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I am the nephew of Flt. Sgt. Jack Tritt of Montreal, the navigator of the RCAF Wellington bomber that crashed near Pitsea on November 16, 1942.

I am very curious about the source of the information on this page regarding the circumstances of the crash. The reason for my puzzlement is that this conflicts with research that I did about 20 years ago. The summary of the investigation (from the Accident Record Card in the RAF archives) stated that this was purely an accident. The aircraft was on a Bullseye Cruise, which was the name given to the final training mission before combat. This was a night mission from their base in Yorkshire to make a mock attack on a British target. The aircraft was held in the searchlights. The pilot took violent evasive maneuvers, during which the aircraft's elevators lost their fabric covering, and the pilot lost control. There was no mention of enemy action in the official report.

I also obtained a copy of the Air Raid Warden's report in the Essex County Archives, which places the crash site at "Staine's Farm, Bowers, Gifford Marshes, 206032 Map Ref." Is it possible that the information was conflated with another aircraft loss?

I know that there were many aircraft lost in that area. Indeed, on one visit to Southend about 20 years ago, I met someone who claims that he had seen the crash: a Lancaster Bomber returning from a mission. The only problem was that in 1942, the RCAF was not yet flying Lancasters, and of course my Uncle's aircraft was a Wellington. I would be very grateful if anyone could provide additional information.

By Joseph Aspler
On 22/01/2012

The information on this page regarding enemy action was taken from a comment on another website dated 2007.

By Janet Penn
On 23/11/2013

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