Thursday, November 6, 2014

AAF at Bassingbourn - The Crash of A-35 Vengeance 41-31323

In the basement of an "antique store" these two books of 35mm negatives were found. They were destined for the dumpster no doubt, but rescued for LOST GALLERY and the enthusiasts who treasure the history and memorabilia of the second world war.

The first book of contains 327 negatives. The photographs were scanned and uploaded to a set on Flickr in 2007 and then grouped generally by subject for the pages of LOST GALLERY. Most of the photographs in this set are of aircraft in world war two. Nothing was known for sure about the photographs but slowly over the years some information has accumulated. It was established that the date for most of the photographs is late 1944.

Most of the negatives had notations on the accompanying index pages. Mostly the photographer was concerned about the lighting and exposure of each frame but occasionally also made notes on the subject matter. Where possible these notations will be included under each picture on this page.

The 205 negatives in the other file were taken postwar, about half in England and the rest in Texas, USA. The photographs apparently show a bit of touring before leaving the England based AAF unit and the first photographs after arriving in Texas.

Negative files

This page will review all of the negatives in the set that feature the crash Vultee A-35B-VN Vengeance 41-31323 and the information that has accumulated since 2007.

All images are the property of
Lost Gallery
and the author. Permission must be granted for their use.
All rights reserved.

From Hawk914 on Flickr: This was a Vultee RA-35B assigned to the 322nd Bombardment Squadron, 99th Bombardment Group.

The aircraft was originally built as a Vengeance IV, serial FD134, for the Royal Air Force, but transferred to the USAAF on Aug 16th, 1944.

The photos in this series were taken after a takeoff accident at the 99th's base in Bassingbourn, England on December 9th, 1944. The pilot was a Karl W. Thompson.

From G. Asher on Flickr: The "99th BG" was probably a typo in the accident report - the 322nd BS was at Bassingbourn as part of the 91st BG. Karl W. Thompson was the 322nd's commander at the time, with MAJ Richards, the squadron's ops officer, as his passenger. The flaps apparently malfunctioned (torque tube sheared/disconnected?) and the aircraft rolled left shortly after liftoff. Thompson lost some teeth, sprained an ankle and suffered some burns; Richards got a serious scalp laceration.

From paulbellamy on Flickr: Vultee A-35B-VN Vengeance 41-31323:
Initially assigned to the RAF as Vengeance IV serial FD134.
Transferred to the USAAF on the 16th August 1944 before any RAF service.
Written off due to a take-off accident at RAF Bassingbourn on the 9th December 1944, while assigned to the 91st Bomb Group's 322nd Bomb Squadron.
The pilot that day was the 322nd's Commanding Officer, Major Karl Thompson, who was injured in the crash along with the 322nd's Executive Officer Major Vincent Richards.

Crashed A35
Crashed A35

The man looking back at the camera in the above photograph is possibly Jack Fisher who is identified in this photograph from elsewhere in the same negative file.

Capt Jack A Fisher 02

Capt Jack A Fisher

Crashed A35
Crashed A35
Crashed A35
Crashed A35

Crashed A35
Crashed A35
Crashed A35
Crashed A35

CLICK HERE to view the
from the other negative file from this same photographer.

Look at the bazookas on that little honey!
multiple bazookas installed on cub 03
Click here for the whole story!

Here are more stories about the 91st Bomber Group and some of the missions flown on a fine website by
Sam Halpert

For others in the AAF Bassingbourn series see also
The P-61 Black Widow
B-17 Bomber
The Lancaster Bomber
P-51 Mustang (This one)
The Avro York
The Short Stirling Bomber
The Piper Cub with the Bazookas
The Crashed A-35 (this one)
And Miscellaneous personnel and landscapes
Bassingbourn from a Window on the base.

Bassingbourn 1944 384th Bomber Group, B17 landing Discovered! Long lost negatives taken during the winter of 1944-45 at Bassingbourn AAF base in England.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
sites on the web.

And for postcards try
And see what's going on over at
Sepia Saturday!

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one.
It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"

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