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Raymond Henry Brooke

Admitted to:

American Hospital, Warton. RAF Hospital Cosford (13/09/44)

Date of Injury:

23/08/1944

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

02/02/1923 (22)

Cause of Incident:

Bystander as a Liberator crashed on a café.

Transferred to QVH:

10/11/1944

Injuries:

Burns to face, hands and legs.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

35



IDENTITY CARD

This is to certify that the patient mentioned below and whose description is stated hereon is the authorised holder of this Identity card.


Forename:

Raymond Henry

Surname:

Brooke

Service No:

1801543

Nationality:

British


Awards/Honours:

---

Patient Unit:

RAF Kirkham

Profession:

Navigator (W)

Patient Rank:

Sgt

Death:

---

Age at Death:

---

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Brooke was off duty with three colleagues in Freckleton, Lancashire when a storm came in. They made a dash to the local café. In the skies above, a Liberator was on a test flight and got caught in the storm, losing control. It came down in the centre of Freckleton, demolishing three houses and the café - the area was covered in aviation fuel and ignited. The crash also took out the infants wing of Freckleton Holy Trinity School, where class was in session, killing 38 of the 41 students aged four to six, and a number of adults - at the time, it was the second worst crash in aviation history.
Brooke received burns to his face, hands, and right leg, and received treatment at QVH for the next five years.

Glossary:

Further Reading:

'Goldfish, Caterpillars & Guinea Pigs: Accounts of Pilots and Air Crews From The Second World War', by Colin Pateman, Chapter 34, pp. 275-7.

References:

'The Guinea Pig', Britain at War, March 2009, p. 34.



East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2773. 349 - Photograph of group of patients at Lepe Beach, nr Calshot, including Brooke
EGRTM 2793.16 - 2793.18 - Set of black and white headshots showing healed treatment