Chieftain accidents

oldnotbold

War Hero
That's the one I was thinking of mate. I'd only been in the TA for about 5 months when it happened. We had a 4 tonne TCV roll on the road to Otterburn not long after, no fatalities but a few injuries. My Section commander was out of action for a fair few months and a nice scar across his forehead as a souvenir.
Edit. I could be wrong but I'm sure we were opfor for the OTC that time
Yes, the A69 wasn't a kind road on a dark, wet Friday evening, with some nasty bends over steep gullies, coupled with inexperienced and tired drivers hurrying towards a couple of beers and bed. Interesting that other, more experienced, units had similar experiences.

The annual NUOTC locking of horns with 5RRF was the January IS exercise around Carshope House...is that the one you recall? We managed to roll 4 tonnes too...

The incident in question happened on the November live firing weekend (Fox, the solitary Saladin's last outing and our pack howitzers' first range day, which is probably why the CO didn't endex on the spot). Bluntly it was a lesson in the danger of giving students access to a highly-bred 4.2 litres a couple of months after getting their licence; one mechanically-inclined crew did manage to tune their vehicle to, literally, speed limit breaking levels.

Years later I visited an RY drill hall which had several brass in memorium plaques, also thanks to CVR(W).
 
Bored after a week as flying taxi’s for senior Ruperts on SLTA, the boss decides it will be amusing to fly below treetop height and drop bags of flour on the panzers below... so, bribe the slop jockeys with a cabby for ammunition, back doors off and a bread tray of bags of flour on the rear floor of the Scout and we’re bombed up... after a couple of runs we’re getting our eye in and scoring direct hits, until we meet a column head on... there has obviously been some radio chatter and there are guys on ‘Sagger watch’ so at 110kts and 40’ we get a full volley from their smoke dischargers... that’s when we decided taxi duty wasn’t so boring after all...
And that, gentlemen, is a perfect example of how/why I loved being in the Army!
 
Back to A-10s for a second. Couple of dits.

In '91 or '92, I was out on West Everleigh Down setting up an HLS for Chinook night flying. It was only 3 miles or so from Upavon, where we were based, and it was a pleasant sunny afternoon on my tod laying out the Ts and AAIs. My LR had the 244 Sig Sqn Red Hand of Ulster on its doors in dayglo. As I'm setting up the gear, I hear a weird whistling and look up. There is an A-10, in an attack dive on my LR. Must have just picked it as a target of opportunity. It occurred to me that I would already be dead if this was for real, and have no idea it was coming.

Many years later, out of the mob, but working in Government-aligned work in Maryland just outside DC. The company I was working with had two ex-USAF A-10 pilots, both bird colonels. One had been a squadron commander on A-10s, and always went by his callsign - Decoy. So named, because in GW1, as a NIG, his mission was to be the decoy to draw fire while the rest of the squadron came in and spanked the opposition. Titanium armour or not, deliberately drawing fire is a hell of a place to be.
 
Whilst there were accidents, given the numbers involved, the way we trained and conditions endured serious injuries and deaths were few and far between. During my time I cannot recall any deaths directly attributable to accidents on our regiment's MBTs, as safety staff in BATUS for a season I can only recall one death. Overall I believe we were incredibly lucky.
In the above post I stated that I could not recollect any deaths directly attributable to the MBTs in our regiment, sadly I was wrong there was a death in Aug 79.

A new gunner was carrying out a task that involved the trimming out of the creep in the gun kit. The trim controls are in a position that can not be seen when sitting in the gunners seat, I think as a result of the size of the TLS in comparison to the 9 Dot sight. As a result the young trooper lent over the breach in order to observe the controls, unfortunately there was an uncontrolled movement of the gun in depression.

This resulted in his head being caught between the turret roof and the gun leading to a fatal head injury. As a result of this accident all vehicles had a small graphic attached to the TLS showing the relative positions of the trim controls so that it was possible to carry out the task without leaning over the gun.

Note, I cannot recollect whether the accident occurred as a result of the individual and/or a crew member making an error or equipment malfunction.
 
In the above post I stated that I could not recollect any deaths directly attributable to the MBTs in our regiment, sadly I was wrong there was a death in Aug 79.

A new gunner was carrying out a task that involved the trimming out of the creep in the gun kit. The trim controls are in a position that can not be seen when sitting in the gunners seat, I think as a result of the size of the TLS in comparison to the 9 Dot sight. As a result the young trooper lent over the breach in order to observe the controls, unfortunately there was an uncontrolled movement of the gun in depression.

This resulted in his head being caught between the turret roof and the gun leading to a fatal head injury. As a result of this accident all vehicles had a small graphic attached to the TLS showing the relative positions of the trim controls so that it was possible to carry out the task without leaning over the gun.

