Accident Boeing B-29A-50-BN Washington B.1 WF502,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20660
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Date:Thursday 8 January 1953
Type:Silhouette image of generic B29 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing B-29A-50-BN Washington B.1
Owner/operator:90 Sqn RAF
Registration: WF502
MSN: 11371
Fatalities:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Llanarmon-yn-Iâl, 3.5 miles ESE of Ruthin, Denbighshire, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Marham, Norfolk
Destination airport:RAF Marham, Norfolk
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Boeing B-29A-50-BN Superfortress 44-61894: Delivered to the USAAF 28 June 1945. Modified to TB-29A and Assigned to 247th Army Air Force Base Unit, Smoky Hill AAF, Salina, Kansas. Damaged 30 July 1945 in a collision on the ground at Smoky Hill AAF, Kansas.

Repaired and reassigned to 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group, Fort Worth Army Air Field, Texas. Accident 26 Mar 1947 due to mechanical failure when landing at Fort Worth AAF, Texas. Repaired and returned to service' reassigned to 98th Bomb Group, Spokane AFB, Washington.

To RAF as Washington B.1 WF502, and taken on charge on January 15, 1951. Assigned to 90 Squadron, RAF Marham; code "WP-O" (from April 1951 coded "O")

Written off (destroyed) 8 January 1953: The crew was performing a training sortie from RAF Marham. While cruising by night at an altitude of 19,000 feet control of the airplane was apparently lost and it went into an irrecoverable dive. While plunging the aircraft disintegrated and eventually crashed in an open field near Llanarmon-yn-Iâl, 3.5 miles east-southeast of Ruthin, Denbighshire.

The debris was found in an area of more than five acres and all ten occupants had been killed. The crew was unable to send any sort of 'Mayday' message.

Crew of WF502:
Squadron Leader William Rutherford Sloane (pilot)
Pilot Officer Cecil Brian Speller (Co-pilot)
Pilot Officer Michael Jackson Lightowler (Navigator)
Sergeant Edward Frank Wheeler (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Kenneth Albert Reakes (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Robert Frazer Smeddon Anderson (Air Signaller)
Sergeant Edward David Pearton (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Anthony Martin (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Maurice John James Clifton (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Robert Greig Hughson (Air Gunner)

Wreckage recovered to No.34 MU (Maintenance Unit), RAF Stoke Heath where scrapped.
Cause: The exact cause of the accident could not be determined.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.139 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 Colin Cummings p 328-329
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1985)
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/133:
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/32/S2613:


Boeing B-29A Washington B.1 WF502 90 Sqn RAF, Hooton Park 20 September 1952 Boeing B-29A Washington B.1 WF502 90 Sqn Hooton 20.09.52 edited-2

Revision history:

06-Jun-2008 15:09 JINX Added
06-Jun-2008 15:11 JINX Updated
11-Sep-2008 04:08 angels one five Updated
11-Sep-2008 23:23 angels one five Updated
10-May-2013 05:56 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
19-Jun-2013 18:16 Nepa Updated [Operator]
29-Jun-2014 22:13 angels one five Updated [Operator, Nature]
28-Jun-2017 20:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
28-Jun-2017 20:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Jan-2018 19:16 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
31-Oct-2018 19:51 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
05-Jan-2020 23:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
06-Jan-2020 09:24 stehlik49 Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Operator]
23-Jul-2021 22:51 DB Updated [Time, Location, Operator]

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