Paul Everingham’s Grandfather, Arthur Allan DFM, was a navigator with 153 squadron at RAF Scampton. Paul has kindly shared the details of his Grandfather’s log book entry for the 5th May 1945……..
‘ Oxford “Z” ,pilot Les Taylor – base – Carnaby – base , 2h 55m flight time’
There are no other comments as there are with some other entries in his log, but in the Pilots log book it just says “crosswind!”
There is a story behind these official log details being that the passenger on the trip was Squadron Leader Masterman, the reason for the trip is unknown.
After dropping the passenger the air traffic controller joked they would have difficulty taking off again with such a strong crosswind. At some point someone suggested that a small aircraft like the Oxford might take off across Carnaby’s extra wide runway!
A bet, in regards to being able to take off sideway from the runway, was placed for a large (large for war time 1945) sum.
The Oxford was pushed up to the boundary fence and prepared for take-off. It used up the full width and the hastily retracted undercarriage just missed the opposite fence!
Arthur & Lez returned safely to Scampton, several days later the money from the bet arrived from the air traffic controller. He was no doubt relieved at not having to explain how an aircraft crashed taking off across his runway!
Sadly Arthur passed away in 1998 so this is all the information we have on this story.
Arthur and his crew, when flying Lanc PA168, also had to use the emergency landing ground at Woodbridge after being badly shot up on a raid on Duren 16.11.44.
Arthurs unofficial comment in his log “quite exiting – 248 holes in aircraft”!!
Arthur sounds as if he was quite a character