Fleet Air Arm aircraft accidents in Northern Ireland involving fatalities

From information supplied by Clive Moore

1. 12th November 1942, Fairey Fulmar BP821, 887 Sqn (Kirkistown).

Aircraft lost control after a steep turn and crashed at Kirkistown killing Sub Lt (A) W Foster RNVR age 22 from Chislehurst, Kent and Sub Lt (A) RJ Mathers RNVR age 21 from Orpington Kent, Buried Belfast City Cemetery.


Fireflys and Sea Furys near Eglinton

Fireflys and Sea Furys near Eglinton

2. 19th November 1943, Grumman Wildcat JV413, 896 Sqn.

Crashed in shallow water in Lough Foyle killing Sub Lt (A) JH Nurse RNZNVR, age 22 from Canterbury New Zealand. Buried St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.

3. 5th January 1944, Stinson Reliant FK914 (Eglinton Station Flight).

Aircraft flew into the NE side of Sawel Mountain in the Sperrins during bad weather. All three occupants were killed, Sub Lt (A) JB Johnson RNVR age 22 from Stanley, Yorkshire; Sub Lt (A) AF Orchard age 21, from Forest Row Sussex and Sub Lt (A) AA Pollock RNVR age 21 from Stevenage Herts. The aircraft belonged to Eglinton Station Flight and the three men were from 878 Sqn. Because of deep snow the bodies were not recovered until 29th January.

4. 29th January 1944, Supermarine Seafire LR761, 879 Sqn (HMS Attacker).

Crashed into a hillside at Glenarm killing Sub Lt (A) GPL Pardoe, age 27 from Purley in Surrey. Buried Larne New Cemetery.


Hellcats from Eglinton

Hellcats from Eglinton

5. 31ST January 1944, Grumman Hellcat FN410, 1839 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed at Knockanully killing pilot Sub Lt(A) RJ Corkhill RNVR, age 21 from Formby in Lancs. Buried St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.

6. 13th February 1944, Supermarine Seafire, 894 Sqn (Ballyhalbert).

Crashed South of Mew Island. The body of the pilot Sub Lt (A) JE Marshal RNZNVR, age 23 from Auckland New Zealand, was recovered by a boat from the SS Cambria. Buried in Belfast City Cemetery.

7. 22nd April 1944, Grumman Hellcat FN394, 1847Sqn (Eglinton).

Flew into high ground west of Newtowncrommelin. The pilot, Lt HG Knowles RN, age 22 from Claygate Surrey was pronounced dead on arrival at Waveney Hospital Ballymena. Buried St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.


Fairey Swordfish at Aldergrove

Fairey Swordfish at Aldergrove

8. 28th June 1944, Fairey Swordfish LS182, 836 Sqn (Maydown).

After taking off from Maydown the aircraft hit power cables and crashed at Enagh catching fire and killing all three onboard. Lt Commander RW Slater RN, (pilot) age 30, Lt AWE Lawrie, RN age 26 and Lt HD Hodkinson, RNVR age 27. Lt Lawrie was buried St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.

9. 4th July 1944, Grumman Hellcat JV146, 800 Sqn (Ballyhalbert).

The aircraft lost control while making a steep turn and spun into the ground near Greyabbey. The Pilot Sub Lt (A) FR Akister, RNVR age 20, was killed. Buried St Peters Churchyard, Aireborough Yorkshire.

10. 14th July 1944, Fairey Swordfish NR896, 811 Sqn (HMS Biter).

The aircraft crashed at Limavady airfield killing its pilot Sub Lt (A) RB Cassels, RNVR, age 21 from Ayr. Buried Faughanvale Presbyterian Graveyard, Eglinton.

11. 2nd August 1944 Chance Vought Corsair JT603, 1842 Sqn (Stretton).

Crashed west of Eglinton killing the pilot Sub Lt (A) WD Whewey, RNVR age 21 from Walsall Staffs. Buried St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.


