Im not sure about the dates, but about
1940-41 there were some odd intruder raiders that I remember dropping
H.E.s and Incendiaries over a scattered area to the east of
High Explosive bombs were definitely dropped
at Skillington, North Witham and Stainby villages. I also recall
seeing an unexploded one being dug out near the Stainby to Colsterworth
Road. It was speculated at the time that the ironstone railway system
there (it was also around the Sproxton/Saltby area) had been mistaken
for an industrial site, as there was also certainly around the Buckminster/Stainby
area, long banks of excavated ironstone that was burnt; partly I
understand, to reduce the transportable bulk. This resulted in smoke/steam
rising up. If the dates of the raids coincide, it could be that
the bombs dropped on Saltby in January and August 1941 were part
of the same pattern of raids at night on the whole area, not just
targeted at the airfield.
Regarding the Lancaster crash, amazingly
I find from some notes of my father, that he was notified of a crash
by the Leicestershire Police and he spent over an hour
from 2.00am on Monday 27th November 1944 searching Wyville, Saltby
and Croxton, looking for it! Unfortunately he didnt record
where it had crashed, but he noted that 4 were killed and 3 survived.
I am only certain of the body count there from his account and don't
know if he actually saw them but they were his details at the time,
not recounted afterwards. So, it would appear that someone had got
the figures a bit mixed up in the official records, as his figures
were in the immediate report.
By Donald M. Stewart.