Accident Westland Lysander Mk II L4811,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 228793
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Date:Friday 31 May 1940
Time:14:35 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic LYSA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Westland Lysander Mk II
Owner/operator:2 Sqn RAF
Registration: L4811
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:between Furnes (Veurne) and Dunkirk, Pas De Calais, Hauts de France -   France
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Abbeville/Drucat, France
Destination airport:
Westland Lysander Mk.II L4811 (KO-N) 2 Squadron, RAF: Written off (damaged beyond repair) when lost due to combat operations on 31 May 1940. Both crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/748): "Lysander L4311 [*sic] failed to return from air operations, 1 June 1940. Leading Aircraftman A O'N McCoy: missing presumed dead. Pilot Officer C H Dearden: report of death"

Airborne from Abbeville/Drucat, France for a Tactical Reconnaissance mission between Nieuport and de Panne, Belgium. Believed severely damaged in an attack by Uffz Busch of 2./JG 20 during observation sortie between Nieuport (Nieuwpoort) and Ostend (Oostende), retreated west at low level but shot down by Lt Müncheberg of Stb III./JG 26 between Furnes (Veurne) and Dunkirk at 14.35 hrs.

Crew of Lysander L4811:
Pilot Officer Clifford Herbert Dearden (pilot, RAF 41677, aged 20) - killed in action 31/05/40) buried at DePanne Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Leading Aircraftman Arthur O'Neil McCoy (Air Gunner, RAF 903300) - missing, presumed killed in action 31/05/40, body not found/not recovered, commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

The fact that the body of the sole crew member to be recovered was buried at DePanne, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, would indicate that the Lysander came down on the Belgian side of the French/Belgian border.

NOTE: The official Air Ministry file AIR 81/748 listed the Lysander as "L4311" [sic]. Serial L4311 was, in fact, allocated to a Vickers Wellington Mk.Ic (one of a batch of 175 serialled between L4212 and L4391). Also, the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) gives the date of the incident, and the deaths of the two crew, as May 31 1940, but Air Ministry official file AIR 84/748 gives the date of this incident as 1 June 1940 (=next day)


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/748:
3. Peter D. Cornwell, The Battle of France, Then and Now, 2008

Revision history:

07-Sep-2019 19:22 Dr. John Smith Added
07-Sep-2019 19:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
08-Sep-2019 20:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Registration]
17-Sep-2019 20:00 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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