War Memorial #902 ~ Liberator KN736
On 18th September 1945 a Lockheed Liberator Mark VIII aircraft of Royal Air Force 466 Squadron, the serial number of which is believed to be KN736 crashed at Potton Wood. This was a little over a month after the "VJ" day marking the official end of the Second World war in the far east. The aircraft based at Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire was crewed by Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Air Force personnel. Their unit was preparing for transport flights for troops returning from the east, more often the aircraft was used as a bomber. On the day of the crash the crew were in training with the new Liberator recently delivered from America, specifically they were simulating flying on a reduced number of engines. This was meant to have been done using three of the four engines but on this occasion only two were used. There are a number of contributory factors which led to the crash. Possibly including flying too low for the number of engines used, failure of engines to restart, a lack of an intercom or incorrect setting of instrumentation. The aircraft crashed on the souther edge of Potton Wood opposite the water tower. Crewmen were rescued by local men who risked the blazing aircraft. One crewman later died of his wounds received in the crash bringing the total loss of life to four. Rescuers saved another crewman after being alerted to his position by the barking of his dog which had also been on board and which had remained by him after the crash.
The inscription on the memorial reads:
In recognition of the crew of LIBERATOR KN736, which crashed in Potton Wood 18th September 1945.
F/L P J McNULTY DFC RAAF
W/O J R POTTER RAAF
F/L EJJ SPILLER DFC RAF
F/S D R TRUNER RAF
who were killed
F/S R V CARLING RAF
F/O F G DORAK RAAF
F/O N P GILMOUR DFC RAAF
& BITSA the dog
who were saved with the help of local people.
This is a mystery cache and IS NOT at the published coordinates.
The cache is a 5ml tube.
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