R.A. Colville crew 23.11.41 †

13/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen and Dusseldorf
Six* Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb GP, 500 lb GP, 250 lb GP and SBC’s of 4 lb incendiaries. Considerable A.A. fire was experienced North and West of the target area, both light and heavy. Target was bombed and fires were observed on leaving. Many large cones of Searchlights were active West and North of the target. Enemy aircraft were seen on the return flight over the Dutch coast but no attacks were made on our aircraft. An unidentified aircraft followed Sgt Taylor and crew in X9977 for about 40 minutes. No attacks were initiated. The aircraft was using a hand lamp for signalling. The weather was 10/10 cloud over target area, with haze. Navigation was by Lorenz, QDM’s, Astro Fix and DR.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9941 AA-A

Sgt. Neil Gordon Cresswell Ramsey, RAFVR 116065 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Gilliam Allen, RAFVR 1261123 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jocelyn, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Reginald McQueen, RAFVR 1109382/ 123292 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time –

14/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dusseldorf
One Wellington aircraft from this Unit was detailed to make an attack against the above target with a bomb load of 500 lb GP and 250 lb GP. An unidentified aerodrome on the Dutch coast was attacked and flarepath partly extinguished. The weather was very poor, with solid cloud cover over the target and much of the route east. Heavy predicted and accurate A.A. fire in target area. Searchlights were observed in belts free from cloud but over target light did not penetrate. Navigation – Loop u/s and unable to accurate QDM. N/F Fix OK in Yorkshire.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9941 AA-A

Sgt. Neil Gordon Cresswell Ramsey, RAFVR 116065 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. Ronald Gilliam Allen, RAFVR 1261123 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jocelyn, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Reginald McQueen, RAFVR 1109382/ 123292 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:35 – Landed 01:00?
Flight Time –

16/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne
One Wellington aircraft was detailed to carry out the above target. Operation was marred by poor weather with heavy cloud over the route and in the target area, and results were not observed. There was heavy predicted A.A fire with searchlights co-operating to the NW and SW of the city. One enemy aircraft was seen after leaving the searchlight belt on return journey, but no engagement took place.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9941 AA-A

Sgt. Neil Gordon Cresswell Ramsey, RAFVR 116065 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. George Reginald McQueen, RAFVR 1109382/ 123292 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:25 – Landed 23:25
Flight Time 05:00

20/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen
Six* Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to attack the above target. One of these aircraft, captained by Sgt Parnham, crash landed at Marham. Target area was bombed but results were not observed owing to low cloud. Activity was observed North and North West of target following river at Oldenburgh. Heavy and medium A.A. fire was met and a belt of searchlights was observed at Bremen and Oldenburgh. Three enemy aircraft were seen but no attack was made. Weather was poor, with low cloud and thick ground haze over the target.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9941 AA-A

Sgt. Neil Gordon Cresswell Ramsey, RAFVR 116065 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. Norman George Errington, RAFVR 942763/ 115638 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jocelyn, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Reginald McQueen, RAFVR 1109382/ 123292 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:30 – Landed 01:00
Flight Time 06:30

21/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Boulogne
One Wellington aircraft from this Unit was detailed to carry out the above attack, dropped incendiaries on the believed target and bombs were dropped on one enemy aerodrome. A hanger was believed hit. There was little A.A. fire and searchlights were moderate. No enemy aircraft were seen. Operation was marred by very bad weather.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1068 AA-R

Sgt. John Frederick Massey Parnham, RAFVR 1254725 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Robert McGibbon, RAFVR 998735 – Navigator.
Sgt. Murray Alexander MacDonald, RAAF AUS.400352 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Campbell Ewen Justin Aitchison, RNZAF NZ402974 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Joseph Henry Godfrey, RAFVR 1378233 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:45 – Landed 22:20
Flight Time 03:35

22/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets Mannheim
*Six Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Owing to the weather conditions operations were marred, but a fire was bombed in a town on the Rhine, probably Mannheim and bomb bursts seen. There was slight A.A. activity and searchlights were ineffective where seen. Electrical storms, thunder cloud and snow storms were met throughout operations. Navigation was good. D.R. and special beam No.6 used. Icing (black) was experienced over Continent. Unable to see through windscreens owing to accumulated snow, from Belgian coast onwards. Severe weather conditions made accuracy impossible. One of these aircraft, X.9914, captained by Sgt. Taylor, failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9941 AA-A

Sgt. Neil Gordon Cresswell Ramsey, RAFVR 116065 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. Norman George Errington, RAFVR 942763/ 115638 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jocelyn, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Reginald McQueen, RAFVR 1109382/ 123292 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:00 – Landed 23:59
Flight Time 05:59

