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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 230974
Last updated: 12 December 2019
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Date:01-APR-1948
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX
Owner/operator:ECFS Royal Air Force (ECFS RAF)
Registration: MA709
C/n / msn: CBAF.
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Kington St. Michael, 3 miles N of Chippenham, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Hullavington, Wiltshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
MA709: Spitfire IX. Delivered to the RAF at 12 MU 1-7-43. Issued to Wing Commander William Vernon Crawford-Compton, Wing Commander (Flying) RAF Hornchurch 15-7-43. Coded FCW-C,and named 'H.E.H Nizam's State Railway I', a presentation aircraft. To 129 Squadron 17-7-43. To 332 (Norwegian) Squadron 28-8-43 as "AH-X". Severely damaged 25.10.43: Two 332 (Norwegian) Squadron Supermarine Spitfire IX's taking off from North Weald collided on this Monday. They were MH942 flown by Flight Sergeant R Hoiland and MA709 in the charge of Sergeant Olaf Christiansen.

The two aircraft were in a wing take off prior to operations. The formation leader moved forward on the ground to make room for aircraft behind and then stopped. Unfortunately this was misinterpreted by aircraft behind, some of which moved forward assuming a takeoff. One Spitfire over- ran the other. The Spitfire MA709 had previously served a short period with 129 squadron and joined the Norwegian unit in August 1943. The other aircraft, MH942, only a fortnight old, was wrecked in the North Weald incident.

To Airwork Service Training for repairs. Next recorded as being issued to the ECFS (Empire Central Flying School), at RAF Hullavington, Chippenham, Wiltshire on 27-6-45.

Written off (destroyed) 1-4-48 when caught fire and exploded following a fuel leak and crashed inverted at Kington St Michael, three miles north of Chippenham, Wiltshire. Pilot killed. According to eyewitness reports:

"On 1st April 1948 the Empire Flying School lost Spitfire LF Mk9 MA709 which had been airborne for about 40 minutes in all weather flying detail. During an overshoot following a normal approach, the aircraft was climbing away when the engine was enveloped in smoke and flame which resulted in an explosion. The aircraft dived into the ground at Kington St Michael, three miles north of Chippenham, killing the pilot Flt Lt Leonard T Taylor."

According to the finding of the official RAF/Air Ministry Board of Inquiry (File BT 217/2082 - see link #2) "The cause of the accident was a serious maintenance error which allowed fuel to leak into the engine compartment and ignite"

Crew of Spitfire IX MA709:
Flight Lt Leonard T Taylor, RAF Service Number 89383, aged 26. Buried at Chippenham Cemetery, Chippenham, Wiltshire

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.72. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Proceedings of Court of Inquiry - National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT 217/2082: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C576236
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/29/W2413: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6578259
4. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?18839-Hullavington-Spitfire-crash-1-April-1948
5. http://www.nwamuseum.co.uk/WESTESSEXcrashesMishaps3WW2.pdf
6. http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p058.html
7. http://www.danishww2pilots.dk/aircraft.php?aircraft=54
8. http://www.pro-patria.co.uk/Text/Chippenham%20Cemetery/leonard_Taylor.htm
9. https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/42225/Crawford-Compton-William-Vernon.htm
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kington_St_Michael ...


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
29-Nov-2019 20:11 Dr. John Smith Added
29-Nov-2019 20:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2019 20:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2019 20:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2019 20:23 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2019 22:18 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport, Operator]
12-Dec-2019 22:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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