Life of Cecil Caswell Harper

Early Years

1927 - 1935

1935 - 1937

1937 - 1940

1940 -1945

1945 - 1963

Retirement from RAF


Postings and Movements of 561013 C.C. Harper  (Wally)

RAF 1927 - 1935

Crashes and Mishaps

As a technical man Wally was often involved in retrieval and repair of broken aeroplanes, some of the mishaps were of a serious nature involving complete writeoffs and some of a minor nature.
Heacham Crash 1
Heacham Crash 1
Heacham Crash 2Heacham Crash 2
Handwritten extract
Handwritten extract on back of photograph
Extrac from The Planesman Heacham Norfolk 5.9.31

On January 5th of this year two members of the Royal Air Force saved their lives by parachutes. Sergeant Pilot Hudson and LAC Molyneux of No. 207 (B) Squadron whilst flying in a Fairey IIIF aircraft found themselves in an unpleasant situation.  It is reported that during flight one of the wings collapsed and folded back on the fuselage.  The aircraft commenced to spinand owing to the fractured wing causing obstruction the observer was unable to leave his cockpit.  Despite the fact that the aircraft had been flying at a height of only 4000 feet and was losing altitude rapidly Sgt Hudson is reported to have refused to jump until he had assisted Molyneux out of the spinning machine.  He spent many precious seconds in this heroic act and finally the observer was able to jump clear.  Eventually Hudson was seen to jump clear but the aeroplane to fall in his proximity thus preventing him from releasing his parachute.  To many onlookers it appeared that the pilot was hooked and that hislow altitude would preclude his escape by us of his parachute.  then when almost all hope had gone he was seen to release his parachute, which opened immediately and brought him safely to earth in a cottage garden.  Molyneux who also made a safe landing without any personal injury was full of praise for the manner in which Sgt Hudson risked his life by refusing to leave the aircraft until his observer was clear.  Full official details of the crash are not yet to hand and it is not therefore possible to state whether the reported wing collapse was due structural defect or a direct result of strain through abnormal aerobatics.
April 1930
F Lt Brookman and Cpl Green
Struck the road with wheels on landing
May 1931
April 1930
Ground collapsed under starboard wheel whilst aircraft was being wheeled from "B" flight petrol point to hanger.
Hanger doors in fog
May 1931
F Lt Barnett and Cpl Stokes crashed into the hanger
doors in a thick fog after a forced landing.
Near Docking Nov 1932
December 1930
F/O Williams and AO Weeks
Near Docking Nov 1932

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