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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 15859
Last updated: 12 November 2021
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Date:24-MAY-1940
Time:dawn
Type:Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator:61 Squadron Royal Air Force (61 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4146
MSN: QR-R
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:between Horb & Rottweil, Schwarzwald, SW of Stuttgart (BW) -   Germany
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:RAF Hemswell (UK)
Narrative:
Handley Page Hampden L4146 (QR-R) of 61 Squadron, RAF Hemswell: lost on combat operations on night of 23-24/5/1940. Part of a force of 50 Hampdens, 48 Wellingtons and 24 Whitleys (=all of 102 Squadron) tasked to bomb communications and transport targets in Germany, Holland, Belgium and France. 2 Hampdens and 1 Whitley lost.

Due to a faulty gyro-compass the crew of L4146 landed in a grey light of dawn on a patch of clear ground in an otherwise wooded area. The crew were so certain that they had landed in Scotland that the pilot sent the navigator to the nearby village to telephone the nearest RAF aerodrome to arrange transport to come and pick them up. The grim realisation that they had come down in Germany, in the Black Forest region between Horb and Rottweil, South West of Stuttgart, arrived too late for them to do much about it: even if the pilot thought that taking-off was a 'jolly good' idea, the wheels of the Hampden had all ready sunk into the soft ground thereby making it impossible to shift the bomber.

They had no alternative but to try and prevent its capture. Wireless Op Len Walker: "believed that the aircraft was on fire when the crew left it, as the pilot had fired the Verey cartridges into the fuselage to destroy the aircraft. All that seem's to have happened was that it created an impressive amount of smoke without causing any damage at all!"

"The observer/lower gunner Corrigan, contracted peritonitis whilst a prisoner of war and died in hospital, in spite of the concerted efforts of the German hospital staff to save this young life." All four crew survived the landing, and were taken PoW. However, as noted above, one died in captivity

Crew:
Flight Sgt (590230) T.A. ROSS (pilot) RAF - PoW No.13037.
Sgt (740468) J.W. WOOTTON RAF - PoW No.13055.
Sgt (580641) Eugene Patrick Corrigan RAF - PoW (died in captivity)
Corporal (624396) L. Walker (Air Gunner) RAF - PoW No.13099.

Sergeant Eugene P. Corrigan died from peritonitis 02/03/1941. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Flight Sgt T.A.Ross was interned in Camps 8B/L1/357, PoW No.13037. Corporal L.Walker in Camps 12A/8B/L1/L3, PoW No.13099. Sgt J.W.Wootton in Camps 8B/357, PoW No.13055.

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 24)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/533: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502021
3. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2079131/corrigan,-eugene-patrick/
4. https://www.backtonormandy.org/the-history/air-force-operations/airplanes-allies-and-axis-lost/hampden/24990-L41461940-05-24.html
5. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=41823
6. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?6385-Hampden-QR-R-Bundesarchiv-picture
7. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/61_squadron.html#232405


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
15-Mar-2008 18:38 JINX Added
28-Jun-2008 17:56 JINX Updated
16-Feb-2012 01:05 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Feb-2012 01:06 Nepa Updated [Source]
07-Jul-2013 21:05 JINX Updated [Operator, Phase, Source, Narrative]
15-Dec-2014 09:59 Tu144 Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
11-Jun-2017 13:05 Uli Elch Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative]
23-Dec-2017 17:56 Nepa Updated [Operator]
29-Jun-2018 19:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
29-Jun-2018 19:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
03-Nov-2018 09:04 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
11-Aug-2019 20:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]
25-Jan-2020 19:02 Uli Elch Updated [Operator, Location]
04-Apr-2020 19:57 Xindel XL Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Operator]

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