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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 18798
Last updated: 22 June 2021
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Type:de Havilland DH.84 Dragon II
Owner/operator:Great Western & Southern Airlines Ltd.
Registration: G-ACPY
MSN: 6076
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Off Scilly Isles, between St Marys and Lands End, Cornwall -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Scilly Isles (St Mary's) Airport (EGHE)
Destination airport:Land's End (St Just) Airport, Cornwall (EGHC)
First registered (C of R 4967) on 26.4.34 as G-ACPY to De Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd., Stag Lane Edgware, Middlesex (aircraft based at Hatfield, Hertfordshire). C of A 4286 issued May 1934. Sold on and re-registered to Blackpool & West Coast Air Services Ltd., Speke Airport, Liverpool.

To Ireland 5.36 and became EI-ABI, named "Iolar" ("Eagle" in Irish Gaelic) which operated Aer Lingus' first service from Dublin (Baldonnel) to Bristol (Whitchurch) on 27.5.36. Within a few weeks, summer service began to the Isle of Man and on 14.9.36, the Dublin-Bristol flight was extended to Croydon Airport, London.

Aer Lingus acquired a de Havilland D.H.86A Express in September 1936 and a de Havilland D.H.89A Dragon Rapide in February 1938. With the acquisition of these two aircraft, the Dragon II became surplus and it was sold.

Returned to UK and registration G-ACPY restored (C of R 8371) 10.5.38 to Olley Air Service Ltd, Croydon Airport, Croydon, Surrey. Registration G-ACPY cancelled 1.1.39 after 1938 Air Ministry census. Sold on and re-registered 15.3.39 (C of R 8371/2) to Great Western & Southern Airlines Ltd., Shoreham, West Sussex (aircraft actually based at Lands End (St. Just) Airport in Cornwall.

On 3.6.41, G-ACPY disappeared 20 minutes after leaving St. Maryís for Landís End. An immediate search was made (five passengers and the pilot were on board). Only one body was found (a passenger - washed up near Portreath). The service was suspended until 27.10.41 It was later established that a Heinkel 111H-4 of I Staffel, Kampfgeschwader 28 attacked the aircraft with its nose mounted machine-gun.

Its port engine on fire, the DH.84 crashed into the sea and sank - the Luftwaffe regarded G-ACPY as a "legitimate target" with its military appearance and government links. G-ACPY was victim of a chance encounter with the He-111, which was returning from an abortive raid on the carrier HMS Indomitable at Barrow-in-Furness shipyard. Six Hurricanes of No 87 Squadron, detached to St Mary's on 19.5.41, had been withdrawn only four days prior to incident.

Captain William Donald Anderson DFC (Australian national) killed.
Mrs Sheelagh Marguerita Leggitt - Secretary to Sir Walter Monckton, Director-General of Ministry of Information. Who had been on holiday at Penzance, killed.
Mr John Leggitt - Husband, Secetary of Anglo-Egyptian Chamber of Commerce in London killed.
Jeannie Leggitt (passenger, aged 11) killed.
Romalita Leggitt (passenger, aged 9) killed.
Mrs. Georgina Edith Lucy Griffith (passenger) killed.

It is worth noting that all five passengers were all related - they were all from the same family (husband, wife, their two children, and the mother-in-law). Registration G-ACPY formally cancelled by UK Civil Aviation Authority 11.6.41 as "aircraft destroyed"



Revision history:

17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
30-May-2008 16:12 JINX Updated
06-Apr-2011 12:54 Anon. Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
30-Dec-2011 04:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
30-Dec-2011 06:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Country, Departure airport, Destination airport]
24-Dec-2017 02:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
24-Dec-2017 02:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
24-Dec-2017 02:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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