Double booked – Ben Nevis and Beinn Eighe in two weeks time. Some of the tale of the memorial on Beinn Eighe.

Busy weekend coming up soon 19/20 the June  booked for a day on  Ben Nevis with Jenny  Val and pals then the Sunday over to Beinn Eighe in Torridon for a walk into the Lancaster Crash on the wild Coire Mhic Fhearachair . It will be an early start for the trip to Torridon after my day on the Ben. The Beinn Eighe trip is with a relative of the crew Geoff who now makes a yearly pilgrimage to the crash site and the small plaque on a propeller near the screes of Fuselage Gully. Sadly the memorial is now in a poor state and was put there in 2001 on the 50 th Anniversary of the crash.     I am not really into memorials in the mountains or wild places but the wreckage is there and wee plaque is very poignant.

2016 – The Plaque in the Coire in a state? 

I would like to see a small memorial in the new Torridon MRT Base that will be built in the near future. Too me that would mean that many could visit and pay respects and learn the tale.? Any comments ?

A few of the locals assisted with the crews recovery and ponies were used at times on the long carry off. This took several months to locate due to the snow depth and the terrian many lessons were learned for Mountain Rescue after that.

On the 13th March 1951 at 1804 hrs, Lancaster TX264 call sign ‘D’ Dog of 120 Squadron, converted for reconnaissance purposes, took off from RAF Kinloss, a ‘fog free’ climate of the Moray Coast between Lossiemouth and Nairn. The pilot was Flt Lt Harry Reid DFC, 24 years of age, a total crew of eight with a Second Pilot, Navigator, Flight Engineer and four signallers. It was a ‘Navigational Exercise’ via Cape Wrath, It crashed on Beinn Eighe in awful weather.

Fl/Lt Harry Smith Reid DFC (29), Pilot, RAF.Buried Groves Cemetery Aberdeen

Sgt Ralph Clucas (23), Co-Pilot, RAF. Buried at Kinloss Abbey.

Flt Lt Strong (27), Navigator, RAF. Buried Bramwood End Cemetery, Birmingham.

Sgt Peter Tennison (26), Air Signals, RAF. Buried at Kinloss Abbey.

Sgt James Naismith (28), Air Signals, RAF. Buried at Kinloss Abbey.

Sgt Wilfred D Beck (19), Air Signals, RAF. Buried at Kinloss Abbey.

Sgt James W Bell (25), Air Signals, RAF. Buried at Kinloss Abbey.

Sgt George Farquhar (29), Flight Engineer, RAF. Buried Buckie Cemetery, Banffshire. Born 3/6/1921.

Joss Gosling one of the original RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team  who was on the call -out still going strong and a great inspiration to us all.

The old memorial is now at RAF Lossiemouth MRT and is nearly completed thanks to 38 Sqn Engineers and Sane and his team at Lossiemouth and hopefully Joss Gosling and others will be able to attend the dedication of the memorial.

the old memorial at Kinloss now moved to Lossiemouth.

On the 28th August 1985, a group of Officer Cadets led  Sgt Tom Jones (RIP)/ Sgt Jim Morning were airlifted on to the summit of Beinn Eighe by a Sea King Helicopter from 202 Squadron.

The prop was moved from here!

One of ‘D’ Dog’s propellers was recovered and put into a lifting net and taken by the helicopter to the road, and then to RAF Kinloss.  The twisted three-blade propeller used to stand outside  the  Mountain Rescue Section building as a permanent memorial to ‘D’ Dog’s crew.

The prop at Kinloss old HQ

The gully where the aircraft crashed is called by mountaineers Fuselage Gully A loose scramble in summer and one of the propellers has to be climbed over and is used by climbers as a belay in summer or winter. There is an amazing tale of two climbers being avalanched on a winter climb and stopping at the propellor a bit battered but managed ti

At the wing on a recent trip it is a stunning walk into the Coire but the gully is loose and tricky and only advised for mountaineers.

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, Enviroment, Family, Friends, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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