Airspeed Oxford Mk.I DF485 of No.42 OTU was damaged in a forced landing near the village of Hope on the 19th February 1943 while on a training flight from Ashbourne

Airspeed Oxford


W. M. Bray RCAF Flying Officer Pilot Uninjured


At about 14:40 on the 19th February 1943 F/O Bray took off from Ashbourne for a local training flight, with him were an unknown number of aircrew / passengers (possibly 3, as no-one was injured RAF records do not record them). After two and three quarter hours of flying in bad weather the crew were trying to locate Ashbourne but his was clearly not possible due to trouble with the wireless equipment. While flying at 1200 feet the aircraft encountered severe turbulence which caused the pilot to lose control, though he was able to recover the aircraft before hitting the ground. With the light rapidly fading (sunset was 17:24 that day) the pilot decided not to push his luck and force landed the aircraft with the undercarriage raised. He landed the aircraft in a field in the valley bottom between Hope and Castleton, the aircraft struck a tree while landing but this clearly did not cause to much damage.

The aircraft was recovered and repaired  and at the start of April 1943 was transferred to 20 (P)AFU who used it until it was written off when it struck a tree while approaching Weston on the Green at night on the 10th November 1944.

Only four days before this forced landing Wellington HF613 was destroyed and all the crew killed when it crashed less than a mile away, the wreck was probably visible to those onboard DF485.