The crash seems to be due to fuel shortage resulting from fractures in the aircrew exactor pipe line in the port outer engine and the throttle exactor pipe line in the starboard outer, both were later classified as technical failures. It must have taken considerable skill to keep the Stirling aloft with two defective engines, the crew very nearly made it to the safety of RAF Tangmere a fighter base on the south coast located a few miles east of Chichester. Sadly within sight of the airfield the Stirling hit a number of trees on approach and crashed. Wing Commander Morris’s award of the DSO had this feat of airmanship published in his DSO citation. Such was the damage to Short Stirling Mk.I W7612 HA:T it was subsequently Stuck of Charge almost immediately after the crash. The Austin built Stirling was Taken on Charge (ToC) by No.218 Squadron on July 25th 1942, it was not until September 13th that the aircraft was in-the-wars. On this night Flight Sergeant Thompson RNZAF had returned from a successful raid on Bremen when on touching down at Downham Market the Stirling swung violently, the young inexperienced pilot was not quick enough to react, unchecked the Stirling’s undercarriage collapsed bringing the aircraft to a shuddering halt, thankfully none of the crew were injured. Repaired on site by SEBRO the Stirling was back on strength by October 5th 1942.
Below is a copy of the AM Form 78 Movement Card. You will note that the date of the incident September 15th, is incorrect on the Card.
Below is the entry for Wing Commander Morris prang taken via the No.218 Squadron Operational Records Book AM Form 540, it gives only a brief mention of the crash and no details what so ever!
The following pages are copies of the Form 1180 Accident Card.