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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138946
Last updated: 26 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic L37 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed Ventura Mk II
Owner/operator:464 Sqn RAAF
Registration: AE781
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Sea between Calais and Dunkirk about 300 yards from the shore -   France
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Feltwell
Destination airport:
Ventura AE781 took off from RAF Feltwell at 1420 hours on the 3 February 1943 to
carry out an attack on the drome at St Omer, France. There were twelve aircraft from the
Squadron on the mission and of these AE781 failed to return.
RAAF 404116 PO Roberts, P R Captain (Pilot)
RAF PO Middleton, P C (Navigator)
RAF Flt Sgt J Dowling, (Wireless Air Gunner)
RAAF 405959 Sgt J F Webb (Air Gunner)
All the crew were POW’s.
In a 1945 report the then Flt Lt Roberts stated “The aircraft was hit by flak and both
engines were on fire. The bale out was ordered and acknowledged. The aircraft was under
control when the crew baled out but smoke continued from the starboard engine until the
A/c crashed. My chute opened in the A/c when the chute release caught on the flame
floats, so I went back to the controls. The aircraft crashed between Calais and Dunkirk
about 300 yards from the shore. I crash landed in flames in the midst of the 15th Panzer
Division. I evacuated the aircraft and was captured near Marek, France. Released by the
Russians on 24/4/45.”
The then WO Webb reported in 1945 “Flak hit the aircraft and the starboard engine and
fuselage were damaged. Then the port motor was damaged and both engines became
U/s. I baled out at 10,000 feet. All the crew acknowledge the bale out order. The Pilot
remained in the aircraft and crash landed off the French coast. I landed in a village and
was captured by German soldiers. Released by the Americans on 9/4/45.”


Revision history:

04-Oct-2011 23:56 Nepa Added

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