Airspeed Oxford Mk.I N4641 of No.11 Flying Training School, crashed while force landing near Tissington on the 22nd May 1941

Airspeed Oxford


Leonard Branton Corporal Pilot Injured


Cpl Branton was on a solo cross-country training flight from RAF Shawbury near Shrewsbury, he had been briefed to fly a tri-angular course and then carry out some single-engine flying and precautionary landing practice at Shawbury by his instructor. The cross-country flight took him a shorter time to complete than he thought it would so instead of carrying out local exercises around the airfield he decided to fly part of the cross-country route for a second time. While taking his unauthorised second round trip he flew into an area of rain and became lost, partly due the map he was using being of 1:500,000 which was all but useless for a map-reading flight. At this point he was in the area around Uttoxeter and on realising where he was tried to locate the airfield at Burnaston on the edge of Derby. While doing so he became worried about the balloon barrage around the City so flew away from the area. As his fuel supply was now running low he decided to land the aircraft.

The field which he landed in was described as being small and the aircraft struck a tree and over turned, causing extensive damage to the aircraft, initially classified as Category E (normally a write off). However the aircraft was re-built and went on to fly until being struck off charge in May 1944.

Cpl Branton was killed while on active service less than a year after this incident, he is buried in Basingstoke.