Sergeant Francis Leon NELSON

Service No: 421026
Born: North Sydney NSW, 5 September 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 December 1941
Unit: No. 15 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft accident (No. 15 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit Oxford aircraft V4053), Wiltshire, 28 May 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Watchfield Military Cemetery, Berkshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Francis Augustus and Lily Nelson; husband of Loris Kaye Nelson, of Manly, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1750 hours on the 28 May 1943, Oxford V4053 flying on a non-operational daytime beam approach exercise, crashed near Swindon, Wiltshire. The aircraft was seen to touch down at the Kelmscott aerodrome, Gloucester, rise about five feet with its starboard wing down, fly level, and again drop its starboard wing when about 25 feet high. The aircraft righted itself once more and rose to about 50 feet in height, when the starboard wing dropped again and the aircraft turned sharply to the right. After passing over the landing ground at right angles to its original line of approach, the aircraft was seen to fall nose first, with a spiral motion to the right. The accident occurred after the Instructor or Student had completed an approach on the beam. From eye witness accounts, it appeared the pilot was in difficulties immediately following the touch down, the moment when normally the throttles are opened and overshoot procedures commenced. It was evident that the aircraft was not under full control.

The crew members of V4053 were:

Sergeant Francis Leon Nelson (421026) (Pilot under instruction)
Pilot Officer Samuel George Peters (141718) (RAFVR) (Instructor Pilot) Fatally injured, Died: 29 May 1943


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/29/22

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