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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174234
Last updated: 23 October 2019
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Date:05-APR-1946
Time:11:15
Type:Vickers Wellington B Mk X
Owner/operator:765 Sqn FAA RN
Registration: HE274
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:16
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:St Publius Street, Rabat -   Malta
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Hal Far, Malta
Destination airport:RAF Hal Far, Malta
Narrative:
The crew was completing a training sortie, simulating an aerial attack with a RAF Spitfire. While cruising at a height between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, the aircraft banked 20 to the left then dove into the ground and crashed in the center of the city. The aircraft exploded on impact and damages on ground were so heavy with several houses destroyed. All four crew members were killed plus 16 people on the ground. Several others were injured, some of them seriously.

The civilian victims were
Ġużeppi Bugeja, 61,
Giovanna Bugeja, 59,
Sunta Galea, 27, and her two daughters
Marija, 3, and three-month-old Madalena Galea;
Loreta Maranci,34, two-and-a-half-year-old Vincenza Maranci,
Ġużeppi Maranci, 11 months;
Police Constable Pietru Pawl Mifsud, 29, and his wife Marija, 25,
Filippa Said, 75,
Giovanni Ciantar 59, and his daughter Felica Vella, 35, together with her children, Karmena 14, and 18-month-old Vincent, and
Marija Bugeja, 27, who died on April 12.

The crew members killed were
Lieutenant (A),Robert Owen Davies, aged 25,
Reginald K, Hathorn, Leading Air Fitter (E), FAA/FX 690882, aged 23
John Donn Morgan, Air Mechanic 2c, FAA/FX 593072, aged 20, and
Bernard Arthur Page, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, aged 23.

Cause: The loss of control was attributed to strong smoke spread in the cockpit due to a leak on a hydraulic line, intoxicating the crew that was unable to maintain a directional control of the aircraft and could not send any distress call.

HE274 was one of two Vickers Wellington Mk.X used by 765 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy (the other was HZ470) at RAF Hal Far, Malta for "fighter affiliation" exercises. They were the final two Wellingtons on Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm charge.

Sources:

1. El Litoral 7 April 1946, p 1
2. https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160404/life-features/The-air-crash-disaster-in-Rabat-70-years-ago.607711
3. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.baaa-acro.com/1946/archives/crash-of-a-vickers-wellington-in-malta-20-killed/]
4. http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/aircraft/wellington.htm
5. http://www.planecrashinfo.com/1946/1946-19.htm
6. https://vassallohistory.wordpress.com/airfields/comment-page-1/
7. http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1946-01JAN.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Mar-2015 16:20 TB Added
04-Apr-2016 08:38 gerard57 Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Apr-2017 22:24 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Apr-2017 22:25 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
13-Nov-2018 07:06 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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