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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 68618
Last updated: 15 November 2021
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Date:25-JUN-1938
Time:day
Type:Hawker Demon Mk I
Owner/operator:25 Squadron Royal Air Force (25 Sqn RAF)
Registration: K3798
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Sugar Loaf Hill, near Holywell, Folkestone, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Hawker Demon Mk.I K3798 of 25 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) 25.6.38: Dived into ground out of cloud at Sugar Loaf Hill, near Holywell, Folkestone, Kent. Both crew killed:

Pilot Officer Bonar Roy Whaley RAF (pilot, aged 25 and a Canadian national)
Pilot Officer Charles Cornell Law (Air Gunner aged 22)

According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Portsmouth Evening News" - Saturday 25 June 1938)

"TWO KILLED IN R.A.F. CRASH.
PLANE ROLLS DOWN HILL.

A R.A.F. machine crashed near Sugar Loaf Hill, Folkestone, to-day, and the two occupants were killed instantly. Dense fog covered the range of hills at the time. The machine, which belonged to 25 Fighter Squadron, R.A.F., stationed at Hawkinge, near Folkestone, had taken off from its station only a short time before. The pilot was apparently returning to the aerodrome. The plane is believed to have flown into the side of the hill about 100 feet above the valley. Then it rolled down the hill almost to the bottom.

Folkestone Fire brigade and the R.A.F. fire tender from the aerodrome, which is less than two miles away, dashed to the scene, but the plane did not take fire, although petrol was thrown over a great distance. Both the occupants were pilot officers. Pieces of wreckage were strewn over a considerable distance, and the scene of the crash and the sloping banks around were guarded by R.A.F. men.

The Air Ministry announced that Pilot Officer Bonar Roy Whaley and Pilot Officer Charles Connell Law lost their lives in the crash. Law was the passenger. Whaley was Canadian, and Law came from Scotland. To-day's accident, the 53rd R.A.F. fatal crash this year, brings the total of deaths to 91. During the same period last year there were 47 accidents and 66 deaths."

In an unusual twist, Pilot Officer Whaley was posthumously promoted on 29 June 1938, four days after his death! According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Nottingham Journal - Wednesday 29 June 1938)

PROMOTION GAZETTED AFTER DEATH.
Last night's "London Gazette" confirmed the announcement of the promotion from Pilot Officer to the Acting Rank of Flying Officer of Bona Roy Whaley, aged 25, of Winnipeg, Canada, who with Pilot Officer Charles Connell Law, aged 22, of Gleneagles, of 25th Squadron, R.A.F., were killed on Saturday when their machine crashed into a hill near Folkestone"

Sources:

1. Air Britain The K File The RAF of the 1930s (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1995 p.159)
2. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1939.htm
3. http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/planes/preww2/k8221.html
4. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=7729.0;wap2
5. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34526/page/4175/data.pdf
6. https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1938/1938%20-%201967.html
7. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=7730.0
8. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34526/page/4175/data.pdf
9. http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/dauphinwarmemorial.shtml


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Oct-2009 20:38 JINX Added
24-Jan-2012 13:37 Nepa Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
06-Jul-2013 13:43 JINX Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
27-Nov-2014 19:47 MiG17 Updated [Operator, Location]
28-Jul-2015 16:04 TB Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative]
27-Feb-2018 12:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Mar-2018 20:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
08-Oct-2018 17:52 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
17-Feb-2020 22:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
17-Feb-2020 22:22 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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