Accident Felixstowe F.5 N4044, Thursday 29 April 1920
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Date:Thursday 29 April 1920
Type:Felixstowe F.5
Owner/operator:230 Sqn RAF
Registration: N4044
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:North sea, off Fexlistowe, Suffolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Felixstowe, Suffolk
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Felixstowe F.5 N4044, 230 Squadron, RAF Felixstowe: Written off (destroyed) 29/4/20 when spun out of control and crashed into the North Sea, off Felixstowe, Suffolk. Four of the six crew were killed, two were injured:

Squadron Leader Edwin Roland Moon DSO (aged 33) killed
Flying Officer Albert John Fyfield (aged 24) killed
Sub-Lt Guiltherine J d'A Fonseca (aged 24, on attachment from the Portuguese Navy) killed
AC.2 Gerald Tipping Bass (aged 19) killed
Flt Lt Charles Oscar Modin injured
Flying Officer Louis Henry Pakenham-Walsh injured

On 29/4/20, Squadron Leader Edwin Moon was at the controls of a flying boat on an instructional cruise when it crashed into the sea. Moon and three other crew members were killed, while two were rescued, slightly injured. At the inquest a survivor, Observer-Officer L. H. Pakenham Walsh, D.F.C. gave evidence saying that "the flying boat started off all right, and it had made several practice landings on the water". Squadron-Leader Moon took control to do a glide. At about 1,500 ft (460 m) "the machine received a bump on the tail which threw the machine out of control and developed into a spin".

Although Squadron-Leader Moon tried to regain control, they were too close to the water to complete the recovery. The aircraft collapsed upon hitting the water. F/O Pakenham-Walsh "went under, and when he came up he did not see anybody else".

The Coroner said, so far as he could make out, there was nothing wrong with the machine or the piloting. It appeared to be a pure accident. He recorded a verdict of "Death from injuries received through the sudden accidental fall of a flying boat."

Moon was buried at Southampton Old Cemetery with a wooden marker which is believed to be part of the propeller of the plane in which he died, which was erected by his comrades of 230 Squadron, Royal Air Force.


1. "Flying Boat Accident of Felixstowe - Airmen Drowned". News. The Times (42398). London. 30 April 1920. col D, p. 15.
5. Flight magazine May 6 1920 page 513:
9.3. Air Britain: "RAF Aircraft J1 - J9999 & WWI Survivors" (1987)

Revision history:

06-May-2018 21:17 Dr. John Smith Added
06-Oct-2018 05:47 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
12-Jan-2021 12:45 Castleace Updated [Source]

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