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Aircraft Crash Sites

Aircraft Crash Sites

Sadly, Dartmoor has more than its fair share of aircraft crash sites and some of them still show bits of the wreckage. If you look at the map below you will see the major second world war airfields, clearly Dartmoor is surrounded by them on all sides so maybe it is not surprising that some of the planes crashed either leaving or returning to their airbases:

Aircraft Crash Sites

Obviously there were other operational airfields in other counties which would also take aircraft flight paths across the moor agin either leaving or returning from missions and training flights. The list below is by no means complete but gives an indication of the activity over the moor during the 1940’s and shows the horrific loss of many brave airmen.

Crazywell Pool – 11.05.1931

A Tiger Moth crash landed in thick fog and decked about 300 yards from the pool.

Lower White Tor – 04.07.1939

A Fairley Battle from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire crashed whilst on a cross-country exercise.

Aircraft Crash Sites

Letterbox stamp from site,

Okehampton, Nr – 22.08.1941

A Junkers was shot down by a Spitfire from 152 squadron based at RAF Warmwell in Dorset. The plane was on a reconnaissance mission over Filton, one crew member died and three were taken prisoner.

Okehampton, nr – 20.11.1940

A Gloucester Gladiator belonging to 247 squadron crashed whilst on patrol from RAF St. Eval in Cornwall.

Corn Ridge – 18/03.1941

A Liberator crashed – no further details.

Hameldown Tor – 21.03.1941

A Hampden crashed belonging to the 49 squadron of 5 group bomber command was returning to RAF Scampton Lincolnshire after an operation and crashed due to bad visibility at 22.50pm. A memorial to this crash was incised on a granite boulder it had a cross and the following:

R A F
S. 49
R D W
C J L
R B
R L A E
21.3.41

A plaque was added to the boulder in 1991 and it states the following:

    

Aircraft Crash Sites

The Hameldon Memorial –  ©Tim Sandles 2005.

ON 22ND MARCH 1941
A ROYAL AIRFORCE BOMBER
49 SQDN SCAMPTON
CRASHED RETURNING FROM
OPERATIONS OVER FRANCE
THE 4 CREW WERE LOST

THIS MEMORIAL BEARS
THEIR INITIALS AND SQUADRON
NUMBER – COMMEMORATING
THEIR SELFLESS COURAGE
AND THAT OF FELLOW AIRMEN
WHO PERISHED ON DARTMOOR
1939 – 1945
THEIR SACRIFICE HELPED US
TO MAINTAIN FREEDOM

THE AIRCREW ASSOCIATION 1991

There is a story that in 1971 some walkers were on Hameldown on the night of the 21st of March, one of whom was a stranger in the area. Suddenly the visitor threw himself to the ground with his hands over his head. It seems that he saw what looked like a twin engine bomber flying directly towards them. Nobody else saw or heard the aircraft but the stranger was adamant as to what had happened – this event occurred at 11.00pm which was roughly the time the Hampden crashed thirty years previous. It is strange that the original inscription bears the date of the 21st of March whilst the new plaque states the 22nd?

The ridge of Hameldown still shows the evidence of wartime defences in the form of rotted posts. At one time these were series of tall poles erected to deter enemy aircraft or gliders.

Hangingstone Hill – 04.04.1941

A Hampden crashed whilst returning to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire after laying mines at La Rochelle.

Ashburton, Nr – 25.04.1941

A Beaufort from RAF Chivenor crash landed when the engines cut

Hameldown Tor – 27.09.1941

A Bristol Beaufort crashed whilst on patrol.

Princetown, Nr – 29.11.1941

A Supermarine Spitfire from 317 squadron crashed whilst on patrol from RAF Exeter.

Holne Moor – 1942

A Messerschmitt crashed whilst on a reconnaissance mission, the pilot, Kurt Thune parachuted from 6,000ft.

Kitty Tor – 1942

A Wellington Bomber crashed – no further details.

Tiger Marsh – 1942

A Flying Fortress crashed – no further details – Thanks to Adam Hingley there are now some details:

Amongst the wreckage is a plaque which states:

IN MEMORY OF

THE CREW OF 8th AIR FORCE

B17 42-37869 THAT CRASHED HERE

ON 25 DECEMBER 1943

ERNEST H PATTERSON – INJ

RAYMOND A COATES – INJ

RICHARD T NEARLY – DIED

SHERWOOD R RENNER – DIED

SAMUEL L CRAIG – DIED

MARIO A PANITTI – DIED

ALBENY T BLANCHARD – DIED

BASIL BROWN (RAF) – INJ

Aircraft Crash Sites

Many thanks to Adam for the photographs.

