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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138833
Last updated: 30 November 2021
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Time:17:05 approx
Type:Silhouette image of generic P51 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
North American P-51 Mustang Mk I
Owner/operator:2 (AC) Squadron Royal Air Force (2 (AC) Sqn RAF)
Registration: AG623
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Smedmore Hill, Kimmeridge, Dorset and adjacent areas -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Thruxton, Hampshire
Destination airport:RAF Thruxton after ops to France
26 May 1943: three Mustang 1s (AG623, AG550 and AP210) of 2(AC) Squadron, RAF, were flying in close formation as part of "Operation Asphalt", a "Ranger" sortie, twice postponed already due to bad weather. 'Asphalt' was a sortie to carry out armed reconnaiscence and any offensive operations on rail movements in the Rennes-Laval-Le Mans-Chateaubriand-Blain-Redon-Rennes area. At 1650 hours ten Mustangs from 2(AC) Squadron took off in bad weather from Thruxton, Hants.

The bad weather consisted of a bank of sea fog in the Channel and along the South Coast. The three 2 (AC) Squadron pilots who were lost were part of a formation of 10 aircraft that was heading out for France in line-abreast formation and ordered by the formation leader to climb above the approaching high ground, but the three pilots failed to climb fast enough or high enough.

In the right-hand element of the formation Flying Officer D Hirst (in AG623/XV-W), flew in fog into Smedmore Hill, Dorset, with Pilot Officer J B McLeod (in AP210/XV-Y) crashing nearby and Flying Officer N J Miller (in AG550/XV-U) slightly further away to the north. All three aircraft were destroyed by the crash impact and subsequent fire, and all three pilots killed.

The remaining seven Mustang 1's returned to Thruxton safely, but it was considered later that the operation should have been cancelled due to the bad weather forecast and experienced.

'Where the Lysanders were .....' (the story of Sawbridgeworth's airfields) P A Doyle (pub by Forward Airfield Research Publishing 1995) ISBN 09525 624 05
Dorset Constabulary report to Whitehall on daily crashed aircraft in County

Related books:

Revision history:

28-Sep-2011 12:12 Dr. John Smith Added
12-Nov-2011 23:34 Nepa Updated [Operator, Source]
11-Aug-2013 08:49 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
18-Feb-2015 16:03 paddy Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Destination airport]
13-May-2015 17:49 Komes123 Updated [Operator, Departure airport]
09-Jan-2016 16:07 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
04-Jun-2017 15:50 paddy Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Narrative]
16-Jun-2017 19:30 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
21-Nov-2017 17:09 paddy Updated [Source]
14-Feb-2018 13:20 paddy Updated [Source, Narrative]
24-Feb-2018 18:06 paddy Updated [Destination airport]
15-May-2019 09:17 TigerTimon Updated [Time]
26-Nov-2020 08:45 paddy Updated [Time, Location, Narrative]
09-Feb-2021 15:56 paddy Updated [Source]

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