Tuesday, 6 September 2016


This Transport Command Handley Page Halifax crashed during a training flight at Green Farm, Lawshall, Suffolk.  Pilot error was the reason given and the entire crew died, they were: F/Lt Zygmunt Dabrowski, F/Lt Nikodem Matylis and F/Sgt Stanislaw Michalak.  The pilot lost control of the aircraft at low altitude and low airspeed in the circuit and the aircraft dived into the ground.

This photograph shows the extent of the damage; the rear part of the fuselage lying upside down.  The wings and front section are missing.
Contemporary press report from the Bury Free Press & Post
A contemporary newspaper report suggests that the aircraft was in difficulties before it became obvious that it was going to crash: "Farm workers busy in the harvest field observed the machine flying low and noticed that it was making a peculiar noise and spluttering.  Suddenly flames burst from the plane, which then dived straight into the ground."
Two of the witnesses, Ernie Hill and Stan Armstrong were members of the local Home Guard and they attended the scene and helped recover the bodies from the fiercely burning aircraft.  They, and a German Prisoner of War, were commended for their courage and coolness in the face of the flames and further explosions within the burning aircraft.

Lawshall Home Guard with Ernie Hill and Stan Armstrong shown
With thanks to Elizabeth Clarke and the Lawshall Archive



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