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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 22494
Last updated: 30 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic L14 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed Hudson Mk I
Owner/operator:220 Squadron Royal Air Force (220 Sqn RAF)
Registration: N7231
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Boldon Colliery, County Durham. -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Thornaby, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:
Lockheed Hudson Mk.I N7231 (NR-S) 220 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when crashed on return from patrol, all four crew killed. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/1114): "Hudson N7251 [*sic] collided with a balloon barrage cable, 14 July 1940. Pilot Officer G W F Carey, Pilot Officer P K Vartan, Sergeant V G Gent and Sergeant C A Matthews: report of deaths"

Took off from RAF Thornaby, North Yorkshire at 18:46 hrs for a combat air patrol (Patrol Code-named "SA3"). On return, en route to RAF Thornaby, the aircraft collided with a barrage balloon cable and spun into the ground at Boldon Colliery, County Durham. After the crash, the Hudson caught fire, and the bomb load exploded. No survivors, all four crew killed

Crew of Hudson N7231:
Pilot Officer Garth Wells Fuller Carey (Pilot, New Zealander) RAF 36169, DFC, aged 24: killed in action 14/07/1940
Pilot Officer Phillip Knox Vartan (Pilot, New Zealander) RAF 41632, aged 22: killed in action 14/07/1940
Sgt George Alexander Matthews (Air Gunner) RAF 538451, aged 22: killed in action 14/07/1940
Sgt Victor George Gent (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) RAF 624628: killed in action 14/07/1940

Two of the crew - P/O Garth Carey and P/O Philip Vartan - were buried at Hylton (Castletown) Cemetery, North Hylton, Sunderland, County Durham. Sgt George Matthews was buried at Winlaton (St. Patrick) Churchyard and Hookergate Cemetery, Winlaton, Gateshead, County Durham, and Sgt George Gent was buried at Linthorpe Cemetery, Middlesborough, North Yorkshire.

Note that the official Air Ministry file AIR 81/1114 contains an error (presumed to be a "typo"): The Lockheed Hudson involved in the above incident was N7231 and NOT N7251. (Lockheed Hudson N7251 never served with 220 Squadron; its career was with 224 Squadron, 233 Squadron, 1 (Coastal) OTU and 83 Group Communications Flight before being relegated to become a ground instructional airframe 4266M in October 1943)


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft N1000-N9999 (James J Hallet, Air Britain, 1977 p 45)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/1114:
14. .

Revision history:

10-Aug-2008 01:36 Anon. Added
21-Jan-2012 04:13 Nepa Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
21-Jan-2012 04:13 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type]
24-Mar-2013 20:11 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
15-Oct-2019 17:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Oct-2019 17:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
15-Oct-2019 17:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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