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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 212590
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Time:16:00 LT
Type:Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator:49 Squadron Royal Air Force (49 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4072
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Togsten Terrance, North Broomhill, Amble, Northumberland -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:RAF Acklington, Northumberland
Handley Page Hampden Mk.I L4072,("EA-P") 49 Squadron, RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire: Written off (destroyed) 21/12/1939 when hit The Church of Christ at Togsten Terrance, North Broomhill, Amble, on approach to RAF Acklington, Northumberland. The church was demolished. One person in the church was killed and one was injured. Two of the crew of four were killed:

Sgt Samuel Hainey Potts (Service Number 580464, aged 23) killed
AC.1 Edward Henry Humphry (Service Number 539268, aged 19) killed
Pilot Officer James Melville Dundas Irvine injured
Sgt Edward Marshall (pilot) injured

According to the entry in the 49 Sqaudrpon RAF ORB (Air Ministry Form 540):

"December, 1939: At 21.00 hours on 20 December the squadron received instructions to bomb the pocket battleship 'Deutschland', which had been reported in the vicinity of the Norwegian coast. They were then required to return to the Scottish base of Leuchars. The following day, the 21st, twelve Hampdens took-off from their Scampton base. Over Lincoln they met up with twelve Hampdens of 44 Squadron from Waddington and under the command of Wing Commander Sheen, the formation headed towards the North Sea, passing over Skegness.

On reaching the Norwegian coast, they turned northwards and spread out in line abreast as they hunted for the 'Deutschland'. But the search was in vain, and at the limit of their range the Hampdens turned and headed for Scotland. Sleet and rain showers reduced visibility on the return flight and the two squadrons became separated. The Scampton flight made landfall in Northumberland where it was intercepted and recognised as friendly by twelve fighters of 43 Squadron.

By 15.47 hours most of the formation were landing at nearby Acklington. Meanwhile, 44 Squadron had crossed the coast south of Dunbar. Hurricanes of 72 Squadron intercepted them and informed control that they were Hampdens. No 602 Squadron Spitfires from Drem (the same base as the Hurricanes) were also scrambled, and without at first recognising the aircraft, proceeded to shoot down two of the Hampdens.

At Acklington, one of 49 Squadron's aircraft (L4072) short of fuel was having problems. Piloted by Sgt Marshall it crashed into a Chapel at Broomhill on the edge of the aerodrome. As a result, the pilot was seriously injured and sadly two members of the crew were killed. Also injured in the crash was the 2nd pilot/navigator, P/O J.M.D. Irvine."


1. Almost Forgotten: The Search for Aviation Accidents in Northumberland By Chris R. Davies

Revision history:

24-Jun-2018 00:44 Dr. John Smith Added
28-Oct-2018 20:07 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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