Halifax HX148 (04/10/1943)

Halifax HX148 was one of twenty No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Frankfurt on the night of the 4th / 5th October 1943

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • JR Wood (Pilot)
  • AER Bexton (Navigator)
  • VHR Hobbs (Air Bomber)
  • PS Warren (Wireless Operator)
  • WSM Edmondston (Air Gunner)
  • LJ North (Air Gunner)
  • EH Barry (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Aircraft began a blind run in on navigation aid “Y” but was coned for 5 minutes on this run. Prepared to bomb and had already dropped two bundles of flares when the starboard inner received a direct hit from flak and had to be feathered. Navigation aid “Y” became unserviceable and oxygen failed. Bomb doors closed and aircraft came out of target area without being able to drop any more bombs. The aircraft crossed the English Coast on two engines and crash landed in a field near Biggin Hill and burst into flames. F/L Wood, F/S North and Sgt Barry were uninjured. F/L Bexton sustained a fracture of the right fibula and a small laceration to the forehead; the injuries were moderately severe. Sgt Hobbs was severely injured; he sustained second degree burns of face and hands, with complete degloving of the latter. F/L Warren had similar injuries. F/S Edmonston had slight second degree burns of the right cheek and nose. All the casualties were admitted to the Kent and Sussex Hospital shortly after the crash. The uninjured members of the crew returned to their unit on the following day.”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead

VHR Hobbs, PS Warren and WSM Edmondston were subsequently admitted to the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead and became members of the Guinea Pig Club.

Their records at the East Grinstead Museum show the following:

  • VHR Hobbs
    • Admitted to: Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells.
    • Transferred to QVH: 05/10/1943
    • Injuries: Burns to face and hands.
    • No. of Operations at East Grinstead: 6
  • PS Warren
    • Admitted to: Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells.
    • Transferred to QVH: 05/10/1943
    • Injuries: Burns to face and hands.
    • No. of Operations at East Grinstead: 4
  • WSM Edmonston
    • Admitted to: Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells.
    • Transferred to QVH: 05/10/1943
    • Injuries: Burns to face.
    • No. of Operations at East Grinstead: –