View Full Version : Lancaster write off: St. Eval 1953.

23rd Aug 2008, 16:06
Can anybody supply any information on an ASR Lancaster that dropped in short of the Airfield whilst on finals to RAF St Eval about 1953?
IIRC a seagull came through the windscreen.
I went into the wreck the following day ;the tail had broken off so it was easy for us kids to walk up through the fuselage to the cockpit . I'm just curious to find out a little more about this incident after all these years.

23rd Aug 2008, 21:01
Lancaster TX265 School of Maritime Reconnaissance, crashed on approach St . Eval(Evil) on 22.12.53

23rd Aug 2008, 22:36
Now that's what this site's all about!
Many thanks T-21

henry crun
23rd Aug 2008, 23:22
A small amount of extra detail from Broken Wings.

Lancaster CR3 TX265, hit landing lights on controlled approach; crash landed during attempted overshoot.

24th Aug 2008, 09:49
There must have been a seagull perched on one of the lights..

24th Aug 2008, 14:33
Dangerous things, Seagulls. Also around 1953 a bloody great seagull went through the left windscreen of a Long Nose Lincoln during a low level supply drop on Willis Island where the meteorological people had a cyclone early warning post. Willis island is in the Coral Sea several hundred miles off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The captain (some said wisely) switched his copilot to the left hand seat (to give him the experience he said) and then crouched below the level of the copilots windscreen as the drop was made from 200 feet. The bird smashed into the poor copilots face, damaging his left eye and funnelled down the fuselage past the astonished navigator and straight into the half unzipped flying suit of the corpulent signaller who was relaxing duty done next to his radio set. Blood was everywhere and the copilot was knocked out temporarily. Two hours later the captain was landing at Townsville himself unscathed and boasting to all around it was the first time he had landed a Lincoln from the RH seat.

The copilot recovered and was made medically fit a few months later. Meantime he married the pretty nurse who fixed his face in hospital. Years later he became a Wing Commander and won a DFC and AFC. The wise captain long since retired is now 84 and tells stories of flying Halifaxes over Europe in WW2 and the dangers of low flying over the haunts of seagulls..

27th Aug 2008, 15:12
Which runway was this Lanc (attempting) to land on?

Does anyone have any pics or this incident or any at all of a/c operations from St Eval?

As an aside, my father had his first flight in a Lanc from St Eval - RF312. I believe it was w/o a few years later at Coltishall...

27th Aug 2008, 16:02
By eye and memory and without having an airfield map: short of the threshold of the runway around about 25.

27th Aug 2008, 16:49
About where the isolated green space is just short of the westerly RW threshold in this piccie, Redders me old spy?


27th Aug 2008, 20:49
Good enough for Government work Beags. Trudged (climbed) across the furrows of that same ploughed field around that green patch IIRC . We lived in the airmans' married patch off to the east of the picture - now private housing I gather.
Somebody stole our quarter's garden gate in '53. I went back for a nostalgic visit in the 60's and ....
the gate was still missing.

28th Aug 2008, 13:30
Do you mean here, just beyond the turning circle of runway 26?


28th Aug 2008, 15:36
Looking at the image on Beagle's post and the shadows on your shot I would hazard that it might possibly have been taken at the far end of 26?

28th Aug 2008, 19:50
That spy training is still standing you in good stead, eh Redders?


28th Aug 2008, 20:05
NickB's photo was taken at the far western end of the airfield ie right on the threshold of the Easterly runway (on the nose of the prop hub in the pic).

The airmens quarters are indeed in private ownership now - the officers quarters are still occupied by service personnel.

28th Aug 2008, 20:36
Is that photo taken from a DC-3 ?

28th Aug 2008, 20:42
Yes, back in July. Air Atlantique DC3, GAMPY visited St Mawgan as part of its farewell tour.

29th Aug 2008, 19:36
Lovely picture Raven :ok: - don't suppose you have any others do you?

Would love to see a picture of any a/c on that turning circle at St Eval, just to be able to do a 'then and now' type picture, but I guess the chances of finding such a pic would be pretty slim...

29th Aug 2008, 23:10
I have a few more from the same trip but none of them are of St Eval. I have looked and there are a few of St Eval from the air taken a few years earlier, not such good quality but can post them if you wish. Have also found a pic of a Neptune in front of the Tower taken during a Royal visit in '53.


1st Sep 2008, 07:16

If you wouldn't mind posting all the pics you mentioned if would be appreciated.

Many thanks,


1st Sep 2008, 12:24
Lower res pictures from an old camera but here goes and hope they are of interest:




1st Sep 2008, 15:09
Excellent - thanks Raven!

Now I just need some pics of a/c on the runway!

I remember years ago, in I think 'Scale Aircraft Modelling' magazine :8 there was feature on Lancs and I'm certain that it showed a picture of a Lanc from St Eval that either landed short of the runway or crash landed on the runway. On reflection it is probably the one that kicked off this thread... We are talking about probably 25 years ago now but it could probably be found on 'Fleabay'!