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Military Jet Crash at Frechville in the 50's

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03-12-2004, 14:57   #1
Buster
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Does anyone remember or have information about a RAF airplane crash in the 50's which just missed Frecheville garage and came down in a field on the other side of Birley Moor road? I was a kid at the time and remember seeing some of the wreckage and a policeman standing guard. It may have been about '55 but I have not been able to find any details.
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03-12-2004, 15:16   #2
Geoff
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Try searching the forum for 'frecheville'. I found a topic about war time Frecheville at: http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/show...ht=Frecheville

There are others too - good luck.
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03-12-2004, 15:27   #3
Fowler
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i would also be intrested inany information as a spent a few years livin in frecheville recently. Could you be more specific to where it landed/crashed?
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03-12-2004, 21:44   #4
bostonaire
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the plane crash youre talking about is the one i think that crash landed in the field just on the corner of silkstone crescent... towards the path that goes thru the field to birley spa school .my family used to live there and saw it all ..the pilot ejected to safety..
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05-12-2004, 12:21   #5
Buster
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Thanks for your help on this one Nitelife. Looks like you got it in one. It is great to hear that the pilot did escape safely as this was something I wasn't sure about. I remember being amazed that the plane came down on a small patch of clear land with houses on both sides of it. Any idea what year that was?
Thanks also Geoff for your input.
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05-12-2004, 19:58   #6
bostonaire
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hi possibly very late 50#s or very early 60's ........not exactly sure ..ill ask my family!
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07-12-2004, 15:35   #7
little malc
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I seem to have a distant memory that it was a Meteor twin engined jet, can't remember any details though.
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07-12-2004, 16:50   #8
Fowler
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Does anyone know if there's any pics?
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when you get to the gates of heaven tell them that you never saw evil so personified as in the face of your killer.
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07-12-2004, 19:10   #9
bostonaire
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im trying to gather more information from my family who saw it all ...ill get back to you
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08-12-2004, 12:26   #10
Buster
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There may have been a report in the newspaper I guess about this accident? I have a feeling that it was a Meteor also. Perhaps based at Finningley?
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08-12-2004, 22:09   #11
bostonaire
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no its def what i said .....my family saw it all mate.it was a plane ...
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09-12-2004, 09:50   #12
Fowler
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Quote:
Originally posted by nitelife40
no its def what i said .....my family saw it all mate.it was a plane ...
A meteor is a type of plane mate. It was used by the RAF between 1948-1972. Primarily as a trainer.There was a sqnd based at Finningley near doncaster.

Do you know the year Nitelife? or any other info?
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when you get to the gates of heaven tell them that you never saw evil so personified as in the face of your killer.
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09-12-2004, 21:33   #13
haganite
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I think the year was 1954. It was a late summer evening around 9.30pm. The jet ( A Gloster Meteor) came over Frecheville from the Gleadless/ Base Green direction and one engine was on fire as it came down. The pilot was a 19 year old trainee on his first solo night flight. He was killed in the crash as the fuel ignited on impact and burning wreckage was spread all around the field opposite the BP Garage on Birley Moor Road. There was speculation that he had deliberately stayed with the plane to steer away from the houses into the open area. There used to be a memorial stone in the garden at the top of the footpath down to the housing estate but it appears to have been removed.
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14-12-2004, 13:16   #14
Buster
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Big Thanks Haganite. Your information about this incident has helped me clear up a mystery that I have had at the back of my mind for the past 50 years! It is a good feeling to know that others can respond with what does appear to fit in with some things I had forgotton. Like the speculation about the pilot staying with the plane to avoid the houses and the direction of the flightpath.
I remember thinking as a kid that he must have just cleared the garage on the way down. I do remember the cops telling us kids to clear off! I didn't know about the memorial and it is a pity that it "dissapeared".
As this tragic event, in which I like to believe that the young pilot did a courageous thing by avoiding further casualties, happened 50 years ago '54 to 2004 ; wouldn't it be fitting if the local community (Frecheville/ Birley) or the City Council were to re establish a memorial of some kind?? I mean this could have been one outstanding individual act of bravery! Let's face it he probably had a choice. They were fitted with ejection seat I believe. Food for thought!!!
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15-12-2004, 23:11   #15
LedZeppelin
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I don't usually post on these forums but this subject has stirred me as I used to live on Silkstone Road which is near where this happened. I used to play on there for years as a kid and I had no idea that this was where some young fella crashed a Jet plane. I wonder how many more plane crashes there have been in Sheffield and when??
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08-01-2005, 22:50   #16
Seahornet
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Sorry to pick up on an old thread, but I spoke to my Mum, and she remembered the crash. It was late evening, and she thinks it may have been an election night (was there an election around 1954?). The jet went very low over our prefab on Stradbroke Road, and crashed seconds later. (The crash site by Silkstone Crescent is about three quarters of a mile away, 9 seconds at (say) 400 mph.) For years after, there were oil stains on the wall of our prefab.

