Here are some sensational photographs of a Mosquito that made it safely to the ground in what can only be described as a tattered condition. There is a great mystery about this particular incident, and if anyone can shed any light on it we would very much like to hear from you.
The only information available is as follows:
- There are no squadron markings, possibly for the simple reason that the aircraft was a replacement which had not yet received squadron identification.
- On the back of one of the photographs it is noted that one of the men is Charles Patrick Henry (the son of James Frances Henry, who was with 1409 Met Flight) and the other is ‘Sandy’, who may be the ‘Oates’ named on another of the photographs, i.e. Sandy & Oates could be one & the same person – Sandy Oates
- Amongst the Henry family photos are several taken at RAF Tern Hill but there is nothing which specifically links them to the time/date of the photos of the downed Mossie.
- Charles Patrick Henry did at least one training flight with a Mosquito of 1409 Met Flight, this being recorded as being on 21 August 1943, his pilot being F/Sgt F Clayton. It seems unlikely that this wrecked a/c was at Wyton where 1409 Met Flight was based at that time, but nothing has been ruled out.
- The photograph must have been taken close to the time of the crash-landing before the wreck was cleared away under wartime Reduce to Produce (where aircraft damaged beyond repair were effectively recycled). The great cheerfulness of the two men sitting on it suggests that this had not been a fatal incident.
- The aircraft has one peculiarity, being square holes cut in the fuselage, see second picture below.
All photographs courtesy of Mike Henry.