Stannon Hill – 27.05.1942

An Avro Lancaster from 207 squadron crashed whilst on a cross-country exercise from RAF Bottesford in Leicestershire.

Cornwood – 22.08.1942

A Short Stirling from 149 squadron crashed whilst returning from a mine laying operation off the French Coast.

Princetown, Nr – 06.10.1942

A Wellington Bomber from 142 squadron crashed whilst on operations from RAF Waltham in Lincolnshire.

Plaister Down – 31.10.1942

A RAF Liberator crashed after trying to land at nearby RAF Harrowbeer there was one survivor.

Widecombe-in-the-Moor – 29.11.1942

A Spitfire crashed whilst on flight from Liandow

White Tor – 06.12.1942

A Supermarine Spitfire crashed whilst on flight from RAF Perrantporth in Cornwall.

Kennon Hill – 23.01.1943

A Flying Fortress crashed whilst returning from a raid on a submarine base in Lorient in France. The plane was hit and managed to fly back as far as Dartmoor on one engine, there was one survivor.

Hameldown, Two Barrows – 27.12.1943

A B24 Liberator from the 2nd American Bomber Group crashed whilst on a training flight from RAF Alconbury in Cambridgeshire.

Steeperton Tor – 03.12.1943

A Consolidated Liberator crashed whilst on a training flight from RAF Dunkeswell. The RAF Salvage Unit recovered the plane in a nine day winter operation.

Okehampton Moor – 28.12.1943

A Consolidated Liberator crashed whilst on a Anti-shipping flight from RAF Dunkeswell.

Two Bridges, 3 miles north – 1944

Either a Typhoon or a Tempest crashed – no further details.

Huntingdon Warren – 13.10.1945

A USAAF Douglas C-47 Skytrain crashed some of which decorated MooRoaMan wall.

Brent Moor – 23.10.1947

A Spitfire crashed – no further details.

Bibliography.

Rendell, P. 2000 Crashed Aircraft on Dartmoor (pp14 – 16) The Dartmoor News No.52, The Old Dartmoor Company, Okehampton.

 

About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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8 comments

  1. Apropos of crashes on Dartmoor, I wonder if you have any information about the aircraft (jet fighter I think) that crashed in a field just behind Sandy Park pub in Drewsteignton in the 60s. I found a bit of info about it on the web some years ago but can’t find it now – probably need more searching!

    I was a kid in Drewsteignton at the time and remember it well. It was on the national news on TV, and obviously a big occurrence. Apparently the crash site is still visible.

    Mid sixties I would guess. As far as I know there were no fatalities.

  2. Jane Craig Sullivan

    Thank you for this website. My uncle, Samuel L. Craig, is listed under the Tiger Marsh crash that occurred in 1942 Sadly the crash happened on Christmas Day. I am so please to see that he has been honored on your website.

    • Hi Jan, I have visited the crash site a couple of times, there is a small plaque commemorating the crew, I’m unrelated but always spare a thought to those who lost their lives. I have pictures, though don’t know how to post them!

  3. From your map of Devon airfields, particularly around Dartmoor, you have omitted Upottery (near Dunkeswell), a crucial parachute base prior to D-Day.

  4. On your crash list for aircraft that fell on Dartmoor you need to include the two Westland Whirlwinds of 263 Squadron, P6975 & P6978, that possibly collided during descent out of cloud, but crashed into, it is believed, Foxtor Mires on 29 December 1940.

  5. Has anyone witnessed or heard of phantom or Ghost planes in the area? About 15 years ago, my husband and I were visiting friends in Devon and later went on by ourselves to explore Southern England. We spent a night in the Collaven Manor House in Okehampton. That evening when returning from the pub we heard a low flying plane above us along a long narrow trees road leading to the manor. It seemed to be following us. We then parked our car beside the house and the plane swooped over us and the house barely missing the rooftop. I noticed that the plane had propellers and rounded wings. The owner’s dog was barking and squealing. There were only 4 people in the house at the time, the owners and an Irish couple. On the next morning, we asked if they heard the plane. They were all watching a football match and the power went out just that moment. The owners wondered why the dog was so upset.

  6. Can anyone one this group help me, I’ve found what I think is a part of an aircraft in the river through , Newton Abbot. It came out of the water, has numbers on the base and was magnetic, we got it via magnet fishing. Got lots of photos of it for anyone willing to help me track here it might have come from!

    • The woolen mill in Newton was bombed during WW2,it made aircraft parts and other things,a spitfire wing was found during renovation works after the war.So if it`s the river Lemon you found the part in it may of been thrown away in the river after the war, by the way the bombs missed the mill and landed in the fields behind,now built on,but one crater can still be just seen.Some windows in the houses of Grafton rd near by were blown out during that raid.

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