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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 122841
Last updated: 17 January 2022
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Date:19-SEP-1939
Time:11:35 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic bttl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairey Battle Mk I
Owner/operator:150 Squadron Royal Air Force (150 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L5225
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near Chalons-sur-Marne, Marne, Champagne-Ardenne -   France
Phase: Landing
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Ecury-sur-Coole, Reims, France
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Fairey Battle Mk.1 L5225 of 150 Squadron, RAF (Coded JN-L) took off from Ecury-sur-Coole at 11:15 for local training photo sortie. Suffered engine failure and attempted forced landing at 11:35, burst into flames; aircraft caught fire and all three crew killed. Aircraft came down near Chalons-sur-Marne, Marne, Champagne-Ardenne (at approximate co-ordinates 4857′27″N 421′54″E). According to a contemporary report, originally in French, and roughly translated:

"...to ensure this photographic training mission, P/O Calvert is far from the only airman on board. It forms indeed a crew of three with two of his comrades. The Sergeant Thomas Baker Woodmason , aged 27, is the observer while the Aircraftman First Class John Leonard Marsh , aged 18, is a radio operator/gunner. However, after about twenty minutes of flight, the three young men will be the victims of a terrible tragedy that will be fatal.

Indeed, for some reason, the Battle, who plays near his land with Ecury, suddenly it struck to the ground at 11:35 , exploding in a shower of flames. For the crew, the consequences are tragic. Sgt Woodmason and AC.1 Marsh died on the spot while P/O Calvert, seriously injured, was immediately taken to the military hospital in Chalons-sur-Marne (now renamed Chalons-en-Champagne). Despite the care provided him, he can not, however, survive the severity of his injuries. The young man gives up the ghost at 20:30.

Originally laid to rest in the cemetery of Ecury-sur-Coole, the bodies of P/O James Lionel Calvert, Sgt Thomas Baker Woodmason and AC1 John Leonard Marsh will subsequently exhumed to be buried in the cemetery of Clichy, in the Hauts-de-Seine .

Nevertheless, the commune of Ecury-sur-Coole was keen to preserve and honor the memory of these young men, erecting a monument on the grounds of the cemetery. This consists of a three-bladed propeller [which may have been taken from Battle L5225], the memorial includes an engraved plaque of this dedication: " To the Airmen of the RAF died Ecury-sur-Coole during the 1939-1945 war ".

Crew of Battle L5225:
Pilot: Pilot Officer James Lionel Calvert (aged 22, Service Number 39491) - killed in action 19 September 1939
Sgt Thomas Baker Woodmason (Observer, aged 27, Service Number 562366) - killed in action 19 September 1939
AC.1 John Leonard.Marsh (Radio Operator/Air Gunner, aged 18, Service Number 551571) - killed in action 19 September 1939

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 34)
2. The Battle File (Sidney Shail, Air Britain, 1997 p 146)
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/1540: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C16359571
4. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2235047/calvert,-james-lionel/
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2235238/woodmason,-thomas-baker/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2235158/marsh,-john-leonard/
7. http://olivier.housseaux.free.fr/AVIONS/L5225/recit.htm
8. http://www.aerosteles.net/fiche.php?code=ecurysurcoole-raf&lang=en
9. http://www.oldhaltonians.co.uk/pages/rememb/ROH/W.htm
10. http://www.backtonormandy.org/component/mtree/air-force-operations/airplanes-allies-and-axis-lost/fairey-battle/RAF10110.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
31-May-2011 04:43 ThW Added
26-Jun-2013 19:09 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
09-Jan-2015 23:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Jun-2015 11:26 MiG17 Updated [Operator]
11-Nov-2015 09:15 JINX Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative]
30-Oct-2018 19:28 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
25-Jun-2019 23:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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