ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 145079
Last updated: 6 December 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:08-APR-1940
Time:morning
Type:Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Anson Mk I
Owner/operator:269 Squadron Royal Air Force (269 Sqn RAF)
Registration: N9678
C/n / msn: UA-Y
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Atlantic Ocean, 30 miles West of Lerwick, Shetland Islands -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Wick, Caithness
Destination airport:
Narrative:
8 Apr 1940: Avro Anson Mark 1, N9678 (UA-Y) of 269 Squadron, RAF went down in the sea while on U Boat patrol, West of Lerwick, Shetland Islands. Took off from RAF Wick 10:55 for Convoy Patrol. Wreckage and a life raft were found floating on the sea 30 miles west of Lerwick, on the homeward leg of Patrol Route W.2. Three Ansons from RAF Wick carried a search and rescue operation, but nothing was found, All four crew were posted as "missing presumed dead". Those missing in action were:

Captain/1st Pilot Flying Officer Peter Duncan Aldous (RAF 40582 aged 20, from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada),
2nd Pilot/Navigator Sgt Gilbert Hunter Scott (RAF 566428, aged 23)
Wireless Op/Air Gunner Corporal. G.A. Verlaque (RAF 525499, aged 23)
LAC Norman McReynolds (RAF 522965)

Wing Commander J C Graham (then a Flying Officer) writes: “Peter Aldous and I, both Canadians, joined the RAF in 1938. After training we were both posted to No 269 Squadron. We became close friends. By 1940 we were well-experienced Anson pilots and qualified navigators.

The role of the Squadron was to find and attack U-boats. In April 1940, the squadron was maintaining a ‘continuous line patrol’ from dawn to dusk between the north of Scotland and the Faeroe Islands. Aircraft followed each other at intervals. On 8 April I was on an early morning flight, whereas Aldous took off some hours later. When I was about half way back to the Scottish coast, we intercepted a radio message (morse code) telling us that Peter’s aircraft was missing and to keep a special lookout, which of course we did. Sometime later bits of wreckage from the aircraft were found on the sea some distance south of the Faeroes...

At the start of the war all aircrew in the squadron were pilots and all trained as navigators. We took turns as pilot or navigator. At that time ground crew in the appropriate trades could volunteer as wireless operators or air gunners when required. They received six pence (or was it nine?) a day extra pay. The Air Gunners wore a brass winged-bullet on their left sleeve and were very proud of it. As soon as the war started these ground crew/air crew were required regularly to fill a very large gap. Meantime wireless operators and air gunners were being trained as a matter of urgency to join squadrons as Sergeant aircrew. At about this time, the ground crew/air crew could volunteer to become full-time aircrew and they would then be promoted to Sergeant. I believe that had LAC Norman McReynolds not been killed he would very soon become an NCO..."

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain)
2. The Anson File (Ray Sturtivant, Air Britain, 1988 p 58)
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/116: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14141951
4. http://www.oca.269squadron.btinternet.co.uk/history/squadron_history/chronology/1936-1940.htm
5. http://www.oldhaltonians.co.uk/pages/rememb/ROH/27.htm
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1082631/aldous,-peter-duncan/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2941020/scott,-gilbert-hunter/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1809310/verlaque,-george-adolphus/
9. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1079761/mcreynolds,-norman/
10. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-avro-652-anson-i-shetland-islands-4-killed .


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
15-Apr-2012 12:31 Dr. John Smith Added
26-Jun-2012 12:02 Nepa Updated [Operator]
07-Jun-2019 17:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Jun-2019 17:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description