Saturday, 18 July 2015


This aircraft was unable to operate from its base at RAF Lindholme due to bad weather conditions and the extreme wet state of this aerodrome.  It took off from RAF Swanton Morley on a mission to bomb the Krupp Works at Essen.  Not all the aircraft were able to bomb the primary target but all did bomb military targets.  On its return, P/O Alfred Osadzinski was forced to land at RAF Oakington because of fuel shortage.  Whilst he and his crew were being debriefed, another incoming aircraft struck R1602 and both aircraft were destroyed in the ensuing fire.

The incoming aircraft was Vickers Wellington Mk III X3642 (SR-G) of 101 Squadron, based at RAF Oakington.  It had flown out of RAF Bourn on a mission to Essen but was hit by flak and crash landed at RAF Oakington on its return, striking R1602 as it landed.  There were no serious injuries but the navigator ( P/O P.H. Waterkeyn) was taken to hospital in Ely; however he made a full recovery and retired in the 1970s as a Wing Commander.  The pilot, Sgt C.G.A. Ward won an immediate DFM for his coolness and courage in landing the shot-up aircraft with only one wheel down and with no serious injuries to the crew in spite of an eye injury incurred during the mission.

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