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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 181346
Last updated: 4 January 2020
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Date:27-OCT-1939
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Anson Mk I
Owner/operator:608 (North Riding) Squadron Royal Air Force (608 (North Riding) Sqn RAF)
Registration: N5204
C/n / msn: UL-N
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, near Humber L.V. (Light Vessel) off Lincolnshire coast -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Thornaby, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Thornaby, North Yorkshire
Narrative:
Avro Anson Mk.I N5204 ("UL-N") of 608 (North Riding) Squadron, RAF Thornaby: Shot down 27 October 1939 by an RAF Hurricane in error, while on convoy patrol. In what would now be termed a "friendly fire incident", the Anson took off at 11:00 am local time on a convoy escort sortie. Last information was received that the Anson had been shot down in error by a Hurricane over the North Sea, in the vicinity of the Humber Light Vessel off the coast of Lincolnshire. It is thought that the Hurricane was from 46 Squadron, RAF, based at RAF Digby. Three of the four crew were killed, and only two of three crew were retrieved:

Crew:
Pilot: Pilot Officer (91062) Arthur Denis Baird RAF - killed.
Co-pilot: Flt Lt (90302) Geoffrey Whitley Garnett RAuxAF - killed.
Corporal (808180) Richard Andrew Wilson RAuxAF - killed (died of injuries same day)
AC.2 (808285) J.P. Smith wounded.

AC.2 Smith - the sole survivor - was rescued by the Royal Navy vessel HMS Stork at about 12:00 local time. The same vessel also recovered the body of Corporal Andrew Wilson. As a result of this terrible mistake, instructions were received from Air Ministry that all the roundels (the red, white and blue disc-markings) on fuselages and wings be repainted and that undercarriages were to be left down when near our shipping, which our fighters were also protecting, often in very poor visibility. The funeral at St Cuthbert's Church, Yarm Road, Stockton, on 1st November brought home to all who witnessed it the grim reality of war.

NOTE: Reports that the Royal Navy vessel involved was "HMS Ganges" are in error. Not least because HMS Ganges was a shore establishment at Shotley, Suffolk (from 1905 to 1976) and not a sea going vessel!

Sources:

1. Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War Vol 1, by Ross McNeil p 18
2. The Kipper Patrol By Louise Wilkinson (Pneuma Springs Publishing 2009, page 67)
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/32: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14142115
4. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1939a.htm
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1083192/baird,-arthur-denis/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1270641/garnett,-geoffrey-whitley/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2696727/wilson,-richard-andrew/
8. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?16312-Anson-N5204-Blue-on-Blue-Shootdown-27th-October-1939
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ganges_(shore_establishment)
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Stork_(L81)
11. http://www.bcar.org.uk/1939-incident-logs
11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/70/a4233070.shtml

Royal Navy vessel HMS Stork (L81) which was involved in the incident: HMS Stork 1943 IWM FL 22540

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
15-Nov-2015 07:59 JINX Added
07-Jan-2016 20:34 Oezil Updated [Operator, Narrative]
09-Jan-2016 09:51 JIXN Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
25-Apr-2018 00:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
25-Apr-2018 00:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
03-Jun-2019 17:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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