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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193575
Last updated: 13 November 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Gas Balloon 'Thresher'
Owner/operator:Royal Engineers Corps, British Army
Registration: Unregistered
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:10 miles off Exmouth, Devon -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Cove, near Aldershot, Hampshire
Destination airport:
Lieuts. Theodore E. Martin-Leake, (aged 28), and William T. M'Clintock Caulfield, (aged 27), of the British Army ascend at 1630 hrs. from the military balloon factory at Cove, near Aldershot, in the balloon "Thresher", witnessed by King Edward VII and Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu. For unknown reasons they do not descend a few hours later as planned, and the balloon is sighted over Weymouth at 20:30 hrs., drifting towards the sea.

The crew drowned when the balloon crashes in Lyme Bay. The trawler Skylark (Captain Johnson) discovers the partially submerged balloon ten miles off Exmouth on 29 May and after some difficulty brings it into Brixham where it is transferred to the custody of Customs officials. Caulfield's body recovered at Weymouth on 24 June. Leake's body never found.


2. The New York Times 14 July 1910 at
5. Correspondents, "Lost War Balloon", Poverty Bay Herald, Gisborne, New Zealand, Saturday 20 July 1907, Volume XXXIV, Number 11120, Supplement.

Revision history:

13-Feb-2017 22:55 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Nov-2018 23:44 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Nov-2018 23:45 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]

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