World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                    Barbara Hemingway 

The last mission of Halifax LW 598/OW’J’

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: George Camamile, Doris Camamile, Joyce Camamile and John Camamile
Location of story: Newton on Ouse Yorkshire
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Alan Shippam of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Barbara Hemingway.

About 4 a.m. on the 9th of June 1944, HALIFAX No. LW598/OW’J’ was returning to RAF Linton-on-Ouse Yorkshire after completing bombing missions at the Railway Centre in Mayonne Germany.

On returning to Linton-on-Ouse, bad weather made it very difficult for them to land, and flying control issued them diversion instructions. They were flying over the airfield, when Pilot Officer N.L. Craig and crew learned that the trip to the alternative airfield would take about 50 mins, and they were running out of fuel.
The pilot decided to try and land at Linton. He took the Halifax down to 800 ft, where he saw a break in the clouds and could see the outer circle of the airfield lights. He lowered the undercarriage and at that moment, one of the cylinders on the starboard inner engine blew off and a fire started in the engine.

By this time the plane was in a low slow glide, and as the pilot struggled to put our the fire, it collided with a house in Newton-on-Ouse, about a mile away from the airfield, it then crashed into a field opposite, spinning around and sliding sideways, it demolished our house, and the fire spread.

My parents George W Camamile and Doris K Camamile, sister Joyce Camamile aged 16 months and baby brother John Camamile 8 days old, were asleep at the time. The fire fighters from RAF Linton-on-Ouse rescued them. The pilot was taken from the wreckage unconscious and severely injured. Flight Sergeant Neil who was the mid upper gunner on the flight, managed to get himself clear of the wreckage, he was slightly injured and badly shaken, but he did assist in the rescue, and was awarded the British Empire Medal. The remaining 6 members of the crew were all killed.

I wasn’t home when this happened, had I been I wouldn’t be writing this as the wing of the plane prevented access to what was my little bedroom. We were now homeless, we were given accommodation on Kyle House at Newton-on-Ouse. In this house, some of the aircrew lived. I remember having to be very quiet during the day , because these airmen were asleep, they were flying at night.
A memorial stone has been erected in the back lane at Newton-on-Ouse (where this happened) and the crew are remembered.