Note, I cannot recollect whether the accident occurred as a result of the individual and/or a crew member making an error or equipment malfunction.
I remember it well.
I didn't mention it earlier, in case there had been a reason not to mention.
My memory was he had reached across the breech to switch on to the gun kit, the metadynes went rogue, and the main armament went into repetitive depression/elevation.
Basically it came down to mechanical malfunction and mispractice in leaning over the breech to switch on the gun kit.
A very sad case.
 
Yes, the A69 wasn't a kind road on a dark, wet Friday evening, with some nasty bends over steep gullies, coupled with inexperienced and tired drivers hurrying towards a couple of beers and bed. Interesting that other, more experienced, units had similar experiences.

The annual NUOTC locking of horns with 5RRF was the January IS exercise around Carshope House...is that the one you recall? We managed to roll 4 tonnes too...

The incident in question happened on the November live firing weekend (Fox, the solitary Saladin's last outing and our pack howitzers' first range day, which is probably why the CO didn't endex on the spot). Bluntly it was a lesson in the danger of giving students access to a highly-bred 4.2 litres a couple of months after getting their licence; one mechanically-inclined crew did manage to tune their vehicle to, literally, speed limit breaking levels.

Years later I visited an RY drill hall which had several brass in memorium plaques, also thanks to CVR(W).
Are you sure it was the A69? Thats Newcastle / Carlisle? A696 via Ponteland was the route i meant ( Although you being wannabe orifices the error is to be expected :razz: ) . I know Taffs wagon went over the side on the stretch between Kirkwhelpington and Otterburn. It took N'land council about 3 years to repair the crash barrier. Carshope is indeed the area in question and yeah did that exercise as a rifleman in 6RRF lying up down by that little stream at stupid o'clock on a saturday am in January is without doubt the coldest ive ever been. I also remember having to stop after endex on the Sunday on the way back coming across one of your vehicles ( may actually have been a Fox ) that had gone over the edge of one of the range roads and having to debus to try and help with recovery. My opnion of NUOTC bottomed out that day
 

oldnotbold

War Hero
Are you sure it was the A69? Thats Newcastle / Carlisle? A696 via Ponteland was the route i meant ( Although you being wannabe orifices the error is to be expected :razz: ) . I know Taffs wagon went over the side on the stretch between Kirkwhelpington and Otterburn. It took N'land council about 3 years to repair the crash barrier. Carshope is indeed the area in question and yeah did that exercise as a rifleman in 6RRF lying up down by that little stream at stupid o'clock on a saturday am in January is without doubt the coldest ive ever been. I also remember having to stop after endex on the Sunday on the way back coming across one of your vehicles ( may actually have been a Fox ) that had gone over the edge of one of the range roads and having to debus to try and help with recovery. My opnion of NUOTC bottomed out that day
It was a long time ago and you are, of course, right: I was working from memory on road numbers and the RRF battalion number. I moved on in '83 so you might be writing about another incident - I did hear of a second Fox-related death after I had moved on.
 
It was a long time ago and you are, of course, right: I was working from memory on road numbers and the RRF battalion number. I moved on in '83 so you might be writing about another incident - I did hear of a second Fox-related death after I had moved on.
No drama @oldnotbold , friendly nudge nothing more. Now you mention it I believe you are right, there was another death in the NUOTC about 84 or so. Im sure there was another ARRSEr who was on strength with them at the time, possibly in a PSI role but im buggered if i can remember who it was
 
*Ahem* from the Wiki link above:-

"Despite the statement from the coroner McLachlan was an American who had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and officially a "Canadian""

Not that I wish to be seen reinforcing stereotypes, oh no.
Good thing eh?

  • 5–6 June – Several RAF Avro Lancasters attempting to bomb the German artillery battery at Merville-Franceville-Plage attacked instead friendly positions, killing 186 soldiers of the British Reconnaissance Corps and devastating the town. They also mistakenly bombed Drop Zone 'V ' of the 6th Airborne Division, killing 78 and injuring 65.[74]

  • 6 June – RAF fighters bombed and strafed the HQ entourage of 3rd Parachute Brigade (British 6th Airborne Division) near Pegasus Bridge after mistaking them for a German column. At least 15 men were killed and many others were wounded.[75]

  • 8 June – a group of RAF Hawker Typhoons attacked the 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th U.S. Infantry Division on the Isigny Highway, France, causing 24 casualties.[76]

  • 27 July – The former HMS Sunfish was sunk by a British RAF Coastal Command aircraft in the Norwegian Sea during the beginning of its process of being transferred to the Soviet Navy. The Captain, Israel Fisanovich, supposedly had taken her out of her assigned area and was diving the sub when the aircraft came in sight instead of staying on the surface and firing signal flares as instructed. All crew, including the British liaison staff, were lost. Later investigation revealed that the RAF crew were at fault.[78]

