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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 144855
Last updated: 20 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic beau model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bristol Beaufighter Mk IIF
Owner/operator:255 Squadron Royal Air Force (255 Sqn RAF)
Registration: R2377
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, half a mile from Happisburgh, Norfolk, England. -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Coltishall, Norfolk
Destination airport:
Time of crash variously reported as 04:55 and 05:15 hours, a/c crashed in flames into sea bearing 110 deg., half a mile from Happisburgh Lighthouse and directly offshore of Happisburgh Cart Gap. No.1 Cromer Life Boat (the "H F Bailey") launched at 05:46 hours, reaching the position at about 07:30 hours. Parts of the a/c were found, and "the shattered body of one of the crew" (Tom Varley, radar operator) which was landed at 10:00 hours. This was a Beaufighter IIF, and 255 Sqn had a spate of crashes caused by engine failures and the inability of the a/c to maintain height on one Merlin.
F/Sgt (748632) Walter BARKER (pilot) RAFVR - killed
Sgt (977495) Tom VARLEY (obs) RAFVR - killed

Sources:, AIR27/1518, log of the Happisburgh ARP Warden (can be seen online at [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:,] research by relatives of Walter Barker (Pilot) and 255 Squadron Association.

Revision history:

07-Apr-2012 04:29 Nepa Added
07-Apr-2012 04:43 Nepa Updated [Location]
11-Nov-2014 14:05 Apen Updated [Location, Narrative]
10-Mar-2015 07:56 angels one five Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Narrative]
18-Mar-2015 12:22 Xindel Updated [Operator, Location]
20-Apr-2015 04:16 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
20-Apr-2015 04:35 Angel dot comma Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport]
29-Jul-2015 13:31 chris eley Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]

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