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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 207854
Last updated: 6 January 2021
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Type:Westland Whirlwind mk 1
Owner/operator:263 (Fellowship of the Bellows) Squadron Royal Air Force (263 (Fellowship of the Bellows) Sqn RAF)
Registration: P6975/P6978
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:believed in Foxtor Mires, Dartmoor, Devon -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Exeter, Devon.
Destination airport:RAF Exeter
A three-ship formation on patrol over Dartmoor encountered low cloud. Two of the aircraft, P6975 & P6978, collided and both crashed in (it is believed) Foxtor Mires. Both pilots were killed, the first of the two bodies not being found until 9 March 1941 by a horse patrol that came upon the crashed aircraft, the remains being subsequently recovered by 67 MU, Tavistock.

F/L Wynford Ormonde Leoni SMITH (25) and P/O Donald M VINE (23) both killed, both buried in Exeter Higher Cemetary War Graves plot, graves ZK80 & 81.

Currently, a drone survey is being carried out by a Birmingham University on behalf of the Whirlwind Fighter Project to locate the remains of the crashed aircraft, in what is a treacherous marshy area of Dartmoor.


'Tavistock Times Gazette' newspaper 'help' article by The Marches Aviation Society.
'Westland Whirlwind' by Bruce Robertson, Kookaburra Technical Publications 1965.
Whirlwind Fighter Project newsletters
Paul Doyle personal files.

Revision history:

19-Mar-2018 15:03 paddy Added
19-Mar-2018 18:50 paddy Updated [Source]
29-Apr-2018 07:18 paddy Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]
13-Nov-2018 17:56 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
27-Nov-2019 11:07 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Operator]

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