DE HAVILLAND VAMPIRE VZ874
|A 'VZ' in rocks denotes the location the aircraft impacted the mountain|
Flying by instruments alone and only ten minutes after taking off the aircraft crashed into the West of the summit of Mynydd Mawr in Snowdonia. Unfortunately Sub-Lt Davies was killed in the crash.
The aircraft is said to have exploded on impact many parts of the aircraft continued across the summit and fell into the the cwm below on the East face of the summit.
The alleged impact point is now marked by the aircraft's letters in the scree a V and a Z .We found nothing here now...but possibly didnt look hard enough because photographs of small fragments can be seen on the internet.
On descending into Cwm Planwydd we had more success finding engine parts and aircraft spars.
The Aircraft a D.H. 100 F.B.Mk 5 was built at Broughton as a batch order of 63 machines.
|A spar and some engine parts in the Cwm|
De Havilland Mosquito MkII W4088
Flying out of RAF Cranfield on a night navigation exercise the crew became misplaced and crashed into the hillside at a col below the summit. The aircraft broke up and was scattered over a wide area, the bulk of it coming to rest and burning out.
This location can still be seen. a liberal scattering of brass screws from the wooden aircrafts structure and molten alloy from the engines cover the site.
Further down the hill a substantial section of undercarriage remains still with timber extant attached.
Other smaller pieces of wreckage can be found with a careful search of the area.
Unfortunately both crewmen were killed in the crash. They were
Captain J. De Thuisy
Pilot Officer J. Marchal
|Location where the aircraft burnt out|
Avro Lancaster NE132
|Wreckage lays amongst the scree in the foreground|
|Reduction gear still with stubs of the props attached|
The aircraft apparently entered a Cumulo-Nimbus cloud and it is suspected that ice formed upon the fuselage and wings causing a catastrophic airframe failure . The aircraft broke up in flight plummeting down into the mountainside .
Fatigue may have played its part for the aircraft had completed many missions over enemy territory before being 'retired' into No. 1653 HCU for use in training .
The whole crew died :
F/O David H.R.Evans Pilot
F/O Maxwell W. Moon Navigator
Sgt. Charles W. Souden Bomb Aimer
Sgt. George E.W. Hodge Flt. Engineer
Sgt. Arthur D. Gash Air Gunner
Sgt. Harold Neilsen Air Gunner
Sgt. Alfred E. Oliff Air Gunner/Wireless Op
F/O;s Evans and Moon were Australian and members of the RAAF.
Sgt Neilsen was from Chile .
It is known that two of the men managed to bale out but were too low for their parachutes to open properly .
The bodies of two other crewmen, F/O Evans and Sgt Gash have never been found . This makes the main impact point a war grave . Their names are on the Runnymede Memorial . F/O Evans on panel 283 and Sgt Gash on panel 272 .
Whilst of little comfort to the families of the men it can at least be said that they are in one of the most serenely beautiful areas of Snowdonia .
|View from the crash site|
This is a picture I took of a card left at the memorial . A thoughtful addition by someone .
The R3 means that it was a Manchester built aircraft part . the others are part numbers .
there is some strong evidence to suggest that the part in question was a part of the regular crew entrance to the aircraft towards the rear of the fuselage . more than that , it has as part of the chunk the ridged threshold with a section of exterior panel and interior strengthening ribs and plates . Its quite nice to be able to put a name to a part of the shattered fragments .
|Bullet remains from the burnt out aircraft , no dates were discernible|
|I suspect this was something to do with the engine|
Bristol Beaufighter RD210
|looking up the mountain toward the gulley which contains much wreckage|
W/O Derrick R. Newbury Nav RAF
|Looking down hill at the foot of the gulley , a peice of undercarriage is eveident in the foreground . Ian can be seen looking back up giving scale to the scene . The snow is definately thinning out here .|
|A small section of panel|
|Ian looking at a chunk and looking like he has enjoyed the scramble down the gulley|
|there are largish chunks all the way down to the water . Although we never did find one of the engines that was reportedly at the waters edge .|
|Thats me , rolling down the gulley , nimble like a fox ! It looks sunny but it was just a brief respite from the snow showers that came and went all day . Its amazing where this hobby can take you .|
GRUMMAN AVENGER FN821
It was on a flight from Gosport to HMS Robin in the Orkney Islands stopping at Machrihanish on the way .
It is also said that there were Four people killed on the flight but some sources only say three were killed .
Whatever the truth is ,only three names are at present known . If any one can bring light to the subject please feel free to add comment with the facts .
