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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 162387
Last updated: 2 January 2021
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Date:03-MAR-1940
Time:14:40
Type:Silhouette image of generic L14 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed Hudson Mk I
Owner/operator:PDU RAF
Registration: N7334
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near Meopham Green, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Heston, Middlesex
Destination airport:RAF Heston,
Narrative:
On Sunday, 3/3/40, Hudson N7334 of the Photographic Development Unit (PDU), RAF was tasked with taking aerial photos of some RAF airfields, including Gravesend, Kent. These photos were to be provided to the French Air Force for their information.

After photographing RAF Gravesend from 7,000 feet the Hudson turned and headed for London. Soon after, it was intercepted and attacked by 3 Hurricanes of No. 32 Squadron, whose pilots mistook the plane for a German bomber. The situation was not helped by the photo. recce Hudson's lack of a dorsal gun turret (a recognition point), and its non-standard camouflage paint scheme.

The crew fired the identity signal for the day, two yellow Verey flares, but these apparently went unnoticed by the fighter pilots.

In moments the Hudson was in flames and diving towards the ground. The aircraft's fuel tanks exploded and the co-pilot, Sgt J.A.M. Reid, was blown clear and was saved by his parachute. He was the only survivor of the four crew.

The dead were :
Flying Officer Sydney Dennis Slocum (pilot, Service Number 28166, aged 29)
Leading Aircraftman J A Butcher (MID, Wireless Op/Air Gunner, Service Number 515617, aged 26)
Leading Aircraftman Ronald Arno Mutton (Service Number 551255, aged 20)

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain)
2. National Archives (PRO kew) File AIR 81/99: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14141921
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/04/a6024304.shtml
4. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?15826-N-7334-Hudson-3-March-1940&styleid=3
5. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-lockheed-l-414-hudson-i-meopham-3-killed
6. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2925.0;wap2
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2438964/slocum,-sydney-dennis/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2735496/butcher,-john-ambrose/
9. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2949334/mutton,-ronald-arno/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Nov-2013 08:16 angels one five Added
27-Feb-2014 15:37 Phil C. Updated [Narrative]
10-Jul-2015 18:45 DG333 Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport]
06-Jun-2019 16:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
08-Jun-2019 16:24 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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