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Military and civil aircraft crashes in the south west Midlands - 1930s

Details of the crashes and the names of the aircrew involved appear on this page. Please contact us if you are related to somebody on the list, or know of a photograph of them. If original photographs or papers are still in the family, we can help to caption photographs and explain the codes and nicknames that were used at the time. We appreciate the opportunity to copy original material for the museum's archive.

The Midland Aircraft Recovery Group has found the sites of many of the crashes, but we are still looking for a significant number, so we'd like to hear from anyone who can pinpoint a crash that we've listed. We are always looking for photographs, log books and anecdotes relevant to the units based in the Midlands.

The details below are have been compiled from numerous sources of information in the public domain over many years. We've done our best, but errors are inevitable. Please contact us if you have more accurate information on any of the crashes or people listed, or can add the names of crew that we haven't traced. Thank you.

9 October 1930 (09/10/1930) DH 9J G-AART of the Armstrong Whitworth Reserve School suffered an undercarriage collapse when landing at Whitley.

6 May 1931 (06/05/1931) Bulldogs J9590 and K1081 of 17 Squadron collided at Wardington near Banbury, while exercising with a squadron of Harts.  Pilots F/Lt E S Borthwicke-Clarke and P/O W H Kyle baled out and landed safely.

12 July 1931 (12/07/1931) DH.60 Moth G-ABDR flying from Castle Bromwich crashed in heavy rain at Erdington.  Charles Edward Ansell Flewitt was killed and F/O John Roderick Horton Baker was injured.

6 December 1931 (06/12/1931) DH60G Moth G-EXBT from the Midland Aero Club at Castle Bromwich crashed at Meriden.  The pilot, William Johnson, suffered a broken ankle and other minor injuries.

8 September 1934 (08/09/1934) DH60G Moth G-ABMA was being flown by George Alexander, who was instructing Miss Florence West when he force-landed near Whitley aerodrome, Coventy and the aircraft overturned.  Both were taken to hospital.

11 November 1934 (11/11/1934) Gipsy Moth G-AAFI crashed on landing at Tachbrook (Leamington aerodrome). Alan Goodall and Ken Douglas were unhurt.

20 January 1935 (20/01/1935) Moth Major G-ACOI crashed at Hall Farm, Over Whitacre.  Dr Talbot Dance survived but his passenger, Miss Dorothy Mills, died the following day. Remarkably the Moth was repaired and was back with the Midland Aero Club in April 1935.

24 June 1937 (24/06/1937) Avro Tutor K3459 of 605 Squadron crashed in forced landing following engine failure, at Pype Hayes Park, Birmingham. The pilot, F/O Morris and trainee pilot, P/O E C Deanesly were unhurt. Deanesly continued to fly with 605 Sqn, was the pilot of a Defiant that shot down a Heinkel He111 over Warwickshire in 1941 and led a colourfull career, surviving the war.

6 February 1938 (06/02/1938) Hart K2424 of 610 Squadron crashed and overturned while force landing at Arley.  The pilot, P/O Andrew Thomas Smith and observer, Herbert Rushton, were both unhurt.

18 July 1938 (18/07/1938) Blenheim L1153 of 139 Squadron crashed at Wixford after the crew got lost at night and ran out of fuel.  The pilot P/O M L McColm and wireless operator J H Gordon baled out safely, but the observer, Cpl D O Day died after his parachute fouled an aerial.

August 1938 Dart Pup G-AELR was taking off from Abbey Farm, Wroxall, downhill with no wind when a wing hit a hedge and the aircraft turned over and was wrecked. The pilot, Alf Green, is not believed to have been injured. The aircraft may have been based at Leamington aerodrome and was subsequently written off from the civil aircraft register.

22 September 1938 (22/09/1938) Saro Cloud K3723 of ERFTS crashed in a field at Walsgrave.  Believed all were OK.  The pilot/ instructor was F/O E R H Coombes.

6 December 1938 (06/12/1938) Avro Cadet G-ADTZ of 9 ERFTS Ansty crashed at Walsgrave, Coventry. Sgt Raymond William Kingsley Clark was killed.

9 January 1939 (09/01/1939) Hart K5030 of 10 FTS spun into ground while taking off from Longford.  Instructor P/O Wood and his pupil were unhurt.

10 January 1939 (10/01/1939) Audax K5204 and K7481 of 10 FTS were forced down by weather while flying from Tern Hill to Abingdon.  K5024, flown by Acting P/O L M Blankensee flew into a hedge at Comberton, while K7481 flown by LAC A E Marshall stalled and crashed at Harvington.  Both pilots were unhurt.

31 January 1939 (31/01/1939) Moth K1883 of 9 ERFTS crashed on take off at Ansty.  Fate of crew unknown.

22 February 1939 (22/02/1939) Battle K9287 of 12 Squadron crashed on take off from forced landing at Grimley.

22 March 1939 (20/03/1939) Blenheim L1459 of 23 Squadron spun into the ground out of cloud near Banbury.  Pilot P/O Joseph Benjamin Raven and observer P/O Anthony Stewart Peter both baled out, but died when both parachutes failed to open.

25 March 1939 (25/03/1939) An aeroplane of 605 Squadron burst into flames when standing at Castle Bromwich aerodrome before a flight. It was reported that all fabric was burned off but nobody was injured. 605 was still a bomber unit at the time, but was about to receive Gladiators and become a fighter squadron. The aircraft may have been Hawker Hind K5538, which was passed from 605 to Andover, then the centre of Maintenance Command, and became Ground Instructional Airframe 1609M in July 1939.

2 July 1939 (02/07/1939) Tutor K3457 of 605 Squadron undershot a forced landing at Castle Bromwich.  Names of crew not traced.

25 July 1939 (25/07/1939) Battle L5254 was a brand new aircraft being test flown by Captain Neville Stack, when it plunged into the side of a railway cutting while approaching Austinís 400 yard runway at Longbridge.  Captain Stack was badly injured and never test-flew again.

5 August 1939 (05/08/1939) Battle K7711 226 Squadron overshot a forced-landing and ran into trees at Weatheroak.  Pilot F/O N M Thomas was OK.

25 September 1939 (25/09/1939) Tiger Moths N6850 and N6855 of 9 EFTS were being flown by pupil pilots engaged in aerobatic practice.  N6850, being flown by LAC P Brandon-Tyre, hit N6855 from above as it came out of a loop. The aircraft caught fire and Brandon-Tyre and the pilot of N6855, LAC W S Longhurst, baled out.  Brandon-Tyre was injured on landing and the aircraft crashed at Stretton on Dunsmore.

9 November 1939 (09/11/1939) Harvard N7104 of 10 FTS spun into ground near Evesham.  Pilot P/O S P Morris was killed.

12 November 1939 (12/11/1939) Tiger Moth K4283 of 14 EFTS crashed in forced landing at Ansty.  The student pilot was Royal Navy: names of crew not traced.

25 November 1939 (25/11/1939) Harvard N7134 of 6 FTS crashed in forced landing at Daventry.  Pilot Ronald Dunham-Treble was killed.

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