Mid-air collision Accident Gloster Gauntlet Mk II K5303,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 68813
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Date:Friday 21 January 1938
Type:Gloster Gauntlet Mk II
Owner/operator:66 Sqn RAF
Registration: K5303
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Smallford, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Written off (destroyed) 21/1/38: Collided with Tiger Moth G-ADHW emerging from cloud & crashed at Smallford, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Pilot of Gauntlet K5303, Pilot Officer Leonard Rene Phelps, RAF killed. Both crew of Tiger Moth G-ADHW - Pilot/Instructor Sgt Theodore Quentin Smith RAFVR (aged 30) and Pupil Pilot under training Mr Brian William Grieves (aged 22) - were killed. Both were New Zealand nationals. According to the official Air Ministry announcement in "Flight" magazine (January 27, 1938 page 94 - see link #7)

P/O Leonard Rene Helps, Brian William Grieves, and Theodore Quentin Smith, lost their lives as the result of a collision in the air, which occurred near Hatfield on January 21, between an aircraft of No. 66 (Fighter) Squadron, Duxford, and an aircraft of No. 1 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School, Hatfield.

P/O. Helps was the pilot of the former aircraft. Mr. Smith (Instructor) was the pilot of the other aircraft, and Mr. Grieves, a pupil under training for the Royal Air Force, was a passenger in the machine".


1. Air Britain The K File The RAF of the 1930s
2. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1939.htm
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._66_Squadron_RAF#Second_World_War
4. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?314-RAF-officer-deaths-1-1-29-3-9-39
5. https://www.sooty.nz/miscairdeaths.html
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallford
7. https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1938/1938%20-%200260.PDF

Revision history:

11-Oct-2009 03:36 JINX Added
15-Feb-2018 08:41 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
26-Feb-2018 22:46 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Mar-2018 21:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
18-Mar-2018 23:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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