Please note:

MARFLEET Family History lays no claim to the authorship of this document and is unable to answer any questions relating to it. It was located on the internet some years ago and since then all efforts to contact the compiler have been without success. Recent attempts to revisit the original web-site have also proved fruitless. The document has been retrieved from cache and is listed here purely as an aid to those engaged in research.

Vickers Armstrong Wellington Mk III

Serial Number Unit ID Codes Unit Crash Date
BK441   29otu 07.05.43

A formation of Vickers Wellington bombers.

The Crew

Name/Nationality Age Rank Serial No Position Injury
Mason, W. (brit) 26 Sgt 1336934 Pilot Fatal
Hutchinson, W.G. (brit) 22 Sgt 1108506 Co-Pilot Fatal
Darby, A. (can) 19 Flt Sgt J/142365 Navigator Fatal
Marfleet, S.M. (brit) 29 Sgt 1152393 Air Gunner Fatal
Meatyard, M.J. (brit) 19 P/O 139376 Bomb Aimer Fatal
Page, R.A. (brit) 21 Sgt 1390505 Wireless Op Fatal
Stephens, R.E. (brit)   Sgt 900043 Air Gunner Fatal


The Crash

At around 10:15 on 7th May 1943 Wellington BK441 took off from RAF North Luffenham for a night cross country exercise.  Just over three hours into the flight BK441 encountered a blanket of low cloud over the North Pennines in the vicinity of Weardale.  It is believed that the crew of BK441 were lost and in an attempt to pin point their position the decision was made to descend through the cloud, a decision which would seal the fate of the 7 man crew.

At around 00:15 hours the occupants of St Johns Chapel were woken by a loud explosion.  BK441 has flown into the hillside directly south of the village at an altitude of 1,400ft, the crew were killed on impact.

Although I have yet to visit the site it is believed that some fair sized pieces of BK441 still remain at the crash site, some parts are reported to be buried in the side of a quarry spoil heap.

The Crash Site

The memorial is St Johns Chapel to those killed in the crash.

Looking across towards the hillside where BK441 came to grief.