Accident Westland Whirlwind Mk I P6969, 08 Feb 1941
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193634
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Type:Westland Whirlwind Mk I
Owner/operator:263 (Fellowship of the Bellows) Squadron Royal Air Force (263 (Fellowship of the Bellows) Sqn RAF)
Registration: P6969
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:English Channel, 3 miles south of Dodman Point, Cornwall, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Exeter, Devon
Destination airport:RAF Exeter
On 8 February 1941 two Whirlwind of 263 Sqn RAF (F/O Hughes and Sgt Rudland, forming the Blue Section) took off at 0940 hrs from Exeter for a practive flight but less than an half hour later they were vectored onto an enemy aircraft (Raid 139). 12 miles south of Start Point an Ar 196 was intercepted by Sgt Rudland who chased it and was ready to attack when he saw British colours on the aircraft. He stopped the attack and the aircraft flew into clouds. It then flew close to F/O Hughes who gave it a 5 second burst with no observed results.

Two other Whirlwinds had scrambled to chase this raid at 0906(?) hrs, flown by Flt Lt Crooks and Plt Off Kenneth Alfred George Graham. They were orbiting south of Dodman Point when Crooks lost view of Graham as they were respectively ordered to patrol above and under the clouds. Two minutes later he saw a float plane crash into the sea. Graham did not return and a coastguard reported that two aircraft had crashed into the sea 3 miles south of Dodman Point, the first in flames. Plt Off Graham was credited with the destruction of an Arado 196 but was lost with his Whirlwind I P6969. It is possible that he collided in clouds with the German aircraft, the Ar 196 A-2 WNr 129 6W+ON of 5./196. Both crew, Oblt Adolf Berger (pilot and Staffelkapitän) and Lt zur See Hans-Erich Hirtz (observer), were lost.


Article on the Arado 196 in 1941 by Michel Ledet and Christophe Cony, in Avions n° 139 (French magazine, October 2004)
"1941 the turning point. Part 1", by John Foreman, ISBN 1-871187-22-2


Revision history:

16-Feb-2017 13:36 Laurent Rizzotti Added
25-Apr-2018 14:11 paddy Updated [Total occupants, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
27-Nov-2019 11:09 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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