Mid-air collision Accident Canadair Sabre II (F-86E) 19177, Friday 18 April 1952
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Date:Friday 18 April 1952
Time:afternoon
Type:Silhouette image of generic F86 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Canadair Sabre II (F-86E)
Owner/operator:410 (Cougar) Sqn RCAF
Registration: 19177
MSN: 77
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:The Wash, off Wainfleet Ranges, Lincolnshire, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RCAF North Luffenham, Rutland
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Narrative:
Taken on strength by the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) 20 September 1951. Used by No. 410, 430 and 441 Squadrons. Destroyed in a Mid-air collision with Sabre 19181 over The Wash, off Wainfleet Ranges, Lincolnshire, on 18 April 1952, while with No. 410 (F) Squadron. Flown by Flying Officer Joseph Austin Leslie Kerr (Service Number SK 9855 Age 25). Both pilots killed, first 1 Wing fatalities in Europe.

Struck off Charge: 5 June 1952. The pilot was interred at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, Surrey. According to the squadron diary for the period:

"18 Apr 1952

Another excellent flying day and all flying personnel took advantage to enjoy a flight. Routine work only. At 1500 hrs 9 aircraft of 410 Sqn took off on a formation flight and in the course of the exercise F/O Kerr and F/O Rayner were killed as a result of a mid-air collision.

21 Apr 1952

A fall of gloom has temporarily settled over the Squadron as a result of the fatal accident to F/O Rayner and F/O Kerr. Both Officers were found and lay in the Skegness Mortuary where official identification and the post mortem was conducted. Funeral arrangements were completed. F/L HWD Prince had a crew of Technical airmen at RAF Wainfleet Bombing Observation station from where they proceeded to the Wash to locate the missing and crashed aircraft. Both or parts of them were readily located and identified. Classified equipment was removed on action by F/L RP St. John.

22 Apr 1952

The squadron stood down, i.e. temp. whilst officers and airmen attended the funeral of the late F/O A Rayner and F/O Kerr. The bodies were transported under escort of F/O D Broadbent from Skegness where they were placed in their respective chapels, the night prior to the funeral. Whilst there, they lay-in-state, under guard of officers of 410 Sqn and 441 Sqn. At 0900 hours on 22 Apr a requiem high Mass was solemnized by S/L JP Davignon. Funeral parade was in command of F/O M MacInnies. Chief mourners for F/O Kerr were S/L MacKenzie (441), S/L LA Hall (410), and F/O CM Campbell, Adjt of 410 Sqn. Internment was made in Exton Cemetary, Rutlandshire. At 1400 hrs, the funeral of F/O AE Raynor was held. An inspiring service was conducted by F/L Littlewood. Relatives of F/O Rayner came from London and attended as Chief mourners. Internment was made in Luffenham Church of England Cemetary.

23 Apr 1952

No flying this week as all aircraft are being cleaned and readied for the weekend exercise. F/O CM Cambell visited The Rev Fielding, North Luffenham Anglican Church to obtain data for Grave Ledger Sheet on F/O Rayner. Also visited Exton and obtained similar data from Lord Gainsborough who owns the cemetary in which F/O JAL Kerr is interned.

24 Apr 1952

Routine Day. No flying. Weather overcast and dark. Not conducive to good flying conditions. F/L Prince, F/O Found, F/L Gill and F/O Campbell proceeded on TD to Skegness, Lincs, where they attended as Crown Witnesses at the inquest concerning the deaths of F/O Rayner and Kerr. Verdict of Accidental Death delivered by the Coroner Mr. Watters. Ground Defence programme still being continued for Pilots, small arms training and exercise in stalking which are proving very interesting and instructive to those participating. Letters of condolence together with full particulars concerning the ceremonies relevent to the burial of two ex members of the Squadron. Aircraft being scheduled to commence on or about 1300 hrs. on Sat 26, Apr 52."

Sources:

1. The Ottawa Journal 18 April 1952, p1/19 April 1952, p1
2. http://www.rwrwalker.ca/RCAF_19151_19200_detailed.html
3. https://www.rcafassociation.ca/heritage/post-war-data/post-war-casualties-rcafcf/
4. http://www.bcar.org.uk/1950s-incident-logs#1952
5. http://www.c-and-e-museum.org/marville/other/maother-114.html
6. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/108774675/joseph-austin_leslie-kerr
7. http://www.c-and-e-museum.org/marville/other/maother-130.html

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Mar-2018 20:32 TB Added
16-Mar-2018 18:00 TB Updated [Source, Narrative]
17-Mar-2018 17:29 TB Updated [Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Narrative]
26-Mar-2018 17:44 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Feb-2021 00:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Feb-2021 00:33 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Narrative]
21-Feb-2021 11:11 Castle Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]
04-Mar-2021 18:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Narrative]
04-Mar-2021 18:47 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
05-Mar-2021 19:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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