Accident Handley Page Halifax Mk VII JP203, Friday 8 June 1945
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Date:Friday 8 June 1945
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic hlfx model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Handley Page Halifax Mk VII
Owner/operator:48 MU RAF
Registration: JP203
MSN: VR-M
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Burdyke Avenue, Clifton, York, North Yorkshire, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Hooton Park, Cheshire
Destination airport:Clifton Airfield, North Yorkshire
Narrative:
After the end of the War, many of the Halifaxes used by Bomber Command were flown to Clifton airfield to be scrapped. This aircraft (which was on charge with 48 MU, RAF) was being ferried from Hooton Park, Cheshire to Clifton, North Yorkshire on 8th June 1945 and was forced to shut down and feather the port outer engine before it arrived over York.

He approached from the Haxby direction and was on his final approach to land with only three good engines. Late into his approach air traffic control signaled to him not to land, by firing a red Verey cartridge into the air, as there was an obstruction blocking the runway. The pilot attempted to overshoot but at such a low height of fifty feet and with only three engines gaining much height quickly was virtually impossible.

A wingtip clipped the top of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Burdyke Avenue, Clifton and the aircraft crashed into the car park of the nearby Imperial Hotel killing both airmen instantly on board. Wreckage was scattered in the housing estate for some distance.

Fifty one years after this crash members of the Yorkshire Air Museum were responsible for erecting a memorial at the foot of the church tower in Clifton. Members of the airmens families were in attendance, including A/C Colin Cruickshanks AFC (the pilot's son), the pilot's mother and two sisters of the flight engineer.

Pilot - Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) Ian James Alexander Cruickshanks (RAFVR 80819), aged 26, Buried Leamington Milverton Cemetery, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Flight Engineer - Flight Sergeant Victor Henry Clare DFM RAFVR (1605068), aged 20, of Acton, Middlesex. Buried Fulford Cemetery, York.

Note that, due to an administrative error, the serial of this aircraft was wrongly recorded at the time as "NP203", The correct serial is JP203. As JP203, it had seen operational service with No. 428 (B) Squadron, RCAF, coded 'NA-U'. Also with No. 419 Squadron, RCAF, coded 'VR-M'. Both Squadrons were based at RAF Middleton St. George, near Darlington, County Durham.

Sources:

1. http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/planes/ryedale/jp203.html
2. http://yorkstories.co.uk/halifax-bomber-crash-site-clifton-8-june-1945/
3. http://www.rwrwalker.ca/RAF_owned_JP100.html
4. http://www.planetrace.co.uk/1940-1949_28.html
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2714536/cruickshanks,-ian-james-alexander/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2407929/clare,-victor-henry/

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
05-May-2013 09:43 Dr. John Smith Added
28-Oct-2018 07:44 ALAN MACKAY Updated [Registration]
13-Nov-2019 19:11 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Narrative]
13-Nov-2019 19:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
15-Nov-2019 18:40 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]
18-May-2024 18:57 Nepa Updated [Location, Destination airport, Operator]

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