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Thread: 759 Squadron losses 12/07/1944

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    Default 759 Squadron losses 12/07/1944

    Apologies for placing a Fleet Air Arm query here but any help would be very much appreciated as I've drawn a blank.

    My interest starts with Acting Midshipman Peter James Dewing whose final resting place is the main cemetery here in Norwich. The Naval Net site records that he is one of four members of the unit that died on this day in "an aircrash" The other three were Lieutenant Peter Constable, Lieutenant Blyth Ritchie and Acting Sub-Lieutenant Thomas M Smart. The unit included an advanced flying training flight and was equipped with Grumman Martlets, Fairey Fulmars, Miles Masters and Sea Hurricanes.

    None of those would have accommodated 4, so my initial assumption was that they were aboard a Squadron hack. The death of all four was recorded in the Sturminster District of Dorset. They were all listed as Killed on Active Service.

    A site on Dorset air crashes has nothing for this date, ditto sites like Aircrew Remembered and Aviation Safety.

    I then took a closer look at the other men that died on that day. Lieutenant Blyth Ritchie, as a Fleet Air Ace, has a little bit more on him online. He had only recently transferred from 800 Squadron aboard HMS Emperor. A site on that ship has two pictures of Lieutenant Ritchie, one of which has the accompanying text that he was killed in a training flight mid-air collision on July 12, 1944 near Sherborne, Dorset. So now I'm looking for two planes.

    Over to you :-)

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    Ray Sturtivant's Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939-1945, pages 315 and 314 respectively, has the following:

    Miles Master II DK943 - 759 Sqn Yeovilton, air combat exercise, collided AZ559, Sherborne, Cat. Z 12.7.44 (Lt B Ritchie & Mid PJ Dewing both killed)

    Miles Master II AZ559 - 759 Sqn Yeovilton; collided with DK493 on air combat exercise, crashed Sherborne, Dorset, Cat. Z 11.7.44 [sic - note difference in dates] (Lt P Constable & S/L TM Smart both killed)

    Both Masters are described as having been transferred from the R.A.F.

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 7th April 2016 at 13:45. Reason: corrected DK943 serial

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    Simon,

    Brilliant, that's really appreciated.

    Only one slight query in my small brain. Furnished with the serial numbers, I tried one last check just in case something was recorded against them, and ended up on this site.
    http://www.worldmilitair.com/Countri...u/uk/dk100.pdf

    If its correct then DK493 was assigned to a Fairey Firefly Mk1. Running down the list, possible alternatives would be the Miles Master 11's registered as DK893 and DK993, (for starters!). Being brought up in a pre-computer world when so much was done long-hand, the ability to confuse a 4 and a 9 was a regular one on the check-list, so DK993 would be the prime candidate.

    Do you know if the Fleet Air Arm were subject to the same crash report\Air Investigation process as the RAF,

    Thanks,
    Peter

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    Peter

    Sorry, it's DK943 not DK493 - must have had finger trouble when I typed it, so duly amended!

    Regards

    Simon

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    Cheers Simon,

    No worries. I hate to add to the mis-information on the t'internet plus of course it had to be the one I didn't go for :-)

    Thanks again,
    Peter

    Midshipman Peter James Dewing 759 Squadron 1944 by Moominpappa06, on Flickr
    Last edited by Pappa Romeo Charlie; 8th April 2016 at 17:52.

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    Local reminiscenses here http://www.sherbornemuseum.co.uk/MDA...r=1940&page=14 and Sherborne and extract from "Sherborne Red Alert" log here http://www.sherbornemuseum.co.uk/MDA..._Warnings.aspx

    As you can see, much confusion, in both accounts and log, over aircraft identities etc but they give a flavour of what was going on. The crash site was on the east side of Sherborne, near the junction of Castletown Way and Oborne Road (B3145), just north of Castle Farm (where the engine part crashed through the roof). Jack Dimond farmed there. The casualties were found in that area.as far as I can gather from Jack.
    I hope this helps.

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