Downed biplane identified as torpedo bomber from Courageous

I received two replies to my column about the downed biplane earlier this month.

Sunday, 17th July 2016, 6:06 am

Bob Shayler tells me the aircraft was a Blackburn Dart Torpedo Bomber of 464 Flight HMS Courageous serving in the Mediterranean from May 1928.

On the June 28, 1929 the aircraft crashed shortly after take-off when a seagull struck the propeller just off the Greek coast.

The pilot, Lt (FO RAF) HNM Nangle RN, survived.

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Although salvaged from the sea, the aircraft was declared Cat W, a write-off.

George Milliner also dropped me a line to say the carrier was HMS Courageous and that he has the same photograph in his late father’s album.

He served in the ship from 1931 to 1933. It was his first ship as a young Royal Marine.

Whilst serving on the carrier he made an acquaintance with Eugene Esmonde, who was later awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for the gallant sortie against the German Fleet during the Channel Dash.