Bought this piece recently! Large fragment of Bristol Hercules engine casing from RAF Bristol Beaufighter PL-E NV182 of the RAF Dallachy Strike Wing one of three Beaufighters lost on Thursday 26th April 1945 on a raid to Fedafjord Norway. The pilot of this aircraft was Flying Officer John Roger Eyton Morgan aged 21 and his Navigator/Wireless Operator was Flight Sergeant James Thomson Knox aged 24. A report states that upon reaching the target area there was quite strong German fighter activity plus heavy Flak. This Beaufighter was damaged either by Flak or fire from German fighters and crashed while attempting to escape. Damage to the aircraft meant that pilot F/O Morgan was unable to gain sufficient altitude and while struggling with the aircraft he flew into high voltage power cables and crashed into a wood near the shoreline of Lake Sage Norway. One Beaufighter crashed into the water near the German ship Palmyra and another managed to escape only to be shot down later by German fighters. All crews of these three Beaufighters perished. F/O Morgan and F/S Knox are buried at Feda Churchyard and one of the propellers from their aircraft forms a part of their memorial. A series of photographs was taken during the attack and in front of the German ship Palmyra you can see the large ripple in the water where one of the Beaufighters went in after being shot down.
I had to do a little detective work on this piece as unknown to me at the time of buying I was buying from a guy who I now know has 'faked' some of the histories on some of the relics he sells. Now, I had the engine casing fragment examined by a couple of guys who have worked on Bristol Hercules engines inc one retired RAF mechanic. They all confirmed it without doubt from a Bristol Hercules engine. Retired RAF mechanic Peter Langstone pointed out a few things on the piece-"the presence of many small vein like fractures in the metal indicating a significantly heavy impact, traces of molten metal indicate fire fuelled by the aircrafts fuel tanks, the texture of the metal where it has broken away is condusive with being smashed against hard ground in crash impact fashion rather than exploding which creates a different texture pattern to the metal". I also got in touch with Jens Kaggerad via Facebook who had visited the crash site of Beaufighter PL-E NV182. He was able to confirm that numerous parts inc some large sections still remain at the crash site the last time he visited it in 2013, photos of these have already appeared on the internet. Jens did confirm engine remains and large engine fragments can be found in the woods and that someone had been there on his last visit and there was evidence that some of the pieces of metal had been cut up for whatever reason?? One of the pieces cut was part of an undercarriage which someone had then obviously removed?? Jens explained there are no laws currently in Norway to prevent anyone metal detecting and removing relics from crash sites there but maybe customs would have concerns so many parts are sent from the country in packages by the people who dig them-they just address packages to themselves back in the UK.
Either way I hope this piece will serve as a little tribute to all of the airmen lost on 26th April 1945 at Fedafjord Norway.