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Report - Overexposed B29 Superfortress, Glossop, Derbyshire, November 2016

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
1. The History

Boeing B29 Superfortress of the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, USAF, crashed at Higher Shelf Stones near Glossop at approximately 11am on 3rd November 1948. Nick-named ‘Over Exposed‘, it got its name from when it was being used by 509th Composite Group to photograph atomic weapon tests for Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll two years previously in 1946.

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Overexposed by HughieDW, on Flickr

Its thirteen-strong crew perished that night. The crew had completed their tour of duty and would have returned back to the States three days later.

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B29 picture by HughieDW, on Flickr

It was en route from RAF Scampton near Lincoln to USFA Burtonwood, near Warrington carrying mail and the payroll for American service personnel - a flight of less than one hour. England was covered with low cloud that day and the flight was to be conducted on instruments. Having flown for the time the crew believed it should have taken them to cross the hill they started to descend. Unfortunately the aircraft had not quite passed the hills and struck the ground near Higher Shelf Stones and was destroyed by fire.

The aircraft was reported missing and the local authorities and nearby RAF Mountain Rescue Service team were put on alert. At the time the MRS team were on a training exercise in the Kinder Scout area about three miles away. They made their way as quickly as possible to the southern side of Bleaklow to begin a search for the crash site. Arriving at the crash site at around 16:30 they discovered that there were no survivors and with the light fading fast left the recovery of the crew until the following morning. The bodies were recovered from 200-yard long debris trail along with a $7,400 pay-satchel the plane was carrying. After the crash investigation teams had finished the tail fin which still stood up-right was destroyed as it could be seen for miles around and was attracting too many sightseers.

Souvenir hunters and the elements have taken their toll on the wreckage over time. A gun turret was removed at the MOD’s permission and is now in the air museum at Newark. Despite all this the remaining wreckage is still very extensive. Incredibly, a man from nearby Hadfield found a wedding ring at the crash site in the 70’s which turned out to be Capt Tanner’s ring which was then duly returned to his daughter.

2. The Explore

This place has been on my radar for a while now. Shatner’s recent excellent report on here reminded me I needed to see this place. And of all days, 11th November seemed quite a poignant day to make the trip. Hence me and non-member Gazza M set off along the Snake Pass. We parked up and headed along the Pennine Way. On the whole the walk is OK but gets harder when you have to veer off the main path to the west to get to the site. It’s well worth the effort though. It’s a strange place as it is very wild and incredibly peaceful – in sharp contrast to when the aeroplane crashed. It was cold and snow on the ground in places. Fortunately, though, the sun decided to show itself. Definitely worth the effort this one..

3. The Pictures:

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img8325 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8323 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8321 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8318 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8317 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8315 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8314 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8310pan by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8304 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8284 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8282bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8330 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8278 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8274 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8271 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8270 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8265bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8261 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8260 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8259 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8257 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8256 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8254 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8247 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8246 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8244bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

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img8264 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 
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