Unlawful Interference Douglas DC-3-194 G-AGBB, Tuesday 1 June 1943
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Date:Tuesday 1 June 1943
Time:10:54
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-3-194
Owner/operator:British Overseas Airways Corporation - BOAC
Registration: G-AGBB
MSN: 1590
Year of manufacture:1936
Fatalities:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 17
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Unlawful Interference
Location:350 km N off La Coruña, Spain [Bay of Biscay] -   Atlantic Ocean
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Lisboa-Portela de Sacavém Airport (LIS/LPPT)
Destination airport:Whitchurch Airport
Narrative:
BOAC Flight 777-A, a scheduled British Overseas Airways Corporation civilian airline flight on 1 June 1943 from Lisboa-Portela de Sacavém Airport (LIS), Portugal to Whitchurch Airport near Bristol, United Kingdom, was attacked by eight German Junkers Ju 88s and crashed into the Bay of Biscay, killing 17 on board including several notable passengers, most prominent being actor Leslie Howard.
Theories abound that the aircraft, a Douglas DC-3, was attacked because the Germans believed that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was aboard. Other theories suggest the DC-3 was targeted because several passengers, including Howard, were British spies. During the Second World War, British and German civilian aircraft operated out of the same facilities at Portela and the incoming and outgoing traffic was watched by Allied and Axis spies. The Lisbon-Whitchurch route frequently carried agents and escaped POWs to Britain.

Sources:

BOAC Flight 777 (Wikipedia)
Leslie Howard (Wikipedia)

Statistics

  • 51st worst accident in 1943
  • 335th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 15th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

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