View Full Version : Mosquito NFXIII HK454 5 Feb '44 Crash at Tilty, Essex

report ready
25th Sep 2012, 14:40
Hello, I am researching the above wartime Mosquito crash and would appreciate help as to how to go about it please.
The mosquito was on a air test from RAF Hunsdon in Herts when it appears to have had a structural failure and part of the wing collapsed.
The nav/obs F/L William Nixon just managed to bale out and survive but canadian pilot F/O (J/16757) Keith Robert McCORMICK (RCAF), died in the crash and is buried in Saffron Walden cemetery.
I understand wartime RAF crashes did have accident reports and/or boards of enquiry but how do i go about viewing these?
All information/leads much appreciated, Thanks.
Please PM me if you wish.

25th Sep 2012, 23:17
I have obtained copies air accident reports from the Air Historical Branch

Try: Air Historical Branch - Home (http://www.raf.mod.uk/ahb/)

report ready
26th Sep 2012, 21:32
Thanks very much, I will try them.

29th Sep 2012, 07:25
HK454 NFXIII 410 (Cougar) Squadron, RCAF. Lost u/c doors and rudder knocked off broke up Tilty (sic) Essex 5.2.44

Thats about all I can find..............

report ready
30th Sep 2012, 19:05
I have this first hand account from the nav's report who survived the crash.
Anyone know if there were similar incidents of wing/spar failure in other mossies?

'On the 4th February 1944 we took off from Hunsdon on an air test flight as we had a little engine trouble with the starboard engine. We went up to 13,000ft to give the engine a full run up and test. Mac (F/L McCormick), completed the test and he seemed satisfied as he then said 'ok , thats fine, lets go home'. He then did a starboard wing over and put the nose down in the usual way of quickly losing height. After losing 2-3000ft Mac pulled out of the dive, there was an almighty bang right under my backside and I was flung to the floor. Mac immediately leaned over me and attempted to jettison the door which was on the starboard side. Then the starboard wing, outside of the engine collapsed and I think it took out the side of the nose. The engine caught fire and we started to go down in a tight spiral. I saw my parachute roll over the floor towards the hole and I just managed to grab it. Clipping it on I tried to get out through the hatch but the centrifugal force of the spin held me for what appeared to be ages but I suppose it was only for seconds. I then found myself in the air, conscious of the fact that the aircraft was falling above me, burning and raining bits down onto me. I do not really remember much after this, except that somehow I must have hung onto the parachute. It seemed that as soon as it opened I hit the ground and the burning mossie landed nearby, about 100 yards away.
I managed to get out of the harness and ran towards the aircraft, but someone got hold of me, kept me back until the accident and ambulance services arrived to whisk me away.
Later on the way to hospital, the doctor told me that Mac hadn't made it. He had been trapped in the aircraft and did not survive.
I discovered later that my parachute and harness had been recovered and only one retaining hook was attached to the harness and I was indeed lucky to escape with a few burns. Sadly I lost a friend and a mate.

At the accident board of inquiry I stated that in my opinion the aircraft's main spar had broken as we pulled out of the dive. The investigators and the De Havilland representative both indignantly stated that this was not possible. They implied that Mac had undertaken unauthorised aerobatics, which I strenuously denied.

Many years later I was told by a friend, (who was qualified to say so), that there had been similar accidents. The cause was found to have been water seepage into the main spar which weakened it to breaking point.'

Brian Abraham
30th Sep 2012, 23:46
Anyone know if there were similar incidents of wing/spar failure in other mossies?I have seen a black and white film clip of a Mossie doing a low level beat up and a wing came off - at the root I think. Have done a quick internet search but unable to find.

This link provides a little info de Havilland Mosquito (http://members.iinet.net.au/~clardo/de_havilland_mosquito.html)

It seems from Wing Spar Section - DH98 Mosquito, Engine Mounting, 1943-1945 - Museum Victoria (http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/368439/wing-spar-section-dh98-mosquito-engine-mounting-1943-1945) that Australian built aircraft suffered from a couple of failures as well. Do a search for "dh mosquito wing failure" and you will come up with a few hits.

report ready
2nd Oct 2012, 16:41
Thanks for the leads everyone, Can anyone tell me how i can get hold of the accident report and inquiry report pls?

Fantastic pictures from IWM collection of RAF Hunsdon mossies, link below, just search for Hunsdon.

The Nav from the crash must have escaped through this door, not an easy thing to do in flight with a large prop just inches besides you.
I presume this was the only door in/out of a Mossie?
Were there many successful bail out from Mosquitos?

AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945: DE HAVILLAND DH 98 MOSQUITO. | Imperial War Museums (http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205212759)

3rd Oct 2012, 01:36
RR - see the link I provided ....

■We provide information on RAF aircraft accidents which occurred over 15 years ago to members of the public in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

You have to put pen to paper - they are not online.

report ready
3rd Oct 2012, 20:01
Thanks, Letter posted today.