Supermarine Scimitar

Date Air Force A'cft Unit  Serial


crashed crew seat photo
5th July 1955
Supermarine 525
VX138 A&AEE Boscombe Down could not recover after entering a spin 20min after take‑off 2m SSE of airfield Lt. Cdr. Rickell ejected too late - fatal   Martin-Baker 4C
19th November 1958
Scimitar XD247
 807 Sqn Lossiemouth Mid‑air explosion. Aircraft crashed Cullicudden, Black Isle, Ross & Cromarty S. Lt. CR Cresswell RN ejected but seat did not separate - Died of his injuries   Martin-Baker 4C

                  NB. All Scimitars grounded for several weeks following this  incident with a suspected fault in the ejection seat mechanism. It was later proved that the ejection seat had not  been fired by the cables or by movement of the seat on its  rails. It seems the hood time delay mechanism must have been displaced by the explosive force. The pilot was subject to an inadvertent ejection with little or no delay after the  hood fired.
quoted in Scimitar by Eric Morgan & John Stevens, pub. Air Britain

10th November 1959
Scimitar XD281
807 Sqn Hydraulic failure. Crashed in hilly country in Loch Cam/Ben Volich area, nr Aberfoyle, Perthshire Lt. N. Grier-Rees ejected  at 26,OOOft came down safely on the 2,300ft snow‑covered Ben Bhreac, then over several days walked 13 miles before reaching a farmhouse at Callander, Perthshire   Martin-Baker 4C
6th February 1960
Scimitar F.1 XD238
803 Sqn
HMS Victorious
fuel leak, rapid fuel  loss, engine flamed out on final approach  aircraft crashed on road near Lossiemouth Golf Course on airfield boundary, Lossiemouth, Scotland Lt. Cdr. Davies suffered slight injuries when he
ejected at 200ft at low speed
  Martin-Baker 4C
7th February 1960
Scimitar XD245
'155' or  ' 156'
803 Sqn HMS Victorious Hydraulic failure, unable to lower hook, emergency hook selector failed to operate hook. Unsuccessful landing attempt, aircraft then climbed out but went into the sea (Lt R. W. D. Westlake  ejected at 2,OOOft killed when parachute remained attached to seat and failed to deploy, body not found   Martin-Baker 4C
9th December 1960
Scimitar XD329  803 Sqn
HMS Victorious  in Exercise Decex off Aden
 pilot unable to maintain control as aircraft staggered into the air in nose‑up attitude after catapult launch with 1,000 bombs and drop tanks on Lt.  J. W. H. Purvis ejected at low level, parachute opened as hit water rescued unhurt by SAR
[personal testimony]
Martin-Baker 4C
27th April 1961
Scimitar XD273
'152N' ??
803 Sqn ??
HMS Victorious
unable to cancel fire warning after pulling out of strafing dive nr North Borneo Lt G. C. Edwardes ejected  4,OOOft at 300kts and sustained injuries, died in Changi hospital 3.5.61   Martin-Baker 4C
22nd June 1961
XD237 736 Sqn  

Practicing Forward Air Control. Lost height slowly while orbiting after dive attack during army co‑operation exercise, hit ground at shallow angle, BU, Stripeside Grange Farm, 2nm E of Keith,Banffshire

Instructor Flt. Lt. M. Farmer (RAF) - ejected from his a/c for some unknown reason killed   Martin-Baker 4C
21st July 1961
Scimitar F1 XD264
800 Sqn Hydraulic failure during acrobatic sortie. Crashed in wood five miles south of Cullen, Morayshire Lt. Cdr. Danny P. Norman ejected at 8,OOOft 6m out over sea - minor back injuries
[personal testimony of A.W. "Bill" Bedford]
Martin-Baker 4C
13th August 1962
Scimitar XD331 HMS Hermes Mediterranean Exercise Rip Tide III, fuel starvation and resultant double flame‑out at 37,OOOft, glided until over escort HMS Scarborough Lt. Cdr. B. Willson ejected 8,OOOft picked up slightly injured by escort's sea‑boat.   Martin-Baker 4C
15th November 1962

Scimitar F.1 XD265'611'  736 Sqn Lossiemouth Birdstrike  ingested into starboard engine during overwater flight at 420 knots and 400ft, engine caught fire- crashed near into the sea off St Andrews, Firth of Tay or Moray Firth, Scotland Lt. Cdr. John F. Kennett injured during ejection at 400ft and recovered by RAF Leuchars SAR helicopter a few minutes after hitting water  Martin-Baker 4C

"After ejection and entering the water,  I was drifting inshore towards the golf course when picked up minutes later."