2nd Pilot S/L Ernest Hartley Green (22)
Observer S/L Joe Lupton (21)
|A Fleet Airarm Grumman Avenger|
The crew were, as is common place for these incidents, on a nightime navigation exercise .This time though the weather was clement and therefore the reasons for the crash are not clear . The time
of crash was noted by an army traing unit down by Llyn Ogwen (perhaps utilising the pillbox) as 22.38.
All the crew were killed .
Flt Sgt James Alexander Johnston RAAF Pilot
Flt Sgt Eloi Joseph Emile Beaudry RCAF Navigator
F/O Lawrence Fullerton RCAF Wireless Operator / Air gunner
Flt Sgt Archibald Sidney Clegg RCAF Air gunner
Off route presumably lost the aircraft descended through cloud crashing near to Fan Hir on Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons .
The crew of four all initially survived the impact , one unharmed three badly injured . Subsequently , three days later, the pilot died of his injuries.
The crew were
F/Sgt Kenneth S. H. Bird (died of injuries, 29.9.42)
Sgt J. Head (unhurt, helped locals carry the injured off the hill )
Sgt. W.D. Barr Injured
|photoshows impact scar now marked by a small cairn|
The pilot of the first Aircraft died in the crash. He was
These shots show the location of the main wreckage pool amidst the mountains!
Flying out of RAF Wellebourne for a nightime navigation exercise. Shortly before 20.50 hrs the crew sent a radio message asking permission to go below cloud as they were having trouble with the starboard engine. They descended and hit the hill.
All six crewman were killed.
Sgt CHARLES HAMEL Pilot
Sgt JULES ROBERT RENE VILLENEUVE Nav
F/O WILLIAM JOSEPH ALLISON B/A
Sgt JOSEPH PAUL ERNEST BURKE WO/AG
Sgt ARTHUR GROUIX A/G
Sgt GERARD DUSABLON A/G
Probaly this parks best preserved crash site, it is often visited by enthusiasts and casual walkers alike .
Despite feeling in the middle of nowhere once there, it is in fact quite easy to get to without too much hardship..
MARTIN B-26 44-68072
Low cloud and high winds resulted in them going off course and flying at just over 3000 feet they decided to either land not realising they were off course or to attempt to get a fix by dropping beneath the clouds . Perhaps unaware of the dangers of flying in the UK in cloud they descended straight into the near summit of Y Garn in the Snowdonia mountain range Wales.
The aircraft broke in two on impact the front section hurtling over the ridge and down into Cwm Cywion . One crew member lay dead near the summit the other four remained in the wreckage that went down into the Cwm . Eyewitness accounts of the scene state that they could not have survived the intial impact .
It was another two days before the bodies were recovered from the snow covered mountain.
The crew of 5 were
2ndLt. Kenneth W.Carty Pilot
2ndLt William H. Cardwell Co-pilot
1stLt. Nolen B. Sowell Nav.
Cpl. Jack D. Arnold Rad. Op.
Cpl. Rudolph M . Aguirre Eng.
All were from States across America .
Up to the 60's and 70's much wreckage remained but since then 'enthusiasts ' have removed it .....very little remains now at the summit , we found small pieces of alloy from an engine cylinder casing and a few shards of glass there. More is to be found in the Cwm and on the scree but even then it amounts to very little .
A tragic event , the crewmen never really had a chance to aclimatise themselves to the weather over the UK which claimed a very many lives during the war .
|Ian stood on the initial impact point|
Wreckage can be found over a great distance , there is so much in fact as to be near impossible to miss. The reason for the crash is not known.
Tragically both crew men were killed in the crash . They were
F/Lt William Albert Bell Pilot
F/Lt Kenneth Charles Frederick Shelley Navigator
The shot above shows a plaque made from part of the aircraft attached to one of the engine parts
The crew of 4 were on a cross country training flight when they broke formation and crashed high on the mountain .the wreckage is strewn from the impact point down to the boggy valley floor below.
The crew who were all killed were
Sgt Alfred Ernest Hall Pilot
Sgt.Fred Graham ObsSgt. Anthony Charles Catton Obs
LAC Geoffrey Halstead JamesW/O+Obs
DOUGLAS BOSTON Z2186
Flying out of the 418 squadron base of RAF Bradwell Bay on a cross country training flight . They entered cloud an hour into the flight and navigated using their compass and radio bearings . Unfortunately they were off course and flying at 3000 feet smashed into the mountain . A few hundred feet higher and they would have cleared it.
Two of the crew died in the crash but one ,the pilot , survived with some major injuries.
