Accident Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk XIV TZ106, Saturday 5 January 1946
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Date:Saturday 5 January 1946
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk XIV
Owner/operator:453 Sqn RAAF
Registration: TZ106
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Broom Hill Farm, Old Lenham Road, Wichling, Sittingbourne, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Wunstorf, Lower Saxony, West Germany
Destination airport:RAF Cosford, Shropshire
TZ106: Spitfire FR.XIV, built by Vickers Armstrongs at Aldermaston with Griffon 65 engine. Delivered to the RAF at 6 MU Cosford 7-5-45. First issued for service to 453 (Australian) Squadron 28-6-45 coded "FU-A"

Written off (destroyed) 6-1-46 when dived into the ground at Broom Hill Farm, Old Lenham Road, Wichling, Sittingbourne, Kent. The aircraft entered low cloud at about 100 feet and was seen to emerge from the cloud and strike the ground at Wichling, Kent. Pilot killed.

According to a contemporary local newspaper account ("East Kent Gazette" - Saturday 6 July 1946):

Brave Act.
Mr. Richard John Shannon, of Broomhill Farm, Wychling, has been awarded the Protection of Life from Fire Society's certificate for his bravery last January in attempting to save the pilot from the burning wreckage of a crashed Spitfire. He succeeded in getting him clear, but, unhappily, he was dead. At the inquest held on the pilot, Squadron-Leader D. M. Davidson, the Coroner (Mr. W. J. Harris) commended Mr. Shannon for his prompt action, regardless of his own personal safety. The presentation of the certificate was made at Faversham County Petty Sessions on Thursday last week, when Alderman Phil. Johnson congratulated Mr. Shannon on his award and spoke of his gallantry, which, alas! was in vain".

Crew of Spitfire TZ106:
Sqn/Ldr (Aus.402321) Douglas Mackenzie DAVIDSON DFC (Pilot, aged 26) RAAF - killed in service 5-1-46. Buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Brookwood, Woking Borough, Surrey, England

Squadron Leader Davidson enlisted into the RAF on 19-8-40 and flew with 33,450, 65. 451 and 453 Squadrons. He was 27 when he lost his life.

According to one published account of the accident (see link #4):

"In 1946, a Spitfire was flying from Germany to the Midlands. It was accompanied by a Hurricane which was flying to Manston but had decided to carry on with the Spitfire to aid with navigation as the weather was poor.

As they were flying over the Downs, the weather closed in and the Hurricane pilot recommended that they both turned back to Manston. That was the last the Hurricane pilot heard from the Spitfire.

Bob (about 12?) and his father were in Broomhill Farm and heard the planes followed by a crash and an explosion. They went straight to the scene where they found the Spitfire 3 parts buried in the ground and on fire, with cannon firing off. In 1946 this field was scrub woodland and the plane had crashed besides an old oak tree. Once they had determined it was safe, they pulled the pilot out of the cockpit but he was dead.

They wrapped the body in a partly burnt parachute and it was later taken to Faversham on a fire engine, after the coroner (Mr Harris) had given permission. There were many visits to the scene by the police and RAF and the plane was eventually removed after about two weeks."

Aircraft written off as Cat. E and Struck Off Charge 22-7-46. The reported crash location of Wichling (also spelled as "Wychling" in some published sources) is a village and civil parish within the local government district of Maidstone, in England (although the postal address is "Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 0DS"). The parish lies approximately 12 miles to the east of Maidstone. It lies near the top of the ridge of the North Downs and consists mainly of isolated farms and houses.


1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.25. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Final Landings: A Summary of RAF Aircraft and Combat Losses 1946 to 1949 by Colin Cummings p.26
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain)
15. CWGC:


Revision history:

29-May-2021 23:42 Dr. John Smith Added
29-May-2021 23:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
29-May-2021 23:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
30-May-2021 09:26 Kvit Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Narrative, Operator]
30-May-2021 20:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
29-Jul-2023 21:12 Dr. John Smith Updated
18-Sep-2023 12:47 Dr. John Smith Updated

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