Report - - Aircraft Wrecks in the Peak District - July 2020 (PIC HEAVY) | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Aircraft Wrecks in the Peak District - July 2020 (PIC HEAVY)

Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User
Warning: this is a long report as wanting to be comprehensive of what is in the area. It is in several parts and very pic heavy

I have always enjoyed being up in the hills. Having by pure chance stumbled across a WW2 aircraft wreck in the Brecon Beacons a couple of years ago, this gave me new reason to be up in the hills. Since then I have visited the remains of over 70 aircraft, mostly of the WW2 era and some of which have been posted in here.

Due to a flight cancellation (cheers Lufthansa for cancelling my flight less than 30 hours prior to the departure time - it was great telling my young son to unpack the suitcase that he had already packed!) I recently drove up to the Peak District as a Plan B option.

The wreck of the Boeing Superfortress 'Over Exposed' in the Peak District has been much reported in here - not surprising the wreck site is a relatively short walk from the nearest parking on a well trodden footpath with minimal ascent. But this is by far not the only wreck site in the area. Over the period of the lockdown I have gathered together from many sources grid references for aircraft wrecks all over the UK and nearby overseas countries (well what else was I meant to do - the Wetherspoons was closed and the bastards even shut down the swingers club in my home town).

To date I have identified the location of 15 aircraft wrecks in the south-west (meaning Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor), 89 in Wales, 58 in the Peak District, 74 in the Pennines, 13 in the North Yorkshire Moors, 22 in the Lake District, 125 in Scotland, 14 on the Isle of Man, 17 in Ireland, 17 in Iceland and 112 in Norway. This is still a gross underestimation and research is ongoing. In addition I have the locations of a further 302 lowland sites in the UK where no extant wreckage remains but the site is marked by some sort of memorial. If this sounds a lot, just consider that over 10000 aircraft crashed over the UK during the course of WW2.

As in previous reports, a reminder that it is a criminal offence to tamper in any way with military aircraft wreck sites. I say this as some of these sites have suffered from souvenir hunters. For starters some of these sites genuinely are war graves as the bodies were never recovered.

No.47 Sqdn. RAF
A four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War, 6176 were built.

Squadron Leader Donald McIntyre Pilot Killed
Flight Lieutenant Ernest Smith Navigator Killed
Warrant Officer Gordon Chapman Bomb Aimer Killed
Warrant Officer Richard Sydney Flight Engineer Killed
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Pettit Wireless Operator Killed
Sergeant William Sherry Passenger Killed
N/A David Savill Press Photographer Killed
N/A Joseph Reardon Press Photographer Killed

Not a site with any extant wreckage but a memorial stone marks the spot. Visited as was on the way whilst driving up from somewhere down south. The winter of 1946 / 1947 saw some of the heaviest snowfall recorded in England. It was particularly bad in the areas of high ground with many villages in the Pennines being cut off. On the 11th February No.47 Squadron was put on alert by the Ministry of Food that some of the cut off villages were running low on food and would need to be supplied by air. The food was delivered to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and then onto ten aircraft. The residents of the villages of Longnor and Butterton were told to mark drop zones with a large cross of soot in the snow. On the 13th February 1947, the crew of this Handley Page Halifax took off to make what was to be the first drop at 09:02. They arrived in the area at 09:50 and made their first run but could not see the drop zone as the cloud was down to 100ft above ground level. They radioed their intention to make a second run which reported 10 minutes later that they had again failed and were trying a third time. In white-out conditions the pilot bought the aircraft lower than he probably realised and one wing struck the ground near the road across Grindon Moor and cart-wheeled the aircraft. The National Fire Service were alerted to the crash around 11:00 but were unable to even begin approaching the site. They made contact with the RAF Mountain Rescue Team at Harpur Hill who set out on foot equipped with snow shoes and sledges at 11:45. After walking around 3 miles in the snow they found a tractor which they then used to reach Longnor but found drifts as deep as 16 feet. The sledges “became a liability” so the members of the team loaded their packs up and again started walking. They eventually reached the crash site at just after 16:00 and found that the villagers had removed the bodies of the victims from the wreckage but that there were still some fires burning. Eight members of crew and passengers were killed. Today there is no remaining surface wreckage but a large stone memorial has been erected on the site adjacent to a public right of way.

No.11 Advanced Flying Unit
A twin-engined aircraft developed for use in the training of aircrews in navigation, radio-operating, bombing and gunnery roles throughout the Second World War. 8751 were built.

Flying Officer Charles Wood Pilot (instructor) Killed
Flying Officer RCAF Gerald Liggett Pilot (under training) Killed
Flight Sergeant Joseph Hall Wireless Operator Killed

This crash occurred on the 12th March 1944 while the crew were undertaking a daytime cross-country navigation exercise from RAF Calveley near Nantwich. Cowling panels, a wheel and other aluminium parts remain in a shallow depression. Slightly north of the site an oil tank can be found.

