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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 232728
Last updated: 5 December 2021
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Date:09-OCT-1953
Time:evening
Type:Silhouette image of generic VAMP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB Mk 5
Owner/operator:233 Operational Conversion Unit Royal Air Force (233 OCU RAF)
Registration: VZ106
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:West slope of Fan Hir, Brecon Beacons, SE of Llandovery -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Training
Departure airport:RAF Pembrey, Carmarthenshire
Destination airport:RAF Pembrey, Carmarthenshire
Narrative:
De Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.Mk.5 VZ106, 233 OCU, RAF: Written off (destroyed) 9 October 1953 when crashed on the West slope of Fan Hir, Brecon Beacons, South East of Llandovery. Pilot killed

The aircraft was the leading aircraft or a pair returning to base at the completion of a training navigation exercise. The pair of Vampires descended rapidly through cloud. On breaking though the cloud, the number two aircraft of the pair pulled up sharply to avoid the ground, but the leading aircraft continued to descend, and flew into the West slope of Fan Hir at 620 metres agl.

Crew of Vampire VZ106:
Pilot Officer (4087075) John Raymond Baldock RAF (pilot, aged 21) - killed on active service. He was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire on 4 January 1932, and is buried at Pembrey, Carmarthenshire.

In a tribute to the deceased pilot, the remaining wreckage at the crash site has been arranged by a visitor at an unknown date to roughly resemble the shape of a DH Vampire and includes many instantly recognisable pieces, such as the jet exhaust. The setting is wild and the ground is rough, but overcome it and you’ll find the wreckage at Map Reference SN826201, at approximate co ordinates 51:51.9725N 3:42.2997W

The reported crash location of Fan Hir is a peak at the eastern end of the Black Mountain (Y Mynydd Du) in the Brecon Beacons National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog) in southern Wales. It is a subsidiary summit of Fan Brycheiniog. It falls within the county of Powys (formerly Brecknockshire) and is also a part of the traditional area of Fforest Fawr. Its summit is 2490 feet (about 760m) above sea level.

Officially (according to the aircraft's record card for Vampire FB.5 VZ106) the wreckage was recovered by 34 MU RAF Shrewsbury struck off charge 26 October 1953, and scrapped. However, as the crash site was fairly inaccessible by road vehicles, large chunks of the aircraft have been left where they crashed.

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.1 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 Colin Cummings p 419
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1985 p101)
4. Brecon Beacons National Park, 1995, Identification Guide Aircraft Crashes in the National Park, ID 3
5. Doylerush, E, 2008, Rocks in the Clouds: High Ground Aircraft Crashes in South Wales, p 107
6. 233 OCU ORB (Operations Record Book)(Air Ministry Form AM/F.540) for the period 1/9/1952 to 31/12/1955: National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 29/2175/1 at https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7162877
7. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=VZ
8. http://www.ystradgynlais-history.co.uk/vampire-vz106.html
9. https://coflein.gov.uk/en/site/507020/details/de-havilland-vampire-vz106
10. http://aircrashsites.co.uk/air-crash-sites-5/de-havilland-vampire-vz-106/
11. https://www.countryfile.com/go-outdoors/days-out/day-out-brecon-beacons-wales-crash-sites-of-the-beacons/
12. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/490307
13. https://militaryaircraftcrashsites.blogspot.com/2013/05/vampire-vz106.html
14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_Hir
15. https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/john-raymond-baldock-24-llyf7w
16. https://ww1.wales/carmarthenshire-memorials/raf-pembrey
17. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/plane-crash-wales-brecon-beacons-19135952


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Feb-2020 01:08 Dr. John Smith Added
03-Feb-2020 12:51 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Nature, Operator]
18-May-2021 20:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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