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Criminal Occurrence description
Last updated: 1 December 2015
Date:Wednesday 27 November 1940
Type:SNCAC (Farman) NC.223.4
Operator:Air France
Registration: F-AROA
C/n / msn: 2
First flight:
Engines: 4 Hispano-Suiza 12Y-37
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Airplane damage: Missing
Airplane fate: Presumed damaged beyond repair
Location:ca 50 S off Cape Spartivento, Sardinia, Italy (   Mediterranean Sea)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Marseille-Marignane Airport (MRS/LFML), France
Destination airport:Bizerte Airfield (DTTB), Tunisia
A SNCAC (Farman) NC.223.4 mail plane, named La Verrier, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea while on a mail flight from Marseille, France, to Bizerte, Beirut and Damascus.
On board was the newly-appointed Vichy High Commissioner to Lebanon and Syria, M. Jean Chiappe.
The airplane likely strayed into the battle zone of the Battle of Cape Spartivento. That day British and Italian naval ships were involved in a battle. The crew reportedly radioed that they were hit by machine-gun fire.

» Aviators from WWII - Lieutenant Mark Fownes Somerville
» Henri Guillaumet


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Marseille-Marignane Airport to Bizerte Airfield as the crow flies is 784 km (490 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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