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Report - - More Plane Wrecks in and around the Brecon Beacons – June and July 2018 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - More Plane Wrecks in and around the Brecon Beacons – June and July 2018


Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User
This is continuation of my first report which can be seen here.

As one of the United Kingdom's main mountain ranges, and as one of the airforce's major training centres, the Brecon Beacons has had many aircraft crashes over the years.

Stumbling across a plane wreck by chance in March gave me the idea to seek out the whole lot. Most are off any sort of footpath and require good use of a compass and navigation skills.

All the sites are designated a Controlled Site under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986, and it is an offence to remove items.

Unlike my first report, a couple of these are outside the National Park boundary hence why I have amended the report title a bit.

There are more plane wrecks in the Brecon Beacons than that featured in my two reports, but I’m not doing anymore for now. I have clocked up 9 days in the hills so far on this project and my legs need the rest. For the record the Peak District Air Crashes dot co uk website (which covers the whole country not just the Peak District) has so far recorded over 520+ of these crash sites nationwide! And some of these planes do not appear on that website, which makes me think that’s there’s much more than 520 in the country.


12. SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk I R7057 , GLYNNEATH

Assigned to 53 Operational Training Unit RAF Llandow. While on exercise it flew into Mynydd Pen-y-Cae, south of Cwmgrach, near Glynneath in low cloud on the 12th August 1941. Pilot C J Day was killed. The impact site for this aircraft is rather small. Its close proximity to an active forestry track may explain this. Closer examination of the track showed numerous small fragments of melted alloy, spreading approximately 10m either side of the impact site. Small piles of wreckage had been collected and a shrine type structure constructed from stones is present.







13. DE HAVILLAND HORNET PX273, HIRWAUN
On the 30th September 1946, this Hornet has taken off from Fairwood Common to West Raynham. The pilot was Wing Commander Peter Bond. The aircraft crashed on Mynydd-y-glog at around 380m. A few small pieces and the obvious impact crater remain.

The Hornet is said to be the fastest propeller-driven plane






The impact crater






14. MILES MASTER MK.III W8773, PEN CARREG DAN
A double crash site of two Miles Master planes. During a formation cross-country training flight on the 4th October 1942 from RAF Tern Hill in Shropshire, the two Miles Master aircraft became lost and descended through cloud to obtain a visual fix. They both flew into the mountainside. W8873 was leading and on hitting the slope caught fire with the loss of both crew. DL570 was forced to land on flat boggy ground by a river and overturned, it’s crew of two being relatively unharmed. DL570 was recovered intact.













15. MILES MARTINET T.T. MK.I HN888, GREAT RHOS
The aircraft is an adaptation of the Miles Master plane. It has a protrusion sticking out of it used for target towing. This one was flying from RAF Aberporth in Credigion to Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands on the 21st December 1945. In poor visibility, it flew into the steep slope at the head of Cwm Bwch. The Mercury engine is today partially buried further down the slope in a stream. The engine from the aircraft lay close to the crash site until 1994 when it is reported that an attempt to recover it was made by No.2478 Sqn ATC from Abergavenny. It is said that having man-handled the engine out of the deep gully with the help of ropes a decision was made to re-rig the ropes before the long drag to a waiting Land Rover in the pastures further down the hill. While re-rigging the ropes the engine began moving and those present were powerless to stop it was rolling back into the gully and travelling a few hundred feet down the hill to where it is today.



It lies in this steep gully, about 250 vertical metres from top to bottom


One exhausting climb later. Nothing can be seen at the crash site at the top apart from a small scar.


Heading down the gully we start to see bits of wreckage, this was the top-most piece


Working my way down the gully


Some 200 vertical metres below the crash site, we see the Mercury engine








Still heading down the gully…


Almost at the bottom was the engine’s cowling



The lowest piece of wreckage found
 

Bertie Bollockbrains

There is no pain
Regular User
16. HANDLEY PAGE HALIFAX LL541, ELAN VALLEY
On the 12th December 1944 and flying from RAF Dishforth in North Yorkshire on a day cross-country bombing exercise, this plane suddenly spiralled into an extremely steep dive from which it appeared to recover briefly at 15000ft before diving into the cloud below. A member of the ROC then observed the aircraft dive out of the cloud base and hit the hilltop. Structural failure had occurred in the dive, with several parts of the aircraft having separated in flight. All eight crew members were killed. Parts are scattered in the heather all around the hilltop. I found two piles of wreckage. More may exist.









