Peter Naylor


Peter "Zoot" Naylor was born on the 20th December 1922 and having survived being shot down over Germany in April 1945 he was later killed in a civilian airliner crash with his wife Mary in the Pyrenees, France. Peter and Mary had no children.

Many thanks to the friendly staff from the Sheffield Library (local studies section) and also Fred Kirkland who answered a request for information in the local Sheffield newspaper. Without their help Peter's story may never have been discovered.

The photo above (taken by Ian Macfarlane) shows the accident aircraft with British registration prior to being registered F-BJER.

The photo above (taken by Ken Wilkinson) shows the same type aircraft painted in AIRNAUTIC colours

The accident aircraft Airnautic F-BJER

Photo: Peter Brown

Source: Photobucket

Newspaper reports typed out from copies sent to me from the Sheffield Library


The Star–Sheffield

 Thursday, September 12th, 1963




THIRTY SIX British holiday makers and the French crew of four were killed early today when their Viking airliner crashed into a mountain in the Pyrenees.

The plane crashed in a violent thunderstorm only 30 miles from its destination Perpignan, after a flight from Gatwick. Rescue workers who toiled up the 5000ft. Pic De La Rouquette to reach the wreckage reported that there were no survivors. The Britons had been on their way to the Costa Brava for an 11-12 day holiday, booked through a Lancashire travel agency.


A massive air search was launched this morning after the plane failed to arrive at Perpignan. For nine hours, the desperate search went on, the came the report that the wreckage had been spotted. Rescue workers, including gendarmes, mobile police and volunteers, raced to the scene but it was too late.

A second airliner taking holidaymakers to Perpignan left soon after the Viking, but was diverted to Toulouse because of violent weather over Southern France. The Britons on board, who had booked their holidays through the same travel agency, were taken on by coach to the Costa Bravo unaware of the disaster that had befallen the Viking.

A spokesman for the agency, Lyons Tours Ltd of Colne said no passenger list was available yet. But it knows the victims came from many parts of Britain.


A resident of the Vernet-les Bains area, near the crash occurred told of hearing a plane during last night’s storm. “Around midnight a strong storm broke out and I was not able to sleep.” said Madame Marcel Marchand, wife of a forester who lives near the town. “The sky was lighted by great flashes of lightning. Suddenly there was a violent explosion. The sound was so great I knew it could not be made by the thunder.”

“I was told later that other people heard the noise but none of us thought at the moment that it was a plane. But now that I think of it, I recall hearing a plane which seemed to be circling. “Then the storm eased and I went to sleep. When we heard in town that a plane was missing, I then realised that it must have been the explosion I heard last night.”


The control tower at the Labanere Airport near the Perpignan said that it had its last contact with the Viking five minutes before it was to land. The control tower said the pilot indicated he was having trouble with his radio-compass.

During the past dozen years, the region of Perpignan has been the site of eight plane crashes killing 97 people. Most recently, in October 1961. a British plane crashed near Prades, killing 34 people, and last January , a French military plane crashed killing 12.


The Star–Sheffield

 Friday, September 13th, 1963



The bodies of the 36 holiday makers who died in the Viking airliner crash in the Pyrenees are to be flown back to Britain for burial, a spokesman for the travel agents who organised the all-in Costa Brava trip said today. Rescue workers will today bring the bodies down the mountainside to a temporary mortuary at Prades.

A spokesman for Lyons Tours Ltd of Clone Lancashire said today that they had taken the responsibility of bringing back the bodies to Britain. "A group of undertakers were flown out by us last night to make funeral arrangements for the return," she said.


The spokesman said they were making no changes in their holiday programmed. "On Saturday we shall be taking out more holidaymakers on flights from Gatwick and Luton airports." He added "we were satisfied there was nothing wrong with the aircraft on the flight which crashed. We are satisfied it was not the aircraft, but due to other factors like the storm, which caused the crash.


Rescuers said everyone must have been killed outright. A gendarme officer said: "The accident took place at the worst part of a violent storm. There were flashes of lightening every few minutes, rain and gusts of violent wind." The Sheffield couple who died were Mr. Peter Naylor, aged 40, and his wife Mary aged 37, of Hurst Road Broomhall. Mr. Naylor was an engineer with the British Railways, was in the RAF, during World War II, he was shot down over Germany and spent some time in a POW camp.

His wife was assistant to the manager at Eadon Engravers in Shoreham Street, Sheffield. They had no children.


A Derbyshire farmer's wife and her daughter were today still marveling at their escape, they were unable to book seats on the plane. They are Mrs. Emily Holding , aged 50 and her 17 year old daughter Angela of Yelwood Farm Baslow. But the Holding's have not been put off flying by the tragedy. They plan to fly to the Costa Brava from Gatwick on Saturday.



Flight Crew

Captain Dunoyer, First Officer Leopold Marold, Navigator Emile Jamin, Stewardess Muriel Tiberghain



Update - Message received 07 April 2021 gives us the information regarding the final resting place of Peter & Mary.


From Sheffield Indexers site

NAYLOR, Mary (Wife of Peter Athern, age 37).
Died at Plc de la Roquette; Buried on September 23, 1963 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 4430, Section C3 of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: ~. Remarks: Removed from Perpignan, France. In Alps - air accident.

NAYLOR, Peter Athern (Methods Engineer, age 40).
Died at Plc de la Roquette; Buried on September 23, 1963 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 4430, Section C3 of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: ~. Remarks: Removed from Perpignan, France. In Alps - air accident.


Photo - Tony Morton