Fire over Heathrow (Hardback)
The tragedy of flight 712
One and a half minutes after take-off on the clear and sunny afternoon of 8 April 1968, the Number 2 engine of BOAC Boeing 707 G-ARWE broke away from its mounting pylon and fell, tumbling in flames. Captain Cliff Taylor managed an extremely smooth touchdown about 400 yards beyond the Heathrow runway threshold and the aircraft came to a stop 1,400 yards further along the runway. The cabin crew had the doors open and passengers began escaping from the starboard over-wing exit and then via chutes at the forward and rear galley doors. Several explosions occurred and the port wing fell off, the resulting blast hurling flaming debris over the side of the aircraft. The rear escape chute was damaged by the fire and burst but, of the 126 people aboard, most of the 121 survivors had escaped before the arrival of the main fire and rescue services. Thirty-eight people received treatment for injuries and five, including stewardess Barbara Jane Harrison, were overcome by heat and fumes and died aboard G-ARWE. For her bravery in trying to rescue the remaining passengers on that day Jane Harrison was awarded the George Cross.
Fire Over Heathrow is a fascinating and informative bookWar Books out now
This is an amazing story. Jane Harrison is still the only woman to be awarded the George Cross in peace-time and what separates her from the other female winners is that they were involved in wartime and knew that their lives were in danger. Jane went to work and carried out an act of extraordinary bravery and unselfishness. This book is a fitting tribute to Jane and the other unfortunate people who lost their lives. It is extremely well written and I would highly recommend it.Jonathan Wright
Harley Boxall was awarded his RAF wings on 3 October 1936 and was posted to 40 Squadron flying Hawker Hinds. On 1 April1937 he was posted to Bircham Newton in Norfolk to train with 206 Squadron which was a General Reconnaissance and Training unit equipped with the Avro Anson. He then joined 62 Squadron shortly after it was formed and received its first Blenheim in February 1938. During the summer of 1939 and because of increasing political tension in Europe, a decision was taken to reinforce the Far East Air Force with two squadrons of Blenheims. The urgency of the situation required that the…By Joe Bamford, Group Captain Harley Boxall
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