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Narrative:Fairey Battle Mk.I K7642: Built by Fairey Aircraft at Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire, and delivered new to 88 Squadron, RAF Boscombe Down, Wiltshire on 7 January 1938.
|Date:||Friday 7 January 1938|
Fairey Battle Mk I
|Owner/operator:||88 Sqn RAF|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1|
|Aircraft damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||near Hurstmomceux, East Sussex, England -
|Departure airport:||RAF Ringway, Manchester |
|Destination airport:||RAF Boscombe Down, Wiltshire |
|Confidence Rating:|| Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources|
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 7 January 1938: aircraft was on its delivery flight in adverse weather conditions when the pilot became lost and could not find Boscombe Down airfield. Low on fuel, the pilot of Battle K7642 force landed in a soft field at Hurstmonceux, Sussex. The aircraft skidded on landing, ran to the edge of the field and dropped several feet over an embankment. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Daily Mirror - Saturday 8 January 1938):
"HAPPY LANDING: It doesn't look it here, but out of the wreckage of this R.A.F. monoplane bomber climbed Pilot-Officer Foster—UNHURT. Flying from Manchester to Boscombe, he apparently lost his way in the dark, decided to land and finished up like this near Hurstmonceaux, East Sussex".
Wreckage recovered by 3 MU RAF Milton for examination. Deemed damaged beyond repair and Struck Off Charge 9 May 1938. Total flying time 2.30 hours. Operational service - one day! Fairey Battle K7692 was taken on charge on 1 April 1938 as a direct replacement
The pilot was Pilot Officer Donald Alexander John Foster was a new boy, having joined the RAF from Canada and posted to 88 squadron from 10 Flying Training School, Ternhill on 27 November 1937.
Shortly after midnight on 20 June 1939 Battle K9249 caught fire while in flight and had to be abandoned by its crew at Netherhampton, near Salisbury. The crew were Pilot Officer Foster and wireless operator AC.2 E G Williams, both of whom baled out successfully but observer Sgt Harrison George Ing was killed. (See Separate entry)
On 14 May 1940 218 Squadron Battle P2324 was one of a large number shot down while attacking targets in the Sedan, France, area, and Flying Officer Foster and Aircraftman 1st Class T J Bryan became prisoners of war. (See Separate entry)
1. The K File - The RAF of the 1930s (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1995 p.127)
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1976 page 63)
3. The Battle File (Sidney Shail, Air Britain, 1997 p.32/p.127)
4. Daily Mirror - Saturday 08 January 1938
5. 88 Squadron ORB (Operations Record Book)(Air Ministry Form AM/F.540) for the period 1 July 1917 to 30 September 1939: File AIR 27/716/1 at https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8455132
||Dr. John Smith
||Dr. John Smith
||Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]|
||Dr. John Smith
||Updated [Location, Source, Narrative, Category]|
||Updated [Time, Location, Operator]|