Grumman Wildcat JV413 crash in Lough Foyle, Co. Londonderry

19th November 2018

On 19th November 1943, Grumman Wildcat JV413 came down in the shallow water of Lough Foyle killing young New Zealander pilot Sub-Lieutenant John Hugh Nurse.

On 19th November 1943, Grumman Wildcat JV413 crashed in Lough Foyle, Co. Londonderry. Pilot Sub-Lieutenant John Hugh Nurse died as a result of the accident.

Wildcat JV413 flew with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm 896 Squadron. Based at Royal Naval Air Station Eglinton, or HMS Gannet, Co. Londonderry they were training and working up before joining their next ship.

896 Squadron had completed time on HMS Victorious and were preparing to embark on HMS Pursuer. The squadron became part of 7th Naval Fighter Wing on 30th October 1943. This wing comprised 2 Hellcat squadrons (800 and 804) on HMS Emperor, 2 Wildcat squadrons (882 and 898) on HMS Searcher, and 2 Wildcat squadrons (881 and 896) on HMS Pursuer.

Reports from the time show 2 flying incidents and both involved the Grumman Wildcat JV413. On 11th November 1943, Sub-Lieutenant LVH Martin ran the plane off the taxiway, tipping its nose into the soft ground. The fatal accident involving John Hugh Nurse came 8 days later. The Wildcat came down in shallow water in Lough Foyle, Co. Londonderry. At the time, the young ANZAC pilot from Canterbury, New Zealand was on a low flying formation flight in bad weather.

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