Perhaps the largest military aeroplane to crash in (or, to be accurate, off the coast of) Sussex during peacetime was 201 Squadron Short Sunderland RN288. It crashed whilst alighting on the sea 1 mile from Eastbourne Pier at 09.30 on Saturday 4 June 1955. It was making a goodwill visit to the town on the occasion of the RAFA Annual Conference, attended by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, which was being held there that year. Four of the crew were killed - including one Sussex airman - but there were ten survivors. Their details are as follows:
Flt Lt T R Gush, Pilot, Haslemere, Surrey
F/O A E Doran, 2nd Navigator, Egremont, Cumberland
T Body, Master Engineer, Hull
LAC J K Rothwell, Peacehaven, Sussex
(2 were drowned and 2 died as a result of multiple injuries)
Flt Lt D F Taylor, Burton, Beds. Seriously injured
F/Sgt G Doherty, Donegal Seriously injured
Sgt J C Benn, Christchurch Injured
F/Sgt E Webb, Fulham Injured
SAC J P Lynch, Acton Injured
SAC J Doyle, Holloway Injured
F/O M J Owttrim, Birmingham
Sgt G G Bovis, Fareham, Hants.
Sgt H Cottrell, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Also on board and injured was a Norwegian officer serving with NATO
Just come across this report which revived early memories. Tim Gush the pilot of the Sunderland was on my course (47 Entry) at Cranwell. He was at least 6' 3" and very bright - on graduating from the College he won the Kings Medal (top in course academics) and the Abdy Gerrard Fellows Memorial Prize (not sure what that was for - probably a thesis). He was a very likeable, modest chap. We all thought he was destined to be an Air Marshal. A sad end. I was in Australia at the time of the accident so never got to know the details until now. Thank you pomme homme.