The Godmanchester Stirling
This aircraft, captained by Squadron Leader Drummond Wilson, was one of 18 Stirling bombers which were part of a raid on the German city of Essen on the night of the 10th/11th April 1942.
Over the city they were 'coned' by searchlights and badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire.
Drummond, and his co-pilot 19yr old Sgt David Southey, coaxed the stricken bomber back to RAF Alconbury. However with wheels down on final approach they were ordered to go 'around' as there was an aircraft on the runway without permission.
As they flew over Godmanchester a damaged oil pipe broke, both starboard engines cut out and the plane came down in an area close to the A14/Cow Lane.
Drummond and the Mid Upper Gunner, Sgt Edgar Gould, were killed. Of the six that survived, three would not live to see the end of the war. The Navigator, Flying Officer Clifford Reeve, went back into the burning aircraft to rescue two crew members despite being severely injured himself.
For his actions that day he was awarded a military MBE which he received from the King in December 1942 at Buckingham Palace.
This site is dedicated to the crew of Stirling N3703, their fellow XV Squadron colleagues and the men of Bomber Command. My book 'Stirling to Essen' tells their remarkable tale.