Papers relating to the air crash investigations of George William Gregory



Admin History:

George William Gregory began his career at Lloyd's of London in 1919 and was an insurance broker specialising in the drafting of aviation insurance schedules until 1940. He then became a deputy underwriter with a Lloyd's syndicate dealing in aviation insurance internationally. During the war he served with Fighter and Coastal Command Flight Operation in the Royal Air Force and returned to Lloyd's in 1945. In 1948 he became a member of the first Lloyd's Aviation Underwriters' Association Committee drafting and producing a 'standard' aviation insurance policy for Lloyds known as AV1.

In 1954 he was elected to the technical and clauses committee of the Underwriters' Association and for the next dozen years he helped to produce Lloyds's first 'standard specimen form' of liabilities policies for use in the United States, Canada and Switzerland. In 1959 he joined the leading Lloyds syndicate dealing with aviation insurance, E R H Hill, again as deputy underwriter. As with the previous syndicate he considered the acceptance and premium rating of aviation insurance risks. He also dealt with the major insurance claims made against his syndicate and this work, more than anything, has shaped the creation of the records in Hull University Archives.


U DGR comprises three boxes of insurance schedules, accident reports and litigation papers (including photographs) as well as a few other miscellaneous papers collected during the career of George William Gregory as an insurance investigator.

The accident reports and litigation papers span the dates 1948-1974 and include reports on the 1948 loss of the 'Star Tiger' in the Azores; the 1948 crash of a United Airlines crash at Mount Carmel; the 1961 crash of a Sabena Boeing 707 in Brussels; the 1963 mid-air collision between a Middle East Airlines Viscount and a military C47 in Ankara; the 1964 crash of a Middle East Airlines Caravelle at Dahran in the Persian Gulf; the 1965 crash of 'the Flight of the Phoenix' (Twentieth-Century Fox-Tallamantz Aviation) at Buttercup Valley in California; the 1966 mid-air explosion of Aden Airways Dakota VR-WAN; the 1967 losses of a Nigerian Airways Dakota and Fokker Friendship; the 1967 crash of a Lake Central Airlines Convair 580 in Ohio; the 1967 crash of an Air Canada Douglas DC8F-54; the 1967 loss of a Hawker Siddeley 125 at Luton; the 1968 crash at the Farnborough Air Show of a Breguet 1150 Atlantic aircraft; the 1969 crash of an Avion Airways Douglas DC3 at New Orleans; the 1970 crash of a Swissair Coronado HB-ICD in Wurenlingen, Switzerland; the 1970 crash of ALM/ONA DC9 in the Virgin Islands and the 1971 collision at Sydney airport of a Canadian Pacific Douglas DC8 and a Trans-Australian Airlines Boeing 727.

Perhaps of particular interest amongst the air crash investigation papers are those relating to the destruction of several aircraft at Beirut in the Lebanon in 1968 in a raid by the Israeli Armed Forces and the 1970 report of the hijack of a Swissair DC8 in Jordan. The collection also contains 261 photographs (circa 1930-1970) of aircraft and air crashes including many of those mentioned above.

In addition the collection contains various aviation regulations (for example, for pilot licence loss in the United States in the 1940s); specific agreements struck such as that between the British Overseas Airways Corporation and Borneo Company Limited for handling agency in 1955 and a letter of George Gregory from 1963 with enclosed technical reports of the Rolls Royce Limited Engine Division about the radioactive contamination of aircraft engines. Insurance schedules and policies cover the years 1913 to circa 1960s and include the United States war risk policies of the 1960s.