Mid-air collision Accident Hawker Nimrod Mk II K4625, Friday 30 April 1937
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Date:Friday 30 April 1937
Type:Hawker Nimrod Mk II
Owner/operator:800 Sqn FAA RAF
Registration: K4625
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Droxford, 5 miles East of Bishops Waltham, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RAF Eastleigh, Hampshire
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Hawker Nimrod II K4625, 800 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, RAF Eastleigh, Hampshire: Written off (destroyed) 30/4/37 in a collision with Hawker Nimrods S1631 and S1615 (also of 800 Squadron) during formation roll, Droxford, five miles east of Bishops Waltham, Hampshire. According to the official Air Ministry announcement in "Flight" Magazine (May 6, 1937 page 452 - see link #7)

The Ministry also regrets to announce that Sgt. Harry Frederick Croft lost his life, as the result of a collision in the air which occurred at Droxford, near Bishops Waltham, on April 30, between three aircraft of No. 800 (Fleet Fighter) Squadron, Southampton.

Sgt. Croft was the pilot and sole occupant of one aircraft. The pilots and sole occupants of the other two aircraft, Fit. Lt. James Winter Carmichael More and Sgt. Hugh Philip Hopkins, were not injured."

Sgt Harry Frederick Croft (aged 27, pilot of K4625) killed
Flt Lt James Winter Carmichael More (baled out of Nimrod S1615, survived unhurt)
Sgt Hugh Philip Hopkins (baled out of Nimrod S1631, survived unhurt)

According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Dundee Evening Telegraph" - Friday 30 April 1937):

Three aeroplanes from Eastleigh Depot were involved in a collision at Stoke Down, Soberton, Hants, today. One man was killed. One officer and a sergeant made parachute descents. According to an eye witness one of the machines nose-dived and brought down the other two. The pilots of two came down safely by parachute, but the third pilot was trapped in the machine. Two of the machines came down in a field, and the third about half a mile away. All machines were wrecked. The report of the crash was heard three miles away.

Splintered and Shattered.
A business man at Droxford who was one of the first to reach the scene said to a reporter, "I was filling my car with petrol when I heard a terrific crash. I looked up and saw puffs of smoke on the skyline and two parachutes billowing to earth. I went to the spot. In a field I saw two machines lying quite close to each other. I have never seen such wreckage — it was splintered and shattered to smithereens. In one plane the pilot was underneath the debris. In a field about half a mile away I saw the third plane. It, too, was smashed to atoms.

A roadman who saw the accident told me that one of the machines had nose-dived and brought down the other two. They cannoned in mid-air with an awful crack. Villagers rushed to the scene, but there was little that they could do. The smash occurred about 12 miles from Eastleigh."

This is the 25th fatal R.A.F. accident this year, and the death roll is now 41. Last year there were 54 accidents, resulting in 96 deaths."


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft K1000--K9999 (James J. Hallet, Air Britain, 1976 page 35)
2. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1937.htm
3. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=7839.0
4. http://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/hancrash.html
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droxford
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soberton
7. https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1937/1937%20-%201206.PDF

Revision history:

04-Mar-2018 15:10 Dr. John Smith Added
03-Apr-2018 13:53 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
10-Apr-2018 20:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Narrative]
10-Apr-2018 20:22 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
10-Nov-2018 13:14 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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