halifax crash site?

Joined: January 5th, 2005, 9:11 am

January 5th, 2005, 9:23 am #1

Hi all out there,
Whilst on holiday in France last year I was shown some aircraft wreckage, a section of aluminium panelling with stringers riveted to it. The panel is burned around the edges and buckeled, I suspect through impact. The stringers are both top hat and I section all made of sheet ally, no extrusions,
it looks relatively old as an aerostructure. A part No on one of the stringers is 577026 0 as far as I can tell.
Having been informed that the 57 pre fix is for a Halifax I am keen to talk to anyone who could assist me further in tracing the identity and history of this aeroplane.
thanks
Rob Rose

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Joined: November 17th, 2004, 9:50 am

January 5th, 2005, 10:51 am #2

<P>Hello Rob,</P>
<P>In order to attempt to trace the identity of the a/c you would have to supply as much information as you possibly can.&nbsp; I'm sure you can imagine there were rather a lot of aircraft came down on French soil from both sides!</P>
<P>Certainly 57 is&nbsp;a prefix used on Hali parts but I'm no expert on that and will leave others more knowledgeable to advise further on that matter.</P>
<P>Try and remember as much as you can about what you were told about the wreckage.&nbsp; Where was it found? Was the year it might have crashed mentioned?&nbsp; Are there any memorials in the area to aircrew?&nbsp; Are there any aircrew buried in the local cemetery?</P>
<P>A few more clues would certainly help to make a start on an attempt to find out which a/c the wreckage might have come from.&nbsp; Let us know and we can start digging around in our files.</P>
<P>Regards
Linzee</P>
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Joined: September 4th, 2003, 11:37 pm

January 5th, 2005, 12:15 pm #3

Ji Rob,

Your number "577026 0" has something missing I'm afraid

Whilst I can identify a Hally component from it's number, that number needs to be complete. Can you imagine how many individual parts go to make up one of these aircraft, and the parts listing as about as thick as 3 phone books!!!

What the complete numbers look like is something similar to this:-

57286D14 or 572985E2 etc, they mostly start "57" then there is the component number which can be anything up to a four digit number, BUT, then is always a letter, and this letter indicates where abouts in the index to hunt, then there is a final set of numers after the letter.

Can I suggest you have another look at the part under a magnifying glass for a complete number. Inspectors syamps can also sometimes give a clue, such as EEP or LHBR etc.

Hope this helps
Best wishes
Ian
57 R
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Joined: January 5th, 2005, 9:11 am

January 5th, 2005, 3:47 pm #4

Hi Ian/linzzie,
Thanks for your prompt reply, I have had another look at the part No, I have a small section of the panel at home here on the Isle of Man. It could be 57702C 0.
There is a definite space between the C and 0.
The item is an I section stringer manufactured from two interlocking sheet metal details. The stringer being riveted to
a skin panel. I have been in aircraft manufacturing and maintainance for many years and am thus intrigued by the origin of this item.

Further information, the panel was recovered from a woodland/riverside 4k from a town called Chabanais which in turn is 40k west of Limoge, which had a number of significant raids.
The locals tell me that two British airmen bailed out in the vicinity and were routed by the resistance down to Spain.
The other part of the panel is still down there but I am hopeing to have it back soon.

I have digital photos so could send if helpful.
thanks
Robin Rose

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Karl Kj
Karl Kj

January 6th, 2005, 1:50 am #5

I have just looked through my master list of blueprints for the Halifax from which we have been ordering drawings for the rebuild of NA337 in Trenton. In thehundreds of drawing numbers of Handley Page blueprints there is one blueprint number of
57702 C which is the drawing and part number of "Skin and stringers on port side & top of fuselage , frames 22 to 38". This means the part is from a Halifax Mk I, II or IISr. 1a and the part would be from the rear fuselage area just fore or aft of the mid-upper turret area.
signed, Not from Yorkshire. Cheers KK
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Joined: January 5th, 2005, 9:11 am

January 6th, 2005, 10:23 am #6

HI KK,
Thanks for that information, very interesting.
Now knowing that this panel comes from the area of the mid
upper turret, the skin does appear to have been painted red,
don't know if that is finish or a primer, if it is a finish
could be a clue to id, I am making further inquiries so
will see what turns up!
thanks again
Robin Rose

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Linzee
Linzee

January 6th, 2005, 11:13 am #7

Rob,

If you can try and get a year (year and month would be even better) for this loss then it will be easier to try tracing. Have not come up with anything of any use so far but will keep digging.

Regards
Linzee
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Joined: September 18th, 2004, 11:15 am

January 6th, 2005, 10:21 pm #8

I have just looked through my master list of blueprints for the Halifax from which we have been ordering drawings for the rebuild of NA337 in Trenton. In thehundreds of drawing numbers of Handley Page blueprints there is one blueprint number of
57702 C which is the drawing and part number of "Skin and stringers on port side & top of fuselage , frames 22 to 38". This means the part is from a Halifax Mk I, II or IISr. 1a and the part would be from the rear fuselage area just fore or aft of the mid-upper turret area.
signed, Not from Yorkshire. Cheers KK
Just a line to say that according to our records K Kj is correct.
Note: red paint could be a faded/weathered/oxidised black.
I have learnt this from handling wreckage on crash sites.
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Robin Rose
Robin Rose

February 9th, 2005, 7:39 pm #9

I now have some confirmed information about the Halifax crash near the town of Chabanais in central France.
The information has been provided by a copy of a police report concerning the incident, The relevant details are that the crash occured on the 10/05/44 at 02.00. The markings on the aircraft were MA W. The aircraft was engaged in a supply drop to the local resistance who were very active in that area.
It appears that the crew baled out, some were injured and captured but two were taken in by the resistance and hidden in the village of Prestiniac for some days, they were then taken to Cognac and flown home.
An interesting story, it would be great to have some corroboration if anybody has sufficient information.
thanks
Robin Rose

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Karl Kj
Karl Kj

February 9th, 2005, 10:42 pm #10

Dear Robin, Your story about a Halifax is possible. "MA" is the squadron identifier for 161 squadron, RAF, and this is aircraft "W", most likely B flight. 161 was a special duties squadron dropping agents and their C.O. was Percy Pickard, later to have led the famous Amiens raid by Mosquitoes. 161 did have a mixed bag of aircraft types including Mark I, II's and V's of the Halifax. So there is some credence to your Hallie bits and story. Cheers, Karl Kj.
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