A special project page by St. Swithun's VC Lower School, Sandy on the tragic wartime mid-air collision near Sandy between an RAF Tempsford Stirling bomber LK236 and a U.S.A.A.F. Mustang P51B fighter

A North American Mustang P51-B, similar to the one in the accident
On February 14th 1945 a Mustang P51-B fighter bomber of 383 Squadron U.S.A.A.F, piloted by F/Officer Thomas W. Kiley was making an unauthorised pass over Tempsford and while apparently performing a "mock" attack, it collided with a Short Stirling (LK236) of 161 Squadron, piloted by Flying Officer Timperley, which was returning to Tempsford from an exercise, hitting the RAF Stirling between the wings and the tail. This collision caused the Short Stirling to be cut in two, with the fuselage falling one side of Potton Lane to the east of Sandy, Beds (very near to where the Sandy Heath transmitter now stands) and the tail section on the other side of the lane. The Mustang crashed in the vicinity of Sandy Railway station. All the aircrew of both aircraft were tragically killed that day and are buried in Cambridge.
A Short Stirling bomber, similar to the one in the accident

The epitaph on the gravestone of Flight Sergeant Peter Norman Carr RAF (Flight Navigator) above is a quotation from the last verse of a poem by Henry W. Longfellow. To read the whole poem, CLICK HERE or click on the poem itself above

The Year 4 pupils (aged 8 -9 years) of St. Swithuns VC Lower School Sandy, have undertaken a project about this tragic accident with their headmaster, David Morton. The purpose of the project was not only to discover the facts about this piece of local history, but also to explore the emotions that this collision must have generated at the time. This voyage of discovery has been an important lesson in the children's eductation and understanding of the effects of war. Using "who" and "why" questions, below is a map of the emotions and feelings that the Year 4 pupils realised would have been present at the time.

The pupils then turned their attention to the subject of forgiveness.

Quite umprompted, Jack, one of the young pupils, came out with the following important observation:
“ It’s important to forgive, because if you don’t, you get angry inside and the anger doesn’t go away”

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