55 Coy RASC (AD). 23 November 1956
On 23rd November 1956, Valetta VX525 of 48 Sqn RAF was on a supply dropping task. When reaching the DZ (Dropping Zone), Fort Hau near to Gua Musang, the pilot reported that the weather was too bad for the drop. The Valetta was turned and flown down the valley, under a bank of broken cloud, at an altitude of 1500 feet. The Valetta then descended and turned back up the valley at low height. As it came abreast of the DZ, the pilot was faced with a solid bank of cloud and attempted to turn through 180 degrees. Towards the end of the turn, the nose dropped and the aircraft dived into the ground having stalled. A witness to the crash reported that the aircraft was flying low and suddenly rolled, crashed and burst in flames.
All the bodies were recovered and the Despatchers were buried in Cheras Road Christian Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur.
Fl. Off. Witham and Sgt Benton were cremated and their ashes returned to the UK. Fl .Of. Selth was cremated and his ashes scattered in Kranji Military Cemetery, Singapore.
The men who died were:-
- Fg. Off. J.A.N. Selth. Pilot
- Fg. Off . J.H. Witham. Navigator
- Sgt. K.L. Benton. Signaller
- Cpl J.E. Wellman. Crew Commander
- Dvr P. Studd
- Dvr F.J Merrett
- Dvr E. Roberts
I am indebted to Shaharom Ahmad and the late Sagar Ahmad of the Malaya Historical Group for information and permission to use the following crash site photographs.
Fort Hau on Google Earth