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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 16027
Last updated: 1 December 2021
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Type:Bristol Beaufort Prototype
Owner/operator:5 (C) Operational Training Unit Royal Air Force (5 (C) OTU RAF)
Registration: L4445
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Bristol Channel, near RAF Chivenor, Devon -   United Kingdom
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:RAF Chivenor
Destination airport:
The fifth prototype Beaufort, L4445, was used for trials with the Torpedo Development Unit at Gosport, Hampshire. This aircraft eventually served with No. 5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit at Chivenor, Devon, before crashing into the sea on 1 March 1942. On this day it was detailed to carry out a low level bombing training exercise. The aircraft took off at 1005 hours and during the exercise the aircraft struck the water and crashed near Chivenor, Devon, at 1031 hrs.

A later Court of Inquiry found that the primary cause of the crash was the aircraft hitting the water of the River Taw, causing the port propeller to come off. A secondary cause was the stalling of the port wing during an attempt to carry out a forced landing due to (a) the pilot attempted to reach the aerodrome with insufficient power or height to do so and (b) the use of flaps in the final stages of the approach.

Plt Off Rafe Sherme Brimacombe RCAF (pilot) killed
Plt Off Reginald Allan White RAAF (navigator/bomb aimer) killed
Sgt P Scott RNZAF (wireless operator/air gunner) slightly injured

Both Brimacombe and White are buried in the Heanton Punchardon (St Augustine) Churchyard, Devon, UK.


Casualty file of Reginald Allan White, available online on the webiste of the Australian Archives ( (no more online),%20RAFE%20SHERME


Revision history:

18-Mar-2008 22:40 JINX Added
02-Mar-2018 08:59 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Nov-2018 19:19 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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