23rd November 1962
Scimitar  XD282
736 Sqn Lossiemouth Birdstrike - crashed  2m E of  Milltown airfield Scotland Sub Lt. C. Legg ejected at 100ft, landed safely in soft muddy ground Martin-Baker 4C
Going through the Table you sent me, there is an error. The 23rd Nov'62 accident east of Milltown - the pilot was S/Lt Ian Bowden, and the a/c crashed due to pilot error. I was the Acting Senior Pilot of 736 at the time - he took off to carry out dummy deck landings at Milltown; he joined the circuit far too fast, broke downwind and threw his gear and flaps down in one movement, but forgot to select the 'Blow Switch' to ON. Consequently as he came round finals far to fast at 175 kts, the jet pitched up and entered a spin. Bowden ejected and his chute just opened as he hit the edge of the crater with his seat still attached to his bottom! He was damned lucky, and still insisted that he hadn't done anything wrong, but the AAIU found otherwise. Bowden was one of those pilot who had no fear, which is very dangerous for anybody who flies!
[Conflicts with Martin-Baker numbered list - gives this as Sub Lt. C. Legg ejection 626]
22nd May 1963
Scimitar XD239
800 Sqn
HMS Ark Royal
diverted to RAF Khormaksar with radio and Hydraulic 1 intermittent failure after making four failed deck passes, failed on first attempt at runway due to poor visibility, lost height in turn, aircraft ditched in 6ft of water, Aden Harbour Sub Lt. C. D. Legg ejected injured Martin-Baker 4C
20th September 1963
Scimitar XD213  HMS Hermes  Hydraulic 1 failure after take‑off  port leg failed to lower on approach  to Yeovilton, and aircraft was overweight for a safe landing, unable to steer aircraft out to sea  aircraft crashed  in field nr East Chaldon, nr Weymouth, Dorset Sub Lt. A. J. Middleton ejected safely landing among herd of cows   Martin-Baker 4C
28th January 1964
Scimitar F1 XD249 R/111 800 Sqn
Ferrying from Yeovilton
Hydraulic leak. Crashed into the Moray Firth off Lossiemouth, Morayshire Lt. P. E. H. Banfield ejected, injured, picked up by SAR Helicopter Martin-Baker 4C
16th July 1964
Scimitar XD216
 ETPS Farnborough During spin, complete electrical failure initiated by operation of crash inertia switches in violent manoeuvre, starboard engine then port engine surged and flamed out. Crashed in sea 5m off West Wittering, Sussex F/Lt B. L . Gartner (RCAF)  ejected over coast at 1,500ft and 200knots but remained attached to seat by leg restraint cords. Waded ashore   Martin-Baker 4C
28th September 1964
Scimitar XD230
803 Sqn Lossiemouth Hydraulic 1 failure whilst acting as tanker, ditched after port leg would not lower. Unable to dislodge it. Crashed into Moray Firth off Lossiemouth Sub Lt. P. J. McManus ejected  recovered injured from sea by helicopter   Martin-Baker 4C
27th April 1965
Scimitar XD270 800 Sqn ???
HMS Eagle
Crashed after double flame‑out in Aden area Lt. I. P. F. Meiklejohn ejected safely   Martin-Baker 4C
15th July 1965
Scimitar F.1 XD268 / 112 800B Fleet Air Arm Single‑engined Circuit practice at Lossiemouth. crashed 2m short of  runway in field nr Duffus, Aberfoyle, Perthshire Sub Lt. A. C. Hill ejected with minor injuries   Martin-Baker 4C
20th September 1965
Scimitar XD223
803 Sqn
HMS Ark Royal
Test flight, crashed on final approach during diversion following engine problem RAF Changi, Lt. P. A. "Paddy" Waring ejected, slightly injured
[personal testimony]
  Martin-Baker 4C
31st December 1965
Scimitar XD318 803 Sqn
HMSArk Royal
After in‑flight refuelling, low pressure fuelwarning, waved off once, bolted once, then both engines failed whilst downwind for a third attempt, aircraft ditched Lt. M. J. Williams ejected, recovered  unhurt by SAR helicopter Martin-Baker 4C
28th January 1966
Scimitar XD316
 803 Sqn
pitched up on final approach, unable to recover.  Aircraft ditched in South China Sea Sub Zbigniew K.  "Bush" Skrodzki ejected at 300ft picked up unhurt by SAR helicopter   Martin-Baker 4C
16th or 17th  February 1966
Scimitar XD250 736 Sqn ???

HMS Ark Royal

 Hydraulic failure, fire in aircraft. Ditched in Indian Ocean 30m from carrier, 90m E of Mombasa Sub Lt. Zbigniew K.  "Bush" Skrodzki ejected  picked up unhurt by 815 Sqn Wessex -  - severely damaged his leg(s) as he left the cockpit   Martin-Baker 4C

"A correction for you. Lt Skrodski's second ejection in 1966 was not fatal - he died a year or two later following a late ejection from a Hunter."
in email 10th April 2006

6th April 1966
Scimitar XD277
803 Sqn

Partial hydraulic failure and fire warnings after take‑off from Changi, first starboard, then port engine, aircraft headed seawards crashed in sea in flames

Lt. P. De Souza ejected rescued injured about 100yds from coast by helicopter  Martin-Baker 4C

Further details needed

Hi I have just visited the Scimitar website, and in the list of ejections, you sadly missed sub Lt Norman (battler) Britain who ejected following a double flameout on the approach to HMS Centaur. Sub Lt Alsop missed the arrestor wires and crashed into the sea off the port bow, and was rescued by the helicopter planeguard crew



Lt.  J. W. H. Purvis

Mr. & Mrs. P. A. "Paddy" Waring

A. W. "Bill" Bedford

Surg. Cmdr. John Rawlings RN

Cmdr. Michael Doust RN (retd)

John Stevens

(if I inadvertently omit your name from this listing PLEASE let me know to amend the listing)