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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 1974
Last updated: 20 January 2020
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Date:05-SEP-1939
Time:night
Type:Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Anson Mk I
Owner/operator:206 Squadron Royal Air Force (206 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K6183
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, off Friesian Islands -   Germany
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Destination airport:RAF Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Narrative:
The first RAF Combat loss of WWII (as being actually shot down in air-to-air dogfighting), squadron code VX-B, that attacked German He.115 (M2+FH of 1./KuFlGr 160), off the Friesian Islands & was shot down by return fire.

Twelve aircraft on parallel line search with K6183 at 300 ft. spotting & attacking He.115. During the 15 min encounter LAC Quilter was hit, leaving the Anson almost defenceless. P/O Edwards attempted to down the He.115 with forward firing gun. German crew spotted survivors in the water & set down recovering only P/O Edwards.

Crew:
Pilot Officer 31687 L.H. Edwards RAF PoW No.16 (1st WW II British officer taken as POW)
Sgt 566050 Alexander Oliver Heslop RAF (aged 23, on loan from 9 Squadron) - killed.
AC.1 552231 Geoffrey Sheffield RAF (aged 18) killed.
LAC 524808 John Quilter RAF (aged22) killed.

Pilot Officer Edwards was the first RAF Officer to be taken POW in WWII. Ironically, it was the floatplane-equipped Heinkel He115 that shot him down that also came to his rescue, landing on the sea to retrieve him from the waves!

The other three crew members were never found (deemed to be "missing presumed dead") and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

Sources:

1. Air-Britain The K File The RAF of the 1930s
2. Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War.
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/3: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14141982
4. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?496-First-and-Last-Coastal-Command-Loss
5. https://www.luftwaffe-experten.org/forums/index.php?app=forums&module=forums&controller=topic&id=9483
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1799997/heslop,-alexander-oliver/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1807012/sheffield,-geoffrey/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2939811/quilter,-john/

Avro Anson ZK-RRA (ex-MH120) painted up as K6183/VX-B of 206 Sqn at an Air Show in New Zealand April 2015: CF15 Avro Anson ZK-RRA 040415 03

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Feb-2008 02:45 JINX Added
10-Mar-2008 23:57 JINX Updated
08-Jul-2008 18:25 JINX Updated
19-Mar-2012 06:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Phase, Source, Narrative]
13-Aug-2012 14:04 Nepa Updated [Operator]
16-Jul-2013 04:22 JINX Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
10-Nov-2015 07:20 JINX Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Jan-2016 20:52 JIXN Updated [Operator, Narrative]
01-Jun-2019 15:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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