ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 228521
Last updated: 27 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:29-MAY-1940
Time:23:00 LT
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B.Mk V
Owner/operator:77 Squadron Royal Air Force (77 Sqn RAF)
Registration: N1432
C/n / msn: AWA.1586
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Airon Saint Vaast, 2.5 km SW of Campigneulles-les-Grandes -   France
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V N1432 (KN-R) 77 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (failed to return) for combat operations on the night of 28-29 May 1940. All five crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/650): "Whitley N1432 crashed near Campigneulles-les-Grandes, France, 28/29 May 1940. Sergeant C H Butler, Sergeant K C Chatfield, Sergeant L J Brooks, Sergeant A Fryer and Flying Officer T J Geach - report of deaths".

Airborne at 20:27 on the evening of 28 May 1940 from RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire. Target: Hirson. Crashed, with one engine on fire, killing the entire crew, cause unknown, at 23:00 hrs, and aircraft exploded on impact. Crash location reported as the Culbute Rang-du-Fliers road, near Airon Saint Vaast, 2.5 km south west of Campigneuelles-les-Grades (Pas-de-calais) 5 km SW of Montreuil-sur-Mer, France.

As stated above, all five crew were killed. They were initially buried close to the crash site, and were later exhumed and re-buried in 1943 at Campigneulles-les-Grandes Churchyard, Pas de Calais, France

Crew of Whitley N1432:
Sergeant (Pilot) Leonard John Brooks, RAF 742103, age 23, killed in action 28/05/1940
Sergeant (Observer) Charles Herbert Butler, RAF 745989, killed in action 28/05/1940
Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Kenneth Charles Chatfield, RAF 630838, age 18, killed in action 28/05/1940
Sergeant (Air Gunner) Arthur Fryer, age 20, RAF 626227, killed in action 28/05/1940
Flying Officer (Pilot) Trevor James Geach, RAF 33311, age 22, killed in action 28/05/1940

The reported crash location of Airon-Saint-Vaast is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France, some 19 miles (30 km) south of Boulogne-sur-Mer, at approximate Coordinates: 5025′56″N 140′05″E

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Brtiain, 1977 p 8
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File Air 81/650: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14502233
3. http://francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=233
4. http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/77_squadron.html#282905
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2279036/brooks,-leonard-john/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2279037/butler,-charles-herbert/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2279038/chatfield,-kenneth-charles/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2279039/fryer,-arthur/
9. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2279040/geach,-trevor-james/
10. https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/archive/recup/region/campigneulles-les-grandes-le-jour-ou-en-1940-un-avion-ia36b49123n2463657


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
26-Aug-2019 01:11 Dr. John Smith Added
26-Aug-2019 01:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Narrative]
27-Aug-2019 06:41 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description