1945 Miles Monitor M.33 Crash Site

Fort Victoria has a long Military history, often associated with the Royal Engineers and the Forts military use, however tragic events over the years have also added to the sites military heritage. As well as the Royal Navy tragedy here in 1908 with the loss of life in the sinking of the H.M.S Gladiator, World War two also brought tragedy to the shores of the Fort, quite literally.

 If you walk along the shore on the lowest of tides, you may spot something out of place, to the casual observer it's another seaweed encrusted rock, but closer examination will reveal it is in actual fact part of an engine, an aircraft engine, a Wright R-2600 engine block to be precise. 

 

On the 31st of August 1945, a test flight was being undertaken from RAF Boscombe on a new type of aircraft, a Miles Monitor M.33 TT2. The plane was designed to be used for towing targets, an airborne tug. On this test flight it was performing intensive maneuvers, when it crashed into the shore at Fort Victoria in an inverted position. 

 

Two men of the Royal Navy Volunteer reserve Fleet Air arm lost their lives that day, Sub Lieutenant K.W.A. Fehler and Lieutenant L.R.J. Habgood  (Jack).

 

The Miles Monitor NP409, was the fourth off of the production line, of only 20 produced, as the war ended orders were cancelled and the planes were scrapped, none entered service and none survived. 

 

If you do happen to discover the engine please bear in mind the remains of all aircraft which crashed whilst in military service, whether on land or at sea, are protected to the extent laid down by the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. It is an offence under this Act to tamper with, damage, move or unearth any remains which come within the scope of the Act.