Fairey Firefly VX396

Brown Hill, Douglas, Lanarkshire













Aircraft Type Photos


BELOW: Royal Navy Fairey Firefly AS6  WB518.


This aircraft is the same variant as the one featured on this page.


Royal Navy Fairey Firefly WB518, similar to Firefly featured on this page


Photo: 2002-2004 Paul Maritz ('paulmaz'). Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.



BELOW: Royal Canadian Navy Fairey Firefly Mk.5 VH142 at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.


Royal Canadian Navy Fairey Firefly VH142 at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum


Photo: 2008 'Balcer'. Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License






Aircraft Type and Background


RN (NAS) Fairey Firefly AS6 / VX396



Aircraft Type Nickname: "Firebox"



A two-seater (pilot and observer) fleet reconnaissance, anti-submarine, night fighter and strike aircraft used by the Fleet Air Arm / Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy. Successor to the Fairey Fulmar, the Fairey Firefly was considered a superior aircraft and was powered by a Rolls Royce Griffon engine.


The Firefly was equipped with folding wings for use on aircraft carriers.


The aircraft continued in service until 1950, when it was retired from the FAA. Aircraft production continued, however, until 1955; and the Firefly was still being used elsewhere for several years after this.


Firefly fighters were engaged in action against the German battleship, Tirpitz, and against targets in Norway, Palembang and Japan.



BELOW: Examples of Rolls-Royce Griffon engines. Variants of this engine were fitted to Fairey Firefly, Supermarine Spitfire, and other fighter aircraft.


Rolls-Royce Griffon engine


(Photo above): Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.



a rolls-royce griffon engine on display. This was the the type used by the fairey firefly


Photo: [n/d] Released by the author under GNU Free Documentation License


(See also the later Rolls Royce Griffon 65 engine photos at Aircraft Resource Center)






Aircraft Squadron Details


During World War II, 1830 RNVR Squadron had been active in Sabang (1944), Palembang (1945) and Okinawa (1945).


1830 Squadron was formed at Abbotsinch (Glasgow) in 1947. Under the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), it operated as a fighter and anti-submarine squadron until 1957.

1843 Squadron History (WWII period).


1830 and 1843 RNVR formed the Scottish Air Division based at the RNAS Abbotsinch.





Aircraft Accident Details


Firefly VX 396 of 1843 Sqn. crashed at Brown Hill, Douglas, Lanarkshire on 5 July 1953.


The aircraft had been returning from Leuchars firing range. (Tentsmuir Forest / Tentsmuir Sands.)






Aircraft Crew Casualties


Both airmen died in this accident . They were:

  • Albert Charles Hunt, Radio Electrical Mechanician (REM2c), SFX 835450.
    (Born 6 September 1929.
    Buried, Hawkhead Cemetery, Hawkhead Road, Paisley.)
  • Ian Collins Stewart, Lieutenant, Royal Navy.
    (Born 8 April 1923 in Portsmouth. Death registered at Douglas, Lanarkshire. Buried, Hawkhead Cemetery, Hawkhead Road, Paisley.)

[Many thanks to Ken Morrison for this information]




Crash Site Photos


At the moment, there are no crash site photos for this aircraft.






















Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 5 Jul 1953


Accident Site:

Brown Hill (365m)


Nearest roads: A70; B7078 (M74).


Region: South Lanarkshire


Nearest town or village:

Douglas (W)


Nearest large towns:

Hamilton (N) or Motherwell (N).


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref. N/A


Present Condition: No known remains.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: VX396.

Operator: Royal Navy (Naval Air Squadron / Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve)

Operating Base: RNAS Abbotsinch; 1830 & 1843 RNVR Squadrons (Base also for RAF Abbotsinch / RN HMS Sanderling)

Base Location: Glasgow (Abbotsinch [map]), Scotland.

Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport.

Current Airport Name: BAA Glasgow International Airport (EGPF)




Hill Walking Links


(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)

Walking Scotland's Mountains



Other Outdoor Activities


Backpacking and Backpackers

Backpacking in Britain

Backpacking Lite

Cicerone (Backpacking Guides for Walking in the UK)

The Backpackers Club

UK Backpacking Websites



Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayak Scotland (Sea Kayaking in Scotland)

Kayaking at Active Scotland (Various venues)

Sea Kayak Scotland


Mountain Biking

H and I Adventures (Mountain bike holidays in Scotland).

Mountain Bike Trails (Forestry Commission Scotland)

Mountain Biking (Sport Scotland, Glenmore Lodge).

Mountain Biking in East Scotland.

Scotland Cycle Routes.

Trail Scotland (Scotland's mountain bike community).


Rock Climbing and Abseiling

Abseiling in Perthshire

Abseiling Scotland (Various venues)

Climbing, Scrambling and Abseiling Scotland

Mountain Sports Courses and Paddle Sports Courses at Glenmore Lodge

Rock Climbing at Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre (Skills Courses and Qualifications Courses)

Rock Climbing in Scotland (Rock Climbing Areas)

UKClimbing.com (UKC) (Includes Abseiling / Rappelling)


Trekking and Hiking

Gairloch Trekking Centre (Pony Trekking in the Scottish Highlands)

Pony and Quad Treks (North Wales)

Ramblers (UK)

Ramblers (Worldwide Holidays)

Trekking Britain

Walking and Hiking



Emergency Services Link

Register for Text 999 Emergency Service

If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.