Historians seek relatives of brave Second World War airman

Bournemouth Echo: Historians seek relatives of brave Second World War fighter pilot Historians seek relatives of brave Second World War fighter pilot

HISTORIANS want to trace relatives of a brave Upton airman killed alongside his World War Two bomber comrades after a daring night raid over Germany in 1944.

Ernest John Fancy, buried in Lytchett Minster churchyard, was the son of Upton couple Willie and Edith Fancy, who had at least five other children.

Ernest died alongside six crewmates when his crippled Lancaster bomber, UM-K2 DV 177, crashed just 30 seconds short of an American airbase in Essex. He was only 22 years old.

Next year a group of Essex residents, spearheaded by Chris Stanfield, are hoping to unveil a small memorial to the heroic crew that almost made it home.

They’ve managed to trace close relatives of all of the flyers apart from Ernest.

Mr Stanfield, who got involved in the project after talking to friends who witnessed the crash site as children, explained how Ernest’s Lancaster was attacked by a lone German aircraft while returning from a mission to Karlsruhe, Germany, on April 25, 1944.

“UM-K2 was back over the UK, flying near Diss when the attack happened,” he said.

“Some 10 minutes later the aircraft was badly damaged, fire engulfing the port wing and extending the length of the fuselage.

“The pilots attempted to make an emergency landing at USAAF base Boxted, near Colchester, Essex.”

With thick fog reducing visibility, the Americans took the gutsy step of lighting flares to guide the stricken bomber in.

“This was an unusual thing to do,” said Mr Stanfield.

“It could have placed the Americans under attack as it was unknown whether the German aircraft was still in the area.”

Sadly, despite the valiant efforts of everyone in the air and on the ground, UM-K2 DV 177 crashed on the edge of the airbase.

It became one of the 11 Lancasters and eight Halifax bombers that failed to make it back from the mission that night.

“No one survived the crash,” said Mr Stanfield.

“Had they managed to keep airborne for another 30 seconds they would have reached the runway and possibly some, if not all of the crew, would have survived.

“When the aircraft came down part of an engine entered American personnel barracks, narrowly missing sleeping servicemen within.”

Bomber Command suffered huge losses during the Second World War, with 55,573 airmen killed.

This represented a worst survival rate than a World War One infantry officer.

The memorial will be a simple brick pillar with an inscribed black marble top bearing the seven men’s names.

Anyone who can help Mr Stanfield in his search for information should either write to him at 24 Hollymead Close, Colchester, Essex, or email chrisstanfield@ntlworld.com

Comments (7)

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2:20pm Wed 21 Nov 12

EddieVH says...

"Historians seek relatives of brave Second World War fighter pilot"

I hate to be 'that guy', but the only fighter pilot in the story was the German. Does the author realise that 'fighter' refers only to a specific class of aircraft (think Spitfire), not including Lancasters...

Try "Historians seek relatives of brave Second World War Airman"
"Historians seek relatives of brave Second World War fighter pilot" I hate to be 'that guy', but the only fighter pilot in the story was the German. Does the author realise that 'fighter' refers only to a specific class of aircraft (think Spitfire), not including Lancasters... Try "Historians seek relatives of brave Second World War Airman" EddieVH
  • Score: 0

1:50am Thu 22 Nov 12

billd766 says...

Perhaps the writer of the Story, Jim Durkin, could add Google to his list of favourite sites and do some research before writing a story.
What about the brave German fighter pilot, who, like the crew of the Lancaster, was only doing his job too.
Perhaps the writer of the Story, Jim Durkin, could add Google to his list of favourite sites and do some research before writing a story. What about the brave German fighter pilot, who, like the crew of the Lancaster, was only doing his job too. billd766
  • Score: 0

10:34am Thu 22 Nov 12

elite50 says...

