Desmond Arthur was born in County Clare, Ireland back in 1884 to Thomas and Helen. Educated at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen afterwards he joined the 5th Battalion Royal Muster Fusiliers being promoted to Lieutenant in 1911. In 1912 he joined the Royal Flying Corps, the first of its kind in Britain.
In 1913 he was coming in for a landing in the B.E. 2 biplane at 2,500 feet when the right wing of the aircraft snapped off and plunged to the ground. Desmond was found about 160 feet from his aircraft. His death was the first one in the Royal Flying Corps. An investigation determined that an incompetent repair of a broken spur caused the aircraft to break apart. Now for the eerie part, are you ready??? Her we go..
In the Autumn of 1916 Major Cyril Foggin first saw it in the officer’s mess. There were other sightings by other officers. Of course, I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now but what they saw was a ghostly figure. The fear spread causing guards to desert their posts and pilots to transfer. A later investigation as to the cause of the crash determined it was not due to any pilot error but to the original report of a faulty spur. The figure appeared once again in 1917 after the final investigation. That is until 1940 when a Hurricane pilot was distracted by a “mysterious biplane”. The figure was seen from time to time throughout the 40’s and once during 1950. The last sighting was in 1963 when he saw what he believed was a 70-horsepower B.E. 2 biplane, the pilot was wearing a leather flying helmet, goggles and a flying scarf.
So who is up for a trip to Montrose, Scotland?