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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 139893
Last updated: 28 October 2020
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Date:05-DEC-1950
Time:c. 15:00 L/T
Type:Vickers Wellington T Mk X
Owner/operator:CNCS Royal Air Force (CNCS RAF)
Registration: NA958
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Montgo Mountain, between Javea and Denia, Costa Blanca -   Spain
Phase: En route
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Istres, France
Destination airport:RAF North Front, Gibraltar
Narrative:
Vickers Wellington T.10 (Central Navigation and Control School) on training flight from Shawbury, UK to Khartoum via Gibraltar & Cyprus returning via Malta. Aircraft flew into Montgo Mountain in a thunderstorm and was reported to be off course and flying below minimum height. Crew of 7 all killed:

F/Lt Leonard West, pilot,
F/Lt Peter Pullar, navigator,
F/Lt Robert James Baker,
F/Sgt Ernest Hansom,
AC1 Neville Jones,
AC1 Roy Owen Ouseley,
AC1 Peter Field Thorne.

All later buried in the Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery. On 5 December 2019, a memorial was erected at the crash site (see link #4). The BBC reported:

"Seven men who died in a "forgotten" RAF accident in Spain almost 70 years ago have been honoured with a memorial.

A Wellington bomber from RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, crashed on a mountain above Denia in Alicante, on 5 December 1950. Last week, relatives and airmen gathered at the site to see a plinth unveiled, thought to be the first in Spain dedicated to an RAF crew.

"I can't believe how special this has been for our family," said Martyn Shaw, grandson of Flt Sgt Ernest Hansom.

Details of the accident were pieced together by the North Costa Blanca branch of the RAF Association (RAFA). Members found that pilot Flt Lt Leonard West had boarded the Wellington Mk 10 in Shrewsbury as commander of a formation on its way to Gibraltar for a training exercise.

A strained relationship with Spain's fascist dictator General Franco meant UK aircraft were not permitted to fly over his country's airspace and a route over the Mediterranean was planned. Also on board were Master Navigator Peter Pullar, Flt Lt Robert Baker, Flt Sgt Hansom and three aircraftmen: Neville Jones, Roy Ousley and Peter Field Thorne.

But the bomber came down in a thunderstorm on the Montgo mountain, with the resulting explosion heard by locals in the nearby town of Denia. The RAFA North Costa Blanca thanked people who recovered the bodies.

"They contacted the Air Ministry, and at their request, arranged for the crew's bodies to be transported to Gibraltar where they received a full military funeral," said Wing Cdr Cameron Gair, branch president.

The plinth was unveiled by Air Marshal Sir Graham Stacey, RAFA European Area President, who praised his branch's efforts in raising 1,500 (1,267) for it. Sixteen relatives travelled from the UK to mark the occasion, which was followed by a church service and lunch also attended by representatives from RAF Shawbury.

Mr Shaw, who was among them, said: "I have been so impressed by everyone and it is a remarkable thing to do to honour the crew."

Sources:

1. Javea local newspaper called, Welcome to Paradise, Oct & Nov editions with details supplied by locals & David Clarke (RAF Retd) re Times newspaper report of 6th & 7th December 1950 also Col Stuart of the Military Media Service in Gibraltar.
2. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-vickers-619-wellington-x-near-xabia-7-killed
3. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?6714-Loss-off-Spain
4. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-50757163


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Nov-2011 11:42 O'Meara Added
06-May-2013 00:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
06-May-2013 00:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Source, Narrative]
06-Sep-2013 06:10 wbrennan48 Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Narrative]
02-Oct-2013 05:10 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Nature, Narrative]
02-Oct-2013 05:24 angels one five Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
02-Oct-2013 05:35 angels one five Updated [Time, Narrative]
23-Aug-2014 14:00 Anon. Updated [Location]
27-Apr-2015 19:40 Anthony COX Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
28-Dec-2019 18:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
28-Dec-2019 20:52 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]

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