ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 186538
Last updated: 10 April 2020
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:19-SEP-1939
Time:07:00 LT
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk I
Owner/operator:75 Squadron Royal Air Force (75 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4256
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Glyn-Neath, some 13 km northwest of Aberdare, Glamorgan -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Harwell, Oxfordshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The first wartime loss from RAF Harwell occurred on 18th September with Wellington L4256 when the navigator got lost. The crew left RAF Harwell at 20:00 Local Time for a night training exercise. To add to the problem the wireless was not working. After vainly trying to establish their position, with fuel getting low and mountains below, the crew abandoned the aircraft, which dived into the ground at Glyn-Neath, some 13 km northwest of Aberdare, Glamorgan. Crash reported to have happened about 11 hours after take off, which would make the time of the incident at 07:00 am. Crew successfully parachuted to safety:

Flight Lt Alfred Howard Smythe (Service Number 37563)
Flying Officer Peter James Robert Kitchen (Service Number 39539)
Sgt Thomas Robert Moss (Service Number 518032)
Sgt John Harris Hollingworth (Service Number 619032)
AC.1 William Edward Denis Salt (Service Number 550423)

It was reported that small pieces of wreckage were still embedded into tree roots at the crash site,well into the early 21st Century: "Small pieces of wreckage in and around the roots of the trees. A badly battered engine remains in a small crater. The other lies approximately 70 metres away". (see links #2 and #3 below)

Sources:

1. http://www.ystradgynlais-history.co.uk/wellington-l4256.html
2. http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/507024/details/vickers-wellington-l4256
3. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/489555421976462020/
4. http://museum.uffington.net/resources/jimjones/docs/RAF_Harwell_history.pdf
5. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-vickers-290-wellington-i-aberdare
6. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?13755-Historical-Record-Wellington-L4256-75-Sqn-Loss-19th-Sep-1939
7. Brecon Beacons National Park, 1995, Identification Guide Aircraft Crashes in the National Park, ID 7
8. Doylerush, E, 2008, Rocks in the Clouds: High Ground Aircraft Crashes in South Wales, p23-5,
9. https://archwilio.org.uk/arch/query/page.php?watprn=GGAT05823w&dbname=ggat&tbname=core


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Apr-2016 10:32 ORD Added
13-Nov-2016 16:37 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
13-Nov-2016 16:39 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
13-Nov-2016 16:40 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
13-Nov-2016 16:41 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
23-Dec-2017 16:40 Nepa Updated [Operator]
27-Oct-2018 19:29 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
16-May-2019 16:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description