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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 211259
Last updated: 27 November 2019
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Date:26-SEP-1933
Time:day
Type:Fairey Gordon
Owner/operator:40 Squadron Royal Air Force (40 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K1742?
C/n / msn: F.1441
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, off Hartlepool, County Durham -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Leuchars, Fife
Destination airport:RAF Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Narrative:
Fairey Gordon, K1742(?) 40 Squadron, RAF Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Written off (destroyed) 26/9/33 when became lost in fog and crashed into the North Sea, off Hartlepool, County Durham. Both crew were killed:

Sgt John William Eric Christian (Service Number 370857, aged 27) killed
Corporal Aubrey Cleaton Lewis (Service Number 363626) killed

This aircraft was part of formation of four Fairey Gordons of 40 Squadron, RAF, returning from exercises over the Forth Estuary, which crashed into the sea due to poor visibility. Another Fairey Gordon, K1732, also of 40 Squadron, and part of the same formation, crashed shortly beforehand into high ground at Bamburgh, Northumberland, killing both crew

NOTE: Not 100% confirmed that the aircraft was K1742. However, K1742's only operational service was with 40 Squadron, RAF, and it was struck off charge on 2/10/33 - six days after the above accident.

According to a contemporary newspaper report ("The Advertiser" (Adelaide, South Australia) Thursday 28 September 1933, Page 15 see link #3):

"DISASTER BEFALLS R.A.F. ARMADA
Two Killed On Way Home From Manoeuvres
PERILOUS FLYING
LONDON. September 27.

Disaster has befallen the Royal Air Force Armada which left Leuchars, Scotland, for the south yesterday, after having successfully "defended" the coast of Scotland against an "attack" by the Royal Naval Force in the first joint manoeuvres of the two fighting arms. One bomber crashed in Northumberland, and the two occupants were incinerated, despite the efforts of its consort, whose crew attempted to drag the victims from the blazing wreckage.

The dead are Flying Officer Norman Charles Meyrick Styche- a native of London, whose next-of-kin, a sister, lives in Melbourne, and Aircraftsman M. A. White.

The twelve other machines were forced down by fog. Three of them landed at South Shields, where one was wrecked on landing. The occupants were not injured. Nine planes continued the journey home, but were compelled to turn and land near Newcastle-upon-Tyne after perilous low flying.

Styche and White belonged to No. 40 (Bomber) Squadron, and were flying south to take their leave after the strenuous exercises in Scotland. Styche was flying low, when the plane nose dived and burst into flames. The occupants had no chance to escape, and intending rescuers were unable to approach the machine, which burned fiercely for several hours. Partly burned parachutes nearby suggest that the pair attempted to jump for their lives.

Royal Air Force fatalities In 1933 now total 42."

Note also that the above report states that the Fairey Gordon crashed at South Shields (not Hartlepool) and that there were no fatalities.

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1934.htm
2. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?17674-RAF-Fatalities-1933
3. The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia) Thursday 28 Sep 1933 Page 15 at https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/47004668


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-May-2018 21:41 Dr. John Smith Added
20-May-2018 22:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
10-Nov-2018 07:17 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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