In 1944 there was an aeroplane crash in Foxton on the slope of West Hill.
Cliff Schultz, the radio operator on the aeroplane was kind enough to
reply when asked about the event in 2003. His reply is exactly reproduced below,
although I suspect that Mr Debbin could be Mr Dobbin and there might be some
other minor inaccuracies in the post war references.
"Thank you for asking to hear more of the crash in Foxton. Telling you
this story just helps to keep the 'Memory Alive'. The whole story would
fill a book. I have the whole story from my memory and that of my crew
members and official records copied from micro film. The following is a
small portion of my records and memory.
On Christmas Eve 24 December 1944 the bitterly coldest day in 54 years with
dense fog less than 100 yards visibility and ice crystals covering every tree
and bush the 91st BG prepared to attack the air field at Kirch-Gons to support
the troops in the Battle of the Bulge. We took off at 1038 hours from
runway 07 and crashed just east of the town of Foxton which was 5 miles from the
end of runway 07. The crash was on West Hill Farm on the newly ploughed
field of Mr. B. Debbin. The AC 43-38946 (No Name) DF-H was a total wreck.
After exiting the AC all members of the crew except the Navigator, Elmer Gettis
(broken leg) and Harold Burts, Bombardier (ear cut off) OK except for minor cuts
and bruises. Mr. Debbin and another man (unknown) was seen approaching the crash
with shotgun in hand; he thought we were a German crew shot down by a Spitfire.
The Bombardiers ear was retrieved by the Ball Turret gunner and later replaced
by surgeons at hospital. A Mr. Lowe was the driver of the Foxton Village
ambulance that transported the Navigator and Bombardier to hospital.
The rest of the crew taken by military truck to base hospital. After the
crash the pilot J C Bowlan went to the village to phone the base that he had
crashed, a young man (name unknown) directed him to a phone box and lit a
cigarette for him. Mr. Debbin had 2 daughters, one lives in the UK, the
other in the USA (name or address unknown). Also thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Black
who ran the village of Foxton shop and post office who shared information to
Richard Payne who shared his find with me. Should you want any additional
information please e-mail me. I apologize for rambling it's not much of a
topic of archaeology but a part of your village and my life.
My thanks to Vince Hemmings who sent me information on the crash site and to
Richard Payne who has recovered parts of the aircraft and has mailed me a few
pieces, Richard lives in Royston Herts.
Hope this helps,
Cliff M Schultz"
Other descriptions of that particular night are on the 91st Bomber Group
web page, intriguingly including instructions on emergency de icing of
Sent from Olivia Bukosky Feb 08:-
Very interesting site. My grandparents, Raymond R. Dobbin and Marjorie
Webb Dobbin lived at West Hill Farm from I believe 1907 (or before) until the
1980's. It appears that the info about the plane crash lists the owner of West
Hill Farm as B. Debbin. It should be R. Dobbin.
Last modified:22 May, 2014