Bomber Plane Crash WW11 at Bluestone Plantation.


Bomber Plane Crash WW11 at Bluestone Plantation.


The crash is remembered (2018) by some Cawston parishioners:

See film below for: As remembered by Brian Turner....

Information about the crash was also sent to the Historical Society by Bill Sampson Son of the Cawston Policeman at that time which read....

Click on files to view full screen....


Handley Page Hampden Bomber Plane 1941

WW11 Bomber Plane crash.

On February 10th 1941 a Handley Page Hampden bomber plane crashed into Bluestone plantation killing all the aircrew: Flight Lieutenant John Frutiger, Sergeant John Hill, Flight Sergeant Robert Gapp, and Sergeant Robert Chanin, it was his 21st birthday. 

At a ceremony in Cawston on Sunday 2 September, a plaque was unveiled in memory of the four young airmen in their early twenties of 61 Squadron, set off from RAF Hemswell on a bombing mission to Wilhelmshaven in Germany. On their return, they crashed near Cawston while attempting an emergency landing.

The very moving unveiling of the memorial and laying of wreaths followed a service in St Agnes’ Church, Cawston. The service and ceremony were attended by a large contingent of Cawston residents, along with representatives of the Royal British Legion and relatives of the airmen. A bugler played the Last Post and there was a fly-past of 2 aircrafts one of which was a Tiger Moth.

The Historical Society were particularly delighted to welcome several of the airmen’s family members, from Norfolk, Devon, Hertfordshire and Humberside.”

Refreshment were provided after at the Village Hall.  

The decision to honour the airman with a plaque originated when Bill Sampson who was about 10/11 years of age and son of the policeman in the village at that time told us about this in a history piece of Cawston and when they were putting together a DVD of the history of Cawston, Mr Brain Turner recalled this incident (See film above) and seemed appropriate time to do something.

The memorial already has a plaque on it in memory of the crew of the Lucky Strike , which was flying back from a raid on submarine pens at Kiel in January 1944 when it crashed at Church Farm, Cawston with the loss of two lives.

Handley Page Hampden was a twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and was used in the early stages of the war.


10th February 1941


Bill Sampson.  Brian Turner.

Martin Sercombe Media Projects East

Charlie Webster. David Steward.

Catherine Sampson. Pat Taylor.

Vic & Sally Purdy. Kathleen Schuil.

Mike Hillier & Des Cook.


Lucky Strike

Air Crash While Filming

Air Fields in Cawston Area

Collection: War Times/ Forces including Roll of Honour. Memorials. Home Guard. Memories and Photos etc.