HW-K of 100 Squadron RAF
Never stir up a hornet's nest
My involvement with the loss of the Lancaster bomber of 100 Squadron, serial ED583, code HW-K began at the beginning of August 2005.
I was contacted by the BBC North East to ask if I could help in tracing the families of the eight crew members of this aircraft as the BBC researcher had come across my web site about Lancaster ED627. The reason being, that the village of North Thoresby in Lincolnshire were about to dedicate a new memorial on the 4th September 2005 to this crew that were killed when their aircraft broke up in the sky above the village on 4th October 1943 with the main parts of the aircraft actually falling on the village destroying various buildings but fortunately not killing or injuring anyone.
Because of the shortness of time I was unable to help with this task but I did contact a village councillor named Mr Dave Barnet who was responsible for the building of the new memorial and the dedication ceremony on 4th September 2005.
Since then, we have become firm friends and are now working together in trying to trace the families not only of Lancaster ED583 but also Lancaster DV187.
The dedication ceremony on 4th September was a great success and was attended by village dignitaries, ex-servicemens associations, a guard of honour from the local RAF station and most importantly of all, a fly past by the Lancaster of the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.
To view some photographs of this event on the village website, please click....
Lancaster ED583 - The Story
On 4th October 1943 the crew of Lancaster ED583 boarded their aircraft at RAF Waltham (Grimsby) for a test flight of the aircraft to check out the starboard outer engine and to gain as much height as possible under the conditions.
They took off from RAF Waltham at 12.05hrs and at about 12.50hrs it is reported that witnesses saw the aircraft in pieces falling through the clouds and the main airframe falling onto the village of North Thoresby. Parts of the aircraft were scattered for a distance of seven miles.
The crew consisted of three pilots, a navigator, two flight engineers and four members of another new crew.
Flt/O Thomas Morgan, pilot and captain of the aircraft
Flt Sgt JT Goozee, pilot
Sgt R F Worsey, pilot
Sgt W E Giles, Flight Engineer
Sgt C A Green, Flight Engineer
Sgt J A Baker, Navigator
Sgt J H Rogers, Air Bomber
Sgt W F Bristow, Wo/Ag
It appears that the aircraft broke up in mid air and witnesses described seeing bits and pieces of the aircraft falling through the clouds with the main fuselage falling onto the village destroying the Methodist church and the cottages each side by the fire that followed.
Three crew members bodies were found in the wreckage, the other crew members being flung out of the aircraft when it broke up in the air. One body in an American uniform (Thomas Morgan) was found on the main Grimsby to Louth Road at North Thoresby.
Information from the site report by the Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group (no link available, sorry)