Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 22°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Horringer: Survivor Ron’s mission to learn more about fatal bomber crash

14:50 13 May 2014

Ron Gill pictured 1939.

Ron Gill pictured 1939.

Archant

Ron Gill has little recollection of his visit to the west Suffolk village of Horringer during the Second World War.

shares

But the 98-year-old retired teacher, from the Wirral, on Merseyside, and his family would like to hear from anyone who remembers his spectacular escape from death.

For he was the sole survivor from the six-man crew of an RAF Wellington bomber which crashed in the village returning from a raid over Germany on September 29, 1941.

Wellington W5436 X for X Ray of No 99 Squadron from Waterbeach, near Cambridge, crashed at 2am after running into bad weather on the return flight.

Ron’s last memory of the night was being ordered to send an SOS on his wireless set. He remembers nothing else until he woke up in hospital.

His family heard differing accounts of his miraculous survival, one that he baled out at only 400ft and his fall was broken by a field of flax. Another says he landed in the soft soil of a freshly-ploughed field.

Three crew members, including their Brazilian-born pilot, Pilot Officer Rumbo, were killed outright in the crash. Two others later died from their injuries.

After a lengthy spell in the RAF Hospital at Ely, Ron returned to duty and a ground job, his injuries precluding him from any further operational flying.

He is being helped in his research into the tragedy by Lowestoft aviation historian Bob Collis, who said there was another crash in the village in August 1940 but it involved a German Dornier. He said: “It seems this was the first occasion Ron had flown with this crew, although he was on his 48th sortie of his second tour of operations.

“There are probably now very few people in the area who recall the event but any little scrap of information, particularly any details of where the aircraft came down in Horringer, would be helpful.”

Mr Collis can be contacted via email at robertjcollis@aol.com

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

A beautiful day in Christchurch Park, Ipswich

If the weather goes according to forecast this weekend, the advice will be to make the most of tomorrow’s sunshine because thunder and rain could be on the way for Sunday.

Cambridgeshire singer Sam Smith performed at Thetford Forest

There were fears the second night of this summer’s Forest Live concerts would have to be cancelled when Sam Smith announced he was undergoing throat surgery.

Charles Mayes, pictured with friend Pat, who died in the crash.

A tipper truck driver “panicked” and drove off after a crash which saw another motorist die, a court has heard.

The cannabis factory found at Barry Copeland's house

A Suffolk man who allowed his house near Stowmarket town centre to be used as a cannabis factory has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Staff at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park created a real life Hobbit hole fit for Bilbo Baggins - but now a holiday site want to create one you can sleep in

West Suffolk is set to be the home of the UK’s first replica, habitable “Hobbit Hole” from the popular JRR Tolkien fantasy books and films.

A turning HGV blocked a Suffolk road

The driver of an articulated lorry received some “strong words of advice” from police after his attempts to turn the vehicle blocked a Suffolk road.

Man taken to Colchester General Hospital for futher care.

A 28-year-old man was treated for smoke inhalation following a first floor flat blaze in Colchester.

The launch of the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust bike ride, which takes place on September 12. 
Peter Cook, Patrick Grieve and Terry Hunt.

An annual bike ride raising thousands of pounds to ensure the future of church buildings in Suffolk was officially launched today.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Ipswich Music Day, in Christchurch Park

Ipswich Music Day this Sunday will see nearly 70 acts perform across nine stages at Christchurch Park.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

A 22-year-old Ipswich man asked magistrates to ban him from the town centre after butting a doorman at a nightspot while drunk.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages