Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nanga Gaat :44 years later

On 12 April 1965 when returning form a troop lift and in formation prior to landing, two Wessex 1s piloted by Lieutenant R Robertson RN and Sub Lieutenant J C Hapgood RN collided and both aircraft plunged out of control into the river. Both pilots were killed as well as NAM A Rothwell, who was the Aircrewman in Hapgood’s Wessex, 2nd Lieutenant C J Johnson, Sgt P McNeilly, L/Cpl W H Murray, and Pte R G Green from 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment and L/Cpl W J Jack from the Royal Army Medical Corps. Only three survived, the Petty Officer Crispin who was the Aircrewman from Robertson’s aircraft and two men from the Parachute Regiment. Crispin had a miraculous escape as he was flung out of the rear cabin door on his dispatcher harness, but was quick enough to release himself and fall into the river sustaining only relatively minor injuries.

44 years latter, parts of the wreckage could still be seen.

Eventhough the accident happens more than 4 decades ago, the serial numbers are still read able.

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