Incident Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk III K8985,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 89206
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Date:Friday 10 May 1940
Time:03:38 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic whtl model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk III
Owner/operator:102 (Ceylon) Sqn RAF
Registration: K8985
MSN: AWA.1438
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Nivelles AFB, Walloon Brabant -   Belgium
Phase: Standing
Departure airport:RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley K8985 (DY-J) of 102 (Ceylon) Squadron, RAF: lost on combat operations when departed 8 September 1939 from RAF Driffield, North Yorkshire. Strayed into neutral airspace over Belgium, returning from a leaflet dropping mission over the Ruhr; were intercepted by aircraft of two squadrons (4/11/2Ae from Nivelles, flying single seat fighter Fairey Fireflies and 5/11/2Ae flying two seater Fairey Fox VIs from Nivelles also). The Whitley was forced by the Belgian fighters to land at Nivelles airfield, where it was disarmed and impounded by the Belgian authorities. It stayed in a hangar at Nivelles until it was destroyed in the German attack on May 10, 1940.

Acting Flight Lieutenant W C G Cogman,
Pilot Officer Arthur William Mack, Service Number 40244
Sergeant G T Henry,
Aircraftman 1st Class A Steel and
Corporal S R Wood

New Zealander P/O A W Mack and his crew were interned in the Brussels Gendarmerie barracks from 9 September 1939 and later in the Borsbeek Fort near Antwerp. They naturally gained sympathy from the Belgians. Some Belgian airmen visited them during their captivity and it's understandable that the authorities did nothing to prevent their evasion!

During January 1940 P/O Mack with the others of his crew escaped dressed in Belgian uniforms provided by friendly Belgian soldiers. P/O Mack was back with his squadron in time to be promoted to Flying Officer on 24 March 1940.

Arthur William Mack survived the war, rising to the rank of Squadron Leader, and died on 20 August 1990, aged 71


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000-K9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain 1976 p 75)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File Air 81/10:
7. .

Revision history:

19-Jan-2011 13:14 ThW Added
09-Feb-2011 06:47 ThW Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Source, Narrative]
30-Dec-2011 15:18 Uli Elch Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Total occupants, Location, Source, Narrative]
25-Jan-2012 15:11 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Source]
31-May-2013 16:11 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative]
01-Jun-2019 17:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Jun-2019 20:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
03-Mar-2020 12:27 TigerTimon Updated [Total occupants, Other fatalities]
27-Jun-2022 23:27 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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