Collision and crash of two RAF North American Mitchell II bombers at “Pallinghurst”, Guildford Rd, Rudgwick on 7th January 1944.
Jan. 7th 13.35 hrs. North American Mitchell II, FR396, Code letter ‘K’ of 180 Squadron collided over Alfold with Mitchell II, FL682, Code letter ‘N’ of 98 Squadron. This occurred as they awaited their turn to land in bad weather after operations to bomb a target in Occupied France (180 Squadron on Primary Target a V1construction site at La Sorellerie II at 12:58hrs from 12,000ft and 98 Squadron on Alternative Target (because of cloud over the Primary) a V1construction site at Mesnil Au Val at 12:55hrs from 12,000ft). Crew members of both aircraft all killed.
Aircraft ‘K’ of 180 Squadron and ‘N’ of 98 Squadron were not noted as having or not having dropped their bomb load. Aircraft ‘B’ and ‘X’ of 180 Sqdn. and aircraft ‘V’‘P’‘S’‘U’ and ‘X’ of 98 Sqdn. did not bomb due to cloud cover obscuring the target. Each aircraft carried 8 x 500lb Medium Capacity bombs.
One Mitchell FL682 crashed 200 yds north-east of “Pallinghurst”, Guildford Rd, Rudgwick (now the Japanese Rikkyo School) on the County Boundary (nr. Stables), approx 2.5 miles south-east of Dunsfold airfield. This 98 Sqdn. aircraft had probably not dropped its bombs load due to cloud cover obscuring the target. One or more bombs exploded when the aircraft it hit the ground or fell out nearby as the aircraft descended. Other unexploded bombs were defused.