billd766 wrote:
Perhaps the writer of the Story, Jim Durkin, could add Google to his list of favourite sites and do some research before writing a story.
What about the brave German fighter pilot, who, like the crew of the Lancaster, was only doing his job too.
You have obviously never been bombed by "brave" Germans!
[quote][p][bold]billd766[/bold] wrote: Perhaps the writer of the Story, Jim Durkin, could add Google to his list of favourite sites and do some research before writing a story. What about the brave German fighter pilot, who, like the crew of the Lancaster, was only doing his job too.[/p][/quote]You have obviously never been bombed by "brave" Germans! elite50
  • Score: 0

11:41am Thu 22 Nov 12

billd766 says...

billd766 wrote:
Perhaps the writer of the Story, Jim Durkin, could add Google to his list of favourite sites and do some research before writing a story.
What about the brave German fighter pilot, who, like the crew of the Lancaster, was only doing his job too.
You have never been bomber by the brave British either.
Wars are NEVER started by the military but by the civilians who run the countries.
Sadly ALL servicemen in All countries are sent in to clear up the mess.
Most German military in the Army, Navy and Air Force were doing to us what we were doing to them.
Go to the library and get a copy of The Battle of Hamburg by Martin Middlebrooke.
And in case you are interested I was in the RAF for 25 years from 1960 to 1984.
[quote][p][bold]billd766[/bold] wrote: Perhaps the writer of the Story, Jim Durkin, could add Google to his list of favourite sites and do some research before writing a story. What about the brave German fighter pilot, who, like the crew of the Lancaster, was only doing his job too.[/p][/quote]You have never been bomber by the brave British either. Wars are NEVER started by the military but by the civilians who run the countries. Sadly ALL servicemen in All countries are sent in to clear up the mess. Most German military in the Army, Navy and Air Force were doing to us what we were doing to them. Go to the library and get a copy of The Battle of Hamburg by Martin Middlebrooke. And in case you are interested I was in the RAF for 25 years from 1960 to 1984. billd766
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Thu 22 Nov 12

pete woodley says...

My father served with the canadians in ww1,he preffered the germans to the french.
My father served with the canadians in ww1,he preffered the germans to the french. pete woodley
  • Score: 0

10:24pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Chris Stanfield says...

As the person who wrote the letter which was very kindly published by the Bournemouth Echo may I just say that the German pilot may well have been brave. I am in fact also trying to find information about him since we know who he was and from what Group he belonged to (KG/51)

But the point of the letter was to try and find relatives of Ernest Fancy.

The focus is on this alone.

So 'billd766' you are not really helping by taking the taking the topic in a different direction.
As the person who wrote the letter which was very kindly published by the Bournemouth Echo may I just say that the German pilot may well have been brave. I am in fact also trying to find information about him since we know who he was and from what Group he belonged to (KG/51) But the point of the letter was to try and find relatives of Ernest Fancy. The focus is on this alone. So 'billd766' you are not really helping by taking the taking the topic in a different direction. Chris Stanfield
  • Score: 0

11:16pm Tue 27 Nov 12

billd766 says...

Chris Stanfield wrote:
As the person who wrote the letter which was very kindly published by the Bournemouth Echo may I just say that the German pilot may well have been brave. I am in fact also trying to find information about him since we know who he was and from what Group he belonged to (KG/51)

But the point of the letter was to try and find relatives of Ernest Fancy.

The focus is on this alone.

So 'billd766' you are not really helping by taking the taking the topic in a different direction.
My apologies for that.
[quote][p][bold]Chris Stanfield[/bold] wrote: As the person who wrote the letter which was very kindly published by the Bournemouth Echo may I just say that the German pilot may well have been brave. I am in fact also trying to find information about him since we know who he was and from what Group he belonged to (KG/51) But the point of the letter was to try and find relatives of Ernest Fancy. The focus is on this alone. So 'billd766' you are not really helping by taking the taking the topic in a different direction.[/p][/quote]My apologies for that. billd766
  • Score: 0

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