Accident Supermarine Spitfire Mk I K9861, 30 Aug 1939
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 87343
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Supermarine Spitfire Mk I
Owner/operator:74 Squadron Royal Air Force (74 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K9861
MSN: 79
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:John Henry Burrows Intermediate School, Grays, near Thurrock, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Hornchurch, Essex
Destination airport:RAF Hornchurch, Essex
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
First flown 7-2-39. Delivered to RAF Hornchurch for 74 Squadron 13-2-39. Stalled and dived into ground at the John Henry Burrows Intermediate School, Grays, near Thurrock, Essex. Pilot: Sgt (740528) Cyril Douglas GOWER RAFVR killed.

According to eyewitness/contemporary reports:
"just before the crash he was flying in formation with two other Spitfire fighters. One eye witness said that Gower's machine seemed to touch the wingtip of another plane and immediately went out of control. As it dived towards the ground the pilot made desperate efforts to avoid striking a number of houses and he only just succeeded in clearing the roofs by a few feet before crashing into the playing field at the bottom of the gardens of the houses...his machine crashed into the playing field of the John Henry Burrows Intermediate School at Grays."

"At the inquest on Friday at Grays, Flt Lt Wilfred Cressey gave evidence of identification, and said Gower was on the Reserve and attached to his Flight. He had had experience of flying before coming to Hornchurch, but not very much. He was regarded as a promising flyer. On the day of the accident, three aircraft took off from Hornchurch, with Fit Lt Cressey leading. When over Grays and travelling at a high speed, he lost sight of Gower, and immediately returned to Hornchurch. Asked if he had any theory as to the cause of the accident he said, 'I believe he was caught in the slipstream of my plane and lost control.`A verdict of Accidental Death was returned."


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain,1976 page 79)

Revision history:

07-Jan-2011 00:30 angels one five Added
25-Nov-2011 13:08 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Narrative]
25-Dec-2011 04:47 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
10-Jan-2012 15:45 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
10-Jan-2012 15:45 angels one five Updated [[Aircraft type, Operator]]
15-Jan-2012 02:28 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport]
22-Jan-2012 19:32 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
06-May-2012 13:03 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
06-May-2012 13:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Phase, Narrative]
30-May-2012 00:38 Nepa Updated [Time, Operator]
04-Nov-2012 17:06 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
14-Aug-2013 16:09 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
18-Aug-2013 13:12 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
23-Apr-2014 08:45 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Nature, Narrative]
02-Jun-2015 15:45 King Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
24-Jan-2016 06:12 JINX Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
26-Jan-2018 00:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Feb-2018 17:48 Nepa Updated [Time, Operator]
01-Apr-2018 18:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
02-Apr-2018 00:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
18-Jun-2019 07:35 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type]
06-Feb-2021 22:29 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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