The second pile of wreckage found, although I am certain more exist. Lots of single pieces were also found lying in the heather




17. HANDLEY PAGE HALIFAX III LK835, BLAENAVON
This Halifax was assigned to 51 Squadron based at Snaith in Yorkshire. On the 22nd May 1944, the aircraft was undertaking a cross-country training flight when the starboard inner engine became uncontrollable. The crew baled out safely, and the aircraft crashed into a peat bog at Waun Afon near Blaenavon at around 420m. Wreckage remains inside an area fenced to define the limits of a dangerous peat bog. It is recorded that the aircraft crashed into an area of soft boggy ground and therefore the potential for significant buried remains may be high. It is alleged that substantial elements of airframe could still be seen at the location 2011/2012 though these have since been removed by persons or person unknown.








18. BOEING B-17F FLYING FORTRESS 42-5903, PEN TWYN MAWR
This Flying Fortress (named ASCEND CHARLIE) was assigned to 390 Bomber Group of the 8th Army Air Force based at Framlingham. On the 16th September 1943, this Fortress had taken part in a bombing mission over La Rochelle in northwest France and sustained damage in number 1 engine. Bad weather separated it from its formation and it struck the ridge below the Hermitage at around 500m. The crew of ten comprised of pilot 1st Lt Herbert I Turner; co-pilot 2nd Lt Frederick M Broers; Navigator 2nd Lt Robert L Schanen; bombardier 2nd Lt Orval Tofte; radio operator S Sgt Phillip Catania; left waist gunner S Sgt Stanley E Mason; tail gunner S Sgt Alfred C Monson; right waist gunner S Sgt John J Peterson; top turret gunner S Sgt Sherman E Rambo; and ball turret gunner Swen A Zetterberg. All were killed. The visible impact area is a scar about 10m in diameter, without vegetation, that contains many very small fragments, some of which have been melted. It seems likely that the area is significantly larger, but hidden by heather elsewhere. There is a cairn at the site, about 1.3m high, with the largest pieces of wreckage (max 0.7m long) placed on its west side, and there is more melted aluminium there. A metal cross, set in a rectangular plinth of mortared stone, lies nearby and this has an attached brass plaque.
















Honourable mentions go to:
19. SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE P8380 ‘BLACK VELVET’, GLYNCORRWG
Could not be found. It is said in old sources that wreckage has been piled around a water-filled impact crater. On my visit the site has recently been felled of trees, the ground landscaped and replanted with young trees. After extensive searching of the correct location, I assume that the plane wreck is no longer extant.

20. AVRO ANSON N5019, MOUNT Y GAMRHIW
Said to be a trail of fragments leading to a water-filled hollow. Was easy enough to find the hollow but no fragments. I assume that the plane wreck is no longer extant. Speaking with locals in a nearby pub that evening, I was told that a local resident was going up there recently to collect bits. I think he has taken the whole lot.

Well that’s all from me. If anyone wishes to take up the challenge, sites I did not visit in the area include: Lockheed P-38J Lightning 42-67859 somewhere on Hay Bluff, Airspeed Oxford Mk.1 PH242 also on Hay Bluff, Percival Proctor NP216 somewhere on Corn Du, Supermarine Spitfire X4913 somewhere on Pen-y-Fan and North American Aviation Mustang KH499 near to Hirwaun.

Thanks for reading.
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Good report Bertie. Love this sort of stuff. Makes me realise just how much left there is of Overexposed near Glossop.
 

Olkka

Nice fat line of Zone
Regular User
Love this, amazing history lesson from hard work, big respect Bertie.
NB Also the hornet, what a beaut of a plane
 

Brewtal

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Lovely report and a great bit of history there. Well done for putting all the leg work in to getting to all those places.
 

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