THE commander of an RAF flying base and the man due to replace him were both killed in a flying accident from a former Millom airfield.

The accident involved an Avro Anson VM418 which was used for transporting staff and equipment to the No. 1 Initial Training School for pilots and navigators at RAF Jurby on the Isle of Man.

What happened to the aircraft and its unfortunate crew is told at the Manx Aviation and Military Museum next to Ronaldsway airport on the Isle of Man.

A display at the museum notes: "At midday on Saturday September 6 in 1953, VM418 turned off the perimeter track and on to the main runway.

"It was being flown by Group Captain F. R. Worthington, officer commanding RAF Jurby, and its destination was RAF Millom."

It was an uneventful trip to the Haverigg airfield, part of the site now being Haverigg prison.

Three officers were waiting to fly back on the Anson to the Isle of Man, including Group Captain G. A. Richmond CBE who was to take over command of RAF Jurby on September 10.

The other two were Wing Commander F. J. Fenton and Squadron Leader R. P Charters.

The plane took off at 12.40pm in clear weather and was expected on the Isle of Man at 1.15pm - but it never arrived.

Ronaldsway airport, the police and coastguard were informed.

Sgt Robert Kneen took a call at Laxey police station at 1.30pm the day after the aircraft had been reported missing.

It was from Mr G. Quayle, of Fairy Cottage, Laxey, who had seen something on Clagh Ouyr which could a crashed plane.

The police officer called shepherd Mr G. Rhodes Tate, of Keppel Gate, to help find the site with his local knowledge.

The climbed the slopes of Clagh Ouyr and found the wreckage and four bodies 100ft below the summit.

From marks left on the hillside, it was thought the plane had hit the hill, kept going for 100 yards on the ground before completing a somersault to finish on its back.

Worthington was buried at St Patrick's Church, Jurby, while the other three officers were taken back to England.

The Manx Aviation and Military Museuum is at Ballasalla. During winter months it is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4.30pm and from May 27 is open daily. Entry is free.