Criminal Occurrence description
Last updated: 27 September 2016
Narrative:BOAC Flight 777-A, a scheduled British Overseas Airways Corporation civilian airline flight on 1 June 1943 from Lisboa-Portela de Sacavém Airport (LIS), Portugal to Whitchurch Airport near Bristol, United Kingdom, was attacked by eight German Junkers Ju 88s and crashed into the Bay of Biscay, killing 17 on board including several notable passengers, most prominent being actor Leslie Howard.
Theories abound that the aircraft, a Douglas DC-3, was attacked because the Germans believed that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was aboard. Other theories suggest the DC-3 was targeted because several passengers, including Howard, were British spies. During the Second World War, British and German civilian aircraft operated out of the same facilities at Portela and the incoming and outgoing traffic was watched by Allied and Axis spies. The Lisbon-Whitchurch route frequently carried agents and escaped POWs to Britain.
» BOAC Flight 777 (Wikipedia)
» Leslie Howard )Wikipedia)
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.