Mid-air collision Accident Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 L1598,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 208424
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Date:Monday 12 June 1939
Type:Silhouette image of generic HURI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hawker Hurricane Mk 1
Owner/operator:56 (Punjab) Sqn RAF
Registration: L1598
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Wintry Wood, Epping Forest, near Epping, Essex, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:RAF North Weald, Essex
Destination airport:RAF North Weald
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Hawker Hurricane L1598: Written off (destroyed) 12/06/1939 when crashed after collision with Huricane L1611 (also of 56 Squadron, RAF) on formation take-off, from RAF North Weald. Aircraft came down at Wintry Wood, in Epping Forest, near Epping, Essex (at approximate co ordinates 51.7114N, 0.1140W). Pilot - Pilot Officer Peter Philip Charlton (RAFO) - was killed. The pilot of the other Hurricane (L1611) was Pilot Officer Montagu Leslie Hulton-Harrop, who was unhurt. According to the official Air Ministry announcement in "Flight" magazine (June 29 1939 - see link #7)

THE Air Ministry regrets to announce the following flying accidents: —
P/O Peter Philip Charlton lost his life as the result of a collision in the air which occurred near Epping, Essex, on June 12 between two aircraft of No. 56 Squadron. P/O Charlton was the pilot and sole occupant of one aircraft. P/O Montague Leslie Hulton-Harrop, the pilot and sole occupant of the other machine, was not injured."

According to a local published source (see link #4):

"In case the impression be given that only 151 squadron were having difficulties at this stage in their training, 56 Squadron were involved in a fatal mishap between two of their Hurricanes in early June. L1598, piloted by a new member of the squadron, 23 year old Pilot Officer Peter Phillip Charlton, having only accrued 39 hours on the type, was in formation with L1611 flown by Pilot Officer Montague Leslie Hulton-Harrap and another Hurricane flown by P/O Derrick MacLoad Down.

During formation flying two aircraft collided, Charlton having accidentally approached Hulton-Harrap’s machine from the rear blind spot. Charlton and his aircraft spun into the ground near the airfield, whilst that of the more senior pilot was able to return safely the land.

The site of the crash of L1598 was given as Epping Forest, close to the London to Newmarket road, and the Essex Yeomanry Camp. This is believed to be Wintry Wood, where a Hurricane, otherwise unidentified, is known to have come to grief. Charlton died in hospital later the same day.

Hulton-Harrap was killed a few months later, accidentally shot down by Spitfires in the infamous "friendly fire incident" known as the ‘Battle of Barking Creek’, when RAF Hurricanes were mis-identified as enemy aircraft, and shot down by patrolling Spitfires.

During the following year, until it was struck of RAF charge in May 1940, the other Hurricane in the collision, L1611, served with three other squadrons - 17, 605 and 253."


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1983)
2. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1939.htm
3. http://nwamuseum.co.uk/IncidentsWestEssexto2000-1.pdf?ckattempt=1
4. http://www.brynelliott.co.uk/about_htm_files/WESTESSEXcrashesMishaps3WW2.pdf
5. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?314-RAF-officer-deaths-1-1-29-3-9-39
6. Grave of P/O Peter Charlton: https://www.flickr.com/photos/harlowirish/2565960352
7. https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1939/1939%20-%202003.PDF
8. https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/local/wintry-wood-epping-forest-cm166sy

Revision history:

29-Mar-2018 16:43 Dr. John Smith Added
29-Mar-2018 16:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
03-Oct-2018 07:10 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Operator]
25-Jul-2019 13:39 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
12-Apr-2024 09:41 Nepa Updated [Location, Narrative, Operator]

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