The aircraft was an experimental machine fitted with a pressurised cabin for high-altitude recconnaisance operations. On Sunday, 12 July 1942, W5795 was having its cabin pressurisation systems checked; whilst cruising at 32500 feet, a section of one of the propeller blades sheared off, penetrating the cabin, causing loss of pressure and possibly incapacitating the pilot. The aircraft broke up during its dive to earth, debris falling over a wide area between Derby and Ilkeston. Sadly, there were no survivors.
The crew were:
37651 Squadron Leader C L F COLMORE Pilot (Aged 29)
650284 Flight Sergeant R P GILLOTT RAFVR Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner (Aged 22)
123492 Pilot Officer K RADFORD RAFVR Air Gunner (Aged 27)
755349 Flight Sergeant A J SMITH DFM RAFVR Observer (Aged 23)
Civilian C V ABBOTT BSc Flight Test Observer (Aged 23)
W5795 at Boscombe Down. (RAF Museum)
Wreckage was spread in a track (south-east to north-west) between the villages of Dale Abbey and Ockbrook.
The main wreckage (centre section, cupola and fuselage) fell to earth here.
The photo is looking towards where the tail unit came down.
The Memorial Plinth in St. Andrews Church, Stanley, near Ilkeston.
The photo was taken during the dedication ceremony on 11th July 2004.