Accident Bristol Blenheim Mk IV L9317, 18 Jun 1940
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 229120
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Type:Silhouette image of generic BLEN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
Owner/operator:4 (Continental) FPP Royal Air Force (4 (Continental) FPP RAF)
Registration: L9317
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:La Maillerie, 2 km South of Charroux, 40 km S of Poitiers -   France
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Tangmere, Chichester, West Sussex
Destination airport:Middle East
Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV L9317, 4 (Continental) Ferry Pilots Pool, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when crashed in France en route to the Middle East. All three crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/838): "Blenheim L9317 crashed at Charroux, France, 18 June 1940. Leading Aircraftman J G B Thomas, Sergeant P D H McGovern and Pilot Officer C W Handley: report of deaths".

Blenheim L9317 was one of a number of Hurricanes and twelve Blenheims that left RAF Tangmere, Chichester, West Sussex for the Middle East. One Hurricane and six Blenheims were lost on the first leg to Marignane (France). All twelve Blenheims took off from Tangmere between 06.30 and 06.45 hours on the morning of June 18 1940. Six were lost in severe storm conditions north-west of Limoges. The formation became split up over France in thick cloud 110 km south of the Loire River.

L9317 crashed near La Maillerie, 2 km South of Charroux, 40 km S of Poitiers. All three crew killed.

Crew of Blenheim L9317:
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Colin Wright Handley, RAF 42343, age 20, killed on active service 18/06/1940
Sergeant (Air Gunner) Patrick Denis Humphrey McGovern, RAFVR 903042, killed on active service 18/06/1940
Leading Aircraftman James Gilbert Broadbent. Thomas, RAFVR 936495, age 26, killed on active service 18/06/1940,

All three crew of Belnheim L9317 were buried at Charroux Communal Cemetery, Vienne, France. The reported crash location of Charroux is a commune in the Allier department in central France, at approximate Coordinates: 46°11′09″N 3°09′43″E


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/838:

Revision history:

18-Sep-2019 21:55 Dr. John Smith Added
28-Oct-2019 09:42 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]

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