Events on the 14th November 1944
On the 14th of November 1944, Halifax bomber LK844 part of the 51st squadron of the R.A.F took off from Snaith airfield near Goole, England. The bomber was taking part in a night training exercise and wasn’t carrying any bombs, but did have ammunition on board for it’s 9 machine guns.
The weather conditions were wet and stormy. At around 17:30, just eight minutes into it’s flight, the plane passed over the town of Tingley, West Yorkshire and started heading towards the ground. Unfortunately the plane was too low for the crew to bail out.
The plane skimmed the roof tops of a row of cottages damaging 2 bedrooms as it did so. The plane exploded and crashed in a Rhubarb field close to Tingley cross roads, which is now a large roundabout. Wreckage was scattered all over Tingley. A fuel tank went through the roof of a nearby bungalow.
Local children found bullets for quite a while after the crash, but where told to hand them in by the schools. Bits and pieces of the plane were swopped for months following the crash, including rings that where made from perplex and bracelets from coloured cables.
The only civilian casualty was a young girl who had been in one of the bedrooms hit by the plane, she reported a cut to her knee.
All of the aircrew were killed in the crash. The cause of the crash is recorded as bad weather.
In November 1989 a stone memorial and an arc of 7 trees was erected by the local community, to remember this terrible accident.
In Memory of:
- Charles William Roy Millard – F/Sgt – Pilot. Aged 23
- Alexander Farquharson Simpson – F/Sgt – Air Bomber. Aged 28
- Victor Thomas Spragg – Sgt – Navigator. Aged 21
- William Patrick Kendrick – Sgt – Flight Engineer. Aged 19
- Alfred William Payton – Sgt – Air Gunner. Aged 21
- Kenneth Ernest Douglas Saines – Sgt – Air Gunner Aged 30
- John Hill – Sgt – W.Op/ Air Gunner Aged 20
Visit the memorial at the A650 Bradford road in Tingley.
Article, text and photos, is provided by Phil Woods.