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History Air Crashes of WWII

Allied - P38 - J 42-67943

REF NR: 1956

Confusion reigned on the island for onlookers of this flying accident. Some thought it was just one aircraft that crashed that fateful day of 22nd July 1944, however this proved to be sadly incorrect. In fact it was two P38s being flown by Lt. L Murphy and a 2nd Lt. M Burr, flying with 9th Airforce 370th Fighter Group out of their base at Andover.


At around 18:45 they were flying in formation when it appears that for some reason Lt Burr's aircraft suddenly jarred to the right. Seconds later it appeared appeared closing in from the left onto Lt. Murphy's right hand propeller, slicing heavily into the cockpit canopy of Burr's airframe.  Murphy having only one engine and fuel leaking decided to break for landfall and bail out as soon as possible. He successfully abandoned his aircraft and floated down to the ground landing close to a gun-site around a mile from Brading with only a small ankle injury to his person. Later he was taken to see the wreckage of his aircraft, which had fallen on part of Brading Vicarage according to the weekly report in the County Press on the 29th July 1944. His fellow pilot lost his life.


Two other pilots who had heard the accident over the RT traffic, broke formation to look for Lt Burr's aircraft. However all they could find was an oil slick and some minor wreckage floating out to sea. Neither 2nd Lt. Burr or his aircraft were ever found.

 Note: All images are merely representative of the aircraft and not specific.