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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 21873
Last updated: 18 April 2019
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Type:Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b
Owner/operator:36 Sqn RFC
Registration: A5740
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Loud Bank, Greencroft, near Annfield Plain, County Durham -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Hylton LG, near Sunderland, County Durham
Destination airport:Hylton LG, near Sunderland, County Durham
Sergeant Arthur John Joyce, service number 9932, was a member of A Flight of 36 Squadron at Hylton Aerodrome (later to become RAF Usworth). He was from Clapham Common in London. On the night of 13th March 1918, he took off on a routine patrol in his Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b fighter, registration A5740. He got into difficulties for unknown reasons and was seen to circle the area around Pontop Pike three times before attempting to land.

He landed in a field at the side of Loud Bank, Greencroft, Annfield Plain, County Durham. It was a rough landing and the aircraft turned, over burst into flames and exploded. Sergeant Joyce was killed. He was buried at Earlsfield Cemetery, Wandsworth, London, near his home.

Looking at the ground in daylight, you can see that it is fairly rough, steeply sloped and not the best landing site. This might not have been so obvious to Sergeant Joyce even though it was a clear night and his home base, some 20 miles away was shrouded in mist.

He is commemorated on a roadside memorial near the spot where he died; a stone column with a memorial plaque surrounded by a rail paid for by public subscription including a moving poem written by local man, Albert Laws, which was printed and sold in aid of the fund . In 1959, it was restored by the local Royal Air Force Association; the rail was replaced by a low stone wall and the memorial was re-dedicated to all airmen killed in action, including Sergeant Joyce’s son, Sgt Dennis Arthur Joyce, who died in the Second World War. He went missing on a mission over Germany on the night of 13th September 1940 - a sad case of history repeating itself. His name was added to the base of the memorial.

Note that several published sources give the crash site as "Pontop Pike" in County Durham - a location now best known for a TV Transmitter Mast, built in 1953. However, this location is 1.5 miles from Greencroft, Annfield Plain



Revision history:

31-Jul-2008 12:10 Anon. Added
31-Jul-2008 23:12 Anon. Updated
14-Nov-2011 11:23 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
14-Feb-2017 16:24 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
25-Nov-2018 15:57 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
29-Dec-2018 20:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator]
01-Jan-2019 13:03 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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