Barracuda from Eglinton

Barracuda from Eglinton

12. 29th August 1944, Fairey Barracuda DP872, 769 Sqn (East Haven).

Took off from RNAS Maydown to return to RNAS East Haven, but subsequently spun into Blackhead Moss near Enagh Lough, Waterside, Londonderry, some five miles from the airfield killing all three crew. Sub Lt (A) S Oxby RNVR (pilot) from Lincs; Sub Lt (A) FR Dobbie (Observer), age 20 from Fife and Leading Airman DAT Mew, age 19 from Herne Hill London. The bodies of the crew were only recovered in 1976 along with the wreck of the aircraft. The men were subsequently buried with full military honours at St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton. The aircraft remains survive to this day and are forming the basis for a restoration project: http://barracudaproject.co.uk

13. 10th October 1944, Chance Vought Corsair JT479, 1843 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed in the sea off Castlerock killing the pilot Sub Lt (A) RJ McHaffie, RNVR, age 21. The body was recovered by No 60 Air Sea Rescue Marine Craft Unit and taken to Portrush. Buried Colvend Parish Churchyard, Kircudbrightshire, Scotland.

14. 16th October 1944, Grumman Hellcat JV214, 1840 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed near Armoy killing pilot, Sub Lt (A) H Cockburn, RNVR, age 21, from Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire.

15. 18th January 1945, Chance Vought Corsair JT692, 1843 Sqn (Eglinton).

Corsair wreck c/o Paddy Browne

Corsair wreck c/o Paddy Browne

Crashed south of Ballymoney during a test flight. Pilot killed. No further details.

16. 10th April 1945 Grumman Hellcat JW879, 892 Sqn (Eglinton).

After take-off from Sydenham the aircraft made a steep turn and dived into the ground at Gillespie’s Nursery near Craigavon Hospital killing a child. The pilot Sub Lt (A) EJ Hoy, South African Naval Forces, age 27, from Durban, subsequently dies from his injuries at the military hospital at Campbell College. Buried Belfast City Cemetery.

17. 2nd August 1945,Grumman Hellcat JV174, 891 Sqn (Eglinton).

Whilst practicing strafing on a target at Magilligan, the aircraft failed to pull out of a dive and hit the ground near the point, and caught fire killing the pilot Sub Lt (A) RS Wilson, RNZNVR, age 20, from Napier New Zealand. Buried at St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.

18. 6th August 1945, Grumman Hellcat, 891 Sqn (Eglinton).

Flew into Sawel Mountain killing pilot Petty Officer DD Smith RN, age 21 from Exley Head Yorkshire. Buried at St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.


Corsair Ballyhalbert JS479

Corsair Ballyhalbert

19. 8th September 1945, Chance Vought Corsair JT357, 768 Sqn (Ballyhalbert).

The aircraft made a forced landing but hit a wall and caught fire, killing pilot Lt (A) FW McGarry, RCNVR, age 25 from Toronto Canada. Buried Ballycranbeg (Mount St Joseph) RC Churchyard.

20. 2nd October 1945, Supermarine Seafire SR489, 803 Sqn (Nutts Corner).

Flew into Slievenanee Mountain killing pilot Sub Lt (A) LP Wade, RNVR, age 23 from British Columbia, Canada. Buried Belfast City Cemetery.

21. 10th October 1945, Supermarine Seafire NN631, 718 Sqn (Ballyhalbert).

Crashed SE of Carrickmore killing pilot Sub Lt (A) JS Hornby RNZVNR, age 21 from Wellington New Zealand. Buried Ballyhalbert Church of Ireland Graveyard.

22. 5th November 1945, Supermarine Seafire SW849, 803 Sqn (Nutts Corner).

Crashed North of Lisburn killing pilot Sub Lt (A) WL Nash, RNVR, age 25, from Galt, Ontario Canada. Buried Belfast City Cemetery.

23. 7th November 1945, Chance Vought Corsair KD796, 794 Sqn (Eglinton).

