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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 152452
Last updated: 15 August 2019
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Date:13-APR-1942
Time:14:05
Type:Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB
Owner/operator:175 Squadron Royal Air Force (175 Sqn RAF)
Registration: BE417
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:25
Aircraft damage: None
Location:Imber Battle Training Area, Salisbury Plain -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Demo/Airshow/Display
Departure airport:RAF Warmwell, Dorset
Destination airport:RAF Warmwell
Narrative:
On the 13th of April 1942, a display of tactical air firepower was being held.
A large number of spectators, both military and civilian, had assembled to watch an attack on area containing dummy soldiers and stationary vehicles.

Six Spitfires of 234 Squadron and six Hurricanes of 175 Squadron were tasked with making a live fire strafing of the targets. In hazy weather conditions the section of Spitfires attacked the targets, but the pilot of the last Hurricane in that section mistook a spectator stand for some of the dummies in the demonstration and opened fire at this location, thinking he was firing at a row of targets.

Twenty-five Army personnel were killed in the bursts of 20-mm cannon shells and a further seventy-one persons were wounded.

The Court of Inquiry found the inexperienced NCO pilot guilty of an error of judgement. Mitigating factors included the hazy weather and restricted view up-sun, a misleading R/T message from a senior officer on the ground, and an inadequate briefing of the pilots by the squadron's leader.

Sources:

http://web.archive.org/web/20140411134842/http://www.communigate.co.uk/wilts/wiltshistoricalmilitarysociety/page17.phtml


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Jan-2013 14:55 angels one five Added
11-Jan-2013 15:00 angels one five Updated [Location, Narrative]
03-Jun-2013 08:10 Nepa Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator]
13-Sep-2013 21:18 angels one five Updated [Operator]
24-Sep-2013 23:33 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
03-Jul-2014 06:49 angels one five Updated [Time, Narrative]
09-May-2015 11:09 Angel dot comma Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport]
06-Oct-2015 17:45 Anon. Updated [Narrative]

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