Item BCA - 2017.1277 - Act of Remembrance for Albemarle V1782, Memorial Cairn, Mill Farm, Black Bourton August 27th 2015

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BCA - 2017.1277

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Act of Remembrance for Albemarle V1782, Memorial Cairn, Mill Farm, Black Bourton August 27th 2015

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  • August 27th 2015 (Creation)

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pdf of 17 pages and photographs

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297 Squadron had moved to RAF Brize Norton early in 1944 as part of No 38 Group and had subsequently been involved in the opening of the Second Front on D Day, towing Horsa gliders with paratroops in Operation Overlord. Flt Sgt Alan Busbridge and his regular crew took part in two missions on D Day, one in Phase II of Tonga and then again in the evening of 6th (Operation Mallard), completing them both successfully. After the D Day operations the Squadron continued dropping supplies to the resistance forces in France. On the night of 26th August one such SOE operation was to take place and by a tragic twist of fate, Flt Sgt Busbridge and his crew, who were not due to fly that night, were deployed at the last minute. Two replacements had to be found as two of the regular crew members had already left the Station for the night. Albemarle V1782 took off at 2300 with Flt Sgt Alan Busbridge as pilot, Flt Sgt William Insley and Flt Sgt Bernard Mowan on board, along with Sgt Kenneth Shay and Sgt Edgar Bonser who was seconded from 296 Squadron. Approximately five hours later, after a successful mission despite adverse weather conditions during the flight, they were almost home when they were instructed to overshoot the runway. There was speculation as to what the cause was, but as the aircraft circled over Black Bourton it crashed in a field near Mill Farm and all five crew members perished. The Cairn is by the start of the farm lane off the Bampton to Black Bourton road and the crew are remembered every year.

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