  • 7 August – A RAF Hawker Typhoon strafed a squad from 'F' Company/US 120th Infantry Regiment, near Hill 314, France, killing two men.[79] Around noon on the same day, RAF Hawker Typhoon of the 2TAF was called in to assist the US 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion in stopping an attack by the 2nd SS Panzer Division between Sourdeval and Mortain but instead fired its rockets at two US 3-inch guns near L'Abbaye Blanche, killing one man and wounding several others even after the yellow smoke (which was to identify friendlies) was put out. Two hours later, an RAF Typhoon shot up the Service Company of the 120th Infantry Regiment, US 30th Division, causing several casualties, including Major James Bynum who was killed near Mortain. The officer who replaced him was strafed by another Typhoon a few minutes later and seriously wounded. Around the same time, a Hawker Typhoon attacked the Cannon Company of 120th Infantry Regiment, US 30th Division, near Mortain, killing 15 men.[79] An hour later, RAF Typhoons strafed 'B' Company/US 120th Infantry Regiment on Hill 285, killing a driver of a weapons carrier.[80]


  • 9 August – A RAF Hawker Typhoon strafed units of the British Columbia Regiment and the Algonquin Regiment, 4th Canadian Armoured Division, near Quesnay Wood during Operation Totalize, causing several casualties. Later that day, the same units were mistakenly fired upon by tanks and artillery of the 1st Polish Armoured Division, resulting in more casualties.

  • 12 August – RAF Hawker Typhoons fired rockets at Sherman tanks of 'A' Company, US 743rd Tank Battalion, near Mortain, France, causing damage to one tank and badly injuring two tank crewmen.[84]

  • 13 August – 12 British soldiers of 'B' Company, 4th Wiltshires, 43rd Wessex Division, were killed and 25 others wounded when they were hit by rockets and machine gun attacks by RAF Typhoons near La Villette, Calvados, France.[85]

  • 14 August – RAF heavy bombers hit Allied troops in error during Operation Tractable causing about 490 casualties including 112 dead. The bombings also destroyed 265 Allied vehicles, 30 field guns and two tanks. British anti-aircraft guns opened fire on the RAF bombers and some may have been hit.

  • 17 August – RAF fighters attacked the soldiers of the British 7th Armoured Division, resulting in 20 casualties, including the intelligence officer of 8th Hussars who was badly injured. The colonel riding along was badly shaken when their jeep crashed off the road.[86]

  • 14–18 August – The South Alberta Regiment of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division came under fire six times by RAF Spitfires, resulting in over 57 casualties. Many vehicles were also set on fire and the yellow smoke used for signalling friendlies was ignored by Spitfire pilots. An officer of the South Alberta demanded that he wanted his Crusader AA tanks to shoot at the Spitfires attacking his Headquarters.[87]

  • 27 August – A minesweeping flotilla of Royal Navy ships came under fire near Le Havre. At about noon on 27 August, HMS Britomart, Salamander, Hussar and Jason came under rocket and cannon attacks by Hawker Typhoon aircraft of No. 263 Squadron RAF and No. 266 Squadron RAF. HMS Britomart and HMS Hussar took direct hits and were sunk. HMS Salamander had her stern blown off and sustained heavy damage. HMS Jason was raked by machine gun fire, killing and wounding several of her crew. Two of the accompanying trawlers were also hit. The total loss of life was 117 sailors killed and 153 wounded. The attack had continued despite the attempts by the ships to signal that they were friendly and radio requests by the commander of the aircraft for clarification of his target. In the aftermath the surviving sailors were told to keep quiet about the attack. The subsequent court of enquiry identified the fault as lying with the Navy, which had requested the attack on what they thought were enemy vessels entering or leaving Le Havre, and three RN officers were put before a court martial. The commander of Jason and his crew were decorated for their part in rescuing their comrades. At the time reporting of the incident was suppressed with information not fully released until 1994.[88][89][90]
 
Another incident
Imber friendly fire incident took place on 13 April 1942 at Imber in the English county of Wiltshire during the Second World War. One of the Royal Air Force fighter aircraft taking part in a firepower demonstration accidentally opened fire on a crowd of spectators, killing 25 and wounding 71. Pilot error and bad weather were blamed for the incident.

Twenty-five officers were killed and 71 injured.
RIP

Who needs A10's when we had Hurricane for ground attack.
After The Battle magazine did a story on the Imber incident in Issue 49. ISSUE No. 49 - After the Battle
 
*Ahem* from the Wiki link above:-

"Despite the statement from the coroner McLachlan was an American who had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and officially a "Canadian""

Not that I wish to be seen reinforcing stereotypes, oh no.
Born Spokane Washington to Canadian Father and Scottish Mother

His brother Lieutenant D.H. McLachlan was also KIA with the Seaforth highlanders of Canada
 
We watched a group (maybe a squadron) of A10s coming just over our heads and absolutely demolishing the targets and a piece of ground on a hilltop opposite. As one finished firing and peeled off shooting flares the next one came over and opened up. Probably about ten minutes or so.