24/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden
Two Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attack. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 50llbs, 250lbs. And containers of incendiaries. Captains were unable to find target owing to ground haze, but bombed large cones of searchlights in target area. A.A. fire was heavy. No enemy aircraft was met and weather was fair. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9976 AA-O

Sgt. John William Black, RNZAF NZ402843 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539 RAF 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Eric Lloyd, RNZAF NZ402197 – Navigator.
Sgt. Leslie Cyril Green, RNZAF 755095 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jack Dennis Thompson, RAFVR 1152206 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Thomas Black, RAFVR 1377719 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:15 – Landed 00:50
Flight Time 06:35

26/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hamburgh and Cherbourgh
* Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. The whole operation was marred by the weather conditions prevailing. A fire was bombed in a town on the Rhine, probably Mannheim and bomb bursts seen. There was slight A.A. fire and searchlights, where seen, were ineffective. Electrical storms, thunder cloud, and snow storms, covered a wide area. Sever weather conditions made accuracy impossible. One of these aircraft, X9914, captained by Sgt Taylor, failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9941 AA-A

Sgt. Neil Gordon Cresswell Ramsey, RAFVR 116065 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. Norman George Errington, RAFVR 942763/ 115638 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Jocelyn, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Reginald McQueen, RAFVR 1109382/ 123292 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:30 – Landed 02:05
Flight Time 07:35

01/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Kiel
Eleven Wellington Ic Aircraft from this Unit were detailed to attack the above targets. The whole Operation was marred by bad weather there being 10/10th. Cloud throughout the trip and no results were observed. Bomb load consisting of 1000lbs, 50lbs, 250lbs and incendiaries was dropped on un-identified town, and on area to the West of the target. Very heavy predicted A.A. fire was encountered over target area together with 75m.m. tracers. Searchlights were isolated and ineffective owing to cloud. One M.E. 110 enemy aircraft was seen but no attack was made. Navigation was good, Astro and D.R. loop being used. A convoy fifteen miles off the Wash fired at the aircraft until the colours were fired. There was a surprising lack of enemy fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9941 AA-A

Sgt. Neil Gordon Cresswell Ramsey, RAFVR 116065 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. Norman George Errington, RAFVR 942763/ 115638 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Bplshaw, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Reginald McQueen, RAFVR 1109382/ 123292 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 00:45
Flight Time 07:00

07/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Fourteen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. Two of these aircraft, X.9951, captained by F/O Methven and X.9976, captained by Sgt. Black, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped in target area and some large fires were started, but results were not clearly observed owing to heavy cloud over target area. A considerable amount of heavy flak was met over target area but searchlights, where seen, were ineffective. No enemy aircraft were met throughout the trip. Weather was poor with 10/10th cloud over target area. Navigation was good, Astro and D/R loops being used. Wellington Z.1091, captained by P/O Sandys returned to base owing to engine trouble. Wellington Z.1068, captained by Sgt. Parham returned to base owing to Navigator being sick.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9941 AA-A

Sgt. Neil Gordon Cresswell Ramsey, RAFVR 116065 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RAFVR NZ403539/ 59075 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Nathaniel Edmund Hodson, RNZAF NZ403603 – Observer.
Sgt. Norman George Errington, RAFVR 942763/ 115638 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Watson, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Reginald McQueen, RAFVR 1109382/ 123292 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 01:35
Flight Time 07:50

23/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dunkirk
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target area and flashes seen but full results were not seen. Heavy A.A. fire was met over target area and searchlights in large cones were active. No enemy aircraft were met. Weather was fair with 7/10th. Cloud over target area and freezing level was at 9,000ft. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8854 AA-?

Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry William Woodham, RNZAF NZ402449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Alexander Fernie, RAFVR 980003/ 127783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Macauley, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Wrent, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 20:25
Flight Time 03:05

30/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Hamburg
Eleven Wellington Ic and two Wellington II aircraft were detailed from the Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Weather was clear and visibility good. A few bombs were dropped in the target area the remaining were bought back to base. Heavy, medium and light flak was encountered and a large number of searchlights were active. (Sentence illegible). One unidentified aircraft was also seen off the Frisian Islands. A convoy off Cromer fired at aircraft until colours were fired. Navigation was good. Astro and D.R. loop being used. One Wellington Ic aircraft, 1099, captained by Sgt. Harrison-Smith failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry William Woodham, RNZAF NZ402449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Alexander Fernie, RAFVR 980003/ 127783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Macauley, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Wrent, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:04? – Landed unreadable
Flight Time –

17/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest and Le Havre
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped in the target area but results were not observed. Light and heavy flak was encountered and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to low cloud. Visibility was fair but 10/10 cloud over target area. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.1083, captained by Sgt. Climie, landed at Exeter on return to get medical aid to P/O Gunning who was injured whilst the aircraft was over target.

