Lake District

Handley Page Halifax LL505

memorial cairn on the summit under a blanket of snow
the same on a warmer day
 On the 22nd october 1944 this aircraft flying out of RAF Topcliffe crashed into the summit of  Great Carrs in the English Lake District . The crew who were on a night navigation exercise were probaly descending under a cloud layer to try and get a navigation fix but we will most likely never know for certain for all were killed on impact with the mountain .
They were

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

wing section

wing section

engine outside Ruskin Museum 

Hurricanes V7742 & V6565

 On the 12th August 1941 these two Hurricanes crashed into Horn Crag on the flank of Scafell in the English Lake District .
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 .
 The two  men who died were both Polish .
They were

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 .
Sgt. Stanislaw Karubin D.F.M
Sgt. Stanislaw Karubin D.F.M

impact site of V6565 with the memorial to both men

Detail of V6565  from engine casing
another number from V6565
 The impact point can still clearly be seen by scarring on the rock face in the far distance in the photo on the left.
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

Sgt Karubin

P/O Hohne

Wellington HZ715
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

 Very little remains at the location today , just a few molten scraps .
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 .

The whole crew were members of the RCAF and as such died a very long way from home 

They were

 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 shot above was high on the scree slope and was the highest peice we found  .....we missed the actual impact point largely due to the rain and the need to concentrate on getting up to the top without slipping down the treacherous when wet mossy scree .!
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 .


Both engines were still at the site last time I visited this being the lower of the two

This aircraft of No.782 Sqn. Royal Navy .
crashed into Broad Crag in cloud , in the English Lake District on the 30th August 1946.
5 crew and passengers were all killed. At the time being used as an air ambulance, the aircraft contained medical staff and a patient .
Sub Lt. S. K. Kilsby Pilot
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


discharged bullet casing  dated 1943
On the 2nd January 1945 LT741 took off from RAF Walney Island  on an Air Gunnery exercise . Flying in cloud the aircraft crashed into Black Coombe Fell at the very Southern tip of the English  Lake District.
All of the 4 crewmen were killed.
They were

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


Flying out of RAF Cark (nr Cartmel ) on a night navigation exercise the aircraft crashed into the South -Eastern flank of Swirl How .
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
This area is dotted with crash sites , some famous such as the Halifax LL505 which hit the summit of Great Carrs much of which can be found below Swirl How on the Northern flank in a coombe called Broad Slack and others whose exsistance are almost spurious in that the exact location of the sites have yet to be located such as Hurricane AG 275 , an unknown Spitfire that was found close to this very Anson during the search for the Anson and another unknown aircraft upon the Old Man of Coniston whose engine is alleged to still be in the tarn . Low Water !
Here is a short video of our finding and travel down the wreckage trail from this crash site .


  On the 23rd April 1943 this Hurricane along with AG275 crashed into Brim Fell in the Lake District .
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'

On the 14th September  1943 this aircraft crashed near the summit of the 3054ft high Skiddaw mountain.
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 .


On the 16th december 1942 this Wellington bomber took off from RAF Pershore in Worcestershire at 18.40 .
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
F/Sgt Reginald V.W. Bellew RAF Pilot
Sgt Arthur J. Dubben RAF Obs
P/O Anthony Higgins RCAF Nav
P/O Ronald S. Goodwin RAF Nav
Sgt George W. Hicks RAF WO/AG.
Sgt Richard W. Lawton RCAF AG
This site was easily found , a scar just above scree and craggy terrain contains many small fragments. Some of the remains are very human in character ,including buttons, buckles and press-studs .
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 .
The lead shot shows some of the small fragments of debris from the crash which can be seen at the impact point . The aircraft can only have come in from this angle of approach too (unless it plummeted down from above and that doesnt seem to be the case if the witness accounts are to be believed) or it would have crashed into Skiddaw and not Longside Edge .

across to Skiddaw


  1. A job well done lads

  2. great work , going to lake disrtrict next week , big WW2 aviation fan , will be trying to visit at least 1 of these sites , thanks

    1. Thanks , enjoy your week in the Lakes . Hopefully you can visit some sites . The Hurricanes are probaly the site with most wreckage ...theres quite a lot at the Halifax too but its spread over a wide area .

    2. This is the Wellington on Burnt Todd or Trusmador. It is actually slightly to the right on Frozen Fell, GPS map reference NY287330.

      This is the grave sute at Silloth.

      I am hunting round a few, just another interest to roam the fells. Thanks for these Skiddaw ones, I must have walked past hundreds of times but only put crash sites on the agenda this year. Found a few,

  3. I have just come back from a holiday in Appleby, where we walked up the Old Man and then on to Swirl How, last Wednesday 24th Aug 2016. We rested at Swirl How on the opposite side to the path, when I noticed what looked like aircraft wreckage on the slope facing us. I took a couple of snaps, and now that I am at home I can clearly see it is of an aircraft. It looks like a bit of forward fuselage, and wing rib - though the latter is difficult to ascertain. Is is possible for me to send these photos to someone?

    I believe they are of the Anson. The parts look too small to be of the Halifax.

    Angus McDonald

    1. On closer inspection of the photos, it looks like the front section of the Anson, with a little of the cabin. What I thought were wing ribs appear to be the supports for the cabin windows.

      I can post to one of the photo sites, but not if I have to have some sort of facebook or whatever account.

  4. Thank you to whoever left the poppy cross on the resting place of TW Johnson (Black Coombe Fell). He was a son of the adoptive family of my orphaned mother, Gloria Harrison, and his family looked after her in Liverpool in WWII. She never knew that the crash site was found, but I am glad to have the details on her behalf.