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Angus Murray

Angus born 1919 in Mindrum, Northumberland, England.

Gazetted details for:
Flying officer Angus Murray (118885)
Granted a commission for the emergency as
Pilot Officer on probation in the General Duties Branch
of the Volunteer Reserve             7 Feb.. 1942
Flying Officer (War Substantive)     1 Oct.  1942
Squadron No. 15 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit. 

Killed in flying accident 13 Oct.1942

The sad story about the crash:

Landing in poor vis. O/shot, went round again and crashed during circuit. O.C. lost W/T contact. Pilot must have steered a reciprocal bearing as route lay south from the base and he was found from the North. Loss of control at night in bad vis circuit. Stn. Com. Agnew, AOC agrees with Inv. O that P.O. Murray not a fit and properly qualified person to act as an instructor or safety pilot. Invest discloses lack of proper control and realization of misinformation on part of supervisory instructional staff.

Weather report not suitable. Flt should not have been authorized.  To put this into plain English with all the abbreviations explained: Landing in conditions of poor visibility. Overshot the runway and went round the airfield again and crashed during the circuit. Officer Commanding (OC) the aircraft lost Wireless Telegraphy (W/T - an early term for airborne Radio) contact. Pilot must have steered a reciprocal bearing (i.e one that was precisely 180 degrees wrong - very easy to do in poor visibility or darkness) as route lay south from the base and he was found from the North.

Loss of control at night in a bad visibility circuit. Station Commander Agnew, Air Officer Commanding (AOC) agrees with Investigating Officer that Pilot Officer Murray was not a fit and properly qualified person to act as an instructor or safety pilot. Investigation discloses lack of proper control and realization of misinformation by supervisory instructional staff. Weather report not suitable. This flight should not have been authorized. Some of the numbers explained: Solo total: w07. Type: 365. Night total: 38. Type: 38. Inst: 38. Link: 39.

These numbers relate to the experience of the pilot in terms of number of solo flying hours in certain types of conditions: Total Number of hours flying solo (i.e. without an instructor present) - 407 hours Total number of solo hours on this type of aircraft - 365 hours Total Number of hours of night flying - 38 hours Total Number of hours of night flying on this type of aircraft -38 Total Number of hours flying on instruments i.e. with no visibility at all - 38 Number of hours using a Link trainer (a very early type of flight simulator) - 39 Duration of flight: 1 H 40 M. Time: 20.30 Duty & History W/T X. Country - meaning Wireless Telegraphy, Cross Country - in other words this was a long distance Radio training flight. The location of the accident is given as 1 mile North North East of Acaster Malbis in Yorkshire. This is a small village a few km south of York in the North of England.

The Aircraft was an Airspeed Oxford (a commonly used Radio trainer), Serial Number BG666 belonging to a unit called 15 (P) AFU. The letters E in the column marked Damage imply that the aircraft was completely destroyed. These damage codes used different letters to indicate different levels of damage: minor damage that could be repaired at the airfield, more serious damage that would require return to a better equipped servicing base, damage so bad that the aircraft would need remanufacturing etc.

The decoding done by the help of Niall Corduroy and the helpful people in rec.aviation.military.

Angus is buried on Brigg Cemetery. It is on the road to Grimsby, Plot. C. Grave no. 167.

Tree other men died on that date are also two of them buried at Brigg Cemetery. Two died in the same accident: 1332083.The record also name Sergeant John Denis Lennon Buried in Plot C, Grave 451 in Clacton Cemetery, Essex.

1425232 Aircraftman 2nd Class (Wireless Operator) Harold Traverse, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, of Crosspool, Sheffield, Yorkshire. Buried Plot B. Grave 90.

However one was killed in another accident on the same date: R/92757 Flight Sergeant (Pilot) John Neil MacIver, Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 15 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit, age 21, of Calgary, Alberta. Killed when Oxford training aircraft crashed at night 5 miles North of RAF Riccall. Buried Plot C. Grave 373.

NEW INFO July 2009

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Sitch with new info.

Flight Sergeant Harold Stanley 'Bat' Cutler, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, service No 1236174, died as a result of wounds incurred during a flying accident on 13th October, on 16 October 1942. Age 19. Buried the Lickey (Holy Trinity) Churchyard extension grave 779.


Sergeant Cutler was the pupil pilot in Airspeed Oxford AP395 of No15 (P)Advanced Flying Unit operating from Acaster Malbis. He and Sgt JN MacIver took off at about 19.45 to undertake night flying training. Visibility deteriorated and the pilot lost sight of the flare path, though a rumour exists that electronic night flying aids were switched off due to concerns about local enemy activity. They descended from 600 to 100 ft in an attempt to establish their whereabouts. As a result of this descent the aircraft hit a tree and crashed at 20.30 near Esrick about 3 miles South East of the Airfield.



