25.05.1946 RAE Farnborough Mustang III KH505 Sq/Ldr. Edward B. Gale
Operation: High speed research
Date: 25th May 1946 (Saturday)
Unit: No. RAE Farnborough
Type: Mustang III
Base: RAF Farnborough
Location: Broxbourne, Hertfordshire
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Edward Bagley Gale AFC. C/1618 RCAF Age 28. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Instructed to carry out high mach dives from 40,000 - 20,000 ft for research into handling at at very high speeds. He had undertook similar testing on several occasions up till this date.
Weather: Cloud 9/10 base at 1,500 ft. Wind 15-20 mph. Visibility 10 miles.
Engine type: Packard Merlin No. V. 1650/7 - running time total: 31 hours 35 minutes. (Ground crew reported that they consider it to be the best engine they had ever known having been extremely trouble free) Airframe: Manufactured by North American Aviation, Dallas, Texas. Total Air flying hours: 49 hrs 20 minutes.
The aircraft took off from Farnborough at about 10:55 hrs - the pilot to climb to 40,000 ft and dive the aircraft at 45 degrees to 20,000 ft attaining a mach of about .82. At about 11.10 hrs he was heard in a high speed dive over Broxbourne. It appeared from the cloud base at 1,500 ft diving steeply and was then seen to dive into the ground without any apparent attempt by the pilot to recover or throttle back the engine. From previous attempts made by the pilot it had been calculated that he would have only reached 28,000 ft by this time. It would seem then that when the accident occurred he must have still been climbing.
The aircraft crashed at 11.30 hrs and apart from a few very small pieces of wreckage blown from the crater by explosion after impact, practically the whole aircraft had plunged into the ground to a considerable depth.
Conclusion that through lack of evidence that the pilot tried to pull out of the dive, throttle down his engine, evacuate the aircraft or use his R/T - it is possible that he became incapacitated by some physiological symptoms.
Sq/Ldr. Edward Bagley Gale AFC. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 61.E.8. Born on the 15th December 1917 at St.Cyr, Quebec the son of Leonard L. Gale and Lavina May Gale. Enlisted in Quebec as a Pilot Officer, 29 January 1940. Trained at No.1 SFTS (graduated 13 August 1940. Logged over 2,430 hours - 2,200 of these as an instructor. Grave inscription reads: 'Some Day, Some Time, We Hope To See The One We Love So Tenderly.'
Researched by Chris Bowles for Aircrew Remembered - February 2016. Dedicated to the relatives of this pilot. With thanks to the National Archives for detailed information.