Thorney tragedy

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Further to recent mentions of RAF Thorney Island, Mick Lavery is a former RAF wireless fitter and served at the air station for six years from 1952-1958.

He tells me it was known as the ‘Billy Butlins’ of the RAF.

He remembers a crash in 1954 which was a flight from RAF Bovingdon, Hertfordshire.

A Valetta WJ474 Mk3 aircraft crashed in a snow storm carrying the Thorney Island rugby team. There was one survivor, a pilot officer.

The Varsity crash I mentioned took place in 1956 when a member of the ground crew named Agnani reportedly took the plane up illegally and crashed in France. He died and so did three civilians.

Any further information on these incidents would be of interest.