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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 221322
Last updated: 6 December 2019
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Date:23-APR-1917
Time:day
Type:Airco DH.4A
Owner/operator:51 (Reserve) Sqn RFC
Registration: A2148
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:RFC Wye, Boughton Corner Farm, Bramble Lane, Ashford, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Wye, Ashford, Kent
Destination airport:RFC Wye, Ashford, Kent
Narrative:
23.4.17: Airco (DeHavilland) D.H.4a A2148, 51 (Reserve) Squadron, RFC Wye. Written off (destroyed) when Side slipped off low turn, near RFC Wye, Boughton Corner Farm, Bramble Lane, Ashford, Kent. Pilot - Lt Alec William Spence (aged 21) - died 25.4.17 (two days later) of injuries sustained. According to the aircraft accident record card for Airco (DeHavilland) DH.4a A2148 (see link #3):

"Court of Inquiry 87/7954
3/5/17
Flying accident. Side slipped from 100 feet. Flying too near to the ground. It was the opinion of the Court of Inquiry that the accident was caused by an error of judgement on the part of the pilot."

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (May 3 & 10, 1917 pages 418 & 461 - see link #4):

"Casualties
A verdict of " Accidental Death " was returned at an inquest held in East Kent on April 25th, on 2nd Lieut. A. W. Spence, R.F.C., who died in hospital as the result of an accident whilst flying.

Second Lieutenant A. W. SPENCE, whose death has occurred from injuries received in an accident while flying in Kent, was 21 years of age, and was the younger son of Mrs. Spence and the late John Spence, of The Gabbs, Grove Park. He was educated at Haileybury College, and joined the Army on the outbreak of war. Second Lieutenant Spence served in France for many months in the Middlesex Regiment. Invalided home last year, he transferred to the R.F.C. Recently he was given his wings."

He was buried locally in the Wye (St. Gregory and St. Martin) Churchyard, Wye, Ashford, Kent. Grave reference Near Old West Wall.

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1917.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/369251/spence,-alec-william/
3. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/spence-a.w.-alec-william
4. Flight magazine (May 3 1917 page 418): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1917/1917%20-%200418.html?search=David%20John%20Barnes
5. Flight magazine (May 10,1917 page 461): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1917/1917%20-%200461.html?search=Alec%20William%20Spence
6. https://wyesforgottenairmen.wordpress.com/the-airmen/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Jan-2019 19:58 Dr. John Smith Added
30-Jan-2019 19:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
31-Jan-2019 18:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
02-Feb-2019 12:07 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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