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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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RAF Crest
19.10.1959 ETPS Varsity TI WF381 Sq/Ldr. Norman G. Emslie

Operation: Testing

Date: 19th October 1959 (Monday)

Unit: No. ETPS

Type: Vickers Varsity TI

Serial: WF381

Code: 540

Base: RAF Tangmere

Location: 4 miles north of airfield

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Norman Graham Emslie 2600310 RAF Age 31. Killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Victor Albert Sawkins 195857 RAF Age 34. Killed

A memorial is currently being planned for losses in this area of aircrew, from WWII and since, both Allied and Axis forces. Contact us for further information as the organisers, led by Robert Godwin, are trying to raise funds to finance this.


The pilot, Sq/Ldr. Emslie was, at the time a student at the Empire Test Pilots School. Taking off from RAF Tangmere on a handling test, asymmetric safety speed assessment.

The aircraft was seen to be flying at 2000 ft in a landing configuration. Full power was applied to one engine and the aircraft assumed a steep climbing attitude prior to stalling and falling into a spin. Understood to have crashed some 4 mile north of the airfield killing both of the crew.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Norman Graham Emslie. Slains Kirkyard, Collieston, Aberdeen, Scotland. No further details, are you able to assist?

Fl/Lt. Victor Albert Sawkins. Ship Lane Cemetery, Farnborough. No further details, are you able to assist?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Robert Godwin and sources as quoted below:

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 26 April 2021, 10:42

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