Accident Canadair Sabre II (F-86E) 19234, Tuesday 14 December 1954
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Date:Tuesday 14 December 1954
Time:evening
Type:Silhouette image of generic F86 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Canadair Sabre II (F-86E)
Owner/operator:439 (Sabre-Toothed Tiger) Sqn RCAF
Registration: 19234
MSN: 134
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Black Hill, Holme Moss, Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Manchester International (Ringway) (MAN/EGCC)
Destination airport:RCAF North Luffenham, Rutland
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Narrative:
North American F-86E Sabre II RCAF Serial 19234: Taken on charge 26 November 1951. With No. 413 (F) Squadron, early 1952. With 439 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) when it received Category A damage on 14 December 1954. Was being operated by No. 137 (Transport) Flight from Ringway Airport, Manchester, when it crashed into high ground at Black Hill, Holme Moss, Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

According to the following extract from "Dark Peak Wrecks" (see link #2)

"As darkness was falling on Tuesday, December 15th, 1954, a single engined jet fighter tore down Holme Valley passing low over the village of Holme. A number of inhabitants of Holmfirth and the village of Holme saw the aircraft fly towards the high ground near Holme Moss television mast. As it disappeared from sight over the brow of the hill there was a tremendous bang and the darkening sky was lit with an orange glow.

Within minutes the police had been notified and shortly afterwards the local fire engine and other vehicles were climbing up the steep and winding road towards the television mast. The fire engines from Meltham, Marsden and Elland followed later. First onto the moor was the landlord of the Fleece Inn, Mr. Harry Shaw. He decided to proceed alone to try and find the crashed plane. Although there was a strong smell of burning in the night air, he was unable to locate the wrecked fighter and, after an hour, he returned to the television station where a large crowd was gathering.

A search party was formed of seven firemen and six policemen, led by the gamekeeper Mr. Kenneth Tinker of Meltham. As they set off by the light of torches a bittering wind lashed them. The moor was covered in drifted snow from a storm of the previous week and the ground was treacherous under foot - visibility was down to a few yards.

Finally the darkness yielded a faint glow and the crashed Sabre, with Royal Canadian Air Force markings, was located. The wings had been torn away by the impact but the fuselage around the cockpit area was intact. Of the pilot there was no sign and at first it was suggested that he might have bailed out. However, one of the party pointed to the ejector seat, which was still firmly in position, although the cockpit canopy was shattered. It was obvious that the aircraft's occupant had been catapulted out and must be in the vicinity. A search was instigated around the front of the wrecked plane, but they were only able to find the pilot's hemet. It was decided to try again next morning when it was daylight and they made their way back to the station.

Half an hour after the party arrived back, the RAF Mountain Rescue Team from Harpur Hill, Buxton, turned up and once again, Mr. Tinker volunteered to lead another party out to the site of the crash. When they got to the plane they widened out in their search for the missing pilot, reasoning that a man travelling in an aircraft at maybe four to five hundred miles per hour, would continue to do so, even if his machine had come to a dead stop. Sure enough, some 80 yards from the fighter plane they came across the body of the pilot.

As the stretcher party carried the body off the moor winds of up to 60 miles an hour were blowing and rain was lashing the rescuers. Visibility was down to a few yards. They were guided back by searchlights at the TV station. These were turned and pointed into the air by BBC engineers to act as beacons. The dead Canadian pilot, Flying Officer Patrick V Robinson, aged 28, had only been married a few weeks previously. He was taken to the mortuary at Home Valley Memorial Hospital."

Flying Officer Pattee Vernon Robinson (pilot, Service Number 32830, aged 27) killed

Aircraft struck off charge 29 December 1954. The crash location of Holme Moss (1,719 feet or 524 metres a.m.s.l) is high moorland on the border between the Holme Valley district of Kirklees in West Yorkshire and the High Peak district of Derbyshire in England. Historically on the boundary between the West Riding of Yorkshire and Cheshire, it is just inside the boundary of the Peak District National Park. The A6024 road between Holmfirth and Longdendale crosses the moor near its highest point close to Holme Moss transmitting station's prominent mast

Sources:

1. The Winnipeg Evening Tribune 16 December 1954, p22
2. Dark Peak Aircraft Wrecks 1 pp.59-60 By Ron Collier, Roni Wilkinson
3. http://www.c-and-e-museum.org/grostenquin/other/gtother-329.html
4. http://www.rwrwalker.ca/RCAF_19201_19250_detailed.html
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holme_Moss
6. http://www.leicestershirewarmemorials.co.uk/war/casualty/view/30400
7. https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/4513698
8. https://rcafassociation.ca/heritage/post-war-data/post-war-casualties-rcafcf/
9. Photo of gravestone: https://www.flickr.com/photos/96555212@N08/48524027751/

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Mar-2018 14:33 TB Added
17-Mar-2018 16:49 TB Updated [Date, Aircraft type]
17-Mar-2018 16:52 TB Updated [Date, Registration, Cn, Location, Narrative]
18-Mar-2018 20:28 TB Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
27-Mar-2018 19:46 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source]
29-Apr-2020 13:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
29-Apr-2020 13:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
29-Apr-2020 13:41 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]

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