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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 208562
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 1c
Owner/operator:149 Squadron Royal Air Force (149 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4257
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, 5 miles SE of Happisburgh L.V., off Happisburgh, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk
Destination airport:
Vickers Wellington I L4257, 149 Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk: Written off (destroyed) 29/8/39 when dived into the North Sea, 5 miles South East of Happisburgh light vessel, off Happisburgh, Norfolk, the crash being witnessed by the skipper of a trawler who saw it dive in, leaving no trace. All six crew killed:

Pilot Officer John Lee Yerbury (second pilot, aged 25) killed
Sgt Olaf Thomas Victor Pitt (Captain & Pilot, aged 25) killed
Acting Sgt Gladney Lumb (Observer, aged 24) killed
AC1 David Islwyn George killed
AC1 John Sydney Lewis (Wireless Operator) killed
AC1 Robert William Little (Air Gunner) killed

The Lowestoft Journal 2 September 1939 has a report of the crash on page 3. "Skipper R. J. Weeds of the "Pilot Jack" described how a big twin engined aircraft which had been doing firing practice came down in the sea only a hundred yards from his boat and disappreared without trace although the crew made a keen search of the area for over an hour afterwards. The fatality occured at 2pm on Tuesday on the outer edge of the Hasboro" Sands about 5 miles from the Haisboro' lightship. He said that when she splashed on the water he expected her to rise again. But her nose went down and her tail came up and then sank. She was completely gone in ten seconds. He called out all his crew at once and they got their small boat ready to search, expecting some of the crew to come up. But nothing appeared, not even oil. She sank in about seven or eight fathoms of water. She may have had the marks P.V.J. or P.O.J".


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983)
2. Wimpy: A Detailed History of the Vickers Wellington in service, 1938-1953 page 26, By Steve Bond

Revision history:

01-Apr-2018 18:11 Dr. John Smith Added
25-Apr-2018 16:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source]
17-Oct-2018 18:03 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
01-May-2019 08:48 plottyman Updated [Narrative]

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