Bristol Bombay Mk. 1 L5814, 216 Squadron, 7 August, 1942

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by lostinspace, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. lostinspace

    lostinspace Junior Member

    I came across this information on the other occupants of the Bristol Bombay shot down on 7 August, 1942 & thought it might be of interest.. Not sure if this detail has been posted on before, did try a simple search, and although there are a great many posts that have touched on Gott's death, couldn't find any information on the other crew/passengers that were killed or injured.
    This is from the Aviation Safety Network, Flight Safety Foundation database (, ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 16932:

    Date: 07-AUG-1942
    Time: 17:08 LT
    Type: Bristol Bombay Mk I
    Owner/operator: 216 Squadron Royal Air Force (216 Sqn RAF)
    Registration: L5814
    C/n / msn: SH.7
    Fatalities: Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 17
    Other fatalities: 0
    Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
    Location: 30 km SSW of Alexandria, near LG.90 - [​IMG] Egypt
    Phase: En route
    Nature: Military
    Departure airport: Burg El Arab, Egypt
    Destination airport: RAF Heliopolis, Alamza, Cairo, Egypt
    Bristol Bombay Mk.1 L5814, 216 Squadron, RAF. Written off (destroyed) 7.8.42: Crashed in the Egyptian Desert, 30 km SSW of Alexandria, near LG.90. The aircraft had 17 persons on board (7 crew and 10 passengers). They were detailed to pick up 14 wounded soldiers from Burg-el-Arab. At 4:45 P.M. the aircraft took off and flying only 50 feet off the ground so as not to attract the attention of Luftwaffe aircraft headed back to Heliopolis. One passenger was a VIP, Lieutenant-General William Henry Ewart "Strafer" Gott, CB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC, who has been appointed as successor to General Claude Auchinleck as commander of the Eighth Army just the day before.

    Before he could take up his post, Gott was killed when the transport plane he was travelling in was shot down and destroyed while returning to Cairo from the battle area. The aircraft, a Bristol Bombay of No. 216 Squadron RAF flown by 19-year-old Flight Sergeant Hugh "Jimmy" James, was intercepted and shot down by Unteroffizier Bernd Schneider and Emil Clade of Jagdgeschwader 27 (Fighter Wing 27). With both engines out, the pilot had made a successful crash landing, but two German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters attacked the crashed plane, strafing it until the Bombay was totally wrecked. Those who were unable to escape from the downed Bombay (including Gott) were killed. Gott's body was buried at the El Alamein War Cemetery.

    Pilot: Sgt H.G. James RAF injured.
    Pilot: Sgt P. Lawson RAF injured.
    W/op: Sgt 971119 H. Daniels RAFVR injured.
    Sgt Bowles RAF injured.
    Medical Orderly OK.
    Fitter: LAC 900222 J.C. Manning RAFVR OK.
    Rigger:LAC 1255696 P.N. Howarth RAFVR OK.
    Lt General 1798 W.H.E. Gott Army killed.
    Gunner 879399 J. Cleary 155 Battery 52 Lt AA Regiment RA killed.
    Gunner 1826601 T. McDonald 3 Battery 1 Lt AA Regiment RA killed.
    Sapper 2117828 F. Price 588 Army Field Company Royal Engineers killed.
    Signalman 2320419 J.T. Cox Royal Corp of Signals XXX Corp Signals killed.
    Trooper 4133211 J.J. Lamb 50th (4th Bn The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) killed.
    Private 4532717 W. Wilson 2nd Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment killed.
    Private 4537993 R.T. Charlesworth 2nd Battalion The West Yorkshire Regiment killed.
    Private 5730249 A.R. Saggers RAOC killed.
    Lt/Cpl 6007839 G.D. Dodd 1/4th Battalion The Essex Regiment killed.

    Just prior to the crash the (un-named) Medical Orderly had accidentally fallen through the forward hatch and had been saved by landing in soft sand. All the fatalities were interred at El Alamein War Cemetery in Egypt.
    Orwell1984 likes this.
  2. lostinspace

    lostinspace Junior Member

    After reading more about this incident, is it now the consensus that the Germans were tipped off and ambushed the Bombay?
    This blog post by James Holland from 2006 The Truth Behind the Death of General Gott – James Holland's Griffon Merlin certainly indicates that.
    Plus, the title of N.S. Nash's book 'Strafer', Desert General: The Life and Killing of Lieutenant General W.H.E. Gott seems to agree. Has anyone read it?
    morrisc8 likes this.
  3. lordgort

    lordgort New Member

    Thank you for sharing lostinspace, that is a fascinating article that I wasn't aware of. I knew of Gott being killed on the ground after a crash landing but had no idea it may have been a targetted killing rather than random encounter.
    lostinspace likes this.

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