Squadron No. 15

A hind's head affronter erased at the neck
between wings elevated and conjoined in base

'Aim sure'

Based on the Squadron's own previous design,
the badge incorporated a hind's head as No. 15
was flying the Hawker Hind at the time the
badge was authorized.

The Squadron was formed at South Farnborough on I March, 1915, drawing 
on personnel from No. 1 Reserve Squadron and the Recruits Depot.  A month 
later it moved to Hounslow and then to Dover where it was engaged in 
training crews for operations and working up itself.  It went to France 
on 23 December, 1915 and joined No. 2 Wing in January, 1916 with its 
B.E.2c's. Its first operation, a reconnaissance of the 2nd British Army's 
front, was flown on 10 January.  A week later No. 15 lost its first crew
to a Fokker.  In March it moved to the 4th Army front, the Somme, but 
before the month was out it became a corps squadron attached to 
VIII Corps.  It was now mainly involved in artillery 'shoots', photography 
and contact patrols and that summer it took part in the Somme offensive.  
As light relief it would attack the German observation balloons, often 
shooting them down in flames.  Later in the battle No. 15 was transferred 
to V Corps for 'air liaison' work, in other words any task the Corps 
commander wanted.  These included ground-strafing and bombing in addition
to normal corps duties.  By the end of the year No. 15 had transferred 
to XIII Corps and continued actively on operations despite the bitter 

In the battle of Arras in 1917 the Squadron was heavily involved but 
in May, 1917 No. 15 re-equipped with R. E. 8s and after a period with the 
General Reserve joined IV Corps.  With this Organization it also engaged 
in bombing raids in the autumn of 1917 flying with other squadrons in mass 
raids over the lines.  Then it was fully involved in the battle of Cambrai, 
and after that with the German offensive in the March of 1918.  Artillery 
observation was always the priority and No. 15 flew many long hours over 
German positions recording the fall of the shells and reporting them by 
morse to their own batteries, being shelled themselves by anti-aircraft fire.

When the Allies took the offensive in the summer of 1918 No. 15 was very 
busy.  A new task came its way, that of dropping ammunition supplies by 
parachute to the forward troops.  It remained heavily involved until the 
Armistice in November, 1918 after which it moved wherever V Corps went. 
In January, 1919 it relinquished its aircraft, eventually returning to the 
UK and disbanding at Fowlmere on 31 December, 1919.
When the Squadron re-formed on 20 March, 1924 it was in a novel role. 
It became part of the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment 
(AAEE) at Martlesham Heath.  On pat)er it was to be a day bomber squadron, 
and was given some D. H.9As for that purpose, but its main duty was to 
provide crews for experimental and armament testing.  This involved a wide 
range of aircraft and a wide range of trials varying from new equipment to 
gunnery and bomb ballistic trials.  The major part of No. 15's work was on 
armament trials and for some of these it flew exotic prototype aircraft 
which its sister squadron at Martiesham, No. 22, had found unsuitable for 
service use!  In October, 1926 the paper D. H. 9As for its bomber role were
replaced by Hawker Horsleys.  The Squadron continued in this Jekyll and Hyde 
existence until June, 1934 when it left Martlesham and formed at a regular 
bomber squadron Abingdon.
Thereafter No. 15 has served continuously in the bomber role, at first as 
a light bomber squadron with Harts, Hinds, Battles and Blenheims, then as 
a night bomber squadron with 3 Group and in from 1940 onwards with 
Welfingtons, Stirlings and Lancaster's. After World War II it flew Lincolns,
Washington's, Canberra's and Victors before joining RAF Germany with Buccaneer 
S.2Bs where it serves today.

	Bases etc.