Very sobering realizing what it would be to be on the end of that.
 

WALT

War Hero
Good thing eh?
My first thought was "Aha, a bite!" but then I thought maybe I should do something a bit more grown up, so from the following link, which is far from scientific, I have compiled the following league table of blue on blue fatalities during WW2 :-


Britain - 15,680
Italy - 1
Germany -1,844
China - 1
USA - 3,711
Canada - 129
Japan - 1,700
Australia- 8

Hmm, maybe I should wind my neck in.

I ran out of enthusiasm to go any further, so if anyone would like to summarise the post war period, feel free.
 
My first thought was "Aha, a bite!" but then I thought maybe I should do something a bit more grown up, so from the following link, which is far from scientific, I have compiled the following league table of blue on blue fatalities during WW2 :-


Britain - 15,680
Italy - 1
Germany -1,844
China - 1
USA - 3,711
Canada - 129
Japan - 1,700
Australia- 8

Hmm, maybe I should wind my neck in.

I ran out of enthusiasm to go any further, so if anyone would like to summarise the post war period, feel free.
Nah its just amazing when you think about it that everyone going around tooled up, adrenalin pumping there wasnt much more of it
 
We had a sort of Chieftain accident, an AVLB was being towed by one of our Cent ARVs with a borrowed Wedgehead driver in the cab. Alas approaching an incline and he didn't quite manage the gears properly. Woosh down the hill with the brakes fading to nothing in no time went this 80 ton or so combo, luckily only clipping the farmhouse at the bottom but making a bigger dent in the barn before it all lurched to a halt.

Cheiftains had a habit of nipping/destroying the pub at the bottom of the hill at the border of the range road at Fally during my time at 7Armd, and the tradition was carried on in Challenger time too.
 

JJWRacing

Swinger
I was in 613 TACP (FAC) '88-'90, so managed to see all 3 sides of CAS very close up. Giving orders for CAS, flying and locating targets and dummy attacks on our positions, and I can say, CAS is bloody difficult, without the extra added map reading, speaking in a clear manner while under fire, and hearing the C/S who is in desperate trouble and needing some CAS to stop been overrun, the weapons platform changing ie, Harrier, Tornado, A10, Bell Huey Cobra at the last minute. Blue on Blue is very very easy.
1989 - Live firing attack, with Para Regt Battlegroup, including HAC. "Target Light tanks and troops in open, distance from IP xxxx, bearing xxxx etc etc. Yep you guessed it the bombs landed in our position, luckily everybody walked away, albeit with some very damp and soiled trousers, error of distance by 1km at 15km from IP at 400mph easy to do, on a clear bright day and no flak, so add all the outside elements I have previously mentioned, it very easy to do.
 
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We had a sort of Chieftain accident, an AVLB was being towed by one of our Cent ARVs with a borrowed Wedgehead driver in the cab. Alas approaching an incline and he didn't quite manage the gears properly. Woosh down the hill with the brakes fading to nothing in no time went this 80 ton or so combo, luckily only clipping the farmhouse at the bottom but making a bigger dent in the barn before it all lurched to a halt.

Cheiftains had a habit of nipping/destroying the pub at the bottom of the hill at the border of the range road at Fally during my time at 7Armd, and the tradition was carried on in Challenger time too.
The range road at Oerbke hamlet near Fallingbostel used to have a kink, and a junction where, if you were heading north, you could turn left and go the town, the back (St Barbara’s) end of the camp and the sidings. I think there was a pub there that was clipped, is that the one?
 
Was the passenger in an MK on exercise doing a water bowser run at about 3 AM, both me and the driver were absolutely "cream crackered" from a lack of sleep. I noticed we were slowly closing up on a convoy of Chiefies with their turrets locked in the reverse "transit" position.......involuntary nod off.......woke up about 400 yds from convoy..... involuntary nod off...... woke up about 200 yards from convoy...... involuntary nod off...... woke up to a 120mm barrel end about 6 feet away.....my involuntary scream woke my driver!
 
OK, hopefully someone on here can help with some research I am doing. Does anyone remember or have experience of any fires, explosions or accidents in Chieftain? I have heard of a double fatal in 1962 but cannot find anything relating to it or other accidents.
I was 14/20th KH REME LAD at Paderborn in July 1969 when a Chieftain was stationary on the local tank training area when another panzer collided with the gun barrel ripping it out of its cradle, causing the turret to rotate. It literally cut one trooper, in half and badly injured another who was on the rear decking. Sad day.
I've got further details, names etc if you are interested. Sad day!
 

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