Wattisham Area Aviation Accidents


(Military Aircraft accidents occurring within 10 miles of Wattisham.)


26/06/1950 Beaufighter TT10 RD851

Whilst flying on target towing duties with 34 Sqn, an engine failure caused altitude to be lost. The pilot and target towing equipment operator were both killed as the aircraft crashed 5 miles North of Colchester during the emergency landing.


05/06/1951 Meteor F4 WT325

After both engines blew out on this 226 OCU aircraft, a wheels-up emergency landing was made perpendicular to the active runway.


18/02/1952 Meteor F8 WA996

After shedding a port tyre on take-off, this 64 Sqn aircraft crashed during a wheels-up landing on PSP planking hidden beneath the grass.


01/04/1952 Meteor F4 VZ411

This 226 OCU aircraft crashed in Suffolk whilst flying in low cloud, killing the pilot.


22/10/1952 Meteor F8 VZ563

This 63 Sqn aircraft crashed in Suffolk whilst descending in cloud, killing the pilot.


18/12/1952 Meteor F8 WH442

Whilst operating with 247 Sqn this aircraft collided with WH424 at 28,000 ft over Alpheton. After spinning the pilot ejected at 2,500 ft but failed to separate from the seat and was killed (WH424 landed safely at base but was struck off charge).


25/02/1953 Meteor F8 WH311

Whilst operating with 226 OCU this aircraft crashed near Higham. The pilot had ejected at low level just before impact but died from his injuries.


28/05/1953 Meteor F8 VZ481

This 257 Sqn aircraft lost control at the top of a loop, the pilot ejecting safely as the aircraft crashed South-West of Wattisham.


08/07/1953 Meteor F8 VZ556

During a rehearsal for the Queens Coronation Review, this 257 Sqn aircraft collided with VZ560 North-East of Wattisham, killing the pilot.


08/07/1953 Meteor F8 VZ560

During a rehearsal for the Queens Coronation Review, this 257 Sqn aircraft collided with VZ556 North-East of Wattisham, killing the pilot.


04/10/1954 Meteor NF12 WS691

This 152 Sqn Meteor was hit by a USAF F-86 during an unauthorised practice attack. The F-86 pilot was killed after ejecting and the Meteor crashed 2.5 miles WSW of Needham Market, killing both the crew.



28/04/1957 Vampire T11 XE892

Whilst operating with 253 Sqn, the aircraft suffered an engine explosion, being abandoned, crashing on Mount Pleasant Farm, Stowupland.


02/08/1957 Hunter F6 XE586

Whilst operating with 263 Sqn, the aircraft was abandoned in an inverted spin, crashing in Tuddenham Avenue, Ipswich.


11/07/1958 Javelin FAW4 XA751

This 141 Sqn aircraft was abandoned during a spin whilst performing aerobatics 1 miles North West of Wattisham.


10/06/1960 Hunter F6 XG193

Flying with 111 Sqn during an aerobatic display, it collided with XG200 and dived into the ground (XG200 landed safely).


28/06/1961 Lightning F1A XM185

This 111 Sqn aircraft was coded C when abandoned 1 mile North of Lavenham after the airbrakes and undercarriage were jammed.


06/06/1963 Lightning F1A XM179

Coded J with 56 Sqn whilst performing an aerobatic display, it collided with XM174 during a bomb-burst manoeuvre. The aircraft was abandoned over Great Bricett with the pilot suffering minor injuries (XM174 landed safely).


19/11/1963 Lightning F1A XM187

This 111 Sqn aircraft was coded D when it bounced on landing at Wattisham and the undercarriage collapsed. Airframe subsequently allocated 7838M at Newton.


09/06/1964 Lightning F1A XM191

Operating as H with 111 Sqn, the engine caught fire on approach. After landing successfully, the airframe was not repaired and the nose section was allocated 7854M at Abingdon, later becoming 8590M.


29/09/1965 Lightning F3 XP739

Abandoned whilst with 111 Sqn coded H after both engines flamed out, Battisford Hall, Needham Market.


05/01/1966 Lightning F3 XR721

Whilst operating as F with 56 Sqn, the engine flamed out during a practice diversion to Bentwaters. A jammed canopy prevented ejection and the aircraft belly landed in a field and hit a wall at Elm Farm, Helmingham, killing the pilot.


29/10/1971 Lightning F3 XR711

Whilst operating as A with 111 Sqn, the aircraft failed to get airborne and skidded into the barrier catching fire. The cause was either a reheat fire or premature undercarriage retraction.


07/08/1972 Lightning F3 XP700

Operating as K with 29 Sqn, the tail bumper struck the runway during take-off, rupturing the ventral tank and causing an engine fire. The aircraft was abandoned 9 miles South West of Wattisham, crashing at Gt. Waldingfield.


10/12/1973 Lightning F3 XP738

This 111 Sqn aircraft was coded E when it belly landed in error at night. It was struck off charge on 07/01/1974 for spares use, and stripped by 06/1974.


23/09/1981 Buccaneer S2B XW537

Whilst returning from an early evening sortie with 237 OCU (at the time detached to Wattisham from Honington), the aircraft stalled on final approach, rolled, and was abandoned. Both crew ejected safely about a mile out on 23 approach.


17/04/1985 Hawk T1 XX293

Whilst departing during the morning, the canopy blew off this 4 FTS aircraft (temporarily detached to Wattisham from Valley) and the crew ejected. The un-manned jet circled the airfield before crashing into a cottage in Nedging Tye




UK Serials Resource Centre (www.ukserials.com)

Mick Boulanger, Tom McGhee, Doug Pritchard


Last Take-Off - A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953

Colin Cummings ISBN 0-9526619-3-4


Air Britains Royal Air Force Aircraft XA100 to XZ999

James J Halley ISBN 0-85130-311-0


British Military Aircraft Serials and Markings

BARG ISBN 0-906339-04-9