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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 260272
Last updated: 18 November 2021
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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:229 Operational Conversion Unit Royal Air Force (229 OCU RAF)
Registration: VZ281
MSN: EEP/422..
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Bishops Tawton, 3 miles south of Barnstaple, Devon, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon
Destination airport:RAF Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon
de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB Mk 5 VZ281, 229 OCU RAF: delivered 14/2/1950. First operational service with 32 Squadron RAF in the Middle East. Later to 229 OCU. Written off 4/9/1953 when the engine failed in flight on a sortie from RAF Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon. The pilot abandoned the aircraft, bailed out and Vampire VZ281 dived into the ground at Bishtops Tawton, Devon.

The pilot was uninjured, bailed out safely and parachuted to the ground. The wreckage was recovered and Struck Off Charge on 16/9/1953 as Cat. 5(s) at No.49 MU Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire, where it was reduced to spares and produce (scrap).

The reported crash location of Bishop's Tawton is a village and civil parish in the North Devon district of Devon, England. It is in the valley of the River Taw, about three miles south of Barnstaple.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p 149 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p 409
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983)
4. 229 OCU ORB (Operation Record Book)(Air Ministry Form AM/F.540) for the period 1/1/1951 to 31/12/1955: National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 29/2167 at
7. VZ281 when with 32 Squadron:

Revision history:

14-May-2021 14:20 Dr. John Smith Added
14-May-2021 21:23 Vicktor Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]
14-May-2021 21:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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