RAF Mountain Rescue – still going strong.


1946 Dava Moor – basic radios and simple gear RAF Kinloss MRT.

This weekend I will be at the RAF Mountain Rescue Scotland Re Union at Newtonmore in the Highland Hotel organised by Ray Sefton. It has gone from strength to strength and over 100 will turn up.The re -union is always on the first Saturday in November and we manage to have it in the same hotel. If you were a RAF team member and have lost contact  please contact me and I will pass on your details to Ray.


1944 Stretcher lower basic kit

The gear was so basic ‘Stretcher, General Service’, a heavy wooden structure, a world away from the sophisticated gear we have today.

Often involved asking the engineering department to butcher some old beds and bolt the bed-irons.

Quote Willie MacRitchie RAF Kinloss Team leader

“The kit on the outside and the equipment may have changed.
Underneath the heart and soul of the teams remains the same”


It is great to see that so many still feel part of a system that started officially in the second world war and it still going to this day with there RAF teams at RAF Valley in Wales, RAF Leeming  in England and RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. There have been huge changes with many teams now gone but the memories remain and those who are in the RAF teams still have the same great ethos and I glad to say are still doing their bit. Recently on a big incident on Ben Nevis involving a huge lower on the North Face the RAF Lossiemouth were there helping the Local Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team in a difficult call – out. Well done all.

The RAF teams were along with locals at the forefront of Mountain Rescue in the very early years and their text book was the bible for Mountain Rescue in the UK and worldwide.

Sadly I do not have copies of the call -outs for RAF Leuchars Mrt but managed to save all the call -outs from RAF Kinloss from the beginning to the last days of the team before it moved to RAF Lossiemouth and will publish them in a series of blogs as they are some history. They took a huge amount of work over the years but at least we have some history of what the teams were up to and Leuchars MRT were on many of them but what tales they tell.

These are the early incidents of RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team they have been put together over the years a huge task. I am missing the odd incident if you can help please do and get in touch. Heavy Whalley November 2016

RAF Kinloss Incidents 1944 – 1949

Ser No




1-1/1944 15 /8/ 44 Creag Riabhach Short Sunderland DP197.  Recalled to base at Alness due to weather.  15 killed.  GR 15/936117
 2-2/44 31/08/44




Lancaster Crash.  PD259-463 Sqn.  Mid air break up returning from ops over Konigsberg.  Waddington Aircraft. 7 Killed.  .  KMRT First recorded Call Out
3-3/44 15-16/12/44 Beinn nan Coreag

6 miles NW of Berridale GR 17/037293

Fairey Barracuda MX691-814 Sqn.  Crashed on night navex from Fearn.  3 Killed

Total:  Call Outs-3 Aircraft Crashes 3   Rescued- 25 (Fatal-25)


Ser No Date
4-1/45 10/01/45 Beinn A Bhuird GR 36/112025 Airspeed Oxford PH404 311 Sqn.Wreck found by climbers. 5 killed, 3 months after incident. Casualties evacuated by team.
5-2/45 31/01/45 Near Loch Ruard GR 11/142448 B17 FL455 519 Sqn.  Crashed when returning to RAF Wick whilst returning from met flight. 5 killed, 3 survived.  Wick MRT involved.
6-3/45 03/03/45 Beinn Edra, Skye GR23/456630 Boeing B17 crash.  Large crash site in steep gully. Worth a visit 10 killed
7-4/45 26/03/45 Braeriach GR 36/963003 Bristol Blenheim Z7356 526 Sqn.  Descended too soon and crashed at beleach on Stron na Larig. 3 killed
8-5/45 13/06/45 Nr Gairloch GR 19/807711 B24 Liberator 44BG.  Flying Prestwick to Iceland and crashed at Fairy Loch memorial on site.  16 Killed

Total:  Call Outs-5    Aircraft Crashes 5 Recovered-42 (Fatal) 39


No Information for 1946 – can anyone help?


Ser No
9-1/47 19/06/47 Isle of Jura

.  GR 61/496745

Fairy Barracuda. 1x fatal
10-2/47 21-25/12/47 Ben Nevis


Missing Army officer.  Found 7 years later, by shepherd 300yds from Carn Dearg, near NE Buttress.
11-3/47   Culbin Forest Missing WRAF- Found SAW ( Safe and well)
12-4/47   Isle of Mull Missing aircraft 1947/48.  No details yet

Total 1947 Call Outs 4 Military Aircraft Crashes 2. Mountaineering 1 Recovered 3 Fatal 2 Mil Non Ac 1


Ser No




13- 1/48 07/06/48 Carbrach

GR 37/433216

Hudson aircraft crash.  Clova Hill.    8 casualties.
14-2/48 21/06/48 Stonehaven B25 Mitchell aircraft crash.  5 fatal.

1948 Total: 2 Recovered 13 (Fatal-13)   Aircraft crashes: 2


Ser No




15-1/49 7/01/49 Succoth Glen GR 56/161022 Boeing B29 SH44-622276-301st BG.  Scampton-Keflavick. Crashed at.  20 killed. Lots of interest on this incident as the aircraft may have been carrying German rocket scientists, going to Germany.
16-2/49 12/02/49 Raeburns Gully Lochnagar


2 people avalanched and rescued alive.  First call out for John Hinde.
17-3/49 16/05/49 Meikle Pap Lochnagar Fairey Firefly crash. Z2108. 766 Sqn –RNAS Lossiemouth. 2 fatalities
18-4/49 03/10/49 Glencoe Fallen Climber. 1 fatal.
19-5/49 15/10/49 Kinlochleven Missing walker. 1 fatal

1949 Total Call Outs: 5 Military Aircraft Crashes 2. Recovered 26 (22 fatalities) Mountaineering 2 fatal 2 rescued.

 Total Call – outs 1944-1949 = 19  

These were the days when few went on the hills gear was all ex military and there was limited communications and the roads were basic.

These are the incidents that I have any help please get in touch. (Heavy Whalley) November 2016 . Thanks to all who helped over the years.





About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Articles, Enviroment, Equipment, History, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, SAR, SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.