Red House in 1941 - Picture 001

001.jpg - 37Kb

Whitley Bomber Crash in the Ouse by Red House
On the 24th July 1941 a Whitley bomber took off from Linton-on-Ouse for a bombing mission to Emden. However, within minutes of becoming airborne, it developed engine trouble and at 23:20hrs was deliberately ditched in the River Ouse next to the Ings Field at Red House. It ended up facing upstream, the photo is taken from the opposite bank to Red House.
The event was witnessed by Thomas Hardwick (Red House headmaster 1932-52) and is described here by his son, Simon.

My father was doing his rounds on the terrace and elsewhere at about 10pm and it was still just light. He heard a plane come down and make contact with the ground and then silence. He then walked in the direction of the noise he had heard and that brought him past the farmhouse [Farm Cottage] and down river a bit, say half a mile below where Red House landing stage is. When he got to the river bank he could see that the plane had landed in the river and the pilot had cleverly brought it nose upstream. It was more to the far side of the river than the Red House side.
He therefore had to walk back upstream, retrieve the paddles of the Red House boat and then paddle this very clumsy old tub, which was made in the school workshop, down to the plane by which time the crew of the crew had climbed onto the wing as the interior had begun to flood as its [port] wing was dipped below water. Because our boat was slow and clumsy my father had to ferry off the crew one by one (one of them had an ankle injury) and, even in Summer, there is quite a current in the river.
It was holiday time; my brother John and I were the only boys there and we were summoned down to the kitchen to meet these heroes in their gear. The next day of course we all trooped down to the river and saw the plane still intact as far as we could see and I believe that it had to be dismantled piecemeal and taken away.

More details of the incident can be seen at the Yorkshire Aircraft website.

Photo Archive