Halifax JB848 Merlin

Last year we were asked to clean up a Rolls Royce Merlin from Halifax JB848 which crashed near Pocklington Airfield on the 29th March 1943 , all the crew were lost.

Pilot – WO2 William Phelps Comrie RCAF (R/95452), aged 27, of Fargo, North Dakota, USA. Buried Barmby on the Moor Churchyard, Yorkshire.

Flight Engineer? – Sgt William J McGrath RAFVR (1365664), aged 23, of Glasgow. Buried Glasgow (St.Peter’s) RC Cemetery.

Navigator – F/O Douglas William Francis Harper RAFVR (127313), aged 22, of Oadby, Leicestershire. Buried Barmby on the Moor Churchyard, Yorkshire.

Navigator – F/O William Hugh Jenkins RAFVR (129161), aged 34, wife of Streetly. Cremated Perry Bar, Birmingham, Warwickshire.

Wireless Operator / Air Gunner – Sgt Frank William Dorrington RAFVR (1330802), aged 23, of Brighton. Buried The Downs Cemetery, Brighton, Sussex.

Air Gunner – Sgt John King RAFVR (1609738), aged 21, of Poplar, London. Buried East London Cemetery, Plaistow, Essex.

Air Gunner – Sgt Myles Christian Campbell Squiers RAFVR (1478651), aged 20, of South Africa, parents later of Gilgil, Kenya. Buried Barmby on the Moor Churchyard, Yorkshire.


When we got the engine it was just a chunk of earth and stones, it took several sessions with a high powered steam cleaner to reveal the mighty Merlin.

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Once cleaned , Richard at RWS body works Thirsk kindly offered to lacquer the entire engine to seal it up and prevent any further corrosion.

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We then made a stainless steel stand for the engine and prop hub.

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The engine is to be displayed only feet away from the crash site in a glass box. The engine will be on display ready for the 102 (Ceylon) Squadron Association Reunion at Pocklington on the 9th and 10th of May 2015.


One thought on “Halifax JB848 Merlin

  1. Patrick

    I understand that my friend and fellow Selkirk Car Rally commitee member Mr Eric Marshall spoke to you last weekend at Kelso , the conversation was in connection with us having you attend the Selkirk car rally, could I please have a contact number please

    Kind regards

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