Accident Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B Mk III K8970,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 179352
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Date:Tuesday 8 August 1939
Time:c. 00:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic whtl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley B Mk III
Owner/operator:58 Sqn RAF
Registration: K8970
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Tollerton, near RAF Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorskhire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:RAF Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
On the night of 8-9.8.39 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley III K8970, (LT-C) of 58 Squadron, RAF Linton-on-Ouse was destroyed when it hit a tree after night take-off, and crashed at Tollerton, near Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire. Four of the five crew were killed:

Flt Sgt Edward James Bruce Russell Gillespie (pilot, aged 25, killed)
Sgt David John Wood (aged 26, killed)
AC1 Philip Henry Cook (aged 19, killed)
AC1 Thomas William Clarkson (aged 24, killed)
AC1 William McGlen Stewart Harkness, survived but injured

According to the official Air Ministry announcement in "Flight" magazine (August 17, 1939 page 161 - see link #5)

Flt Sgt. Edward James Bruce Russell Gillespie, Sgt. David John Wood, A/C.1 Philip Henry Cook, and A/C.1 Thomas William Clarkson lost their lives and A/C.1 William McGlen Stewart Harkness was slightly injured in an accident which occurred at Linton-on-Ouse on August 8, to an aircraft of No. 58 Squadron. Flt. Sgt. Gillespie was the pilot of the aircraft and Sgt. Wood and A/Cs. Cook, Clarkson and Harkness were the other members of the crew"


1. Folha da Manhã 10 August 1939, page 1
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J. Halley, Air Britain, 1976)

Revision history:

07-Sep-2015 16:46 TB Added
07-Sep-2015 16:50 TB Updated [Narrative]
26-Nov-2017 00:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Dec-2017 18:26 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative]
01-Apr-2018 00:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
13-Nov-2018 07:00 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
30-Aug-2022 09:58 Lipatov Sergey Updated [Total fatalities]

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