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Author Topic: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944  (Read 34352 times)

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WildWeasel

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2008, 22:21:17 »
Yeah
That would make sense....  Maybe damaged with a full bomb load and trying to make it back...
But from what I have learned crews would never try to land with a bomb load as it would just make a bad situation one hell of  a lot worse
Normal practice was to lose the 'Load" and try to get back home with low weight...
We will probably never know why these guys did what they did.... But it happened ...
WW

Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2008, 22:12:24 »
Can't remember where I read it earlier but I am sure it said that they took of around 0200 on that day for the first mission so were probably on their way back when this happened.

WildWeasel

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2008, 22:03:31 »
Excellent stuff !

From just a memory yesterday I now know so much more... This is powerfull...

Talked to my father about this today... He lived in Parr Avenue Gillingham and saw this crash happen... He recalls being woken up early morning ( This was June so it would have been light for an hour or so by then )  The B26 that crashed into Corporation Road passed low over his house.... He was 9 years old at the time...but remembers that it was on fire and lit up the whole house..
Typical as kids in those days they ran to the crash site... Its very close.... He remembers seeing the buildings destroyed and fires which " made the garden wall Glow red.."

The B26 is a large aircraft.... I am surprised that the damage done is so small.... Probably would have been far worse if the Bombs it carried had gone off....  As this was D-Day I can only assume that they where part of a force to bomb the beaches in Normandy to clear the way for the invasion.... Fascinating stuff
MOD police and ( I suspect ) EOD where on scene pretty quickly to take care of un-exploded bombs

I have wondered about this for years.... Now have the facts...

WW

Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2008, 19:23:01 »
The 394th's mission on D Day was bombing of Gun Positions at Cherbourg where most other units where primarily sweeping the beaches at Omaha beach.

Frustrated Ferret

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2008, 19:18:37 »
The B26 Marauder Bomber started service in England with the US 8th Aiirforce, when the invasion was being planned the Americans decided to move the 9th Airforce from southern europe to england, and have the 8th AF concerntrate on strategic bombing, and use the the 9th AF for tactical bombing.

In 1943 the 9th AF took over the four B26 groups (225 aircraft) serving with the 8th AF and added these to their complement.  As the B26 was only a 2 engined bomber they were based mainly in Essex. Bases include Great Dunmow, Rivenhall, Earls Colne, Dunmow, Ongar, Boreham, Birch, Boxted, and Andrews Field (Great Sailing
).  Andrews Field was the first base constructed in the UK by US Army Air Corp personal ( the USAF was not formed until after WW2) and is the only US base in the UK to be named after a person, its named after Colonel Andrews who was to be the bases first CO, but died when his plane to the UK crashed in Greenland.

The Marauder was 'a bitch to fly' and know as the Baltimore Whore (after the town in the US where they were originally built), or the 'Widow Maker'.

It would appear that these two aircraft were on a mission to France in support of the invasion on the day the crashed.

I have a great respect for 'Marauder Men' two of my mums elder cousins married them and back in the 70's when they used to visit the Uk thier storys used to impress me a great deal.

Offline colin haggart

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2008, 13:10:14 »



seafordpete

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2008, 09:29:42 »
I have heard that it was an American Bomber but this doesnt make sense as as far as I am aware the Americans were based in East Anglia so why would one be this far south
WW
Remember that bombing raids were made into France as well as the fact that normally a different route back was used to that out so  Southern Germany raids would come back over France. Lot of crashes on the North Downs Ridge along by Hollingbourne, numerous on the South Downs near Beachy Head as well as in the sea.
Pete

WildWeasel

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2008, 01:07:51 »
OK... I found it :-)
Can sleep now...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/43/a3089243.shtml

It was a B26..... June 6 1944  D-Day !! So what I was told was true...
Seems that two collided and the other one crashed in the Grange Road area.....
Going to track down the crash sites for the record...

This is an excellent example of what can be done via Internet Archives....Ok I spent a few hours on this but got exactly what I wanted...
Fantastic....

WW

WildWeasel

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2008, 00:21:37 »
This is bugging me now keep looking at the arial shot.....Gonna go and count the houses and pinpoint this exactly...
I reckon I can see where it hit on the East side of Corporation Rd by the slightly different shape of the rear of the houses and different roof color...Trying to see the same on the opposite side but its not so clear....

This is good stuff !
WW

WildWeasel

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2008, 00:09:39 »
If it was a US plane damaged on the way out it may well have been trying to make West Malling... Rochester was probably too short and at 450 ft ASL not an option...
Always been fascinated about this so hopefully will uncover the facts...

WW

WildWeasel

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2008, 00:06:32 »
Nice Link Paul...I think I can see which houses were destroyed as the rear layout is a bit different from those either side...Excellent...
Will take a few Photo's  and try and workout exactly where the plane hit....
Merc, Victory Pier development looks pretty good... I grew up at the bottom of Milner Rd opposite the gates of the former Akzo Nobel ( Originally Novodels ) Chemical factory...Nice to see it re-developed...Mum & Dad still live there so I am there a lot...
WW

Guest

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Re: Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2008, 23:08:37 »
It wasn't unusual for bombers to land at different airfields if there was bad weather at there own airfield or they had been damaged and needed to get down quick. It could have been trying to make for Rochester or West Malling.

Offline Paul

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WildWeasel

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Mid-air Crash of Two B-26 Marauders over Gillingham - June 6, 1944
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2008, 22:13:54 »
Some time during WWII an aircraft crashed into Corporation Road in lower Gillingham
You can see several re-built houses on the East & West side of the road which are a more modern style than the surrounding Terraces
My father lived in the area and recalls seeeing it come down..He was born in 1935 so would have been a young lad at the time
I have heard that it was an American Bomber but this doesnt make sense as as far as I am aware the Americans were based in East Anglia so why would one be this far south....Unless it was lost / Damaged trying to follow the Kent Coast line back
Anyone know anything about this.....


WW

 

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