FORCED LANDING OF A SPITFIRE
AT "OAKLANDS" NEAR SALT ASH, VIA NEWCASTLE
ON 14 APRIL 1943
At approximately 0830 hours on 14 April 1943, Spitfire Mk. VC BS-298 piloted by Sergeant Desmond Blythe RAF (1217747) of Spitfire Detachment, No. 2 O.T.U., RAAF Station, William Town, made a forced landing on a property called "Oaklands" owned by Mr. William James Sansom at Salt Ash approximately 11 miles north east of Newcastle. Sgt Blythe was taking part in a "line astern and single aircraft attack" exercise with Sgt Holmes.
After take off Sgt Blythe climbed to 4,000 feet and signalled to Sgt Holmes that he was about to break away and commence the exercise. Just after the break away Sgt Blythe noticed he had zero oil pressure and a slight amount of smoke in the cockpit. He turned back to Williamtown and throttled the engine back. After 4 to 5 minutes the engine was vibrating and smoke was coming from the exhaust. He then decided to carry out a forced landing.
He identified a flat field and switched off his engine, but as he made his approach he noticed some low voltage electricity supply lines and he endeavoured to glide under them but did not succeed and two electricity wires were broken. The Spitfire bounced on impact for some distance and when it struck the ground again one of the wings was ripped off and the aircraft rolled over on its back and came to rest. The aircraft also broke three fencing posts and the wires connecting them belonging to Mr. W. J. Sansom of "Oaklands
Sgt Blythe was removed from the cockpit by some local civilians and was taken to Williamtown in an ambulance. Sgt. Blythe was injured slightly as a result of the forced landing.
The City of Greater Newcastle Council made a claim against the RAAF for £5/15/0 for damages to the electricity lines which fed consumers in the Bob's Farm area.
The Spitfire's engine overheated due to a lack of oil caused by the incorrect fitting of an oil pressure capsule.
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 21 June 2007
This page last updated 30 August 2015