2906th Observation group USAAF
An American aircraft used in a fighter-bomber attack role during the Second World War. 15636 were built.

Captain Malta Stepp Jr Pilot 42-7872 Killed
Staff Sergeant Lynn Morrison Pilot 42-7898 Killed

These two aircraft were on a training flight on the 30th September 1943, when they flew into the western side of Cats Tor in cloud and while still in formation. While there are only a few scraps left at the site, there are still two very visible scars on the hillside next to each other, which can be seen from the road near to Saltersford Hall.

No.21 Advanced Flying Unit

Warrant Officer George Robinson Instructor Injured
Flying Officer John Downthwaite Pilot (under training) Injured
Flying Officer Edgar Croker Pilot (under training) Injured

On the 28th December 1945, on a daytime map reading exercise from RAF Seighford in Staffordshire, the aircraft flew into the ground and broke up while trying to climb clear of high ground in poor weather conditions. All members of crew survived the accident. The pilot, Edward Croker, managed to reach Lee Farm, despite injuries, to summon help. The site lies in a large hollow at the head of a gully, close to the summit of Brown Knoll on the western side of the hill. This contains numerous aluminium panels mainly from the engine cowlings.

Halton HQ Flight, RAF Bomber Command
Developed in the 1930s for maritime reconnaissance operations. Obsolete by the Second World War for combat operations and used as a multi-engined aircrew trainer. 11020 were built.

Wing Commander Richard Speare Pilot Killed

On the 23rd November 1945 this aircraft was on a ferry flight from RAF Halton, Oxfordshire, to RAF Feltwell in Suffolk. The pilot became hopelessly lost in poor weather and while descending through cloud flew into the southern side of Kinder. The pilot was killed. Cowling panels and other parts remain at the crash site. A single engine from the Anson lies in a gully some way down the hill towards Jacob’s Ladder path (but was not visited as we had already walked 20km that day).

No.51 Sqdn. RAF

Sergeant Ernest Fenning Pilot Killed
Warrant Officer Jean Fortin Navigator Killed
Sergeant Eric Lane Flight Engineer Died of Injuries
Sergeant Victor Garland Bomb Aimer Injured
Sergeant Frank Squibbs Wireless Operator Killed
Sergeant Boris Short Air Gunner Killed
Sergeant James Mack Air Gunner Injured

On the 5th October 1943, this aircraft had taken part in a raid against Hamburg from RAF Snaith near Selby in Yorkshire. The aircraft had been attacked over the target by a Luftwaffe night-fighter which has caused severe damage to the aircraft’s port-inner engine causing the loss of most of the aircraft’s electrical power. This meant that the crew were unable to use their radio equipment to aid their return to Snaith. Having overshot their base and while attempting to locate their position, the aircraft flew into rough moorland on Blackden Edge. The aircraft broke into a number of large sections spread over a wide area. Five of the seven members of crew were killed. Today a large hollow on the edge of a gully contains sections of the aircraft. Further small parts spread along a line towards a trigulation point, with a distinct second collection of piled wreckage.

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Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User

No.50 Sqdn. RAF
Twin-engined medium bomber developed in the 1930s. Replaced by the Lancaster as the Second World War progressed. 1430 were built.

Sergeant Royal Heron Pilot Killed
Sergeant Walter Williams Navigator Killed
Sergeant William Tromans Wireless Op./Air Gunner Killed
Sergeant Sydney Peters Air Gunner Killed

On the 21st January 1942 this aircraft was on across-country navigation flight from RAF Skellingthorpe near Lincoln. After becoming lost the crew made radio contact with Ringway and had flown over the airfield but did not see anything due to appalling weather. Before they could turn around to make another pass, the aircraft crashed just below the Pennine Way and burned out on the opposite side of the path. All four members of crew were killed. A slate memorial plaque and small parts of the aircraft can be found at the site on the upland side of the Pennine Way in two distinct collection piles.

No.22 Flying Training School RAF
An American single-engined advanced trainer aircraft. This one belonged to the RAF hence it was called a Harvard. The American ones were called T-6 Texans. 15495 were built.

Midshipman Brian Farley Pilot Killed

On the 14th January 1952 this aircraft crashed to the west of the Wool Packs while on a cross-country flight from RAF Syerston near Newark-on-Trent to RAF Kemble in Gloucestershire. The Fleet Air Arm pilot was killed. There are no parts to be found in the area where the aircraft actually crashed, but parts of the aircraft can found a little lower down the hill on a level area. There is an undercarriage leg and a few other fragments in a often waterlogged pit in the peat. The site is often mistaken for Anson NL185 which is about a 100m lower down.