	Formed at S. Farnborough on 1 March, 1915.
	S. Farnborough		Mar 1915 - Apr 1915
	Hounslow			Apr 1915 - May 1915
	Dover (Swingate Downs) 	May 1915 - Dec 1915
	St. Omer	 		Dec 1915 - Jan 1916
	Droglandt	 		Jan 1916 - Mar 1916
	Vert Galand			Mar 1916 - Mar 1916
	Marieux	 			Mar 1916 - Oct 1916
	Lealvilliers			Oct 1916 - Jun 1917
	Courcelles-le-Comte	Jun 1917 - Jul 1917
	La Gorgue			Jul 1917 - Aug 1917
	Savy				Aug 1917 - Aug 1917
	Longavesnes			Aug 1917 - Oct 1917
	Lechelle			        Oct 1917 - Nov 1917
	Bapaume				Nov 1917 - Dec 1917
	Lechelle			        Dec 1917 - Mar 1918
	Lavieville			Mar 1918 - Mar 1918
	La Houssoye			Mar 1918 - Mar 1918
	Fienvillers			Mar 1918 - Apr 1918
	Vert Galand			Apr 1918 - Sep 1918
	Senlis				Sep 1918 - Oct 1918
	Quatre Vents Farm		Oct 1918 - Oct 1918
	Guillemin Farm		Oct 1918 - Dec 1918
	Vignacourt			Dec 1918 - Feb 1919
	Fowlmere			Feb 1919 - Dec 1919

Disbanded at Fowlmere on 31 December, 1919.  Re-form at Martlesham 
Heath as a bomber and experimental squadron on 20 March, 1924.
Martlesham Heath Mar 1924-May 1934 Disbanded at Martlesham Heath 
31 May, 1934.  Re-formed at Abingdon on
I June, 1934 in the bomber role.
Casually posed outside a Bessonau hangar at Senlis in 1918 is D4847, an R.E.8 of No. 15 Squadron. The 15 on the fuselage is not the squadron number but the aircraft in squadron number, just coincidentally having the same number as the unit.

Main Equipment B.E.2c (Aug 1915- 1917) 2077; 2120; 2532; 2578; 2618; 2639; 2715; 2767; 4019; 4116; 4187; 4201; 4205 B.E.2d 6255; 6733 Scout Aircraft (Feb 1916-1916) Bristol Scout 4669; 5314 F.E.2b 5202; 6328; 6331 B.E.2e 
(1916-Aug 1917) 2548; 2788; 2868; 3166; 5835; 6286; 7105; 7178; 7254; A2780; A2841; A2895; A3166 R.E.8 
(May 1917-jan 1919) A4704, 9; B742; B836, 15; B2276, 13; B3422; B5068; B5897; B6521; B6661, 8; B7887; C2489; C2881; C5065; D4733; D4847, 15; D6732; E52; E107; E1216; F6014; F6270; H7018 D.H.9A 
(Mar 1924-Oct 1926) J7864 H'orsley I, II 
(Oct 1926-May 1934) Horsley I J8007; J8008; J8018; J8019 Horsley 11 J8606; J8608; J8610; J8611; J8612; J8613; J8619 Trials Aircraft 
(Mar 1924-May 1934) N.B. Not a complete list. Atlas J9129; Siskin IIIA J8627; Aldershot 1 J6853; Antelope J9183; Bison N9599; B & P Bugle J7260; Fawn II J7224; Ferret N192; Fox I J8426; Gamecock I J7891; Gloster SS.18 J9125; Handcross J7500; Hyderabad J7748; Hornbill J7782; Pixie 11 J7323; Chamois J7295; Snipe J2498; Venture J7282; Vireo N211; Wapiti J8495 Commanding Officers Maj P. B. Joubert de la Ferte 
Apr 1915-Sep 1915 Maj E. R. Ludlow-Hewitt 
Sep 1915-Nov 1915 Maj H. Le M. Brock, DSO 
Nov 1915-Dec 1916 Maj G. I. Carmichael, DSO 
Dec 1916-Feb 1917 Maj H. S. Walker 
Feb 1917-jan 1918 Mai H. V. Stammers 
Jan 1918-Nov 1918 Maj C. C. Durston 
Nov 1918-Dec 1919 S/Ldr P. C. Sherren, MC 
Mar 1924-Nov 1927 S/Ldr C. E. H. James, MC 
Nov 1927-Sep 1929 W/Cdr J. K. Wells, AFC 
Sep 1929-Mar 1930 S/Ldr G. H. Martingell, AFC 
Mar 1930-Mar 1933 SILdr E. S. Goodwin, AFC 
Mar 1933-May 1933 SiLdr R. M. Foster, DFC, AFC 
May 1933-May1934 Aircraft Insignia In April, 1916 the Squadron was allocated an identity marking consisting of a band painted around the fuselage immediately in front of the tailplane. This was painted in black on the clear-doped aircraft and white on the khaki aircraft. In addition, the R. E. 8s at least carried aircraft numbers in white on the fuselage sides and top-decking. (See also Bomber Squadrons of the RAF, pp. 33-7 & 387).

From Costal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft. By John D.R. Rawlings 1982 ISBN 0 7106 0187 5

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