Author Topic: 227 Squadron at RAF Balderton  (Read 770 times)

Offline RTB

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227 Squadron at RAF Balderton
« on: Sunday 28 July 19 15:22 BST (UK) »
RAF Balderton, 227 Squadron 9J B Baker. Lancaster PD348 B P/O George Edge and crew.

Over the past three years the sons and daughters of this crew have been in contact sharing stories, photos, etc.

Out of the crew of seven we are in contact with, we are still short of finding the following. The family of George Edge (pilot) last contact with him was in 1995, he lived in Staines passed away in 1997, and A J Ling (Flight Engineer, John known as Twitch). We would also like to find the families of J G Warburton, Harry R Piper, A E Colston (Flight Engineers) and A W Cuthbertson (Bomb Aimer) who also flew with the Edge crew .

On February 8th 1945 on a mission to Politz their Lancaster developed engine faults over Norfolk. The crew managed to land safely in a field by Pedders Way, Great Bircham, Norfolk complete with 4000lb "Cookie" on board. Our intention on Feb 8th 2020 the 75th Anniversary is to mark the occasion of their safe return.
If anyone has any information to help us find these families, it would be most appreciated.

Offline Hornchurch

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Re: 227 Squadron at RAF Balderton
« Reply #1 on: Friday 26 May 23 07:39 BST (UK) »

RAF Balderton, 227 Squadron 9J B Baker. Lancaster PD348 B P/O George Edge and crew.


I'm VERY late to this, as I've only just signed-in again (after some long abscence)

Some 20-24 yrs ago, I knew a lot more about this incident, as it happened very close to where I live - By that of course, I mean the forced landing due to loss of power & 9J-B's  losing struggle to (un) maintain flight or any reasonable height.

I often or frequently drive past the field where they 'crashlanded' (for want of a better word !)

It's kind of equidistant to Anmer as it is to the (much larger village) of Gt.Bircham

Having said that, it's also more or less adjacent to the B.1153 road upon where I live & drive

Like I say, around some 20-24 years ago, I coulda quoted ya 'chapter & verse' on what happened, as I'd read multiple (very) detailed reports as to what actually happened, the course it flew & two of the crew trapzing to the nearby farmhouse (it's by the '1153 & still there, today)

I piqued on this thread when I saw the Squadron codes '9J-B' as I did a side-scan image (in colour) for my mate Chris in Canada, who is nutty on Lancasters & indeed on Bomber Command in general**

 **(He shares my "Love" of Halifaxes, Stirlings & Whitleys)

What WAS wonderful, is sometime around 2007 or 2008 after my 29yr marriage had broken up, I went on a local jaunt to the (then, 'new') visitor centre over at Bircham Newton, which of course IS/was the local major RAF "Coastal Command" airfield in the region & has latterly been known (& taken over) as the 'C.I.T.B' (Construction Industry Training Board).

Anyways, inside the 'Visitor Centre' they had an actual FULL folder, relating to events of that night & following morning , regarding Avro Lancaster '9J-B'

I spoke to an old fella there, who was actually involved in Bomber Command during late stages of WW.II & I believe he rose to the rank of Sqdn-Ldr (Postwar, mind) - But he later asked where I live(d) & the following week, offered to drop-off a full duplicate of the folder, with all the details therein - very nice & kindhearted of him indeed.

Saturday I was out & my folks told me he'd walked down the lanes & kindly dropped it off, as he too, lived only 1/4 mile away from me (very handy !)

Next time I went, I was regrettably told that he'd recently died, which saddened me greatly, as he was a very, very nice fella - typical WW.II generation, being most civil & polite.

As some 1/4 century has now since elapsed, my memory is NOT as sharp as it once was (nowhere near !)

Without access to the (duplicated) folder (it's in the loft of a family member now, IIRC)... I recall

1, That 9J-B struggled SO badly with height after crossing the Lincolnshire coast, that once it reached 'the other side' (our side) it narrowly missed the Huge Church spire at Snettisham (on the Ingoldisthorpe side) & valiantly struggled on to it's (temporary) final resting place, that night.

2, That either one or two of the seven man crew walked to the nearby Farmhouse (which I often pass by in the car) in order to phone their RAF base, which I distinctly recall was in Nottinghamshire , to relate what had happened & to recieve further notification AND to arrange for some (M.U ?) ground maintainance aircrew to come & sort out the unexploded bomb/s or ordnance under the plane

3, Perhaps my most distinct memory of that dossier was the description of HOW the remainder of the crew played an 'impromtu game of cricket' after dawn & long before the M.U or groundcrew turned up in their 'long distance' motor transport recovery stuff !

4, Lastly I remember waaay back then, reading up on the Lancaster's base in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire & hearing it stated THAT Squadron were the LAST Avro Lancaster squadron to be formed-up before war's end & that 'their' lifespan within Bomber Command were very short lived (by comparison with others) 

My Dad served Postwar in both the late 1940's & early 1950's RAF , around the time of the Korean war (but of course, he wasn't involved)

He did however pass out his course at a Nottinghamshire base (RAF Newton I believe, but don't quote me on that, as EVERYTHING I've typed out here, is sadly from my ever ailing memory !!!!

He also served (most of his RAF career) over in Lincolnshire at RAF Wickenby, formerly famous as the base for 12 Sqdn & their own Avro Lancasters (after Vickers Wellingtons) - often distinctive by the rather strange placement of their Squadron codes...
(All three letters on one side of the RAF roundel, hyphenated, rather than in the traditional manner)

I really SHOULD take the effort to "look this entry & event up" in the 1945 Chorley book series....
  "Bomber Command Losses" as I've got the full set - spread out around the house, sadly !

Lastly, I wanna say "Many Thanks" for providing us (all, enthusiasts & onlookers & forumites) with that lovely, lovely old photograph of the crew - something I've most definitely NOT seen before, but just helps that local tale come so much more to life.

Cheers & thanks again,    "Hawny"
Am interested in N.W.Norfolk Hudsons in the Docking, Sedgeford, Heacham & Hunstanton regions,

Offline RTB

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Re: 227 Squadron at RAF Balderton
« Reply #2 on: Friday 26 May 23 17:56 BST (UK) »
Hi Hawny

Firstly let me "thank you" for a comprehensive reply to the above post.

The month before Covid, 8th February 2020, 27 of us, all descendants of the original crew met up to celebrate the date and the Men who survived the crash landing with a 4000lb cookie still onboard.

A few of us five years before did meet up at Pedders way, to view the crash site, we are intrigued that there is a patch-a trough in the field with wild vegetation, that has not been ploughed in years.  We did wonder if that was the landing site. Though it didn't got in with the measurements that were written down at the Time

The account that was written by a crew member was comprehensive, though no mention of the church spire. Gladly send you a copy.

From the get together, I did see photos that were completely new to me. Also, we did visit Heath House farm, the present owner was not too happy to see a crowd outside his gate. Understandable I suppose. At the fifty year anniversary, two crew members and their families did make a visit then.

Again thank you for your time. Please get in touch if you would like a copy