No.66 Sqdn.
An American jet fighter aircraft developed immediately after the Second World War to engage Soviet MIGs in high-speed dogfights. 9860 were built.

Flying Officer James Horne Pilot (XD707) Killed
Flight Lieutenant Alan Green Pilot (XD730) Killed

On the 22nd July 1954 these two aircraft were returning to RAF Linton-on-Ouse near York from an unsuccessful interception exercise. Both planes crashed either due to a mid-air collision as they climbed to avoid Kinder or maybe they simply hit the hill during the climb. Both pilots were killed. This is a very widely scattered wreck site with large remains from both aircraft. The trail of wreckage begins up on Kinder at 1950ft with wing and engine parts beside the Pennine Way and continues to an engine nearly half a mile away and 500ft lower.


Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User

No.150 Sqdn. RAF
A twin-engined long-range medium bomber primarily used as a night bomber during the Second World War. 11461 were built.

Sergeant Percival Parrot Pilot Killed
Sergeant Joseph Haswell 2nd Pilot Killed
Sergeant Jack Evelle Observer Killed
Sergeant Frederick Webber Wireless Operator Killed
Sergeant Dennis Monk Air Gunner Killed
Sergeant Earl Tilley Air Gunner Injured

On the 31st July 1941, while returning to RAF Snaith near Selby in Yorkshire from a raid against Cologne, the aircraft overshot its base and flew into Upper Flat Tor. The rear gunner survived because his turret was thrown clear of the burning wreck on impact. The other five members of crew were killed. Small pieces of burnt aluminium litter the site and there is a brass plaque attached to the rock outcrop which the aircraft hit just above the wreckage.

No7. Ferry Pilots Pool
A four-seat reconnaissance and torpedo bomber. Quickly withdrawn from operations as the rival Bristol Beaufont proved to be the more effective aircraft for the role. 580 were built.

First Officer Thomas Rogers Pilot Killed

On the 10th December 1942, this new aircraft crashed in bad weather while on a ferry flight from the Blackburn factory at Sherburn-in-Elmet needs Leeds to Hawarden near Chester. The pilot was attempting to fly above the cloud which covered the hills and it is thought that he was descending thinking that he had cleared the hills, but a head wind may have slowed his progress and therefore meant that he was still over high ground as he descended. The site lies on fairly level moorland where two large sections of wing and numerous smaller structural parts remain. Both engines were present until the 1960s-70s, when they were recovered by personnel from RAF Henlow.

16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 91st Reconnaissance Group, Strategic Air Command USAF
An American four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed for high-altitude strategic bombing. used during the Second World War and the Korean War. Was used to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 3970 were built.

Captain Landon Tanner Pilot Killed
Captain Harry Stroud Co-Pilot Killed
Technical Sergeant Ralph Fields Engineer Killed
Sergeant Charles Wilbanks Navigator Killed
Staff Sergeant Gene Gartner Radio Operator Killed
Staff Sergeant David Moore Radar Operator Killed
Technical Sergeant Saul Banks Camera Crew Killed
Sergeant Donald Abrogast Camera Crew Killed
Staff Sergeant Robert Doyle Camera Crew Killed
Private 1st Class William Burrows Camera Crew Killed
Corporal Clarence Franssen Passenger Killed
Corporal George Ingram Jr. Passenger Killed
Captain Howard Keel Photographic Advisor Killed

On the 3rd November 1948, crashed on a cross-country flight from RAF Scampton near Lincoln to Burtonwood near Warrington, Cheshire. The pilots, believing that they had cleared the Peak District, began their descent too soon and struck high ground while still in low cloud. Thirteen members of crew and passengers were killed. The passengers had been carrying the payroll for US personnel stationed at Burtonwood and this was quickly recovered following the crash. The site is one of the best known and most visited sites in the area. Large sections of the aircraft remain at the site including the aircraft’s four engines and the huge main undercarriage.

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Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User

No.255 Sqdn. RAF
Interceptor aircraft used during the Second World War. Was replaced by the de Havilland Mosquito as, being a turret fighter, it lacked forward-firing armament. 1064 were built.

Pilot Officer James Craig Pilot Killed
Aircraftsman George Hempstead Passenger Killed

On the 19th August 1941 this aircraft struck the ground while flying in low cloud. The pilot was returning to duty from leave which he had spent in Edinburgh. The aircraft took off from RAF Turnhouse on the edge of Edinburgh and intended to follow the coast to Lincolnshire where their destination was to have been RAF Hibaldstow near Scunthorpe. It is speculated that the aircraft may had come under fire from a Spitfire that was operating in the Durham area, but this has never been proven. The aircraft was missing for over a month before being located. A pile of parts marks the highest extant of the site with parts scattered downhill from there. Approximately 50ft lower down there is an area of bare peat containing small fragments where the aircraft first impacted the moor. Substantial parts including the complete tail section were recovered from the site between the 1970s and 1990s and may be seen at The Boulton Paul Heritage Museum in Wolverhampton.

