On 2nd January 1944, Wellington Bomber BK 387 crashed into the hillside at Tewitt Lane near Oakworth in West Yorkshire, killing all six of her crew members, all Royal Canadian Air Force men from RAF Ossington.
Pilot – Warrant Officer Class 2 – Ernest Israel Glass
Navigator – Flying Officer – James Justin McHenry
Wireless Operator and Air Gunner – Warrant Officer Class 2 – Jack Henfrey
Air Bomber – Warrant Officer Class 2 – James Edwin Dalling
Air Gunner – Sergeant – Norman Willard Crawford
Air Gunner – Sergeant – Emery Savage
Please use the links on their names to visit individual pages about each of these men.
Oakworth Village Society hold a short ceremony each year on the first Sunday in January to remember the six Royal Canadian Air Force men who died when their Wellington Bomber BK387 crashed in fog on the hillside whilst on a training mission at 22.40 hrs on January 2nd January 1944, killing all members of the crew.
The Tewitt Lane Memorial Stone was inaugurated in July 1993 after the Village Society decided to honour the six crew members of Wellington Bomber BK 387 who died on that day with a dedicated memorial and an annual service on the first Sunday in January, nearest to each anniversary, although sometimes they have to hold it on the second Sunday, when the first Sunday clashes with the holiday period.
The Village Society holds a short ceremony each year on the first Sunday in January to remember the six Royal Canadian Air Force men who died when their Wellington Bomber BK387 crashed in fog on the hillside whilst on a training mission at 22.40 hrs on January 2nd January 1944, killing all members of the crew.
How to get there:
You can get there by walking past the Golden Fleece pub in Oakworth, up the track (Greyscar Road) from the village which is a local bridleway and quite rough in places. It takes about twenty to thirty minutes to walk there.
You can also get there by car most of the way, by driving up to the Grouse Inn and parking nearby. Please do not use the Grouse Inn’s car park which is for patrons only. There is some room alongside the road above the Grouse Inn, and a little bit of space on the end of Tewitt Lane bridleway at the Grouse end. It’s a short walk of about five or ten minutes to the memorial from this end.
The flight left R.A.F. Ossington on a non-operational night flying training flight. It was on a cross country course and was heading home. They were slightly off their intended course and the weather reports showed 8/10ths cloud cover and a visibility of two miles.
The aircraft flew directly over the Grouse Inn at 22.40, startling the landlord who had closed up the pub for the night, it flew towards Tewitt Hall Wood, bounced in the field and one wing ended up in the next field, the fuselage turning over and bursting into flames as it hit the woods, ending up on the hillside, above where the memorial is now. An accident report states their navigation was slightly off track on a return leg of their flight and that they may have come down below the cloud level to see where they were, a practice which was forbidden. We may never know the true reasons for this tragic accident, which cost all their lives.
The aircraft was BK387, a Wellington Bomber Mark III, with two Hercules mark XI engines.
These men were buried in adjoining graves in section C, row H, graves 11 to 16 inclusive at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery.