Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

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 Ipswich Star 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 Ipswich Star 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 Ipswich Star 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

An artist's impression of the street scene at Wolsey Grange.

A rejected bid to create almost 500 homes on land near Ipswich is to be reconsidered – following allegations a district councillor was handed a note during the original hearing.


A trolley bus at the junction of Duke Street (right) and Fore Hamlet (behind the bus) in April 1963. (Photo by Alan Valentine).

It is more than 50 years since the last trolley bus service ran on the streets of Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

High water at Felixstowe Ferry. Archive image. Photo: Stephen Squirrell/citizenside.com

Flood alerts are in place tonight along the Essex and Suffolk coastline.

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking.

A group of former employees at a store in Ipswich have been left distraught after car park fines mistakenly issued more than two years ago has left them facing a court appearance.

Two charged over cannabis factory

A78-year-old Ipswich man is one of two people to have been charged after police raided a cannabis factory near Stowmarket.

Bucklesham Grange care home, Ipswich celebrate shrove Tuesday with a pancake race and pancake tossing 
Debbie and John with Daniel rowark

Flipping good fun was had by all at Bucklesham Grange Care Home this afternoon as a range of games and activities were put on to mark Shrove Tuesday.

Local campaigners  gather in silent protest against the prospective development of rushmere memorial woodland and small holding

A site registered as an asset of community value last year faces losing the status already after a High Court battle against housing plans was rejected.

Northgate High School GV.

A former teacher at an Ipswich secondary school is to appear in court charged with alleged sex offences involving teenage girls.

Do you know where this church is?

Take a look at our selection of photos - how many Suffolk churches can you identify?

Share your pancake photos with us

Live news feed bringing you the latest headlines, sports stories and opinion from across Suffolk and north Essex.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24