Posts Tagged ‘Leopard Moth’

Mystery of Easterton Hill crash revisited.

November 2, 2013

Back on January 6th 2012 we published a blog entitled ‘Mystery of Wartime Crash. This was based around a photo on a 1980s newspaper and some correspondence in subsequent issues of the paper. You can click here to see that blog.

We are revisiting that story today because we have just acquired our own photo of the aircraft which came down. It is not of the highest quality – indeed our print has been made back to front – but it is better than the dotty image of a 1980s newspaper.

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Plane which came down on Easterton Hill

The rear of the photo is clearly captioned.

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The caption says 1944, but was it?

The correspondence in the 1980s pondered on just when this mishap occurred and whether locals might have got things muddled. Martin Honeychurch appeared to have done some thorough research for in his letter to the paper he suggests the photo was taken pre-war.

He writes:

The aircraft G-ACKR is a De Havilland Leopard Moth built at Hatfield in 1934. Out of 66 British registered Leopard Moths 44 were impressed at the outbreak of the 1939-45 war for communication duties with the RAF and the ATA.

Leopard Moth G-ACKR was first owned by J R Bryans, Heston, then sold to L. H. Stace, Heston in 1935, before being impressed in March 1940 and given serial No. SX9294.

As soon as G-ACKR was impressed it would have most certainly been camouflaged and had the No. SX9294 in place of the civilian registration.

I’m guessing the photo was taken when the aircraft landed, maybe unintentionally, on the hill causing much local interest and perhaps sustaining some minor airframe damage and this has become confused with another later accident.

So Martin (and it would be good to hear from him) definitely thought this was a pre-war photo and not 1944 at all.

It’s a longish shot, but maybe somebody will recognise somebody in the crowd of onlookers which might help identify a year for certain.

Do, please, get in touch if you have any more to add on this mystery.