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Thread: 10.1.31Wapiti IIA J9380, 39 Sqn, Risalpur Crash 2 Killed

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    Default 10.1.31Wapiti IIA J9380, 39 Sqn, Risalpur Crash 2 Killed

    10.1.31 Wapiti IIA J9380, 39 Sqn, Risalpur
    Hit by eagle, wing collapsed and crashed, Risalpur, India
    Sgt James Edward Wren (28) killed #345850
    Cpl Thomas William Penny Jeffrey AFM (29) killed #344812

    Air Ministry,
    1st March 1929.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to
    approve of the following awards to the under
    mentioned offcers and airmen of the Royal Air
    Force:
    Awarded the Air Force Medal.
    344812 Corporal Thomas William Penny Jeffrey


    Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore) - Wednesday 21 January 1931

    EAGLE CAUSES AIR CRASH
    Two Killed at Risalpur
    BIRD FLIES INTO R.A.F. MACHINE
    WING COLLAPSES

    Flight-Sergeant Wren and Corporal T. W. Jeffreys (sic Thomas William Penny Jeffrey), A.F.M., were killed recently at Risalpur as the result of a crash brought about by a rock eagle's flying into the machine and breaking a strut.

    Sergeant Wren was piloting a Westland-Wapiti machine of No. 39 (Bomber) Squadron, which is stationed at Risalpur. It was one of 36 machines engaged in practising formation flying for the forthcoming aerial pageant at Delhi.

    When the order to land was signalled, Sergeant Wren's flight began to descend, and the 'planes were at approximately 800 feet when spectators saw an eagle with immense spread of wing fly into the machine. One of the wings collapsed and the machine fell to the ground. Corporal Jeffrey was seem to jump, out of the rear
    cockpit of the falling 'plane, but his parachute became entangled in the fuselage and he crashed to death.



    WING SPAN OF 8 FEET

    At the subsequent inquiry it was revealed that the eagle had a wing spread of eight feet and that it belonged to a species which is fairly common in the Risalpur district. This is the first fatal accident experienced by No. 39 Squadron during the last seven years. The Squadron which is under the command of Squadron-Leader S. B. Harris, D.F.C., A.F.C (Stafford Berkeley Harris) , played an active part in the recent operations on the North West Frontier.

    Flight-Sergeant Wren was experienced pilot and gained his certificate five years ago. Corporal Jeffrey had also considerable flying experience and four years (sic 2 years) ago was awarded the Air Force Medal for distinguished conduct.

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    Default Re: 10.1.31Wapiti IIA J9380, 39 Sqn, Risalpur Crash 2 Killed

    There was a similar occurrence many years later!!
    This from my now failing memory – but I think it was reported in “Air Clues”.
    There was an Andover (don’t know whether it was from one of the Andover Sqns, or TQF?). It was en route somewhere in the Kenya/Ethiopia/Somalia area. FL ???
    It was attacked by one of these enormous eagles. I say ‘attacked’ because if I remember correctly it was reported as having struck the Andover windscreen talons first – which is the usual ‘attack mode’ of these beasts.
    I don’t think the windscreen was broken, but it might have been cracked?
    Be interesting if somebody finds the details of this alleged aerial encounter!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: 10.1.31Wapiti IIA J9380, 39 Sqn, Risalpur Crash 2 Killed

    Hello,

    Re: 345850 Sgt James Edward WREN RAF:

    Air Ministry 26th June, 1931.

    ROYAL AIR FORCE.

    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the undermentioned awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished service rendered in connection with the operations on the North West Frontier of India between 23rd April and 12th September, 1930.

    Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.

    345850 Sergeant James Edward WREN (since deceased).

    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...3729/page/4158 (see also p.4159).

    Sgt Wren was also awarded an India General Service Medal with North West Frontier 1930-31 Clasp:

    Name: Wren. J.E.
    Rank: Sgt.
    No.: 345850
    Clasp: 6
    Comments: Deceased.

    See:
    India General Service Medal Roll 1908-1935 to the RAF.
    Air Ministry.
    Uckfield:Naval & Military Press,? (reprint). p.88.

    NB. 344812 Cpl T. W. P. JEFFREY AFM (deceased), was also awarded an India General Service Medal with North West Frontier 1930-31 Clasp.

    Subject matter already discussed, here:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...atalities-1931

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 31st March 2022 at 00:44.

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