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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 207854
Last updated: 22 July 2020
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Date:29-DEC-1940
Time:afternoon
Type:Westland Whirlwind mk 1
Owner/operator:263 (Fellowship of the Bellows) Squadron Royal Air Force (263 (Fellowship of the Bellows) Sqn RAF)
Registration: P6975/P6978
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:believed in Foxtor Mires, Dartmoor, Devon -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Exeter, Devon.
Destination airport:RAF Exeter
Narrative:
A three-ship formation on patrol over Dartmoor encountered low cloud. Two of the aircraft, P6975 & P6978, collided and both crashed in (it is believed) Foxtor Mires. Both pilots were killed, the first of the two bodies not being found until 9 March 1941 by a horse patrol that came upon the crashed aircraft, the remains being subsequently recovered by 67 MU, Tavistock.

F/L Wynford Ormonde Leoni SMITH (25) and P/O Donald M VINE (23) both killed, both buried in Exeter Higher Cemetary War Graves plot, graves ZK80 & 81.

Currently, a drone survey is being carried out by a Birmingham University on behalf of the Whirlwind Fighter Project to locate the remains of the crashed aircraft, in what is a treacherous marshy area of Dartmoor.

Sources:

'Tavistock Times Gazette' newspaper 'help' article by The Marches Aviation Society.
'Westland Whirlwind' by Bruce Robertson, Kookaburra Technical Publications 1965.
Whirlwind Fighter Project newsletters
Paul Doyle personal files.


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
19-Mar-2018 15:03 paddy Added
19-Mar-2018 18:50 paddy Updated [Source]
29-Apr-2018 07:18 paddy Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]
13-Nov-2018 17:56 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
27-Nov-2019 11:07 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Operator]

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