Wellington crash-Lest We Forget

On the 21st of May 1942, a Wellington bomber with a crew of 5 crashed into a field near Roddymoor.              The crash was fatal for all of the  crew members,  the plane exploded on contact.

The Wellington was from 25 Op Training, RAF, piloted by Sergeant David Roberts, RAAF. The other crew members were Sergeant Rae Groom, RAAF, - Flt Sgt Angus Frederick Roberts, RCAF, - Flt Sergeant Robert Melbourne Boates, RCAF and Flt Sergeant William Neil Reeves, RCAF.

All of the crew are buried next to each other in the war graves section in West Cemetery, Darlington.

According to eye witnesses the bomber with one engine ablaze came in low over St Thomas's church at the west end of Stanley Crook and then dropped down  towards Roddymoor.

It appeared that the pilot  Sgt. David Roberts struggled with the plane and managed to avoid Roddymoor's houses before ditching in a field.

Lance Henderson who was 13 years old at the time, pedalled quickly to the scene and has never forgotten it. He wanted a memorial plaque to be erected at Roddymoor, but it was not to be.   Instead the Wear Valley Council commissioned a brass plaque that now hangs in the North East Aircraft Museum near the Nisson Factory in Washington.