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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218603
Last updated: 14 July 2019
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Date:30-JUN-1915
Time:day
Type:Caudron G.III
Owner/operator:RNAS Eastbourne
Registration: 3266
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Dunlye Field, near the Cross-in-Hand Hotel, Heathfield, Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RNAS Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, Kent
Destination airport:RNAS Eastbourne, East Sussex
Narrative:
30.6.15: Caudron G.III 3266, RNAS Eastbourne. Written off (destroyed) when broke up in mid air, over Cross-in-Hand, Sussex. Pilot - Flt Sub-Lt Preston Albert Watson (aged 34) - was killed. According to the wikipedia entry for Preston Albert Watson (see link #4)

"On 30 June 1915, Flight sub-Lieutenant Preston Watson of the Royal Naval Air Service was flying Caudron G.3 3266 between Eastchurch in Kent and Eastbourne, East Sussex, England when his aeroplane "suddenly dived from a great height to the ground", and crashed in Dunlye Field, a few miles from the Cross-in-Hand Hotel near Heathfield. Watson was killed in the accident. He was 34 years old.

Preston Watson is interred at Western Cemetery (on the Perth Road) in Dundee.

What actually happened to cause the Caudron to crash has never been fully explained; some hypothesised that the aircraft suffered structural failure, since a wing was found in an adjoining field. Engine failure was also suggested as a possible cause of the crash. Watson's RNAS casualty card offers no clues, merely stating the time and place he was killed. Buried on 5 July 1915 in Dundee's Western Cemetery, he was survived by a widow and two young children"

According to a brief contemporary report in Flight magazine (July 9 1915 page 497 - see link #2):

"Fatal Accident to Flight Sub-Lieutenant P. A. Watson.
WHILE flying near Cross-in-Hand, East Sussex, on the 30th ult., a machine piloted by Flight Sub-Lieut. P. A.Watson, R.N.A.S., suddenly dived from a great height to the ground, the pilot being instantly killed. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Watson will be remembered as the inventor of the rocking-wing aeroplane described in Flight of May 15th, 1914."

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. Flight magazine (July 9 1915 page 497): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1915/1915%20-%200497.html?search=Preston%20Albert%20Watson
3. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/327258/watson,-preston-albert/
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_Watson#Preston_Watson's_Last_Year_of_Life
5. https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/service-area/neighbourhood-services/environment/western-cemetery
6. http://warbirdswalkaround.wixsite.com/rockingwings/aviation-history
7. Newman, Grant. First to Fly? Preston Watson Fact and Myth. Air Enthusiast, No. 112, July/August 2004. ISSN 0143-5450[10]


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
26-Nov-2018 18:56 Dr.John Smith Added
26-Nov-2018 18:57 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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