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Site Author




Anthony John Saunders


Christian Names

Service Number



Saunders Anthony John 2526597 A/Plt Off RAF Hullavington



Enlisted at


14/06/1933 Forest Gate, London 19    

Date of Death

Where killed

Cause of Death

15/10/1952 RAF Hullavington Aircraft crash - hit hangar




Chippenham (London Road) Cemetery 1, F, 2 England

Next of Kin

Next of kin address




Wellington T10 RP319 of 1 Air Navigation School, RAF Hullavington. The aircraft swung off the runway during an instrument take off in fog and hit a hangar, killing 4 people.

James Halley - Broken Wings

Killed in Air Crash
Young Trowbridge Pilot
Sgt NL Pain

A Trowbridge man was one of the victims of aircraft crash at No 1 Air Navigation School, RAF Hullavington on Wednesday morning. The aircraft, a Wellington was about to take off on a routine navigational flight when it failed to gain sufficient height, crashed into the side of a large hangar and blew up. The crash set off the fire alarm and although appliances rushed to the spot immediately, the aircraft was completely burnt out and all 4 occupants were killed.

The accident happened at 7.10 and the noise of the explosion was heard by the residents of Stanton St Quintin and Hullavington. They were unable to see the flames due to the dense fog prevailing at the time.

Late in the day, the Air Ministry announced the names of dead as Sgt NL Pain, Flt Sgt LB Hodges, Acting Pilot Officer AJ Saunders and Acting Pilot Officer JP Phillip.

Wilts Times 18 Oct 1952

The following week, a report of the inquest was published, The inquest could find no cause or reason for the crash. Despite the thick fog, the pilot reported that he could see 2 sets of runway lights which was adequate for take off. The rescue crew reported that the aircraft hit the top corner of a hanger about 25 feet from the ground.

Pilot - Sgt Norman Leslie Pain aged 28 from Trowbridge. Buried - Trowbridge cemetery
Signaller - Flt Sgt Leonard Bryant Hodges aged 22 from Petersfield, Hants. Buried Rogate Cemetery, Near Petersfiled
Pupil Navigator - Acting Pilot Officer Anthony John Saunders aged 19 from Forest Gate, Essex. Buried - Chippenham.
Pupil Navigator - Acting Pilot Officer John Patrick Phillip. aged aged 22 from Worthing, Sussex. Buried - Brighton Corporation Crematorium.

A/Plt Off Saunders dated 4th December 1951

Photo from David Taylor (cousin of Anthony Saunders)

Last updated - 11/10/2011



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