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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 14896
Last updated: 22 April 2019
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Type:Bristol Blenheim Mk I
Owner/operator:39 Squadron Royal Air Force (39 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L1546
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Kutumba, Aurangabad, Bihar State -   India
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Risalpur, Nowshera District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, India
Destination airport:
Bristol Blenheim Mk.I L1546, 39 Squadron, RAF Risalpur: Written off (destroyed) 9/8/39 when struck by lightning, caught fire and crashed at Kutumba, Aurangabad, Bihar State, India. Three of the five persons on board were killed:

Wing Commander Burton Ankers DSO DCM (age 46) killed
Corporal Robert Samuel Gilbert killed
AC1 Arthur Reginald Harris killed
AC2 Richard Wallace Bloss baled out
Mr Cecil Rendle Tapper baled out

According to the official Air Ministry announcement in "Flight" magazine (August 17, 1939 page 181 - see link #3)

Wing Cdr. Burton Ankers, Cpl. Robert Samuel Gilbert and A/C.1 Arthur Reginald Harris, lost their lives as the result of an accident which occurred at Kutumba, India, on August 9 to an aircraft of No. 39 Squadron. Wing Cdr. Ankers was the pilot of the aircraft and Cpl. Gilbert and A/C.1 Harris were members of the crew. The other occupants of the aircraft, A/C.2 Richard Wallace Bloss and Mr. C.R. Tapper, escaped by parachute."

The reason that Cecil Tapper (a civilian) was on board a military aircraft (Blenheim L1546) appears to be that he was an aircraft engineer, and the Indian area representative of the Bristol Aeroplane Company.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1983)
2. Fallen Eagles: Airmen Who Survived The Great War Only to Die in Peacetime pages 231-234 By Norman Franks

Related books:

Revision history:

29-Feb-2008 13:34 JINX Added
26-Jun-2013 18:55 Nepa Updated [Operator, Source]
03-Aug-2013 11:59 JINX Updated [Operator]
15-Dec-2014 18:09 Jixon Updated [Operator, Source]
01-Apr-2018 16:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Oct-2018 06:45 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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