Wellington Mk.Ic – AA-

Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry William Woodham, RNZAF NZ402449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Alexander Fernie, RAFVR 980003/ 127783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Macauley, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Wrent, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:13 – Landed 23:18
Flight Time 06:05

23/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Seven wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bomb bursts and fires were seen in the target area. Light, medium and heavy flak was met and searchlights were not very active. Weather was good over the target. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8834, captained by Sgt. Bentley, crashed at Burner’s Heath on return and Sgt. Bentley was killed, the crew being injured.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 AA-P

Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry William Woodham, RNZAF NZ402449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Alexander Fernie, RAFVR 980003/ 127783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Macauley, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Wrent, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 23:59
Flight Time 06:39

27/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest and Dusseldorf
Twelve Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs,250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were seen to burst in town and railway station at Dusseldorf. Intense heavy flak was encountered over target areas and large concentrations of searchlights were active. Weather was good with very good visibility over target area. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8971, captained by Sgt. Machin, crashed near Dartmoor owing to the port engine failing. The entire crew baled out safely.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8904 AA-?

Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry William Woodham, RNZAF NZ402449 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Alexander Fernie, RAFVR 980003/ 127783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Macauley, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Wrent, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:00 – Landed 21:25
Flight Time 04:25

02/01/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Five Wellington Ic aircraft from this unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisting of 500 lbs and containers of incendiaries was dropped in the target area but results were not observed owing to 10/10th cloud. A.A. fire was only slight, only a few searchlights were active and no enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was poor and there
was 10/10 cloud throughout the operation. Navigation was entirely by D.R. Wellington aircraft R.1457 returned to base with it’s bomb load.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1457 dnc AA-P

Sgt. Robert Arthur Colville, RNZAF NZ403539/ 59075 – Pilot.
Sgt. Henry William Woodham RNZAF NZ402449 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Herbert Sidney George Cullen, RAFVR 926722 – Navigator.
Sgt. John Alexander Fernie, RAFVR 980003/ 127783 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Macauley, RNZAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Went, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:10 – Landed 21:50
Flight Time 05:40

28/02/1942 – Local Air Test
Wellington Mk.III X.3355 AA-Y took off from Feltwell at approximately 13:10 on the 28th of February 1942 for an engine check. During the air test the starboard motor failed, followed soon afterward by the port engine. As the crew prepared for an emergency landing, the aircraft stalled and crashed at 4:00pm , near Lime Kiln Farm, Brandon, Suffolk, 5 miles North West of Thetford, Norfolk.

The Wellington burst into flames on impact.

Army personnel, stationed nearby, along with local inhabitants, helped to pull the airmen from the burning wreckage. The farmer on whose land the bomber had crashed on, a Mr G. F. Harrington was awarded the British Empire Medal, for bravery shown.

Wellington Mk.III X.3355 AA-Y

Sgt. Henry William Woodham, RNZAF NZ402449 – 2nd Pilot.
Killed age 27.
Son of Henry and Mary Ann Woodham, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England..
Grave location – Row B. Grave 10.

Cpl. Kenneth John Howes, RAFVR 912524 – Ground staff.
Fatally injured – died later that day in Ely Hospital age 27.
Son of John Percival and Annie Howes; Husband of Dorothea Vera Howes, of Scarborough.
Buried Selby Cemetery, Yorkshire, England..
Grave location – Grave 2738.

AC2 Wilfred Pownall, RAFVR 1043753 2nd Class 1043753 – Ground staff.
Killed age 20.
Son of Frank and Annie Bowman Pownall, of Glossop.
Buried Glossop Cemetery, Derbyshire, England..
Grave location – C. of E. Sec. Grave 5110.
‘The song is ended
But the melody lingers on’

 

The additional details regarding the crash of X.3355 is as follows and can be read in its entirety here, from the excellent PPRuNe forum(s).

