Flying Officer Patrick Nelson Sealy-Allin
On 1st March 1929, Flying Officer Patrick Nelson Sealy-Allin, of No.23 squadron, lost his life when his Gloster Gamecock (J8094) collided with another (J8415) flown by Ft/Sgt. James Guy Freeman. The crash, together with Freeman’s dramatic escape by parachute, is described in this article from an Australian newspaper….
PILOTS PARACHUTE ESCAPE.
“Flying Officer Patrick N. Sealy-Allin, of 23 (Fighter) Squadron, R.A.F., was killed and Sergeant Pilot J. G Freeman had a wonderful escape, when the aeroplanes they were piloting were in collision above Kenley aerodrome, England.
The two machines went out of control after the collision at 1,000ft. Sergeant Freeman threw himself out with his parachute and landed safely on the roof of a hangar. Mr Sealy-Allin was apparently unable to free himself, and was found dead, jammed in the cockpit of his wrecked machine. Sergeant Freeman was blown by the wind towards the hangars, and could be seen tugging at his parachute ropes in a desperate effort to steer himself clear of the obstruction. He was unsuccessful and only by desperate kicking was he able to throw himself clear of a glass roof, into which he nearly crashed. He landed on the sloping roof of the hangar and was stranded their until a number of men took a ladder across and helped him down. “I heard a crash as the two machines came together in mid-air,” said a spectator “then both machines twisted and turned as they crashed earthwards. I saw Freeman throw himself out and, for a minute or two I thought his, parachute was not going to open. It did, however and he came down safely.”
Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954) Previous issue Thursday 18 April 1929.
At the inquest into the accident, on 5th March, Sgt. Freeman described how he had been aloft for about 35 minutes, practicing aerobatics and had just completed a roll when he saw the other Gamecock, flown by Sealy-Allin, disappear under his starboard wing, hitting his aircraft from underneath. The impact caused him to flip over, so he undid his harness and baled out. Freeman could offer no explanation of how the two aircraft got so close together, but Flight Commander Croome explained to the coroner that the upper and lower wings obstructed the pilot’s view, causing blind spots. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
Both aircraft crashed 150-200 yards apart on the airfield. One of them had begun to break up in the impact and large pieces of the wing together with the petrol tank rained down on the fields near the aerodrome – several workman had narrow escapes from the falling wreckage.
Patrick Nelson Sealy-Allin was born on the 11th November 1905 and baptised on 4th January 1906 in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, India. His parents were Auriol Sealy-Allin from Cork, Ireland and Rose Goddard of Kilburn, London.
F/O Sealy-Allin was laid to rest in Airmen’s corner, St. Luke’s churchyard, Whyteleafe.
The inscription on his grave reads:
“I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you unto myself”
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.