5 September 1918 :  Lieut: Eugenio Da Silva Possolo Air Force (RAF/RFC)

Born 10 September 1894 in Brazin

Brazilian, Eugenio Da Silva Possolo, was attached to 50 Training Depot Station RAF from the Brazilian Navy.

He was was killed when the Sopwith Camel (C3294) he was flying collided with another Sopwith Camel (F3207) flown by Second Lieutenant Reginald Horace Sanders, who also died in the accident.

At the time of the accident Lieutenant Possolo was resident at 17 Sunnydean, Bedford Well Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Brazil had declared war on the Germany on 26 October 1917 after having many ships sunk by German submarines. According to the Military History Forum Officers from the Army and Navy were sent to Britain in January 1918 to receive flying training from the Royal Naval Air Service.

Inspection of a Sopwith at a different Squadron (Kingston Aviation)

According to the Eastbourne Gazette a formation of six aeroplanes, three flown by Brazilian officers, took off from the airfield on the morning of 5 September. The leader of the formation Capt Frank H. Creasy, RAF, stated that they reached a height of about 1,500 ft when he saw Lt Reginald Horace Sanders of 50 TDS (Eastbourne), piloting a Sopwith Camel (F3207) about 100 ft above First Lt Eugenio de Silva Possolo. Lt Sanders started to descend to take his place in the formation about thirty yards to the side of Lt Possolo. However he appeared to lose sight of the other aircraft and struck it to the rear and on top of it. Both machines crashed to the ground in a field near to a farmhouse at Friday Street.

Image of a similar fatal accident (Kingston Aviation)

Two of the other aircraft, a Sopwith Pup and an Avro, landed on the adjacent common. The pilots got out and ran over to the wreckage, to find the two men dead. 

The Coroner expressed the view that no blame was attached to either officer and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death. 

After a burial service, Lt Possolo was interred at Ocklynge Cemetery, Eastbourne where he rests to this day. 


Died 5 September 1918 

Primeiro tenente Marinha do Brasil



Aviation Safety Network 

Find a Grave

Eastbourne Gazette 11 Sept 1918
The Militarian 

Kingston Aviation: Sopwith Day by Day