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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 68742
Last updated: 2 June 2020
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Date:27-JUN-1935
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic hafu model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hawker Fury Mk I
Owner/operator:43 Squadron Royal Air Force (43 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K3742
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, 1 mile off Selsey Bill, West Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Tangmere, Chichester, West Sussex
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Written off (destroyed) 27/6/35 when Dived into the English Channel, one mile off Selsey Bill, West Sussex during aerobatics. Crew: Pilot Officer Norman Dorrington Ashton (pilot) RAF- killed. He is buried in Tangmere (St Andrew) Churchyard, and his headstone explicitly states "Killed while Flying off Selsey". According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer" - Saturday 29 June 1935):

CHANNEL 'PLANE TRAGEDY
Holidaymaker's Story of Crash
Two holidaymakers who were in a rowing boat off Selsey (Sussex) described at an inquest at Selsey yesterday how they saw Pilot Officer Norman Dorrington Ashton (aged 21), of No. 43 Fighter Squadron, R.A.F. Tangmere, dive to his death in the sea on Thursday.

They were Miss Betty M. Bell and Mr T.A.S Malone , both of New Barnet. Mr Malone said that the 'plane was about 40 feet above the sea when they first saw it. Then it ascended steeply and did a half roll on its back, seeming to hang in the air before it fell into the sea with a huge splash. They rowed to the shore where they reported it to Douglas Alfred Grant, a member of the lifeboat crew, who told the Coroner that he went out in charge of the lifeboat and found the 'plane in about three fathoms of water. Grappling irons caught in Ashton's parachute which appeared to be partly opened.

Both the Coroner and the jury, who returned a verdict of "Accidental Death", commended the lifeboatmen, and the jury also wished to give their fee to the Lifeboat institution. It was also stated that Ashton's parents were in Iraq, and that an aunt lived in Pinner, Middlesex."

A further report in a local newspaper ("Hastings and St Leonards Observer" - Saturday 29 June 1935) states:

"There is also a Hastings connection with the tragic death of Pilot Officer Norman Dorrington Ashton, who lost his life in an aeroplane crash in the Channel, about a mile from Selsey, on Thursday.

Mr Ashton was formerly a pupil at Hurst Court School, Ore, and Mr R.J.S. Curtiss, the present headmaster, said in an interview :-

"Ashton was a charming boy. At Cranwell he had a reputation of being a fine and courageous boxer. He had a bad accident a little while ago flying north of The Thames, and was in hospital for some time - but he did not know the meaning of fear. His father, Mr F. J. Ashton, is on business in Baghdad"

Sources:

1. Air-Britain The K File The RAF of the 1930s (James J. Halley, Air Britain)
2. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1937.htm
3. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?6702-circonstance-of-the-death-of-the-following-Officers
4. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=10881.0;wap2
5. https://billiongraves.com/grave/Norman-Dorrington-Ashton/21838259


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
10-Oct-2009 10:32 JINX Added
18-Jan-2012 09:45 Nepa Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
14-Jul-2013 16:37 JINX Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
02-Aug-2013 14:19 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
04-Aug-2013 14:49 JINX Updated [Operator, Narrative]
06-Jun-2015 15:42 Angel dick one Updated [Operator, Narrative]
01-Oct-2017 21:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
05-Apr-2018 18:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Apr-2020 20:30 AlLach Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]

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