Personnel Index - Detail
11/12 January, 1941; WILHELMSHAVEN/TIRPITZ:
The weather at Scampton, on the afternoon of Wednesday 11 was good with a thin layer of cloud around 15,000ft. Shortly after midnight, the squadron prepared to take-off; by 01.45hrs eight of the unit's Hampdens were airborne for Wilhelmshaven in search of the Battleship Tirpitz. By the time the target area was reached, the cloud had thickened to such an extent that only 2 aircraft succeeded in finding the target - the others bombed the dock areas. Flying home across the North Sea in the early morning, F/O Fisher (AD719) and crew were fired upon by an enemy aircraft when within 30 miles of the English coast, fortunately without receiving damage. The squadron's Hampdens started to arrive in the vicinity of Scampton just after 07.00hrs. It was some time later that news came through to base that a 49 Squadron aircraft had come to grief near the Lincolnshire village of Northorpe, not far from Kirton Lindsey airfield - no survivors were reported. It was later discovered that the aircraft had crashed without bombs on board, so it was assumed that P/O Hugh Newhouse (L4045) and crew had completed their sortie and were attempting to regain Scampton when the fatal crash occurred. No reasons for the crash (timed at 07.30hrs) were ever established. The remaining aircraft landed safely at base.
The crashed aircraft, L4045, was known to the squadron as "The Queen". She had achieved an amazing total of 786hrs 10mins of operational flying time before the crash.
P/O H.F.P. Newhouse Pilot (Killed)
Sgt P.C. Prosser W/OP (Killed)
Sgt H. Irving NAV (Killed)
Sgt L. Jackson A/G (Killed)