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Post Info TOPIC: Hastings TG577


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Hastings TG577

This is still the UK's worst military peacetime accident involving UK personnel, much has been written about the crash, I have pieced some info here

I have met some of the bereaved families over the years and it is still traumatic to speak of the events leading up to this accident and its aftermath.......cry



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TG577 6th. July 1965

I suppose you could say that I and my colleagues were intimately
connected with the events of that terrible day. At the time I was just
turned 20 years old and was a Sgt. Air Signaller and a Hastings crew
member on no. 36 Sqn. RAF Colerne. The crew of which I was a member
was captained by Fg. Off. Jeff Wiles aged 23/24. At 0925gmt on the
morning of July 5th. 1965 our crew departed Colerne for RAF Abingdon
flying TG577, the flight took 20 minutes. My memory is, although I'm
not entirely certain of the agenda, that we were to pick up and drop
paratroops a number of times that day, spend the night and do more of
the same on the Tuesday before returning to Colerne. We took off with
our first contingent of para. at 1120gmt. and dropped them at Weston
on the Green, the flight lasted 40 minutes. We then shut the aircraft
down and went to our messes for lunch. On meeting up again Jeff told
us that he'd been in contact with base and that we would not be
staying the night but would load up with our next allocation of para.,
drop them and return to Colerne. We were to hand the aircraft over to
another crew who would immediately fly back to Abingdon to complete
the next day's programme. We took off at 1630gmt., deployed the troops
and flew to Colerne, landing at 1755 GMT. The relief crew was waiting
for us on the apron and they took the aircraft from us in an 'engine
running handover' and departed for a 20 minute trip to Abingdon where
they retired to their messes for the night. The rest of the story is
the very tragic events of the next day.

Checking my log book I notice that we'd flown TG577 the month before.
On the 9th. June we left Colerne for Abingdon to pick up
passengers/freight and took these to RAF Wildenrath in Germany. We
spent the night there and returned on the 10th. but first completing a
low-level cross country exercise over Germany.

I occasionally make my way to Colerne village church yard to pay my
respects to John Akin and his crew, I remember taking part in the
military funeral and am very aware that there but for a throw of the
dice .................

I left the RAF in 1972 and became an Air Traffic Controller and am now
fully retired.


Les Lawson



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This is my first post on here and I feel slightly out of place being a member of an RAF forum when I have never and will never be a member of the Royal Air Force. Thank you John for helping me with my registration - I appeared to have a major cookie problem!

My reason for joining this forum is that I am the daughter of John Akin. the captain of TG577. I came across John's old forum some time ago when I was fiddling around on Google, and I was amazed to see how much interest and affection there is for the Hastings. I was also pleased to come across a few posts relating to my father's last flight on July 6th 1965.

I naturally have mixed feelings about the old bird and although it caused my life and that of my family to change drastically in one day, my heart still misses a beat when I see a photograph of one.

Les your story is fascinating and it is so right that you are here to tell it. Thank you for visiting my father's grave and those of the crew in Colerne church yard. I'm sure that wherever the boys are now, they will be pleased too that you take the trouble to visit.

There has been so little, if any, information about the crash over the years and because of John's website, we, the relatives of the men on board have been able to piece together the events of that day. Thank you so much John and others who have helped us to do this.

If anyone on this forum knew my father, it would be lovely to hear from you. I was 8 years old when he died and I know that he lived for his family and the Air Force. My brothers and I had a wonderful time in Cyprus in the early 60's during his posting and we will always share happy memories of that time.

Best wishes

Pat Yeo 



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Date: Wxpand the You Tube story by pressing 'more'

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