NOTICE TO MEMBERS – 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF PISA ACCIDENT

Many members of the XXIV Sqn Association will be aware of the tragic accident that occurred on 9 November 1971 when Hercules XV 216, which was being flown by a XXIV Sqn crew, crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Pisa in north-west Italy. Everyone on board was killed, including six RAF personnel and 46 soldiers of 187 Parachute Regt of the Italian Army.

Ceremonies to mark the forthcoming 40th anniversary of the accident will be held respectively at RAF Brize Norton on Sunday 6 November and at the 187 Regimental HQ in Livorno on Saturday 12 November. Due to the fact that the Livorno event takes place on the day immediately following the Hawker Memorial Inauguration Ceremony in France, no Association members are currently planning to attend the event in Italy. However, OC XXIV Sqn, accompanied by a small party from the Sqn and the Sqn Standard, will fly to Italy from France during the late evening of 11 November to represent the Sqn and RAF and to join 187 Regt in commemorating this important anniversary.

CEREMONY AT RAF BRIZE NORTON – 6 NOVEMBER 2011

The RAF ceremony at Brize Norton will take place in the new XXIV Sqn HQ during the morning of Sunday 6 November. Precise timings have still to be confirmed but participants will probably be invited to arrive about 10.30 am. The ceremony will consist of a short service conducted by Padre Firth, during which a new XXIV Sqn Roll of Honour will be unveiled. This Roll of Honour will bear the names of the crew who died in the Pisa accident. The Sqn Standard will be displayed and there will be a short address by Gp Capt Richard Bates AFC who was OC XXIV Sqn at the time of the accident. Coffee will be served after the ceremony.

All known relatives of the lost crew are being invited to attend, as is the Italian Air Force attaché in London. ALL MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION ARE ALSO CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND THIS CEREMONY. Please advise the Secretary of XXIV Sqn Association as soon as possible if you plan to do so.

Keith Chapman
Chairman XXIV Sqn Association

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