Handley Page Halifax LL505
|memorial cairn on the summit under a blanket of snow|
|the same on a warmer day|
F/O J.A. Johnston Pilot RCAF
F/O F.A. Bell Nav RCAF
F/O R.N Whitley BA RCAF
Sgt W.B. Ferguson Flt Eng. RAFVR
Sgt H.E. Pyche Flt Eng RCAF
Sgt C.G. Whittingstall WO/AG RCAF
Sgt D.F.Titt AG RCAF
Sgt G. Riddoch AG RCAF
After the crash the wreckage was broken up and thrown into the coombe below the summit . To this day quite a lot remains there ,including a large wing section and an engine amongst other items scattered down the valley .
An engine from the aircraft can also be seen at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston village at the foot of the mountain . Here is alink to a short video I made of the engine .
|Looking up the valley to the coombe containing the wreckage|
|Reduction gear , our route today was up the crags in this shot , it was an hairy scramble in the conditions|
|An engine in a stream|
|engine outside Ruskin Museum|
Flying out of RAF Usworth as part of No.55 OTU on a formation flying exercise the aircraft entered cloud and flew at high speed straight into the mountain . Both crewmen would have been killed instantly .
Sgt . Stanislaw Karubin DFM V7742
P/O Zigmunt Hohne V6565
Sgt Karubin was a hero .
He fought in Poland against the initial German attack with 111 Eskadra Squadron having some success in shooting down a Bf110 . Escaping the German clutches he also fought in the Battle of France before becoming a Battle of Britain ace .
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal .
|impact site of V6565 with the memorial to both men|
|Detail of V6565 from engine casing|
|another number from V6565|
The wreckage of V7742 is more difficult to see and photograph being spread amongst the rocky scree slope below the small crags.
|Main spar of V7742|
|the speed of impact is exhibited here within the extremely crumpled metal of V7742|
On the 16th June 1944 this aircraft crashed into the near summit of Red Pike nr Buttermere in the Lake District .
|Susan finds some more parts further up the hill whilst I photograph this small pool of wreckage|
The crew were flying on a cross country training exercise when they presumabely crashe dintot he hillside in cloud at around 1:35 in the afternoon.
The whole crew of 8 were killed . A larger crew than the Wellington carried on operations due to the training nature of this flight .
P/O Albert Digby Cooper Pilot
F/O Frederick Allen Dixon Pilot
F/Lt Emil Unterseher Pilot
F/O Daniel Titleman Navigator
Sgt George McCrimmon Anderson Nav
F/O Roy Edward Simonson W/Op A/G
WO1 George Richard Coathup W/Op A/G
Sgt Campbell McRae Hodges A/G
The site is in a dramatic location but if I were to visit again would pick a more comfortable day to do so . The rain , hail and wind made conditions difficult .
De HAVILLAND DOMINIE X7394
|Both engines were still at the site last time I visited this being the lower of the two|
crashed into Broad Crag in cloud , in the English Lake District on the 30th August 1946.
CPOA H. J. Clark
Cdr Sgn W .T. Gwynne -Jones Surgeon
SBA L.H. Watkinson Sick Birth Attendant
CWM C.R. Allwright DSM Patient
This is a Gypsy III engine
AVRO ANSON LT741
|discharged bullet casing dated 1943|
All of the 4 crewmen were killed.
F/Sgt A.J. Wood Pilot
W/O T.W. Johnson AG
Sgt. J. L. Turner trainee
Sgt K.D. Jenkins trainee
It is reported that 8 days passed before the crashed aircraft was found .
This particular aircraft, built at Yeadon in Yorkshire, was deployed with No.10 Air Gunnery School of the RAF.
It was armed with a fixed forward facing Vickers machine gun in the nose and a single Lewis machine gun in the small Dorsal turret . Both weapons used .303 bullets .
This is another site that was previously lost before we , or rather in this case Ian , scrambled down the cliff and re-found it , I did help a little by pointing out the disturbed area as one that needed checking . Everyone knew it crashed on the cliffs of Black Coombe but until this day even the experts were only providing spurious Grid References....the fact that pictures of the impact point now can be seen on a number of websites , all dated after our visit ,prove the point!
