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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 209874
Last updated: 10 January 2020
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Date:05-NOV-1939
Time:15:35 LT
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk 1c
Owner/operator:38 Squadron Royal Air Force (38 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4239
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Marks Farm, Boughton, 4 miles South of RAF Marham, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Barton Bendish RLG, Norfolk
Destination airport:RAF Marham, Norfolk
Narrative:
Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic L4239, 38 Squadron, RAF Marham: Written off (destroyed) 5/11/39 when hit tree while low-flying, Marks Farm, Boughton, four miles south of Marham, Norfolk. One source states that the aircraft was returning from the "dispersal" grass airfield at RAF Barton Bendish RLG (Relief Landing Ground) back to the main 38 Squadron HQ base at RAF Marham. All seven crew were killed:

Sgt Edward Thomas Summers AFM (Service Number 509103, aged 30) killed
LAC David George (Service Number 525139, aged 27) killed
AC.1 John Clarence Bailey (Service Number 569331 aged 19) killed
AC.1 William Watson (Service Number 618630, aged 23) killed
AC.2 William Henry Dye (Service Number 622509, aged 19) killed
AC.2 Alan Hardman (Service Number 628360, aged 18) killed
AC.2 George Henry Charles Newman (Service Number 753277, aged 19) killed

According to the following excerpt from an article in the "Lowestoft Journal" (13/11/2009 - see link #3):

"At 3.35pm, observers on the ground near the village of Boughton saw a low-flying Wellington making very steep turns close to the ground. According to the official 38 Squadron operations record book: “Low flying practice was being carried out."

Disaster struck as the aircraft made another very low banking turn and then struck the top of an oak tree, tearing off part of the tailplane. The stricken Wellington climbed steeply then dived nose first into a field at Marks Farm, where it disintegrated and burst into flames.

Soldiers and airmen taking part in an inter-service football match nearby rushed to the scene but there was little that could be done. Six of the seven men aboard the Wellington had been killed in the crash. The occupant of the tail turret, AC 1 Watson, was still alive when rescuers reached the crash, but he died from his injuries.

The squadron was stunned by the crash and the loss of life by accident, at this early stage of the war. It was the first fatal crash suffered by 38 Squadron since it reformed in 1935."

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain)
2. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1939a.htm
3. http://www.lowestoftjournal.co.uk/news/recalling-the-first-war-casualty-1-514849
4. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-vickers-290-wellington-i-boughton-7-killed
5. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2764071/summers,-edward-thomas/
6. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2764062/george,-david/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2720220/bailey,-john-clarence/
8. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2836234/watson,-william/
9. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2720874/dye,-william-henry/
10. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2412664/hardman,-alan/
11. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2735256/newman,-george-henry-charles/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Apr-2018 16:38 Dr. John Smith Added
25-Apr-2018 16:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
30-Oct-2018 08:21 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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