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Thread: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

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    Default fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Regarding the fatal crash of "Silvia Scarlet" off the Scottish coast in July 1943 when all aboard perished not necessarily from the crash but because rescue boats couldn't get to them in time because the fuel set fire to the sea, I know that the New Zealand Defence Force held a Court Of Enquiry as the pilot Fl/Lt Knox came from there. My enquiry is whether the RAF would have also held a Court of Enquiry and if so would a copy be in the public domain held at the National Archives. Would anyone know the ORB No. covering this?

    Thanks, Fred

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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Form 1180 has ticks in both the CoI and AiB so both Court of Inquiry and Air Investigation Branch carried out

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C7162035 is the ORB for the flight

    AiB files are in AVIA series but poorly indexed and mostly in the form of flimsy carbon copies retained by Vernon Brown - so only one side of the conversation if it survived.

    Ross
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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Fred,
    The NZDF did not hold a C of I into the accident (nor would it into an RAF accident) but Personnel Records, NZDF hold a brief file on Knox which includes a two-and-a-half page 'Precis of Preceedings of Court of Inquiry Opened on 12th July, 1943'. A detailed account of the loss also appears on pp38-39 of the March 1982 issue of Flypast, with a postscript on p39 of the July issue. I can scan these for you if you wish.
    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Ross, Many thanks, I'll follow it through when NA re-opens for online orders.

    Fred

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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Errol, Apologies for my misunderstanding re NZDF. I do have a copy of the Preceedings kindly supplied by the Chief of Staff and wrongly assumed this was a C of I and again thanks, I have a copy of the Flypast. My interest in this is that my late father as wireless operator often flew with F/L Knox including in Sylvia Scarlet but luckily for him he was on leave on that date.
    Thanks again Fred

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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Fred,

    You might find these bio notes about Knox of interest (from Vol 3 of my For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915):

    KNOX, Flight Lieutenant Ewen Samuel.
    40923; b Ashburton 1 May 16; Ashburton HS (1st XV); traveller - International Harvester Co, Ashburton. Selected for RAF SSComm, emb for UK 7 Apr 38, arr 10 May 38; RAF & to Desford/7E&RFTS as Pilot u/t 16 May 38, SSComm [wef 16.5.38] & 1 Depôt 9 Jul 38, 10FTS c.23 Jul 38, Pilots Badge, to Iraq Apr 39, arr 4 Jun 39, 70 Sqn (Valentia), to UK May 40, 271 Sqn (various a/c types) 11 Jun 40, Abbotsinch Stn Flt [redesignated 1680 (Western Isles Comm) Flt 24.5.43] (various a/c types) 21 Dec 42, kaa 3 Jul 43 (Fokker XXII). Campbeltown (Kilkerran) Cemetery - Division 4. grave 620, Argyll., Scotland. Son of John & Lilian Grace Knox (née Easton); nephew of Mitchell Charles Knox, Ashburton.

    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Errol. Many thanks. Whilst researching and recording my late fathers service records I am also trying to find more info regarding those he flew with so well pleased with your input.

    Regards, Fred

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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Below is what I have fm my files, crashed at Eilean Da Ghallagain island, West Loch Tarbert.
    Ditched in the middle of the Bay 100 yards from the shore. Took off at 1642 from Tiree on the last leg of the return journey. At 1712, following an SOS message sent moments earlier, signalled "I will be forced to alight on the sea." Soon afterwards HM159 was seen to break through thick cloud cover over Kintyre's West Loch Tarbert, gliding down under control but with the starboard wing on fire. As the Fokker's fixed undercarriage struck the water there was a loud crash, the nose diving in and fire immediately engulfing the wreckage. All 20 occupants died, the five crew and the majority of the passengers later being buried at Campbeltown. It was thought that the fire may have originated at the back of the starboard inner engine. It was established that because of a design fault in that area, when refuelling, surplus petrol could spill through a gap and into the fuel tank's compartment. HM159, previously carrying the civil registration G-AFXR, had been impressed into RAF service in October 1941

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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Hi AL90, many thanks for your info. Gives a bit more knowledge in specifics in the crash. It's such a shame that so many died unnecessarily through the design, it's a good job only four? F.XX11 were ever built.

    Regards, Fred

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    Default Re: fatal crash Fokker HM159 Silvia Scarlet 3/7/1943

    Hello AL90 (et al),
    I read the comment:-
    It was thought that the fire may have originated at the back of the starboard inner engine. It was established that because of a design fault in that area, when refuelling, surplus petrol could spill through a gap and into the fuel tank's compartment.” with some considerable interest.
    During my Nat Svc I was posted to the ME. We flew from Stansted to Fayid in a Scottish Aviation(?) York. We re-fuelled at Luqa (after the obligatory Sausage Egg & Chips in the Transit Mess!). We re-boarded. I was seated level with the back of the port-inner. They had started up when a drop of liquid fell on my head. It was good 5-star petrol!! I alerted cabin staff. Everything was rapidly shut down, and we de-planed. If we had taken-off (after the obligatory Sausage Egg & Chips in the Transit Mess!), and the “No Smoking” sign had gone out we would all (as one did in those days) have ‘lit up’!! We might have been another of those unexplained York in-flight explosions shortly after take-off?
    I am not trying to cast assertions, but the co-incident similarities are surprising?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 24th March 2021 at 06:08. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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