Mum said the papers had recorded the pilot's name as Cowen or Cohen, or similar. Whether he had the chance to eject is open to question (early ejector seats were only effective under certain flight conditions, and some Night Fighter and training versions of the Meteor didn't even have ejector seats), but it was generally regarded that he had fought to avoid the houses.

A sad event, I hope more comes to light, to remember this young man.

SH
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18-01-2005, 19:48   #17
ADC_28
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Quote:
Originally posted by LedZeppelin
I wonder how many more plane crashes there have been in Sheffield and when??
Well, there's the infamous B-17 crash in Endcliffe park. I can't remember specifically which year of the war it was but the story is similar to our friend in the Meteor.

The pilot and crew were limping a sick plane home and had found that they were going to have to it set down. They picked the nearest big green space they could see but when they got low they realised that people were in the park. They pulled up knowing full well that they weren't going to clear the hill up towards Ranmoor and that, as they say, was that.

There it a plaque to the crew set on a big rock behing the stepping stones in the park. I still think poppies are laid there every year. Anyone know of any others?
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"With your mind power, your determination, your instinct and your experience as well, you can fly very high"... Ayrton Senna.
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31-03-2005, 10:19   #18
wheaty
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The plane was a Gloseter Meteor F8 No. WE916 and crashed at 11.22pm on Thursday 26th May 1955 whilst on a night flight training excercise from RAF Worksop.

The pilot was 21 year old John Alexander Cohen from Cardiff and apparently lost control whilst undertaking a controlled descent though cloud.

The pilot was killed instantly as the plane dived steeply into the ground and exploded on impact in the field at the bottom of Silkstone Crescent.

I have copies of the crash investigation report, police and witness statements plus photographs.

Check my website for details of another Meteor Crash in the area just two weeks prior at Millthorpe, Holmesfield and our efforts to provide a memorial to the pilot who was killed.

www.millthorpeaircrash.org.uk
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31-03-2005, 10:38   #19
wheaty
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Check also this link to the thread about a USAF F-84 Thunderstreak that ran out of fuel over Hathersage Moor and crashed into Lodge Moor Hospital, killing a patient and wounding several others...

http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/show...threadid=10336
(page two contains the salient facts)

The pilot bailed out safely in this instance.
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13-01-2007, 11:48   #20
Puffin4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheaty
The plane was a Gloseter Meteor F8 No. WE916 and crashed at 11.22pm on Thursday 26th May 1955 whilst on a night flight training excercise from RAF Worksop.

The pilot was 21 year old John Alexander Cohen from Cardiff and apparently lost control whilst undertaking a controlled descent though cloud.

The pilot was killed instantly as the plane dived steeply into the ground and exploded on impact in the field at the bottom of Silkstone Crescent.

I have copies of the crash investigation report, police and witness statements plus photographs.

Check my website for details of another Meteor Crash in the area just two weeks prior at Millthorpe, Holmesfield and our efforts to provide a memorial to the pilot who was killed.

www.millthorpeaircrash.org.uk
I actually saw this crash happen, from afar. I was standing in the garden of my home at Richmond when I saw the flash and then heard the explosion. The following day, I walked across the fields to see what had happened but was denied access to the site by the RAF guard. I would agree with all details given above as I remember them from the press report. I would have been 16 years old at the time. Did we not call RAF Worksop RAF Manton at the time?
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