Short Stirling Mk.III

EH988

1661 HCU

Crashed 14:01:45

 

The aircraft was being ferried from RAF Syerston to Maghaberry, Northern Ireland. Shortly after take off it suffered an engine fire. The pilot decided to make an emergency landing at RAF Hucknall, but whilst turning to reach the airfield, stalled and crashed at Annesley, just North of Hucknall.  Sadly, all were killed.

 

 

 

The crew were:

 

67707           Squadron Leader       S L Cockbain DFC                 Pilot Instructor                      (Aged 28)

 

1587047       Flight Sergeant          E C Barton                              Navigator                             (Aged 21)

 

2204311       Sergeant                    J Littlemore                             Wireless Operator               (Aged 19)

 

1651299       Sergeant                    K Harris                                   Air Gunner                          (Aged 22)

 

1874899       Flight Sergeant          T A Balls                                 Flight Engineer                    (Aged 20)

 

 

 

All crewmen were members of the RAFVR, and were taken to their home towns for burial.

 

EH988 - 02 EH988 - 04

The Stirling crashed into the trees, just right of centre.

The simple memorial commemorating the Stirling crew at Annesley.

EH988 Cockbain

Squadron Leader Stephen Leigh Cockbain's grave at Oxford (Botley) Cemetery.

Image Copyright:  Alan L Clark