Wartime crash victims remembered at memorial service

Lancaster crash victim Harold Quinton EMN-141003-104001001
Lancaster crash victim Harold Quinton EMN-141003-104001001

A memorial service will be held in Caistor next month to mark the 70th anniversary of a Lancaster Bomber crash.

It was Easter Saturday of 1944, April 8, when Lancaster R5672 from No1 Lancaster Finishing School at RAF Hemswell crashed onto the southeast corner of Caistor airfield while on an airtest - killing all on board.

The Captain was Wing commander Eric Campling DSO DFC, Chief Flying instructor from 1LFS.

Also on board was 2nd officer Taniya Whittall ATA, who had served in the WAAFs and WRNS before joining the Air Transport Auxiliary.

The station commander at Hemswell had no doubt Taniya was taking the opportunity of gaining experience of flying in a four engine craft that day.

Of the 166 women pilots in the ATA, 20 lost their lives including the famous aviatrix Amy Johnson from Hull. It is believed Taniya was the only one to perish in a Lancaster.

Another on board was AC1 Harold Quinton; previously a colour mixer in a Lancashire Mill, he joined the RAF because the pay was better.

Harold was the only married member on board. He had five children, with another born a month after the crash. His granddaughter had spent many years looking for the crash site believing it to be in Norfolk.

Other crew were: Sgt Lancelot Regan, flight engineer; LAC Ronald Freer; AC1 Thomas King; AC1 Edward Steverton; AC1 Alfred Spiller; AC2 George Killick.

Four of the crew members will be represented at the service at the crash site on April 5, when a plaque, donated by Caistor and District Lions, will be dedicated.

Details ben.jacob1@btinternet.com