The aircraft ditched north on Magilligan point. The body of the pilot Sub Lt (A) RL Voysey, RNZNVR, age 21, from Auckland New Zealand, was recovered on 11th November. Buried at St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.


Seafire at Sydenham 1950

Seafire at Sydenham 1950

24. 2nd March 1946, Supermarine Seafire SP194, 794 Sqn (Eglinton).

Aircraft collided over Shantallow killing pilot Lt (A) JWW Williams , RN, age 23, from Hassocks Sussex. Buried at St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.

25. 2nd March 1946, Supermarine Seafire, —–, 794 Sqn (Eglinton).

Aircraft collided over Shantallow killing pilot Sub Lt (A) TM Hannam, RNVR, age 21, from Yeovil, Somerset. Buried at St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.

26. 10th April 1946, Supermarine Seafire RX350, 794 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed off Portrush killing pilot Lt Cdr RA Bird, RN, age 29.


27. 10th December 1946, Fairey Firefly DK554, 812 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed in the sea off Castlerock. The body of the pilot, Sub Lt (A) BV Watling, RN, age 21, from Chelmsford, was not recovered until the 29th of December. The other occupant Sub Lt (A) V Perersen, RNVR, age 23 from Jylland Denmark was never found.

28. 4th November 1947, Fairey Firefly TW736, 825 Sqn (Eglinton).

The aircraft crashed at near Garvagh killing its passenger, Mess Steward J Mcdonald. The pilot Lt Murphy, RCN, baled out.

29. 25th June 1948, NA Harvard EZ423, Eglinton Station Flight.

Crashed at Maydown killing both men onboard. Lt PAR Hayes, age 25 from Maidstone, Kent, and CPO J Dodds, age 31 from Dundee.

30. 27th February 1948, Hawker Sea Fury TF949, 807 Sqn (Eglinton).

Engine caught fire and aircraft crashed at Lower Tullally, killing pilot , Lt (A) JLE Prendy, age 22. Buried at St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.


Avenger at Eglinton

Avenger at Eglinton

31. 3rd November 1948, Grumman Avenger KE441, 703 Sqn (Lee-on- Solent).

Crashed into Divis Mountain killing all three onboard: Lt (A) WD Vine, RN, age 24, Lt (A) WV Hollidge, RN and a 19 year old Wren EO Gladstone. Vine and Gladstone are buried at St Canice’s Church of Ireland Eglinton.

32. 16th August 1949, Fairey Firefly VT496, 719 Sqn (Eglinton).

Aircraft crashed NW of Ballymena killing pilot Lt CW Wooding, RN, and observer, Lt PRP Dunn.

33. 4th October 1951, Fairey Firefly WB315, 820 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed into high ground at Killywool, Londonderry, killing, Lt Cmdr PS Cole and Lt Hunt. Cole was buried near his family home at Moville, Donegal.

34. 12th June 1952, Fairey Firefly DK543, 737 Sqn (Eglinton).

Aircraft experienced engine problems and both crew baled out. However the pilot, JK Davidson, RN, left the aircraft too late and was killed, his body being recovered from the water.


Swordfish taking off at Maydown

Swordfish taking off at Maydown

35. 11th December 1953, Grumman Avenger XB316, 815 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed into Slieve Croob killing the crew including Pilot Sub Lt Cooks.

36. 15th September 1953, DH Dominie NF861, 744 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed near Cushendun killing Leading Telegraphist Charlesworth.


37. 8th March 1954, Fairey Firefly MB566, 737 Sqn (Eglinton).

Crashed into Lough Foyle killing Lt JA Tallon, RN, from Leicester and Sub Lt (A) JE Brazenor, RN, from Middlesex.

38. 3rd December 1954, Fairey Firefly WB378, 737 Sqn (Eglinton).

The aircraft crashed on approach to land at Eglinton killing the pilot Sub Lt CL Wright, RCN.

Next: Shipwrecks around Ireland’s coast