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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 240984
Last updated: 7 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic FFLY model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairey Firefly AS.Mk 6
Owner/operator:812 Sqn FAA RN
Registration: WB296
C/n / msn: F.8514
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:HMS Theseus, Western Mediterranean, off Gibraltar -   Gibraltar
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:HMS Theseus, Western Mediterranean, off Gibraltar
Destination airport:HMS Theseus, Western Mediterranean, off Gibraltar
Fairey Firefly AS.Mk.6 WB296, 812 Squadron FAA, RN. Written off (destroyed) 25/2/1953: Landed on the rounddown of HMS Theseus, and aircraft went over the port side of the carrier. HMS Theseus was in the Western Mediterranean, off Gibraltar at the time. Of the two crew one survived, one was killed

Crew of Firefly WB296:
Lieutenant J.S. Cotgrove RN (pilot) - survived and rescued
Midshipman Frank F. Meeks (Observer) - killed on active service 25/2/1953 (see notes below).

Apparently, Midshipman Meeks was recovered by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond (which was acting as the "plane guard" vessel for HMS Theseus) but died of injuries sustained while on board that ship, before he could be returned to HMS Theseus. Hence the official place of his death was recorded as "HMS Diamond, off Gibraltar"

Firefly WB296 was formally Struck Off Charge as Cat.ZZ 26/2/1953. total flying time on airframe: 118.40 hours


1. Fleet Air Arm Fixed Wing Aircraft Since 1946 (ray Sturtivant, Lee Howard & Mick Burrows, Air Britain 2004 p.277)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) - Aircraft Accidents: Firefly AS Mk 6 WB296 on 25.2.1953: File ADM 1/24554 at

Revision history:

06-Sep-2020 20:52 Dr. John Smith Added
07-Sep-2020 09:33 Glog Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]

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