WELLINGTON BOMBER WRECKED NEAR CALVERTON LIDO AND JET BURNT OUT IN CABBAGE FIELD AT PAPPLEWICK.
Two planes a twin-engined Wellington bomber T.10 NC925 and Meteor jet T.7 WA777 crashed four miles apart in Notts June 20th 1952.. The occupants of both machines escaped injury. The County fire Service received the first call (to the Meteor) at 10.26 a.m. And the other (Wellington) at 10.39 a.m.
The remains of the shattered fuselage of a twin-engined Wellington bomber lay scattered for 100 yards on a hillside overlooking Calverton Lido after the plane had crashed here.
The marine came from Thorney Island aerodrome on a cross country exercise. One of the engines exploded over Ilkeston, and the sergeant pilot, realising the plane could not be brought home safely, gave orders to bale out. He and his two passengers – two young RAF trainees, David Bryce and Ken Greaves, landed in fields nearby. They suffered only from bruises. Mr F W Fitchette, managing director of Calverton Lido, gave them a cup of tea in his café and telephoned to their HQ.
Meanwhile the plane had whistled over the Lido, rapidly loosing height, had hit the hillside above the caravans, and ploughed up the hill 50 yards to come to rest astride a hedge.
It left a trail behind it of shattered struts, mica glass, tortured sheets of aluminium and finely splintered wood. It did not catch fire.
For almost another 50 yards beyond the wreck, pieces of the fuse large were lying in the ploughed field on the other side of the hedge, including the main part of the undercarriage.
Part of the wing still adhered to the fuselage; the other one lay scattered in barely distinguishable pieces.
An RAF fire engine and ambulance and a civil ambulance and cars carrying RAF officers and police quickly converged on Calverton. The RAF ambulance took the pilot and two trainees back to Hucknall.
METEOR LOST WING
A Meteor jet plane from Newton aerodrome crashed in a field of young cabbages off Forest Lane Papplewick., exploded and burnt itself out. The pilot had baled out.
The machine lost a wing that dropped near Seven Mile House on the main Mansfield Road – rolled over and over as it flew over a wood, and skimmed hedges before crashing to earth.
As it crashed it scattered debris over a wide area, causing farm labourers to dive into the hedge bottom for cover.
DIVE FOR SAFETY
A graphic description of the crash was given to a Post reported by people who saw the plane's progress.
George Coldwell, a farm labourer, was working in a field of potatoes on Mr J A Marshall's farm.
“The plane zoomed over the treetops from the Mansfield Road direction,” he said, and Flower, a mare with which he was working jumped for yards.
“The plane was barrel-rolling over and over. It broke into flames just over a wood near by and I thought it ad dropped into the barley field on the other side. But then I saw its trail of smoke from the Papplewick direction.”
Tom Borrill, 26 year old farm labourer, and Frank Mies, his companion, who were working in a sugar beet field took up the story.
“Hearing a roar” said Mr Borrill, “we looked up and and saw the plane coming from the Papplewick direction in flames, “with only one wing.”
“It roared down little more than head high and we dived to the ground as it skimmed over the hedge. Then it exploded.” Mr Miles added “It came tearing down the hedge side, and if we had not lain down it would have taken us with it.”
Nearest to the actual crash was 72 year old William Alfred Judson, who was hoeing beet further down the field.
“I did not hear the plane coming” he said “but I heard the bang and looked up to find bits and pieces flying all around me.”
“It reminded me of the First World War when we dived into a shell hole to escape flying shrapnel because I dropped down pretty quickly and then ran to my pals.”
Tom and Frank immediately ran to the plane to see what they could do. “But we could see there was no pilot in it and there was nothing else we could do” said Tom.
Firemen from the County Fire Service and from Hucknall aerodrome finally put the flames out, the flames with foam extinguishers, leaving the plane a mass of twisted burnt metal surrounded by white foam.
In Papplewick itself, at the Nook, Main Street, Mrs Florence Hollingsworth was making the beds when she heard the plane. “I remarked to my three year old daughter, Kathleen, 'that aeroplane is having engine trouble' she told the Post.
“Then I looked out of the window and saw it come down in flames shoot up like a fountain. I have never seen a plane crash before and I never want to another.”
The pilot was Flight Sargent Warner. He landed by parachute about two miles from west of Calverton and received treatment from a Calverton doctor, Dr D A G Kaye, for leg abrasions before being taken to Nottingham General Hospital. He was not detained. 20th June 1952.
It was at first believed that the planes collided, but an Air Ministry spokesman said that there was no collision.
Although, in 2013, David Bryce, now living in Perth, Australia, was sure it was a collision.........