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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 22154
Last updated: 2 August 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:01-MAY-1940
Time:morning
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk IV
Owner/operator:51 Squadron Royal Air Force (51 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K9039
C/n / msn: AWA.1490
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:between Burn Fell and Dunsop Fell near Slaidburn, West Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Dishforth, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Sealand, Flintshire
Narrative:
This 51 Squadron aircraft set out from Dishforth at 19.00 hrs on 30th April 1940 for an operational flight to Norway, at attack the airfield at Fornebu. On their return to Yorkshire the weather became poor and they became lost. Having made a number of requests for help they were passed various directions and distances to fly to bring them to various airfields but all failed, the last instruction was to direct to Sealand airfield, near Chester. The aircraft eventually crashed into high ground between Burn Fell and Dunsop Fell in the Slaidburn area on the western edge of the Yorkshire part of the Pennines having ran out of fuel in the early hours of the 1st May 1940. Sgt Coveney died at the crash site. After being taken to a hospital in Morecambe, Pilot Officer Gilmer died of his injuries the following day.

Crew of Whitley K9039:
41690 Pilot Officer John Martin Gilmer RAF from New Zealand (pilot, aged 23) Died of injuries 02.05.40; buried Dishforth Cemetery, Dishforth, Yorkshire
580764 Sgt Walter Richard Coveney RAF (observer, aged 19) Killed in Action; buried Greenwich Cemetery, Greenwich, London
551589 AC.1 Peter Duncan Salmon RAF (wireless operator) injured
626669 AC.1 Hugh Maylin RAF (air gunner) Minor injuries
43417 Pilot Officer Edward Cotton RAF (co pilot) Leg and facial injuries.

Whitley K9039 was built to contract 522438/36 by Armstrong Whitworth Ltd at Baginton and was delivered to 6 M.U. (Aircraft Storage Unit) at Brize Norton on 3rd July 1939 and then issued to 51 Squadron at Linton on Ouse on 18th November 1939. It moved with this unit to Dishforth on 9th December 1939. Cat.W/FB was recorded following the above accident on 1st May 1940 and it was struck off charge on 6th May 1940

NOTE: The official Air Ministry report into the incident (File AIR 81/189) gives the crash location as "Waddington, Lancashire". Waddington is a small village, 2 miles north-west of Clitheroe in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, at approximate co ordinates 53.887N 2.417W

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain,1976 p 75)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/189: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14142014
3. David J Smith 1997 High Ground Wrecks and Relics: Aircraft Hulks on the Mountains of the UK and Ireland Page 39
4. http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/yorkshire/york40/k9039.html
5. https://www.rvremembrance.info/index.php/component/k2/item/645-gilmer-john-martin.html?Itemid=295
6. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-armstrong-whitworth-aw38-whitley-v-slaidburn-1-killed
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2407530/gilmer,-john-martin/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2428540/coveney,-walter-richard/
9. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1436713&sort=4&search=all&criteria=whitley%20&rational=q&recordsperpage=60&p=1&move=p&nor=220&recfc=0
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waddington,_Lancashire


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
04-Aug-2008 09:55 Anon. Added
04-Feb-2012 08:27 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
04-Feb-2012 08:28 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type]
06-Jun-2019 20:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Total occupants, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Jun-2019 00:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]

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