Crash Report Libertor A.N.925, 18 February 1942 (3 of 3)

Crash Report Libertor A.N.925, 18 February 1942 (3 of 3)

Crash Report for Liberator A.N.925 on 18 February 1942 (page 3 of 3)

F/O Claydon and A.C. Owen being in attendance, for transmission to the Stranmillis Military Hospital. On arrival, however, admission was refused despite remonstrations, the reason being that no beds were available for officers, so accepting the decision resignedly, no further time was wated in conveying them to the 31st General Hospital. The Aldergrove 'Albion' ambulance with the three sergeants on board (L.A.C. Underwood in attendance) left for the 31st General Hospital at 07.45 hours.

The hospital authorites were waiting for the casualties who were promptly put to bed and made as comfortable as possible.

W/Cdr Gates, S/Ldr Kerr, A.C. Gilbert and myself revisted the scene of the crash at 07.45 hours and found the badly charred bodied of the three remaining members of the crew lying around the debris. They were unidentifiable, even their position did not help, and it was only through some small piece of personnel clothign in the immediate vicinity of Pilot Officer Fuller which enabled the indentity of his remains to be established.

Looking back on the event, it may be counted as a piece of good fortune that the casualties approached us rather than for us to have had to search the burning wreckage for them, particularly in view of our close proximity coincident with the violent explosion.

From the medical point of view everything possible to alleviate the pain and suffering of the patients was done and it seems that our part of the business was efficiently handled in every department. The scene may have appeared to have been chaotic - and indeed it was- but all the personnel knew what was expected of them, knew just what to do, and strained every nerve to attend to the casualties so thoroughly as to have them transported to hospital within three hours of the accident.

In passing Squadron Leader Noble and R.C. Padre were quickly on the scene, and S/Ldr Noble in particular rendered some very valuable assistance.

To close the narrative, two small measures of appreciation should be recorded. The first from Colonel Heath of the 31st General Hospital, who remarked - 'He would like his appreciation passed on to the Orderly staff as he considered the condition in which the patients arrived at the hospital reflected credit on the personnel concerned'. The second came from FLight Sergeant Werry who was a patient in Sick Quarters at the time. He said 'He considered the personnel had performed a remarkably efficient job of work particularly insofar as the first casualties were being treated in the Crash Theatre within 20 minutes of the alarm being given'.

It is hoped that the reports quoted above do no make our position egotistical and they have only been reproduced in fairness to the personnel as true appreciation of what they did; also to dispel the idea abroad which is apt to harbour in other peoples thoughts that we do have a very easy measure of Service life, even to bordering on the side of inefficiency. These people may now appreciate the fact that we can aspire to great heights as and when the occasion demands.

Many thanks to Peter Claydon for sending us these pictures, which belonged to his father, C.W.J. Claydon, who spent much of the war serving as a medical officer with No.120 Squadron at Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (17 June 2017), Crash Report Libertor A.N.925, 18 February 1942 (3 of 3) ,

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