best add this....


This USAAF Boeing B.17 thread is being further & further diluted & drifting well-away from the original thread-subject-matter = (Thread-Drift :wink: )

It is with THAT in mind, that I've opened another (totally separate) thread on your 'Lancaster/Snettisham/Crash' subject, lest THIS one get more de-railed


Here's your most-likely '617 Lanc' candidate ???? https://www.kingslynn-forums.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9503&p=58535#p58535


The 'Station.167' could also do with it's own separate thread (as it's a bowl all of it's own), but it's best to keep the 1944 Lanc' crash, AWAY from the 1943 B.17 crash.

Not least because it does NOT have it's own thread title or reference, but also because it dilutes the B.17 info' & takes things off on a totally different tangent....

Just my 2-cents, as they say.........


( NB :: Boeing B.17 = WOLFERTON/1943, whereas Lancaster Snettisham, 1944 = Wolferton & Snett's are MILES APART & opposite-ends of the A.149 bypass)



.


There you go you’ve answered your own question. My info was hear say from someone in the village.
Andy..

Re: B17 crash landing Snettisham Beach

PostPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 21:18
by greenman22
greenman22 wrote:Does anyone out there know anything about a USAF Boeing B17 crash landing on Snettisham beach in 1944? I believe I read something once on the internet and would like to try to find more about it.

Greenman22

Dambuster Crash on Snettisham Beach. (Found this whole looking for something else!)

Date: 20.01.1944

Squadron: No. 617

Aircraft:: Lancaster III ED918

Call Sign: AJ-F Fl/ ‘F for Freddie’

Pilot: Lt. T.V O’Shaughnessy

Operation: Training

Date: 20th January 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 617 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED918

Code: AJ-F

Base: RAF Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.

Location: Snettisham, Norfolk.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Thomas Vincent O'Shaughnessy 130132 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Pilot 2: F/O. Arthur David Holding 133575 RAFVR Age 22. Killed (1)

Nav: F/O. A. Ward RAFVR Injured

Air/Bmr: F/O. George Aldred Kendrick 135033 RAFVR Age 23. Injured (2)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 19.30 hrs. on a training exercise and crashed some 35 minutes later on the beach at Snettisham, Norfolk.

The 617 Squadron Operational Order Book 1943-1945 recorded that Lancaster ED918 was one of six aircraft carrying out low-level dusk bombing practice over The Wash and water. It was reported that Fl/Lt. O’Shaugnessy lost concentration and flew into a low hill on the beach. The aircraft exploded killing all the crew except for F/O Ward and F/O Kendrick. Kendrick was badly injured and Ward suffered a broken leg after being thrown from the crashing wreckage.

In an interview in 1995 and published on the Lancaster Archive website Flt.Sgt K.W. Brown CGM, RCAF stated that ED918 was not flying true after it was returned from being repaired. He advised the Sqn that the aircraft should not be flown until the problem was fixed. However, whilst he was on leave ED918 was detailed on the training flight during which it crashed. It is possible that the 'out of true flying characteristics' was a contributing factor to the aircraft’s loss.

Flt.Sgt K.W. Brown was the pilot of ED918 which took part in the raid on the Dams. Flt.Sgt. Brown was part of the third wave of aircraft, which were detailed to inflict further damage needed to any of the Dams. For his bravery he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) and was subsequently commissioned as an Officer.
A boy who lived in the still existing lone house, just off the Snettisham Beach road and located about 400 yards to the south of the crash site, witnessed the crash. He remembered that the aircraft caught fire after it had come to rest on the beach and that the American fire services from the USAAF Gunnery Range base at Snettisham had to withdraw because of exploding ordnance.

The North Sea floods of 1953 caused a flood-tide inundated Snettisham Beach and as a consequence the actual crash site is now located inland.

*I wonder if anybody knows the actual crash site?