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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 196701
Last updated: 25 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Avro Anson Mk I
Owner/operator:GRS Royal Air Force (GRS RAF)
Registration: K6249
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Thorney Island, Emsworth, Hampshire
Destination airport:RAF Thorney Island, Emsworth, Hampshire
On 27 March 1940 the Anson I K6249 of the School of General Reconnaissance RAF (Thorney Island, Sussex - 17 Group) took off for a navigation reconnaissance exercise, involving the interception of a launch in the English Channel. While circling the launch, HSL117, at 15.50 hrs the Anson entered a spin off a stall turn at 700 feet, crashed into the sea and sank. Two other aircraft circled the area for some time but no trace of the four crew was found, and they are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. One theory was that the Anson had been caught in the slipstream of the plane in front and at that altitude the crew had no opportunity to recover or bail out.

Crew (all killed):
37885 Flying Officer Ewen Campbell Lilburn RAF (pilot) - Age 29. 1310 hrs. From New Zealand
90567 Flying Officer James Peter Henry Balston RAF - Age 27
42492 Pilot Officer John Eric George Fennell RAF - Age 21
620442 AC1 John Visger Halliday RAF (wireless operator) - Age 30

Balson and Fennell were ’two pupils of No.6 Navigation Reconnaissance (WAR) Course’.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1976)
2. "Douglas Lilburn: his life and music", by Philip Norman. ISBN 1877257176

Revision history:

17-Jul-2017 07:15 Laurent Rizzotti Added
01-Dec-2017 10:42 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Aircraft type]
06-Jul-2018 19:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2018 08:48 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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