Military => Military Personnel => Topic started by: kyn on September 17, 2009, 13:51:48

Title: Frederick T. Pullen
Post by: kyn on September 17, 2009, 13:51:48
Frederick T. Pullen
J388 Able Seaman
HMS Actaeon
28th March 1912 Age 20
A naval aviation pioneer remembered for his loss and his place in history


Listed here as - Frederick Pullen - ? March 1912 - Eastchurch

The Times reported:

1st April 1912
Able Seaman, Frederick Pullen, of HMS Acteaon, who was struck on the head on Friday evening by the propeller of an aeroplane, has died at the Royal Naval Sick Quarters, Sheerness Dockyard, as the result of the terribe injuries he received.
Title: Re: Frederick T. Pullen
Post by: kyn on September 20, 2009, 19:06:15
On this website:

It has been noted that Frederick Pullen was rather accident prone when it came to propellors!

A report of the circumstances of his death is in Flight Magazine of 6 April 1912, without any dates, and it implies that he may have slipped into the propeller while trying to remove chocks from the wheels.
     Of interest is the fact that he seems to have been a bit careless around propellors. Flight Magazine of 13 Jan 1912 reports on his being sent to the hospital with broken arm and leg after being hit with a propeller.

Could he have had a specific job where he only really worked on this part of a plane?  Or is it just unfortunate that he was injured by the same part both times?
Title: Re: Frederick T. Pullen
Post by: Paul on September 21, 2009, 11:09:16
Looks like HMS Actaeon was a shore esablishment in 1914 something to do with Torpedoes :)

Could it have been fitting Torpedos to aircraft?
Title: Re: Frederick T. Pullen
Post by: Islesy on September 22, 2009, 08:44:10
I think the word 'Pioneer' has been used in it's proper context here - in 1912 aviation was still a novelty. Remember, only three years prior to his death, Bleriot had only just limped across the channel.
Anybody working in aviation was a pioneer, the trail had not yet been trod! As an aside, it would appear that the Pullens were considered to be be one of Sheppey's main families. Maybe that gave rise to a little poetic licence on the memorial?
Title: Re: Frederick T. Pullen
Post by: kyn on October 13, 2009, 08:13:33
Some more information has been added by a family member here:

It gives a bit more detail of the accident and his place as an aviation pioneer....

"He was the first navy able seaman killed by an aircraft". This has been acknowledged by Ministry Of Defence. Hence the grave inscription "A Naval Aviation Pioneer Remembered For His Loss And His Place In History."
Title: Re: Frederick T. Pullen
Post by: seafordpete on October 13, 2009, 08:57:35
From my trawlings of the Times earlier in the year Actaeon was used as the depot ship for pilots when training at Eastchurch  under civilian instructors.
Title: Re: Frederick T. Pullen
Post by: tartle on February 15, 2012, 14:47:50
This is the logbook entry for Maurice Egerton on 29th March 1912
Seaman caught by back propeller of Navy triple.

and Flight wrote
Sad indeed was the accident sustained by one of the seamen, Fred Pullen, assisting in the Naval aviation operations at Eastchurch. To injuries received through coming into contact with a revolving propeller, he succumbed, and at the inquest which followed a verdict of “Accidental death" was expressed. Those who saw the accident say that he appeared to have forgotten the proximity of the propeller and walked on to it as he was going to remove the chocks from the wheels. Whether he did this, or whether he meant to pass close to it and by accident, slipped  and fell on to the propeller, can never be known. It was with the Short triple-propeller twin-engined biplane that the accident occurred.

Extract from Flight 6th June 1912