Lancaster LM658 – Aircraft Details

LM658 – AIRCRAFT DETAILS

MAKE/MODEL: Avro Lancaster BIII.
ENGINES: 4x Rolls Royce Merlin XXXVIII.

  • Port Outer 16611/251607
  • Port Inner 15885/250881
  • Starboard Outer 16060/251056
  • Starboard Inner 16500/251496

MANUFACTURER: A. V. Roe Ltd Yeadon Leeds (Now site of Leeds/Bradford International Airport).
CONTRACT: Part of an order for 350 Lancasters built to contract no 1807 between October 1942 and October 1944.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: H2S Ground mapping system. “Gee” MkII Direction finding. IFF Mk II Identification Friend or Foe. “Fishpond” NF detection radar.
DELIVERY DATE: 100 Sqdn RAF Waltham (Grimsby) 03/08/44.
SQUADRON I.D:
 Designated HW-W on delivery.
LOGGED HOURS: Total of 11 hrs 30 mins flying time recorded.
LOGGED OPS: 3.

Service History

03/08/44 Delivered to Squadron.
03-09/08/44 Operational preparation by ground crews and air testing.
Night 10-11/08/44 1st operation to attack V1 rocket installations near Vincly France, aborted due to cloud cover, unable to identify target.
Night 11-12/08/44 2nd operation to attack railway marshalling yards at Douai near Lille, France.
Night 12-13/08/44 3rd operation to attack town of Braunschweig (Brunswick) Germany, took off from Waltham at 2145.
13/08/44 Failed to return, aircraft and crew posted as missing.

Note;
Air test on 09/08/44 was carried out by the pilot and crew that would go down with the aircraft on the night of the 13th. First two operational trips were undertaken by a different crew each time.

Crash Location/Remains

 

LM 658 came down on private farmland that at the time of the crash belonged to the Scholten family, situated between the villages of Marienberg and Bergentheim in the province of Overijssel, Netherlands. The aircraft had been badly damaged by fire and had broken up. Wreckage was promptly recovered and disposed by the authorities in the usual manner with any reusable salvage shipped back to Germany.

In the years after the war, agricultural operations would occasionally yield debris in the form of small shards of perspex and molten metal but in recent years all evidence of LM658 has disappeared. Source; Mr Laurence Pilfold nephew of Flt Sgt Watts, the wireless operator killed in the crash, relatives of whom have visited the area in the past and are in possession of a single shard of molten metal from the crash site.

Copies of Air Ministry Loss Card and Form 78 Movement card for LM 658 are both held in our records.

Thanks to Greg Harrison (100 Squadron Association Historian) and David Champion for supplying further information.

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