from Errol:
“The crash above occurred in daytime on an air test, presumably would not have a bomb load aboard. The crash originally referred to happened at night and left a large crater when the bombs exploded. How close to Feltwell is Brandon? The mystery deepens!” My entry is in error regarding the location of Lime Kiln Farm from Brandon – it is not ESE, nor really SW but almost directly west, lying almost equidistant between Brandon and the Lakenheath Railway Station (which lies a mile or two north of the town of Lakenheath). I could cannot now find Brandon Fields and wonder if this might have been a transcription error of data on the Form 1180 by my researcher. Since publication I have obtained a copy of a precis of the Court of Inquiry. This lists the crew sans initials and includes Aircraftman Hall, who is the name missing from Bill Chorley’s entry (p38 of his 1942 Vol). It describes Colville, Godwin and Hall’s injuries as ‘serious’. The precis states in part: “On 28-2-42, Sgt Colville (1st pilot) with crew of five, took off in Wellington X.3355 on a test flight. Shortly after becoming airborne the starboard engine failed. The pilot endeavoured to return to the aerodrome but while making a circuit the port engine spluttered and when approaching for a forced landing the aircraft stalled and crashed. An outbreak of fire occured on impact and with the exception of the rear half of the fuselage and engines, the aircraft was destroyed… …the starboard engine failed when the aircraft had not much height. The pilot possibly in trying to force land before he crashed, was compelled to turn to the right against his bad engine. It seems probable that the evidence of AC Hall (seventh witness) that the starboard wing stalled during the turn and dropped, and as the aircraft hit the ground with the starboard wing tip first it swung round to the right… …it took off about 1600 hours and the crash must have occured just before 1625 hours when it was reported to F/Lt Walkerdine (12th witness). Although Mr Harrington {note spelling} (11th witness) states he found one of the occupants in the nose turret, we think it was probably the pilots cockpit. Both AC Godwin and AC Hall state that there was not one in the nose turret at the time of the crash and when we found the front turret it was completely smashed and there was no evidence of it having been occupied…” I don’t think that there can be much doubt about this being the crash the crippled Colville so badly. Perhaps, though, by 1957 memory had played tricks on him or he had embellished the account somewhat, or the account as retailed on the PPRuNe board is a little garbled. Given that there is no mention of a bomb load or explosion in the precis it seems very unlikely that the crash would have caused a ‘crater’. Could this in fact just be an old lime quarry?”

Additional detail from RobFJ:
“My mother today told me the following story :

During this part of the war, she lived in Hockwold, adjacent to RAF Feltwell. She remembers the day the plane came down (she heard the crash). It was in the daytime as she was in her office. She lived in the pub, the Red Lion on Hockwold Green which was on the Brandon Road. The billet for the aircrew was just down the road; they used the pub regularly – so she knew most of the aircrew. That evening she asked the pilots about the crash and they said it was Sergeant Arthur Colville’s plane.

Arthur Colville was actually the pilot who replaced my father, Squadron Leader William Francis Jordan, after he was injured and in hospital from  another crash

Mum was a member of the WRVS and she visited Arthur in Ely Hospital until he was transferred to Stoke Mandeville (by which time he had been promoted to Squadron Leader). Two days after the crash, mum asked Arthur what caused it, he mentioned he was on a test flight but he did not know what had happened except that the ground crew had done their checks but the aircraft, in flight, just wasn’t fit to fly

Although he was in a wheelchair when he left Ely Hospital, mum is totally certain that Arthur had not lost his legs – although his injuries on this crash included fractured skull, arms, legs and ribs”.

Flixton Buck then added:
“Concerning incident on 28.02.42, Wellington Ser. No. X3355 which did indeed crash at Brandon next to George Harrington’s farmhouse.
It was a very cold February afternoon with temperatures below zero and by that time in the afternoon quite dark. The ground crew had been working all day to service the aircraft and were the last off the airfield for an air test. As was the tradition of the time, the skipper of the kite flew it and the Erks went along for the ride. The fire destroyed most of the aircraft and it proved to be impossible to ascertain the exact cause of the crash but it was suspected that in their haste to get away they forgot to open balance cock “A”, located under the Pilots seat which evened up the fuel in the tanks. The engines had enough fuel in the near empty tank for the run up but as soon as she started to lift off started to chuck it.
Sgt Colville turned back towards the Station; Lime Kiln farm was on the downward leg of the circuit, when the Wellington crashed. There was a very small fire behind one engine and Mr Harrington, the Farm foreman who lived at Lime Kiln, started pulling the men from the aircraft and taking them into the kitchen of his house. By the time he reached Colville the aircraft was fully ablaze, and the ammo on board was starting to explode. George noted that Colville was pretty banged up and took him inside the house, where he noted that one of the other men who he had placed on his kitchen table had passed away.

The injured were taken to Ely RAF Hospital and Colville was placed under the care of Sir Archie McIndoe a New Zealander of some repute. That night he was given the last rites but never the less he was a young man and gradually improved. As far as I know he kept his legs but may have had substantial metal plates fitted.
George Harrington was called up to meet the old King and was awarded the British Empire Medal for his troubles.

There was never a large crater at Lime Kiln Farm, but you can still find small pieces of Wimpy there when they plough the field where it crashed”.

So, belatedly, thank you to all above who shared this extra information.