Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Carlow Militia
Plane Crash 1943

Source: Terry Curran

Vickers Wellington Mk XThis incident was recorded only in the RAF Davidstow Moor Operations Record Book and Dennis Burke’s excellent website on foreign aircraft landings in the Irish Republic.

This Wellington Mk X was returning from an anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay on  July 17th 1943 when it ran out of fuel. The crew bailed-out over Wexford and landed safely and the aircraft carried on and crash landed in a place called Curragh near the village of Ballickmoyler, Co Laois.

An SOS was picked up at 00.01hrs and three aircraft were sent out to search for the plane but found no trace as they did not want to violate Irish neutrality by searching over the Republic. All three aircraft were forced to abandon the search because of bad visibility.

The crew returned to Britain and continued to fight; they were Sgt Stanislaw Kieltyka, Sgt Remigiusz Duszczak, Sgt Karol Stefan Pasieka, Sgt Mieczyslaw Franciszek Salewicz, Sgt Mikolaj Pawluczyk and Sgt Wladyslaw Kaczan.

Its assumed that there was a news blackout of the event due to Ireland’s neutrality during the 2nd World War and therefore nothing was reported in the local paper.

Source: From: Foreign Aircraft Landings in Ireland 1939 – 1946

This image (Google Street View) gives us an approximation of where the plane crashed. 
Thanks to Peter Heary on Facebook for his help.

It was, as I assumed, a British Wellington bomber of the 304th Polish Squadron. The crew bailed out over Wexford and the aircraft carried on and crash landed near Ballickmoyler. This happened on July 17th 1943, which would explain the 1942 dated .303 ammunition rounds.

I have since found out from my cousin Pat Brennan who remembers the crash in 1943.

This is what she said:

"Something happened with the plane about that time. People were talking in hushed tones in front of us kids. People took mementoes from the wreckage. But I think it happened towards Ovingtons (Hovingtons), past Coolrain towards Carlow. Nobody ever talked about it afterwards".

Sent in by Terry Curran c.2011 & Pat Brennan.