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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174145
Last updated: 7 February 2020
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Type:Hawker Tempest Mk V
Owner/operator:3 Sqn Royal Air Force (3 Sqn RAF)
Registration: SN334
C/n / msn: JF-C
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Agbens Orchard, Newington, Ramsgate, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Biggin Hill, Bromley, Kent
Destination airport:RAF Manston, Ramsgate, Kent
Two RAF Hawker Tempests of 3 Squadron (SN334 and SN221) collided on 14 September 1946 over Kent and crashed in murky weather during commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the Battle of Britain. One of the pilots - the pilot of Hawker Tempest SN334 ("JF-C") - was killed. The other Hawker Tempest (SN221/'JF-Z') force landed at Cemetery Hill, Margate, Kent, and the pilot survived.

According to a Syndicated news article - Monday 16 September 1946:

Three Tempest fighters which had just taken part in the R.A.F. fly-past over London on Saturday, collided while flying in formation at about 2,000 feet. One plunged into an orchard a few yards from the Margate-Ramsgate road, tearing up 100 yards of apple trees. The pilot, Warrant Officer Cruse, stationed at Dachau, Germany, was killed instantly. The second Tempest crashed in a field at Margate, but the pilot escaped unhurt. The third 'plane managed to glide back to Manston aerodrome."

In less than perfect weather conditions, the mass flypast of over 300 aircraft marked the sixth anniversary of the Battle of Britain by flying over London and the south-east of England. There was an official account of the incident, which does contradict itself in places:

Three Tempests of No.3 Squadron, which had flown in from Germany earlier in the week, collided over Ramsgate while returning from the flypast. One machine (SN334) plunged into the ground at Agbens Orchard near the Ramsgate-Margate road and the pilot, Warrant Officer E C Cruse, was killed instantly, The second aircraft (SN221) crashed in a field at Cemetery Hill, Margate, and the pilot (Pilot Officer E R Campbell) escaped unhurt. A third aircraft (SN171 flown by Flt Lt F L Latham) was able to glide back to Manston to make a forced landing. The accident was caused when Warrant Officer Cruse dropped back during turbulent weather conditions and collided with another aircraft.

Crew of Tempest Mk.V SN334:
Warrant Officer (Pilot) Edward Charles Cruse, RAF Service Number 626792, aged 30, killed on active service 14/09/1946, buried at Margate Cemetery, Margate, Kent


1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.7. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. El Litoral 14 September 1946, p 1
3. "RAF Write-Offs 1946". Air-Britain Aeromiltaria. Air-Britain. Vol. 2 (issue 4): pages 93106. 1979.
4. The Indian Express 17 September 1946, p 3
5. Final Landings: A Summary of RAF Aircraft and Combat Losses 1946-1949 p 217 by Colin Cummings
6. SN221/JF-Z at Kastrup Denmark June 1945:

Revision history:

26-Feb-2015 20:57 TB Added
02-Sep-2017 13:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
12-Oct-2017 10:24 Nepa Updated [Operator]
23-Jan-2019 09:56 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
09-Nov-2019 22:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Nov-2019 22:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Source, Narrative]
12-Nov-2019 22:22 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]
07-Feb-2020 19:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Destination airport, Narrative]
07-Feb-2020 19:47 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
07-Feb-2020 19:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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