Our route to the wreckage can be seen in the above shot , the highest two crosses mark the grid references that we had for the impact site . The lowest cross to the right of shot is in fact the actual impact point of the aircraft .
|in the foreground can be seen the impact point with a scatter of small debris|
AVRO ANSON EG686
All three of the crew members were killed .
They were :
Sgt. K.M. Snelling Pilot
Sgt. K.J.Brettell Co-Pilot
Sgt. W.W. Younger Air Gunner
Here is a short video of our finding and travel down the wreckage trail from this crash site .
The pilots were on at the end of a training exercise when they entered low cloud never to come out of it ! The location of AG264 is seldom visited being off path in a precipitous location , the location of AG275 is not presently known to me , but hopefully one day I will discover it.
The pilots who were both killed were:
Sgt Henry Marinus Atherton RAAF (AG264)
Sgt. Leonard Thomas Cook RAAF (AG275)
Here is a short video of our attempt to locate this site and photgraphing of it
B-17 41-9051 'Flaming Mayne'
The aircraft was enroute from RAF Alconbury , which by then had passed to the USAF (with whom it still operates as a non- flying base), to RAF Turnhouse near Edinburgh .
Ostensibly it was on a navigation exercise but carrying 4 passengers of fairly high rank and being flown by the Commanding Officer of 813th Bomb Group. The reality may or may not be a navigation exercise but it is well known that many members of the USAF, quite understandably, had a liking for the odd bottle of whiskey and any chance to get up to Speyside to aquire a few cases for the mess would be taken .
This of course may not be the case this time but it seems equally as likely as a nav exercise with those passengers on board.
There could of course been a military reason for the flight and the passengers that were on board but if this was the case why not say so instead of claiming it was just a navigation training flight .
Regardless of what the truth for the flight is the fact remains that somewhere enroute they became lost even if they did not realise they had done so. The flight routed across Yorkshire managed to collide with Skiddaw , at the time before the boundary changes of the 1970's part of Cumberland, and caught fire , the main body of the aircraft with its occupants being completely burned out .
The crew were
Capt. William C. Anderson Pilot and CO 813th Bomb Squadron
1st Lt. Robert J.Sudbury Co-pilot
Capt. Raymond R. Oeftiger Nav
2nd Lt. Raymond F. Diltz BA
S/Sgt. Bryson R. Hills Eng
S/Sgt. Robert L. Jacobsen R/Op
and the passengers were
Maj. Thomas C. Henderson
Maj. Henry B. Williams
1st Lt. Clarence H. Ballagh
1st Lt. Theodore R. Doe
A tragic event . It was a number of days before the bodies could all be recovered due to the severe terrain and weather conditions. The aircraft wreckage was recovered later by No. 83 MU of the RAF.
All that remains now are small fragments of wreckage scattered over much of the scree . We found three small pools of small debris which must have been collected by fellow visitors over the years .
The aircraft was christened by a crew at some point of its life with the name ''Flaming Mayne'' .
an unfortunate choice it turned out.
It crashed on the opposite side of the same valley as the Wellington X3336 less than a year earlier
Now I reckon thats about 45 degrees of steepness ....add your hight to that and it feels steeper . Not a place to be messing around in .
The weather forcast was for clear moonlit skies .Perfect conditions for a nightime navigation exercise .
No-one really knows now what happened but just after 23.20 the aircraft was heard above Derwent Water and Keswick. The Wellington must have flown over Bassenthwaite lake and then made a fatal course alteration in an attempt to retrace their steps . The engine noise was heard to stop suddenly at 11.23.
The aircraft flying in a near opposite course from a few minutes earlier had crashed into the Longside Edge ridge , only a handful of metres from clearing it completely .
The aircraft exploded and burnt with the loss of all those aboard.
The crew were
There was also a number of screws with traces of shattered and burnt wood fragments near them (which i fancifully imagine could easily have come from the navigators table ).
A quite large number of exploded bullets were also found . The dates on the bullets indicate they were either from 1941 or 1942 .
Two of the crew were members of the RCAF.
Here is a terrific film of the time which features Wellingtons .
|across to Skiddaw|