View Full Version : H P Harrow loss 1937 (poss 214 or 37 Sqn)

2nd June 2010, 11:48
I was wondering if any members might be able to help me. I am trying to find out more about the loss of a H P Harrow on (or about) the 21st May 1937 near Colchester.

At this time I think that 214 and 37 Squadron were the only units flying the type, so assume it was an aircraft from one of these units. I have a feeling it might be a 214 Squadron aircraft but cannot be sure and was wondering if any members might be able to help.

I have a few books on 214 which I will try and check when I return home, but if anybody has any further information I would love to hear it.


2nd June 2010, 12:37

Possibly, Handley Page Heyford I K3500 of No.99 Sqn, Mildenhall. Crashed after engine failure at night 21-5-1937.


A twin-engined heavy bomber of the R.A.F. was badly damaged when making a forced landing near Colchester early yesterday, but only one of its four occupants was injured. The aeroplane, which was night flying from Mildenhall and should have returned to its base by midnight, became lost and had its wireless put out of action in a severe thunderstorm. When making its forced landing the machine struck and snapped off the top of a telegraph pole and then crashed into a ploughed field. The member of the crew who was injured was Flight Sergeant Cowan, who suffered a cut eye.

See: The Times. May 22, 1937. p.7


2nd June 2010, 13:10
Hi Johnnie

I don't believe this was a 214 Sqn a/c. They received their first Harrow on 13/1/37 but I've no record of any crashing on 21/5 of that year. Interestingly quite a number of the 'Sparrow' conversion of these a/c soldiered on throughout the war and a number were even there to be destroyed in the Germans' Operation Bodenplatte on 1st January 1945!

I'd go with Col's suggestion below. Sounds reasonable to me.



2nd June 2010, 13:44
Many thanks for the replies. I think you could be correct looking at the photos again. When I first looked at them I thought it was a Harrow as there is no bottom wing visable, however the tail could be a Heyford.


2nd June 2010, 16:43
Hello Johnnie,

I had a look at Air-Britain aeromilitaria volume 32 issue 127 autumn 2006 which has an article about the Harrow and a production list. Your crash happens very early in the career of the Harrow, and indeed very few machines had been delivered by then. I couldn't find no match for the details you have given.

I followed Col's suggestion by checking Air-Britain's K file : K3500 delivered to Central area 7 March 1934, 99 Squadron 9 March 1934 coded R. Engine cut ; hit pole in forced landing while lost on night navex near Colchester, Essex, 21 May 1937. SOC 8 October 1937. There's even a picture of that very plane on page 252 of the said volume.