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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 1988
Last updated: 15 January 2020
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Date:26-JUL-1939
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Anson Mk I
Owner/operator:269 Sqn RAF
Registration: K6255
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near Shield Hill, Inverkip, Renfrewshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Abbotsinch, Glasgow (GLA/EGPF)
Destination airport:RAF Belfast, Northen Ireland
Narrative:
Anson K6255 was part of a flight of 15 aircraft in transit from RAF Abbotsinch [Glasgow] to Belfast [possibly, RAF Nutts Corner or RAF Aldergrove] and back. The accident occurred on the return leg of the journey. Due to bad weather, the pilots were ordered to break formation, separate, and make their own way home. As they did so, there were several near misses of the hills between the Clyde coast and Glasgow.

One aircraft, however, failed to arrive back at RAF Abbotsinch. When this was realised and reported by the pilots and crew, there was a radio message was flashed immediately to all police stations in the area concerning the missing aircraft.

The police search was led by Sgts Dick and Galbraith. (I [Stephen Hayton] was later to serve under Sgt Galbraith's son, then an Inspector at Greenock.)

In due course, the crew of the missing aircraft were found. There Anson had crashed near Cauldron Hill, on the high ground above and behind Greenock and Inverkip. All four were alive when found (although one was to die later from his injuries).

A civilian on board—a Mr. H. J. Reynolds, then of 157 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow—was a member of the Civil Air Guard. As a result of the accident, Mr. Reynolds sustained serious head injuries. Reports also suggest that one crew member had a broken leg and arm splinted using parts of the airframe! Others had head injuries.

Injuries were treated at the locus prior to removal by Dr. S. K. Drainer from Peterhead who was holidaying nearby. All were later treated at Greenock Royal Infirmary (now demolished).

The Anson was badly damaged in the accident. Information suggests that the rudder was torn off and the wings were in several wooden bits (consistent with the structure of the Annie). Both engines were bent and torn off. There was a trail of a trough cut by the fuselage from a mound to the dyke where it came to rest [see RAF crash photo below].

According to local sources, the wreck was dug into the nearby ground and covered over; but, according to the local press, a party of airmen came later to dismantle it. [Possibly, this was the RAF Recovery Team (MU) who had arrived to remove weapons, radios, etc., before digging the wreck into the ground. Before the advent of heavy-lift helicopters, this practice was sometimes adopted where crash sites were inaccessible to heavy recovery vehicles.]

Unfortunately, all the witnesses involved have now passed over, but in a chat with a local farmer he told me that his father was asked to loan a tractor with a bulldozer blade to the Air Force, which certainly goes toward the buried wreck comments.

According to RAF historical records, the pilot of this Anson—Sgt Robson—initially survived the crash. Some time later, however, the pilot died from the effects of his injuries. Sgt Robson was the only fatality among the four crew members.

The surviving crew members were:
LAC Ball
AC Ward
Mr. Harold John Reynolds

One of the Cheetah engines was recovered and can be seen at Cornalees Visitor Centre Car Park. Very few remains left at the actual crash site.

Sources:

1. Air-Britain The K File The RAF of the 1930s
2. http://www.clydemuirshiel.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Aircraft-Crashes-in-CMRP1.pdf
3. http://www.aircrashsites-scotland.co.uk/anson_cauldron.htm
4. http://www.oca.269squadron.btinternet.co.uk/history/squadron_history/269_chronicle_pt1_narrative.pdf
5. http://www.oca.269squadron.btinternet.co.uk/photo_gallery/abbottsinch/crashed_anson.jpg
6. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1939.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Feb-2008 11:44 JINX Added
19-Mar-2012 04:54 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Registration, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
26-Jun-2012 11:59 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
15-Jul-2013 21:55 JINX Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Aug-2014 14:34 Jixon Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport]
26-Jan-2018 00:36 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]

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