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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 68895
Last updated: 18 February 2020
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Type:Gloster Gauntlet Mk II
Owner/operator:151 Squadron Royal Air Force (151 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K7866
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Pitshead crossroads, near Handcross, Warningfield, West Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF North Weald, Essex
Destination airport:RAF Tangmere, Chichester, West Sussex
Gloster Gauntlet Mk.II K7866, 151 Squadron, RAF North Weald, Essex: Written off 14/11/38 when engine failed & Damaged Beyond Repair in forced landing after hitting bank & overturning at Pitshead crossroads, near Handcross, Warningfield, West Sussex. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("West Sussex County Times" - Friday 18 November 1938):

Machine Wrecked in Forced Landing at Handcross. A single-sealer Gloucester fighter belonging to the Fighter Squadron, North Weald, Essex, one of six which were flying to Tangmere, near Chichester, made a forced landing, on Monday afternoon, in a field south of the Pitshead crossroads, near Handcross.

The pilot, Pilot-Officer D H Ward (Derek Harland Ward 40786 from New Zealand), had a remarkable escape. Engine failure caused the pilot to lose height rapidly, and after clearing some high trees he saw a large field belonging to Mr. Bonner Morris, below him. The undercarriage struck a low hedge and the ’plane turned upside down, one of the wheels being flung a distance of feet. If the pilot had been able raise the ’plane a few inches higher he would have cleared the hedge.

Pilot-Officer Ward spent some anxious moments while he struggled to release himself from the inverted cockpit, which was only about two feet from the ground. Fortunately. fire did not break out, and he escaped apparently none the worse for the adventure. Police stood guard over the ’plane while the pilot notified the R.A.F. authorities. A “West Sussex County Times” reporter who took a photograph of the wrecked machine, had his film confiscated."

Wreck to RNAS Ford, Arundel, West Sussex. To Ground Instructional airframe at Locking. Struck Off Charge 10 January 1939; total flying time on airframe 334.40 hours


1. Air-Britain The K File The RAF of the 1930s (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1995 p185)
2. West Sussex County Times - Friday 18 November 1938
7. ...

Revision history:

12-Oct-2009 15:25 JINX Added
04-Feb-2012 09:05 Nepa Updated [Operator, Source]
18-Jul-2013 05:02 JINX Updated [Operator, Source]
13-Aug-2013 14:33 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
14-Aug-2013 21:43 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
20-Sep-2014 08:05 Jixon Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
10-Nov-2014 15:11 Gerrard Updated [Location]
19-Mar-2018 18:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Oct-2018 05:43 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
18-Feb-2020 01:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
18-Feb-2020 01:33 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
18-Feb-2020 01:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
18-Feb-2020 01:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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