Crashes of Bowland

Crashes of Bowland

Graham F Cutler The first site we researched was Disaster in the Hills - Burn Fell. The account of what happened is from Graham F Cutler and I am indebted to him for this information.  Graham states that the last time he was up there (several years ago) little remained to remind anyone of the tragic scenes witnessed on January 2nd 1945. Immediately behind the Trig-point the wall has been repaired and a small crater still remained where the aircraft burned out. On the north side of the wall, all three of the undercarriage legs still remained and he took the front disc brake pads, a piece of reinforced laminated glass and some broken aluminium air-frame parts home with him. The laminated glass was only used in one part of the B-24, the bomb-aimers window right at the front.

These parts Graham donated to the museum at Seething dedicated to the USAF 448 Bomber Group along with a copy of this information. For full details, see the item Disaster in the Hills .

For further information on crash sites please look at the following links and our thanks to Nick Wotherspoon and his colleagues for their research and allowing us to use the information in the process for this work dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Forest of Bowland for Freedom and Liberty. Also similar on the Peak District Crashes site.

Lancashire Aircraft Investigation Team

Map of crash sites in North West

Boulton Paul Defiant Crashes Gisburn 24/10/1942

A Boulton Paul Defiant N3338 flown by Flight Sergeant John Leslie Goulter (aged 22) a Royal Australian pilot flying with the 10th AGS, Royal Air Force crashed at Gisburn on the 24/10/1942 who was killed.

Douglas C-54G 45-543 Crashes Stake House Fell 07/01/1949

A Douglas C-54G 45-543 crashed at Stake House Fell, Forest of Bowland on 07/01/1949. This flight was part of the Berlin Air Lift. 4 crew members and 2 passengers were all killed. The 4 crew of 1st Lt R M Wurgel Pilot, 1st Lt L A Wheaton Jr Co-Pilot, Sgt B J Watkins Engineer, Corporal N H Theis Radio Operator were from 14th Squadron TCS (H) 61stst TCG, CALTF, USAFE. The two passengers were Captain W A Rathgeber and Private Ronald Stone and as yet we are to find out which unit/service there servicemen belonged to.

These men are remembered on the Memorials at Rhein Main Air Base, Frankfurt and on the one at Luftbruckenplatz at Tempelhf Airport, Berlin. 31 US Airmen were killed during the Berlin Air Lift. A total of 72 in total were killed and more research on this is needed.

Members of the crew.

wurgel wheaton watkins theis

R M Wurgel                  L A Wheaton                  B J Watkins                       N H Theis

The passengers and a picture of a Douglas C-54G 45-543

rathgeber C-54-Stone  c54

W W Rathgeber               R Stone                                                                                  

See here for more information on the Berlin Air Lift

Mustang SR434 Crashes 15/04/1945

A Mustang SR434 flown by a Polish pilot Sergeant Romauld Stefan Zywicki (aged 32) of 61 O.T.U Polish Air Force under British Command crashed at Goosnargh, Inglewhite on 15/04/1945. The pilot was killed.

North American Mustang Crashes Forest of Bowland 15/02/1945

A North American Mustang 111 FX931 flown by a Polish pilot Sergeant P Struniewski (aged 26), 61 Squadron Polish Air Force under British Command O.T.U, crashed lower Bentham on the 14/02/1945. The pilot was killed. Prior to 1939 lived in Kostopol, County of Wolyn, Poland. Was employed as a cabinet maker. Born Telechany, Pinsk.

Bristol Blenheim MK V BA246 Crashes Bleasdale Fell, 09/04/1944

A Bristol Blenheim MK V BA246 flown by Flight Sergeant D L Edmonds (Instructor) and Flight Sergeant J C Stones (aged 22), Pilot, 12 Squadron (P) Advanced Flying Unit, Royal Air Force crashed on Bleasdale Fell dated 09/04/1944. Both airmen were killed.

These pilots took off from RAF Woodvale near Southport. This was an advance training unit. The groups regular base at Spitalgate, Lincoln which at that time was currently having repairs to the runway. This was a night exercise and the weather deteriorated but the two flyers decided to proceed. The plane crash is reported to have happened between 2340 and 2359 hours.

Thanks to Aldon P Ferguson History of RAF Woodvale.

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