314th Troop Carrier Group, USAF
Also known as a Dakota, was a military transport aircraft developed from the civilian DC-3 airliner. 10174 were built.

1st Lieutenant George Johnson Pilot Killed
1st Lieutenant Earl Burns Co-Pilot Killed
1st Lieutenant Beverly Izlar Navigator Killed
Sergeant Theodore McCrocklin Crew Chief Killed
Sergeant Francis Maloney Radio Operator Killed
Corporal Grover Alexander Passenger Killed
Leading Aircraftsman (RAF) John Main Passenger Killed

On the 24th July 1945 this aircraft flew into Shelf Moor while on an administrative flight from Leicester East, currently Leicester Airport, to Renfrew, Glasgow. All seven members of aircrew and passengers were killed. Wreckage is widely scattered with small remains where the aircraft crashed and longer sections strewn down the steep slope down into Ashton Clough. A substantial section of main undercarriage lies near the top and a large section of the fuselage can be found slowly being crushed by sand and gravel in the Clough. Further down is one of the two engines. The other engine disappeared in flash flooding in 2002 and is possibly now buried much lower down.

Congratulations on making it to the end


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Only been to the really obvious one (Over-exposed) out of all of them. That was hard enough to find, so to find all of them is one hell of an effort that. Much respect and fab report @Bertie Bollockbrains


Stay in, save lives.
Regular User
This was my hobby when I was younger, I still have my white and dark peak maps that I marked with the wreckage I found, I even met a famous author on the subject once and he copied some from me he didn't know about.
If i can work out how to copy my locations for you I would be more than happy to share.

All my photos are on 110 or 35mm film.

Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User
Sounds great @Scoobysrt

PM sent with my email address included. For your info, this report was done in four days, I could had done more sites but would have taken weeks.

The author you mentioned could be Pat Cunningham who has published books on the subject and actually an aviator himself with a DFC to his name.


Stay in, save lives.
Regular User
I've got to be honest im going back 35+ years, I wouldn't remember his name but my uncle that used to be the driving force behind it might remember. He said he would mention us in his next book but I didnt do much after that and didn't see the book.

Pm replied, ill sort it out for you ;)

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Speechless, what a comprehensive report. No wonder it took 4 days. Very though. I didnt realise we had so many crash sites in the UK. Its a sombre thought. Im glad to see them marked and remembered. I see many were in the 40s and a few in the 50s I think its great they are remembered. Im guessing the others you mentioned are remembered too & documented for family & history. What a sad report, but reality.

Excellent work there Bertie. It must have taken ages to do all the sites here, plus ones youve not posted!! Absolutely history book stuff. Love it.:cool: The report that is not the deaths. :(


Stay in, save lives.
Regular User
The ones in the peaks were often due to low fuel and low cloud trying to get back to Woodford, the mountains suddenly creep up on you and they didn't have the power to climb out. Theres lots more that are known about but have sunk into the peat bogs never to be seen again.
I've heard stories of people rushing to the scenes and engines still spinning and there's various artifacts in people's gardens dotted around.
The guy who owned the bungalow im trying to buy got a piece off a local doodlebug site and made a cross out of it but the authorities came and confiscated it.


Keep it real
28DL Full Member
it gave me shivers reading through this just imagining what it would have been like to be in those planes, great report mate really well written report and great snaps, different and refreshing.
I really enjoyed reading this thank you for sharing it.

Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User
Just to repeat what was said above...so often in the accident reports the phrase "hit high ground whilst flying in cloud" crops up. Many of these crash sites are just a few metres below the summit of the hill. If only the aircraft had been just a few metres higher...


Flaxenation of the G!!!
Regular User
Proper decent and detailed report as always there mate. I enjoyed reading that. And something a bit different from the norm :thumb

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
The ones in the peaks were often due to low fuel and low cloud trying to get back to Woodford, the mountains suddenly creep up on you and they didn't have the power to climb out. Theres lots more that are known about but have sunk into the peat bogs never to be seen again.
I've heard stories of people rushing to the scenes and engines still spinning and there's various artifacts in people's gardens dotted around.
The guy who owned the bungalow im trying to buy got a piece off a local doodlebug site and made a cross out of it but the authorities came and confiscated it.
I did hear there was one went down near Woodbridge with one of the Kennedy brothers on board. Dont know how true that is. ?

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