73 years ago to this very day on the 14th of November 1944. Halifax bomber LK844 part of the 51 squadron of the R.A.F took off from Snaith airfield near Goole. The bomber was taking part in a night training exercise. It wasn’t carrying any bombs, but did have ammunition on board for it’s 9 machine guns.
It was a wet and stormy evening and 8 minutes into its flight at around 17.30hrs the plane was passing over Tingley West Yorkshire. Where it got into difficulties 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 near by bungalow.
The local children were finding bullets for quite a while after the crash, but where told by 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 the aircrew were killed in the crash
Charles William Roy Millard F/Sgt – Pilot. Aged 23
Alexander Farquharson Simpson F/Sgt – Air Bomber. Aged 28
Victor Thomas Spragg Srg – Navigator. Aged 21
William Patrick Kendrick Srg – Flight Engineer. Aged 19
Alfred William Payton Srg – Air Gunner. Aged 21
Kenneth Ernest Douglas Saines Srg – Air Gunner Aged 30
John Hill Srg – W.Op/ Air Gunner Aged 20
In November 1989 a stone memorial and an arc of 7 trees was erected by the local community, to remember this terrible accident.
The cause of the crash is recorded as bad weather.
Visit the memorial at the A650 Bradford road in Tingley.
This entire aticle, text and photos, is provided by Phil Woods.