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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 25149
Last updated: 9 September 2020
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Time:14:20 LT
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk III
Owner/operator:CGS Royal Air Force (CGS RAF)
Registration: BJ884
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Appleton-le-Moors, NW of Pickering, North Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Leconfield, East Yorkshire
Destination airport:RAF Leconfield, East Yorkshire
On 26th July 1946 110 (City of York) ATC Squadron were holding their annual summer camp at the Central Gunnery School (CGS) at Leconfield. As part of their camp the Cadets were being allowed to be taken as passengers on training flights the CGS were undertaking. There is a suggestion that more than one Wellington was being used for this but if this was so then the take-off times were staggered and their flights did not interrupt or engage with each other.

The Wellington concerned in this incident had suffered an engine malfunction prior to take-off and the two cadets already down to have a flight on this aircraft were allocated a different aircraft to have their trip on. On its repair two further cadets would be allowed to go up in this original aircraft for what become the ill-fated flight.

The ill-fated flight finally took off with a pilot and two cadets on board at around 14.00 hrs, they flew northwards and towards the North Yorkshire Moors. The pilot of the Wellington carried out a Bomber Affiliation training exercise with other aircraft, the Wellington was being subjected to a number of dummy attacks by two Spitfires. It was on one of these attacks and twenty five minutes into the flight that tragedy struck at 14.20 hrs; one of the Spitfires (SL676) was making a head-on attack on the Wellington when the pilot of the Spitfire misjudged the distance between the two aircraft.

By pure accident the two aircraft collided head on more or less directly over the village of Appleton-le-Moors, to the north west of Pickering, North Yorkshire. The Wellington partly broke up in the air, with parts being scattered across the main street in Appleton-le-Moors and on houses in the village. Both aircraft, including the main section of this Wellington came down in flames on and near the village football field. There would be no survivors. At the inquest to their deaths, the Coroner, Mr R K Smith gave a verdict of "death by misadventure".

Pilot - Warrant Officer Henryk Szwedowski RAF (P/780120), aged 45, of Poland. Buried Newark Cemetery (plot, grave G.322).
Passenger - Cadet William Anthony (Tony) Lain (1796), aged 17, of 110 City of York ATC. Buried York Cemetery.
Passenger - Cadet Robert Hall (116), aged 16, of 116 Archbishop Holgate Grammer School ATC. Cremated Leeds. He was still at school.

The pilot of Spitfire SL676 - Flt Lt Stanley McAndrew, aged 26 - was also killed. Probable cause: Misjudgement of the distance between both aircraft on the part of the Spitfire pilot.


1. Halley, James J (1999). Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.48. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
09-Mar-2013 14:03 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
26-Jul-2013 13:43 Nepa Updated [Operator]
27-Apr-2017 21:09 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2018 09:50 Nepa Updated [Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Operator]
14-Nov-2019 21:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
14-Nov-2019 21:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
17-Nov-2019 17:20 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]

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