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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 233028
Last updated: 1 December 2021
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Date:25-NOV-1931
Time:day
Type:Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA
Owner/operator:1 Sqn Royal Air Force (1 Sqn RAF)
Registration: J8646
MSN: AW.221
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Upwaltham, Eartham, 8 miles NE of Chichester, West Sussex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Tangmere, Chichester, West Sussex
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Armstrong Whitworth Siskin Mk.IIIA J8646, 1 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) 25 November 1931 when crashed at Upwaltham, Eartham, 8 miles NE of Chichester, West Sussex. Pilot bailed out and survived. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Chichester Observer" - Wednesday 02 December 1931):

"AN AMAZING ESCAPE
TANGMERE PILOT CRASHES IN WOOD.
'PLANE A TOTAL WRECK.
A Siskin single-seater fighter, piloted by Pilot Sergt. Scragg, No. 1 Fighting Squadron, Tangmere Aerodrome, crashed in a wood on the Downs at Up Waltham, on Wednesday morning last.

The pilot's escape was remarkable, in the circumstances, for the machine, which flew about seventy yards through the wood, knocked down a number of trees, and finally, after striking and breaking a large tree, turned over and crashed upside down, a complete wreck, the under-carriage being torn off, and parts being found some distance away. The pilot wriggled free unhurt, and walked to East Dean, a mile or two away, and 'phoned Tangmere Aerodrome.

Meanwhile, a party of villagers, and a doctor with a stretcher, were in the woods searching for the body! Pilot Sergt. Scraggs' only "injuries" were slight scratches, and his escape from death can only be regarded as miraculous."

Crew of Siskin J8646:
Flight-Sergeant Colin Scragg, RAF (Pilot, Service Number 365318) - bailed out and survived. He later rose through the ranks to become Air Vice-Marshal Sir Colin Scragg KCB, AFC (8 September 1908 - 5 April 1989). KCB - Knight Commander of the Order of The Bath; AFC - Air Force Cross.

It should be noted that the Air Britain book on J Serials (see link #1) contains two errors; firstly, that source lists J8646 was a 29 Squadron Aircraft (it was with 1 Squadron), and secondly, it gives the crash location as "Upminster, Essex" (and not Upwaltham, Sussex). Siskin J8646 unusually had TWO c/nos: AW.221 was the original Armstrong Whitworth c/no., but it gained a second c/no. - 7552 - when it was reconditioned/rebuilt by Bristol Aeroplane Co in 1930 (rebuild complete 12 September 1930).

Sources:

1. Royal Air Force Aircraft J1-J9999 (Dennis Thompson, Air britain, 1987 p 87)
2. Chichester Observer - Wednesday 2 December 1931
3. The Sphere - Saturday 5 December 1931
4. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13320.0
5. https://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Scragg.htm
6. http://www.oldhaltonians.co.uk/pages/rememb/State/state.htm
7. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/43434/supplement/7765/data.pdf


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Feb-2020 01:17 Dr. John Smith Added
18-Feb-2020 01:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
18-Feb-2020 11:44 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]

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