Crashes of Bowland

Republic P-47D Crashes Pendle Hill 06/02/1944

A Republic P-47D 42-22758 flown by Flight Officer J R Runnells (American pilot) from 310th FS, 27th ATG, USAAF crashed on the 06/02/1944 into Pendle Hill. The pilot was killed.

North American Mustang Crashes Longridge Fell, 17/08/1944

A North American Mustang 1 AG443 flown by Flying Officer Charles William (Sam) Haythornthwaite (aged 24) of 41 O.T.U Royal Air Force crashed on Longridge Fell, 17/08/1944. The pilot was killed.

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.

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.

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.

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

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