View Full Version : Lysander L4808 Crash (28Sqn) May 1942

24th May 2012, 14:57
I was reading the blog "Story of War" about CDC Dunford-Wood. He writes about a Lysander Crash related to No.28 Squadron - which most llikely happened at Ranchi

A young I.A.F. chap tries to land in coarse pitch with wheels right back, overshoots, opens up and turns then stalls into the ground. I get the clock as its my old kite 4808. Passenger killed and we have a funeral.

The accident happened on 21 May 1942. or 22 may 42

Looking at Geoff's search engine, the following came up


Rank:Aircraftman 1st Class
Service No:1186011
Date of Death:21/05/1942

Looking for a confirmation on the passenger and also the pilot who remains a mystery..

Henk Welting
24th May 2012, 15:07
Air Britain has for L4808: 28 Sqn - overshot landing at Hinoo - 21.5."1940" !!

24th May 2012, 16:08

That is surely an error. 28 Squadron got their Lysanders in August/September 1941. (as supported by the ORBs)

The diary of CDC Dunford Wood as given in that blog is another supporting document.



24th May 2012, 16:15
Hi Gents,

The Form 1180 confirms the date as Jagan suggests: 21 May 1942.

Pilot P/O S A Joseph

Overshot endeavoured to land 50 feet above ground.

O.C. Lack of experience coupled with bad flying

No comment by AOCinC on file

Apart from 0 killed -0 injured "that's all they wrote"


24th May 2012, 18:37
Thanks Ross!

Finding the name of the pilot is much appreciated! .. and it helped solve some questions I had - namely > Why was this not mentioned in the ORB of 28 Squadron? What was an Indian pilot doing in 28 Squadron (And the 28 Sqn ORB does not mention any at that time)..

I found the officer in my IAF DB :

Squadron Leader Stephen Aratoon Joseph
Service No 1736 Branch GD(P)
Name : Stephen Aratoon Joseph Rank Squadron Leader
Date of Birth: 27 Mar 21
Date Commissioned 10 Nov 41 Service End No Details
Remarks : PAF AVM
Dates Rank Unit Location Appointment Photo
28 Apr 42 - Plt Offr 4 CDF Vizag
01 Nov 46 - 29 Mar 47 Flt Lt 8 Squadron Kolar to UK

The appointment mentioning that he was No.4 Flight Coastal Defence from 28 April 1942 reminded me to look up the ORBs related to 4 CDF..and sure enough.. the accident is mentioned in the ORB of No.4 Flt (its filed under No.104 Squadron, Indian Air Force - in the NA ORBs).. I had once written an article about it

"On 30th April 42, Air HQ India Order No. ?1?4/10/Org dated 1.4.42 arrived designating the flight as No.104 (GR) Squadron, Indian Air Force w.e.f 1st April 42. The order also stated that the new Squadron will be equipped with 20 Hudsons. (This is the same order that designated all the other flights as Squadrons).

Pending the arrival of the Hudsons, the Squadron was told to collect two Lysanders from No.28 Squadron which was based at Ranchi. On 3rd May, 42, Fg Offr J G Gill RAF led his party to Ranchi to collect these two aircraft. Anticipating the arrival of the aircraft, more personnel were sent to Visagapatam to form the nucleus of the Squadron. On 8th May 42, the first Lysander, N1224 was flown in by Flt Lt Gill with Plt Offr Jaspal as the Observer. The pilots of the Squadron started their solo flights on this aircraft, with Flt Lt Small being the first to do so on the 9th.

On 20th May 42, Plt Offr Joseph crashed while air testing the second Lysander at Ranchi. The aircraft was written off, with the pilot sustaining serious injuries. From then on, No. 104 Squadron had to make do with the single Lysander on strength. On subsequent days, the rest of the Indian pilots on strength, including Plt Offr Belekar, C Singh, and Debra soloed on the aircraft."

Mystery solved! (I must correct the date as 21st May0