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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 205344
Last updated: 23 October 2021
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Date:06-FEB-1942
Time:06:05
Type:Bristol Beaufort Mk I
Owner/operator:5(C) Operational Training Unit Royal Air Force (5(C) OTU RAF)
Registration: L4499
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Down Lane, Braunton, Devon, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Training
Departure airport:RAF Chivenor
Destination airport:
Narrative:
On 6 February 1942, Flg Off Robert Frank Spencer-Schrader (pilot instructor), Flt Sgt William Leonard Heavisides and Plt Off Anthony Hugh Denison Reffell prepared for dual night flying training in Bristol Beaufort I L4499 of 5(C) OTU RAF. Their flight took off from RAF Chivenor at 06:05 when the aircraft probably suffered an port engine failure in the initial climb out. This was a common occurrence on the Beaufort. The aircraft crashed on in front of a house called "Sundown" in Down Lane, Braunton. There were no survivors and sadly one civilian was also killed on the ground in the "Sundown" house: Miss Esther Cantor from Braunton was a spinster aged 54 and ironically had been evacuated from Ramsgate in June 1940. Esther died the following morning, from injuries sustained in the fire which followed the crash, in the North Devon Infirmary in Barnstaple. There was an inquest held into her death and this was reported in the North Devon Journal without any reference at all to the plane crash, only reporting that her house had caught fire.

Sources:

http://www.devonheritage.org/Places/Heanton%20Punchardon/HeantonMilitarycemetery4.RAFGraves.htm
http://www.reffell.org.uk/WW2/anthonyhughdenisonreffell.php
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=360312.0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunton
http://www.maplandia.com/united-kingdom/england/south-west/devon-county/braunton/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Jan-2018 12:42 Laurent Rizzotti Added

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