Memories of Allan Andrews and
             Others Air Crash in Gosport 1953

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Hello from an ex Turktown resident.

I visited the Gosport website out of pure nostalgia as I spent the early part of my childhood in Bridgemary, then later in Hardway.

I was wondering if anyone can remember circa 1952 when a bomber crash landed in the field adjacent to Holbrook school. It apparently overshot Rowner airfield, which was converted to a housing estate in 1964. The bomber was heading for the school - it was just after playtime - but veered off towards Brockhurst Road and was arrested by the hedging.

I can remember being late home from school that day, and when I told mum why, she wouldn't believed me.I used to have some really good excuses, so I guess this one beat the lot.

Later on we went to Malaya by troopship (Dilwara) and returned in the sister ship (Dunera)

to Hardway, just around the corner from Twinny's shop where we got our penny chews! Granny Andrews lived next to the shop.

We went to Elson school, 1954-1957, and I still have some happy memories of that time. My year 4 teacher was Miss Hayward. I wonder if anyone else remembers her.

Regards from Clevedon, in North Somerset, where I settled.

Allan A C Andrews

- There was a Miss Howard (PE) teacher at Privett Girls School around 1951 - 57, she was the wife of the local builder, HOWARDS. Michael Leech (Added 1st April 2007)

I have just read the memories of Allan  Andrews with regard to the bomber crash adjacent to Holbrook School in 1952. I  also was in the school on that day and watched in fascination as the aircraft  headed across the field toward the wooden classrooms  finally turning  right and coming to a rest against the hedge. I think Allan and I along with the  other pupils and staff have a lot to thank the pilot for. I was particularly  pleased to read the post as I only had vague memories of the event and at one  time not many years tried to research it but could find no reference to it. I  was in contact with an Aircraft Crash Historian who also could put no light on  the matter. I convinced myself in the end that I had dreamt the whole affair or  that I was going mad. Thank you Allan for giving me back my  sanity. Robert Burn 27/2/2010

I have been reading further into the Gosport site and saw a reference to an aircraft crash in 1952. I have searched my records and the most likely one seems to be ;

08.05.52  RH773  Brigand B1 of Aircraft Torpedo Development Unit. Written off after suffering engine failure on take off at Gosport, the pilot being forced to retract the undercarriage in order to stop. The pilot survived but his RN crewman was killed.

Naval Airman 1st Class CA Marques RN killed,Lieutenant DP Norman RN survived.

Hope this helps resolve the mystery. Brian Lewis


Hello from an old RAF chap from H.M.S. Siskin who was in the  crashed bomber.  I joined the R.A.F. in 1952 aged 20 and after  training as an airframe mechanic was posted to H.M.S. Siskin in January  1953.  Later that year I received permission to fly with a NAVAL  pilot, attached to us, in a Brigham Bomber doing circuits and bumps  (familiarising the pilot with the aircraft). 

We took off and whilst just crossing the outskirts of the  airfield one of the engines stopped. Luckily the pilot switched off  the other engine, stopping us gaining height which would have had more serious  results.  The reason for the stoppage was fuel starvation due to the  wrong fuel tanks being used.

Although it is 59 years ago, I can still remember the school  appearing and the pilot's efforts to miss it for which we should all be very  grateful.

I often wonder what happened to the gentleman who was riding  his bicycle along Brockhurst Road at the time and saw us appear though the  hedge!  However, he jumped off his bike and helped us out of the  aircraft!

I also remember that we were picked up by helicopter and  returned to base. This was a very special treat in those days as  helicopters were a new innovation. 

Regards to Alan Adrews and Mrs. Leach (Howard) - hope this  clears up missing memories.

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