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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 179353
Last updated: 7 December 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic well model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Vickers Wellington Mk I
Owner/operator:149 Squadron Royal Air Force (149 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4258
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, off Happisburgh, 12 miles ENE of Bacton, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk
Destination airport:
Vickers Wellington B.Mk.I L4258 of 149 Sqdn, RAF crashed into the North Sea, off Happisburgh, 12 miles ENE of Bacton, Norfolk, whilst on a reconnaissance mission and/or a navigation training sortie from RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk. All five crew were killed. According to the following contemporary report from Flight Magazine (August 17 1939 - see link #2):

"With reference to the disappearance on August 9 of an aircraft of 149 Squadron, the Air Ministry announces with regret that, as extensive searches have failed to find the aircraft and the occupants, it must now be accepted that the following personnel lost their lives on that date:

Flying Officer Thomas Adam Darling (Canadian)
Pilot Officer Frank Edward Board
Acting Sgt Arthur Lickley
AC1 Reginald Charles Barr Collins
AC1 James William Sadler

According to a contemporary newspaper report ("The Ottawa Journal", Ottawa, Canada Thursday, August 10, 1939, Page 7 - see link #5):

"GUELPH, Ont, Aug. 9. (CP)
All hope has been abandoned for the safe return of Royal Air Force Flying Officer Thomas Adam Darling and four companions reported missing today in a British bomber during air exercises over the North Sea, according to a cable received here late today by Darling's parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Adam Darling said the cable, sent by the commander of the 149th Squadron of the Royal Air Force from Mildenhall, England, indicated a search for the bomber had proved fruitless and all aboard were believed to have lost their lives. Darling was one of several Guelph men serving with the Royal Air Force. He left for England in 1938 to train as a pilot. He was educated and lived most of his life in Guelph. Surviving are his parents, two sisters and a brother in Guelph."


1. Folha da Manhã 10 August 1939, p 1+3
2. Flight Magazine August 17, 1939 p. 161 at

Revision history:

07-Sep-2015 16:48 TB Added
06-Feb-2017 19:55 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Total fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Feb-2017 19:56 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
23-Dec-2017 18:26 Nepa Updated [Operator]
01-Apr-2018 00:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
17-Oct-2018 17:55 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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