Personnel Index - Detail
Flew three operations in November 1944...........Dusseldorf, Gravenhorst (Mittleland Canal) and Harburg.
Crashed during take-off on their 4th operation to Munich.
26/27 November, 1944; MUNICH:
It was quite late on Sunday night 26 November, when 10 aircraft from 49 Squadron were marshalled along the peri-track with those of 189 Squadron in preparation for take-off.
'Uncle Will' (PB504) and crew were one of the last away at 23.46hrs. 'Uncle' recalls: "It was bad weather with the cloud base between three and four hundred feet. We took off in the dark with a full load of fuel, incendiaries and a four thousand pounder. I had only just entered cloud when I saw the aircraft which had taken off ahead of us crash, then burst into flames.
We learned afterwards that the aircraft taking off behind us (PB745/189 Squadron) also crashed - two aircraft gone before we had even left the vicinity of the airfield!"
The 49 Squadron Lancaster that crashed was O-Oboe, piloted by F/O Le Marquand (PB432). The aircraft came down close to the village of Dry Doddington, not far from the Great North Road. O-Oboe had only been in the air a few minutes before, laden with bombs and fuel, she sank back to earth again. Five fortunate members of the crew survived the crash landing, but sadly Norman Langley the W/OP and Edward Blake the mid-upper gunner were both killed.
Lancaster PB432 (EA-O)
F/O G.H. Le Marquand Pilot (Slightly injured)
Sgt W.S. Wade F/E (Seriously injured)
F/S R.E. Ransom NAV (Slightly Injured)
Sgt N.I. Langley W/OP (Killed)
Sgt E.G. Blake A/G (Killed)
Sgt J.R. Bowers B/A (Slightly injured)
Sgt T. Price A/G (Seriously injured)
A memorial to this crash can be visited in Dry Doddington church
Additional information added courtesy of Sgt Price's daughter, Beverley McGrail:
Gladys Smith also served with 49Sqn and she married Tom Price in 1945
My mother was a beautiful young woman and as you can imagine she was greatly admired during her time in 49 Squadron - my father always thought he was lucky to have her.
He was in hospital for almost a year after the crash; he had a broken arm, a broken leg and a compound fracture of the skull.
To repair this they inserted a metal plate into his head and he suffered terribly from violent headaches until the day he died.
Also, my father's lungs were badly damaged by the heat and the smoke when the plane crashed.
As a consequence of this he suffered from emphysema which eventually took his life .
He never stopped having nightmares about the crash.
God rest his soul.
"Posted out" 2004.