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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218669
Last updated: 22 April 2019
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Date:28-DEC-1915
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic be2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c
Owner/operator:22 Sqn RFC
Registration: 1690
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Fort Rowner, Gosport, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Fort Grange, Gosport, Hampshire
Destination airport:RFC Fort Grange, Gosport, Hampshire
Narrative:
28.12.15: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c No. 1690, 22 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, Gosport. Written off (destroyed) when Turned and dived into the ground on approach, RFC Fort Grange, Gosport, Hampshire. Pilot - 2nd Lt William Frederick Rogers (aged 24) - was killed. According to a contemporary report in Flight magazine (January 6 1916 page 26 - see link #3)

Fatal Accident at Gosport.
AN inquest was held at Gosport on December 30th relative to the death of Lieut. William Frederick Rogers, of the R.F.C., who was killed in an accident near Fort Rowner on the previous Tuesday morning. According to the evidence, the machine, when only about 130ft. high, commenced to turn to the right without banking; it then dived suddenly to the ground. The deceased officer had done a good deal of flying, but it was his first trip on the particular type of machine with which the accident occurred. On being taken from the wreck, the pilot was dead. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death"."

In addition details of the death of Lieutenant Rogers were given in an article published in the Reading Chronicle on 7th January 1916. (See link #4). William was aged 24 when he was killed in a flying accident whilst flying at Fort Grange, Gosport, on 28th December 1915. The article gives details of the accident in which William Rogers lost his life:

“Lieutenant Rogers was making a flight with a new Curtiss machine when he was killed. The machine, which was at a low altitude, being no more than 150 feet up, was seen making a nose dive to earth, and it fell heavily, burying its fore-part in the ground. Help was quickly at hand and Lieut. Rogers was found in his machine unconscious. He was taken out of it, but death had taken place before the doctor’s arrival. Immediately the deceased commenced the flight it was observed that he was not comfortable in the machine, and it is said that he turned it when too near the ground. At the inquest which was held a verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.”

The body of William Rogers was brought by train from Gosport accompanied by many of his fellow officers. At the railway station the funeral cortège was met by relations and friends. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack and the mourners then walked in procession to the Reading Cemetery. The funeral service was held in the cemetery chapel and as William Rogers was interred the 3/4th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment provided a firing party."

22 Squadron RFC was formed at Fort Grange, Gosport on 1 September 1915 from a nucleus of men and equipment split off from 13 Squadron. The squadron trained on a variety of aircraft types, including the Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2c, the Maurice Farman Shorthorn, the Bleriot XI and the Curtiss JN-3. It received its intended operational type, the Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2b in February 1916, passing 14 BE.2cs to 33 Squadron. Therefore, while most published sources state that the aircraft involved was B.E.2c No.1690, the above report that a "new Curtiss machine" (=Curtiss JN-3) is plausible.

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/7532463/rogers,-william-frederick/
3. Flight magazine (January 6 1916 page 26): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1916/1916%20-%200026.html?search=William%20Frederick%20Rogers
4. http://cemeteryjunctionwargraves.org.uk/william-frederick-rogers/
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._22_Squadron_RAF#1915%E2%80%9319
6. Halley, James J. Famous Maritime Squadrons of the RAF, Volume 1, page 11. Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Hylton Lacy Publishers Ltd., 1973.


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Nov-2018 00:52 Dr.John Smith Added
28-Nov-2018 00:52 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
06-Dec-2018 17:00 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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