Nottingham

World War Two crash crews memorial plan in Bleasby

Sketch of proposed memorial Image copyright Ken Ogilvie
Image caption The memorial will incorporate the tail fin of a Lancaster Bomber

A memorial to three World War Two crews who died in crashes close to a Nottinghamshire village is planned.

About £8,000 is needed for the tribute, which would incorporate the tail fin of a Lancaster Bomber and be placed on the main road in Bleasby.

Four Polish airmen died shortly after taking off from RAF Syerston, in 1941, and 15 other men died when two Lancasters collided in mid-air in 1943.

Campaigner Ken Ogilvie said he hoped the memorial could be in place by 2018.

Image caption Parts of the crashed aircraft are still being found in fields near to Bleasby

He said: "My father, who was wounded in the war, always told me that I'd be lucky if I didn't have to fight in a war and I haven't had to do that.

"I regard the sacrifice made by these men has given me the peace in my life time and that's what we need to remember."

Mr Ogilvie has some of the parts recovered by a farmer of the crashed Wellington R1014, which the Polish crew were flying, including a bulb holder and a Morse code taper.

Image caption The Lancasters collided in mid-air above High Cross in the village

The aircraft came down shortly after take-off during a training flight, on fields close to the village school, killing all the crew, on 6 February 1941.

On 1 September 1943, Lancaster JB132 collided in mid-air with Lancaster R5698 over High Cross in Bleasby.

JB132 was returning from a bombing raid in Berlin and was close to landing at RAF Syerston.

All 19 men who died in the crashes are buried at Newark Cemetery.

Image caption A Polish crew died after their plane crashed soon after takeoff

Wellington R1014 crew:

  • Sgt Stanislaw Tofin, 35, pilot
  • Sgt Jozef Jonczyk, 24, pilot
  • Sgt Jan Adam Cymborski, 35, gunner
  • Sgt Wojciech Lichota, 31, radio operator

Avro Lancaster Bomber R5698 crew:

  • Flying officer Joseph Murphy MacDonald, 30, pilot
  • Sgt George Robert Joyce, 19, flight navigator
  • Flying officer Walter Stephen Jobling, 34, navigator
  • Sgt Edward Neiland Jones, 20, air bomber
  • Sgt George Herbert Tough, 23, wireless operator and air gunner
  • Sgt John Henry Hutchinson, 38, mid-upper gunner
  • Sgt Robert William Rashbrook, 20, rear gunner

Avro Lancaster Bomber JB132 crew:

  • Squadron leader Dennis Crosby Wellburn, 27, pilot
  • Flying officer Roy Leslie Clarke, 26
  • Sgt John Reid Forrest, 31, navigator
  • Flt Lt Richard Edward Davies, 31, air bomber
  • Sgt Jack Blackett, 20, wireless operator and air gunner
  • Flying officer Trevor Francis Joyce, 25, air gunner
  • Sgt Alan Paterson, 25, air gunner
  • Sgt John Knox Watson, 20