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The Welney Website

Typhoon R7618 crash, May 1942, at Butchers Hill Farm

page created 11th September 2010, amended/updated Thursday, 31 March 2011
typooon in flight
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266 Sqn typhoon profile view
profile of a typical 266 Sqn Typhoon Mk 1b
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An RAF single-seat fighter Hawker Typhoon (probably a Mk.1b) of 266 Rhodesia Sqn RAF based at Duxford (?) crashed at Butchers Hill Farm, half a mile east of the Welney Washes, on 13th June 1942.
Oct 2010 update: now thought to be a Mk 1a, awaiting confirmation.
The pilot, Sgt Edward Hugh Earle Welby, aged 26, was killed when his aircraft came down at 10:30 am. A native of Essex Vale, South Rhodesia (as was) he joined the RAF in July 1940, and is buried in Whittlesford churchyard, close to Duxford.

The website of his old school, Plumtree (a private boarding school in Matabeleland in what is now Zimbabwe), lists 92 ex-pupils who were killed on active service during WW2, many serving with the RAF.

The East Anglian Aircraft Research Group paid a visit to this site many years ago and found a few fragments littering the surface, but have not as yet sought permission for a return visit.

The cause of this crash is not known by this website, but it seems that early Typhoons suffered many problems. 1942 was a particularly bad year, with seepage of carbon monoxide into the cockpit and mysterious structural failures causing tails to fall off, partly solved by riveting on extra metal plates. Another problem during operational use was that they could be mistaken for the German Fw 190 raider aircraft which they were intercepting and some were shot down by British flak or other British aircraft (solved towards the end of 1942 by painting black and white stripes on the underside of the wings).
Sgt Welby, RAFVR
Photo from
"A Record of Plumtree School 1902 to 1945".
Text based on information from
Jeff Carless (East Anglian Aircraft Research Group)
and the History of War, Wikipedia and Plumtree School websites

Oct 2010 update: another Typhoon crashed near Hilgay station about 5 miles north-east of Butchers Hill Farm, killing the pilot W/O Williams. Further details later. If you can provide any further details about these crashes or those involved, please contact the Webmaster using link bottom right. Thanks.
Related pages on this website
Related External websites
266 Rhodesia Sqn RAF history
History of War HawkerTyphoon details
Wikipedia Typhoon history
Sgt Welby's Memorial Whittleford
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