Hawker Fury K-8271 Destroyed 10/12/38 when hit shore while recovering from dive on target. Crashed Off Chesil Bank, near Langton Herring, Dorset. Pilot: Corporal John Robert Daniel RAF (aged 22) killed (reportedly death by drowning). According to a contemporary newspaper report (“Western Daily Press” – Monday 12 December 1938)
“BOMBER CRASHES IN SEA.
Pilot Drowned Off Dorset Coast.
A single-seater bombing ‘plane crashed into the sea at Langton Herring, Dorset, just before 9 a.m. on Saturday. The machine, which fell in the Fleet, a stretch of water at Chesil Beach, sank almost at once and the pilot was drowned. Fishermen and others in fast motorboats rushed to the spot and searched the water, but failed to locate the machine. R.A.F. men also joined in the search. An eye-witness said that at the time half a gale was blowing and the machine got into difficulties. Suddenly it dived, struck the water, and disappeared.
Later the wreckage of the machine was washed up on the beach, and the body of the pilot, No. 566250, Corporal John Robert Daniel, was recovered. The machine belonged to No. 9 Flying Training School, Hullavington, Wilts., and had gone to the Chesil Bank Ranges on a practice flight.”
A further newspaper report covered the inquest into the death of the pilot (“Dundee Courier – Wednesday 14 December 1938)
“EAGER AIRMAN DIVED TOO LOW.
BOMBING RANGE DANGER DENIED.
Corporal John Robert Daniell (sic) , R.A.F., Warmwell, Dorset, victim of a crash at Chesil beacon bombing range on December 10, lost his life because, anxious to make a good score, he dived too near the target and hit the beach.
This was the opinion given at the inquest at Weymouth yesterday by Pilot Sergeant Robert Whitworth Brown, who said he hoisted a black flag after one dive to warn Daniell that he was flying below 200 feet. Daniell, aged 22, was described as a pupil above the average.
Answering the father, Mr H. B. Daniell, Primrose Hill, Manwood Avenue, Canterbury, Squadron-Leader King-Lewis said, “There have been rumours that it is a dangerous spot, but they are entirely unfounded.”
The verdict was death by misadventure.”
(Pilot Buried at Hackington (St. Stephen) Churchyard, Canterbury)”
Serial No: K-8271
Pilot: Cpl John Robert Daniel
Date of Loss: 10th December 1938
Reason of Loss: Crash
Rough Location: Fleet Chesil beach