Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: An RAF Vickers Wellington bomber.
Photo: Source unknown
Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Vickers Wellington Mk VIII / HX735
Aircraft Type Nickname: Wimpy (or Wimpey).
The Wellington was a medium bomber, of which there were 16 variants, the first Wellington bombers were powered by two 1,050 hp Bristol Pegasus Mk. I radial engines. It had a maximum speed of 235 mph (410 km/h)
Like the Vickers Wellesley, the Wellington was constructed using a geodetic (lattice) framework to provide additional strength and durability for the fuselage. As a result of this design by Barnes Wallis, Wellington bombers were able to survive and return safely to base even after sustaining considerable damage.
The first Wellingtons entered service with No. 99 Squadron RAF. Later, an improved version entered service with RAF Bomber Command. The aircraft carried a crew of six.
BELOW: A Vickers Wellington Mk IV. This aircraft had just returned from a raid on Bremen. The geodetic structure which strengthened this aircraft enabled it to return safely to base after sustaining heavy damage.
Photo: Original source unknown
Aircraft Accident Details
“Wellington aircraft HX735 of No 2 Squadron was detailed to carry out operational flight exercise No.3 on the 18 May, 1943. Aircraft was airborne at 1815hrs. The last position report from HX735 was at 2038hrs in position 56° 35’N, 10°00’W, and from that position he would set course for Barra Head. At 2252hrs Long Kesh heard HX735 but signals were very weak. No more was heard of the aircraft.
It would appear that the Navigator failed to make a landfall on Barra Head and continued on the course until over the north of Scotland. This is supported by the weak signals heard by Long Kesh. The aircraft was overdue at base when these signals were heard.
3 Wellingtons and 5 Ansons took off the next day on an extensive Search and the following day one Wellington searched the West Coast of Scotland for 5 hours. Nothing was seen.”
[Accident details kindly provided by Phil Hand.]
Aircraft Crew Fatalities
BELOW: Sgt Frank Ronald Bradbury (aka Ron Bradbury) (21), 1212185, RAFVR.
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner on Wellington Bomber HX735.
(Memorial: Panel 143, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.)
Photo: Courtesy, Phil Hand
Details of the rest of the crew are as follows:
The body of Sgt Mycock was found off Benbecula on 30 May, and the body of Sgt Burns was found on the shore at Evie on 30 June. The remaining crew have never been found.
(Please click on hyperlinked names above for further details at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.)
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 18 May 1943
North-West Scotland. (Lost at sea.) Precise location unknown.
Area: Somewhere between Benbecula and Orkney (from Outer Hebrides to Orkney)
(Bodies recovered at Benbecula and Evie (Orkney).
Nearest town or village:
OS Grid Ref: N/A
GPS Refs: N/A.
Present Condition: Unknown.
Registration or Serial: HX735
Operator: RAF (2 Squadron; No.7 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (7 OTU); No.17 Group.
Operating Station: RAF Limavady.
Station Location: Limavady, Co. Londonderry, N.Ireland.
Current Station Status: Closed and sold off in 1958.
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Vickers Wellington HX735
NW Scotland (lost at sea)