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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 21022
Last updated: 27 January 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic CNBR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
English Electric Canberra B.2
Owner/operator:3 LRFU Royal Air Force (3 LRFU RAF)
Registration: WH696
C/n / msn: 71155
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Old Bath Road, 3/4 miles West of Twyford, Berkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Abingdon (EGUD)
Destination airport:RAF Abingdon (EGUD)
EE Canberra B.2 WH696, 3 LRFU (Long Range Ferry Unit), RAF: Written off (destroyed) 27 January 1953, when dived into ground at the Old Bath Road, 3/4 mile West of Twyford, Berkshire whilst on 2 hour training flight. Crash destroyed the road, and caused a crater 25 feet deep by 40 feet across. Aircraft was 11 days old. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Western Mail" - Wednesday 28 January 1953)

"Two killed in Canberra crash
The crew of two were killed when an R.A.F. Canberra twin-jet bomber crashed on the Old Bath road at Twyford (Berks.) yesterday 10 minutes after take-off from Abingdon (Berks.) on a local training flight. They were Master Pilot C. S. Orrell, the pilot, and Sgt. W. G. Haupt, the navigator. It made a crater in the road about 30 ft. wide and 20 ft. deep after bringing down telephone wires which cut communication between Reading and Twyford."

Inquest held on 4 February 1953 at the Almshouses, Twyford.

Verdict 'Accidental death due to the disintegration of the 'plane'. RAF Documents give the cause as obscure. There was insufficient information available to establish a cause, and the case was closed.

NOTE #1: Some sources give the destination of this aircraft, at the time of the crash, as being 23 MU RAF Aldergrove, Northern Ireland. In other words, a delivery flight to the RAF, not a training flight
NOTE #2: At the Inquest on 4 February 1953. The last signatures of the two airmen, in the book authorising the training flight were shown to the Coroner by F/Lt W S Dossett of RAF Abingdon. He stated ' I trained the pilot on this aircraft. He had done more than 1900 hours flying, but on this type only two hours. This being his second solo with it.'
So it was a training flight.

Crew of Canberra WH696
Master Pilot Stanley Cardy Orrell, RAF (pilot, aged 32)
Sergeant William Gordon Haupt, RAF (Navigator)

Both crew were buried at the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, Surrey.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p. 140 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p 335
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain. 1983 p 52)
4. The Berkshire Chronicle 30th January & 6th February, 1953
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/135:
6. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/32/S2615:

Revision history:

13-Jun-2008 00:24 JINX Added
22-Jan-2010 10:36 John Baker Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Apr-2013 18:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
30-May-2013 16:18 Nepa Updated [Operator]
16-Mar-2014 20:57 John Baker Updated [Narrative]
14-Feb-2015 17:18 TB Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative]
31-Dec-2019 22:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
31-Dec-2019 22:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
01-Jan-2020 17:01 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]

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