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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20744
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic CNBR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
English Electric Canberra B.2
Owner/operator:TFU Defford Royal Air Force (TFU Defford RAF)
Registration: WF892
MSN: 71093
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Sowton near RAF Exeter, Devon -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:RAF Exeter, Devon (EXT/EGTE)
Destination airport:RAF Defford, Worcestershire
English Electric Canberra B.2 WF892, TFU Defford (Telecommunications Flying Establishment, Defford, Royal Air Force): Delivered 08/07/1952. Written off 23/10/1953 when crashed at Sowton, near RAF Exeter, Devon.

During the take off run from RAF Exter, Devon, the aircraft flew into a flock of birds. The pilot throttled back both engines, and appears to be making a forced landing "staight ahead" of the runway at RAF Exeter. However, there were houses and trees in the intended path for the forced landing, and so the pilot opened up the throttles, in an attempt to climb above these. Unfortunately, by this point, the aircraft was flying too slowly, and therefore the pilot lost control. The Canberra then stalled and crashed about 800 yards from the upwind end of the runway at RAF Exeter, and broke apart on impact. Both crew were killed

Crew of Canberra WF892:
Flight Lieutenant Peter John Clarke, RAF (pilot) - killed in service 23/10/1953
Squadron Leader (46307) William Alfred Allinson DFC DFM RAF (navigator) - killed in service 23/10/1953

The reported crash location of Sowton is a village and civil parish east of Exeter in East Devon, England.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.151 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 Colin Cummings p 422
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983)

Revision history:

07-Jun-2008 12:32 JINX Added
27-Jan-2012 08:55 ray jeffery Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
04-Apr-2013 00:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Mar-2015 20:55 Anon. Updated [Location]
02-Dec-2018 17:53 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
23-May-2019 19:26 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
08-Jan-2020 20:05 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Narrative, Operator]
19-May-2021 20:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-May-2021 15:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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