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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193525
Last updated: 21 November 2019
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Date:21-FEB-1920
Time:14:06 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic BFIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bristol F.2b
Owner/operator:2 Sqn Royal Air Force (2 Sqn RAF)
Registration: H1567
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Irish Sea, en route between Shotwick and Baldonnel -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Shotwick, Wirral, Cheshire
Destination airport:Baldonnel, Dublin, Ireland
Narrative:
On 21 February 1920 at 14.06 hours, Lieutenant Croye Rothes Pithey (aged 24) launched in favorable weather from Shotwick, Wirral, Cheshire, leading a ferry formation of three aircraft towards Baldonnel, Dublin. All three planes were seen between Denbigh and Rhyl in Wales shortly after departure. Pithey crashed fatally shortly thereafter, and all three aircraft are believed to have crashed (none reached their destination) According to a contemporary report in Flight Magazine (March 4, 1920 page 365 - see link #3):

"R.A.F. Aeroplanes Missing
THE Air Ministry regrets to announce that three aeroplanes which left Shotwick, near Chester, to fly to Baldonnel, near Dublin, on Saturday the 21st ultimo, are missing.

The machines left Shotwick at 2.06 p.m., and should have arrived at Baldonnel by 4.30 p.m. The pilots were Flying Officer C. R. Pithey, D.F.C., Flying-Officer H. L. Holland, and Flying-Officer H. de W. Waller, all three experienced pilots. Flying-Officer Holland has made the trip previously.

The machines were fitted with wireless, and were tested by the pilots before leaving. The weather was reported favourable on both sides of the Irish Channel. The machines started in formation. Flying-Officer Pithey leading, and were sighted between Denbigh and Rhyl shortly afterwards, but failed to arrive at Baldonnel.

No further news was obtained until the morning of the 23rd ultimo, when a wireless message was received by the Admiralty from the master of the Norfolk Range dated the 21st ultimo, and reporting that an aeroplane had come down in the sea 85 miles S.W. of the Scilly Islands at 4.35 p.m. on that date.

The message stated that the lifeboat was launched and every effort made to rescue the pilot, unfortunately without success owing to a rough sea and strong wind"

All three aircraft were initially posted as "overdue", then "missing", with the three pilots (one in each aircraft) as "missing" then "presumed killed". F/O Pithey's name is inscribed along with those of other airmen missing at sea on the Hollybrook Memorial at Southampton

Sources:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croye_Pithey#Post_World_War_I
2. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1925.htm
3. Flight Magazine March 4, 1920 p.365 at https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1920/1920%20-%200265.html
4. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/13244527/pithey


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Feb-2017 23:04 Dr.John Smith Added
11-Feb-2017 23:04 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
06-May-2018 20:51 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities, Narrative]
06-May-2018 20:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
17-Jul-2018 20:46 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Narrative]
14-Nov-2018 06:51 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
31-Jan-2019 20:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]

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