Mosquito Crash

In memory of
F/L John Henry Kenny
F/O Martin Henry Ove Levin
F/ S Allan Lawson Rookes
F/ S David Winlow


On the 6/7 Aug 1944 Mosquito MkXX KB202 XD from 139 squadron Pathfinder Force crashed into a house at Raf Upwood while trying to land in fog. Four people died in the accident. Two were members of 156 squadron which had just returned to the house after coming back from a night mission over Germany. Flight Sergeant Allan Lawson Rookes, and Flight Sergeant (Nav.) David Winlow both died in the house.
The two Mosquito crew members also died.
F/L John Henry Kenny (Pilot) DFC & Bar and F/O Martin Henry Ove Levin (Nav.) DFC.

Operational record book

After a week's bad weather fourteen aircraft of 139 Squadron were dispatched to attack two targets, Cologne and Castrop-Rauxel. Seven H2s were detailed to drop their bombs on Cologne on H2s but one aircraft did not take off owing to instrument trouble. Of the remaining six, five aircraft dropped their bombs and photoflash between 23.44 and 23.46 in clear to cloudy weather. Dummy T.I.'s and fires were seen by some crews. KB202 crashed while landing in difficult conditions. All but four of the aircraft were diverted owing to fog conditions at base

DK324 Target Castrop-Rauxel
KB265 Target Castrop-Rauxel
KB264 Target Castrop-Rauxel
KB118 Target Castrop-Rauxel Failed to return to base, nothing being heard of after take off
KB198 Target Castrop-Rauxel
KB233 Target Castrop-Rauxel
KB210 Target Castrop-Rauxel

KB241 Target Cologne but Bombed Dusseldorf by mistake
KB205 Target Cologne
KB191 Target Cologne
KB263 Target Cologne
KB202 Target Cologne Crashed while landing in difficult conditions
KB206 Target Cologne

The Mosquito took off from Upwood at 22.15 on a mission to Cologne, on its return at 01.00 the fog was very thick which made very poor visibility, the Mosquito crashed into the house.
The RAF Bomber Command Losses book States "While trying to land in Fog, overshoot runway and caught fire"

This aerial picture was taken in 1947, showing in red which house was hit

This picture was taken in 2006

The house was never rebuilt.

This picture was taken the day after the accident

Even being on the ground was no guarantee of safety. Jack Watson remembered a foggy night at RAF Upwood in Cambridgeshire when a Mosquito often used as a pathfinder to mark the route for the heavys, returned from a mission to Berlin dangerously low on fuel, hit a brick bomb shelter and then ploughed into some living quarters.

" I was on my way to bed when we heard this terrible crash and rushed out to see the quarters ablaze. Up in a window we could see three of our lads who had just come back from a raid. They still had their uniforms on. They couldn't get out and we couldn't get in to help them- and there was nothing anybody could do. Then they disapeared into a cloud of flame and smoke as the building collapsed on them. I then came across the bodies of the Mosquito pilot and navigator. They were still in their flying kit but that was all that was holding them together. They were all smashed up and when each body was put in a blanket it just folded up into a ball as if there was nothing left of them. Now that really shook me.

Many thanks to Jack Watson for the pictures
and to Matt Buddle for information and help in locating the house.

Sean Edwards