The aircraft, belonging to 7 Elementary Flying Training School at Desford,
was apparently involved in some unauthorised low flying over Blackbrook Reservoir, near Shepshed. According to eyewitnesses, the aircraft's undercarriage struck the water, during a low pass.
The pilot was seen to escape the sinking aircraft, but sadly drowned whilst attempting to swim to shore.
R/73494 Flight Sergeant J E RATIGAN RCAF (Pilot ) Aged 25
Flight Sergeant Ratigan was an Instructor at RAF Desford.
He is buried at Ibstock Cemetery.
The aircraft was recovered, and flew again with 19 Group CF,
6 OTU & Aldergrove until it was struck off charge and sold as scrap 20:07:53.
Thanks to Mr John H Collier for the additional information on the aircraft.