Sgt. Mervyn Sims RCAF DFC Pilot
F/Lt. Harold Longworth RCAF Nav
Sgt. Ronald Walker A/G
Despite all these injuries he eventually made a full recovery and returned to his squadron where he went on to serve with distinction, completing a full tour, shooting down german aircraft and being awarded the DFC. A hero , who had a very fortunate break in hitting the flattest grassiest part of the Carneddau.
AVRO LINCOLN RF511
Witnesses saw the aircrafts navigation lights flying through cloud too low to clear the mountains , a short while later they saw a flash of flame followed by an explosion as the aircraft destructed on the rocks.
All the crew were killed in the crash .
Sq.L.John T. Shore MC AFC Pilot
F/Lt. Cyril A. LindseyNav
EngII Ronald A. Forsdyke DFC F/E
SigIII Harold Henry CharmanR/O
GnrII Godfrey L. Cundy A/G
GnrI Robert H, WoodA/G
The impact point is heavily scarred and evidence of burning is clear . The surrounding area is strewn with small pieces of wreckage . From the crash site and down the stream there are many larger pieces of wreckage including a wing spar that is 25 feet long .
The Avro Lincoln was a develpoment of the more famous Avro Lancaster . It began life as the Lancaster Mk IV but the differences were deemed great enough to require a completely different name .
The prototype first flew in 1944 but the aircraft production times resulted in the Lincoln never being used in WW2. 604 were built in total. 4 still survive to this day.
It could fly higher and faster than a Lancaster , further than a Lancaster and carry a greater payload.
|Above shot taken from the scree where the aircraft impacted upon the mountain.|
It is aptly named , a pathless route out of this dark forbidding valley to the sunlit ridge above.
Above this small cairn of wreckage
a few hundred feet from the ridge itself is the crash site amongst the scree .
Little remains here today , just small fragments of alloy. Nevertheless it is a very dramatic place with the towering cliffs of the Carneddau looming above .
The crew of five were all killed.
Sgt. Lionel D. Traylen Obs
Sgt. Richard I Bowen Obs
Sgt. Samuel J. WilsonW/O
Sgt. Rupert T. BannisterA/G
There were five crew members all of which lost their lives. The aircraft crashed into the mountain and caught fire, then dropped onto the plateau below beside the lake.
The crew who were all killed were
Sgt. Ernest Andrew Hoagg RCAF Pilot
Sgt. John Hedgley Lewis RAAF Nav
Sgt. William Gavin RAF BA
Sgt. Leslie John Hill RAF WO/AG
Sgt. Douglas John Roberts RAF WO/AG
|This bit could be from a number of aircraft that crashed in the locale .|
On wednesday the 9th February 1944 Mosquito Mk.IX LR412 of Squadron No. 540 of the RAF, crashed onto the higher slopes of Aran Fawddwy , Snowdonia , SSW of the summit itself .
Both crewmen were killed in the crash .
Pilot- F/O Marek Slonski, PAF
Nav- F/Lt Paul Riches DFC, RAF
They were flying out of RAF Benson and were testing two new flaps .
Both pilot and navigator were very experienced , F/Lt Riches having been awarded the DFC in 1943.
The weather was not too bad ,some cloud but not extensive . The crash does seem to have some mystery surrounding it , the propellor does not appear to have been turning on collision with the ground ,yet a Mosquito could fly comfortably on one engine . Visability was reportedly quite reasonable and both were experienced men .
They are buried together at Chessington , St Mary, cemetery, Surrey.
The aircraft itself had taken part in many operations over enemy territory.
540 Squadron operated successfully has a photo -reconnaissance unit . Aircraft of this unit carried no squadron markings so has not to be easily identified if shot down over enemy territory
Bristol Blenheim L4873
The two other aircraft found clear sky and returned to base but the pilot and crew of L4873 became increasingly disorientated in the cloud .
Eventually, it is presumed, they decided to try and descend under the cloud cover to try and get a fix on thier position.
Instead of finding the cloud base they found the shoulder of Foel Wen in the Berwyn Mountains ,North Wales. The aircraft was utterly destroyed on collision with the mountain.
A teardrop shaped impact crater can still be clearly seen , its shape indicative of the angle of descent .
A substantial amount of still painted (in part) aircraft fragments can be seen amongst the deep grass . Fuselage parts showing signs of impact crumpling , wing sections less damaged but now heavily corroded.
The three man crew were all killed
Sgt Ronald Jesse Harbour Observer
AC2 Kenneth Charles Winterton WO+AG
|Bristol Blenhiem IV in Finnish colours|