Far North Aircraft Crashes. Ben More Assynt Conival and Ben Klibreck – Munros with a sad tale.

I was up in the far North last week on Ben Hee the views of the distant Northern hills were exceptional. It is an incredible place with stunning mountains each have there own history and tales. A few of the hills have aircraft crashes from the Second World War on them. From this summit I could see a few mountains many with tales of those who gave so much. Few folk know they exist but you can add to a hill day by visiting these poignant places where so many gave their lives for us.

Ben More Assynt and Conival has an Anson crash that I have written about on my blog. It is on the locally known Aeroplane flats and is one of the sites that the crew were buried on site. There used to be a stunning cross marking the site but this was sadly falling apart and was replaced after a huge effort by the War Graves Commission.

The story of the crash site the story of this aircraft and its crew it is a reminder to those who gave so much. The crash site is a moving place at over 2000 feet high on Imir Fada near Ben More Assynt it is in a remote area about 5 miles from the nearest road.

This was a visit to the Anson Crash Memorial now replaced. The cross was a powerful reminder of those who gave their lives for us, Avro Anson  N9857  from 19 OTU RAF Kinloss Map reference NC 295224



On the 13th April 1941 an Anson aircraft from RAF Kinloss on a cross country training flight crashed near Ben More Assynt in the North West Highlands at Inchnadampth above Ullapool. The aircraft had taken off from Kinloss in less than ideal weather to follow a route via Oban, Stornaway and Cape Wrath before returning to Kinloss. The aircraft had completed the first two legs of its flight and reported passing Stornaway in icing conditions around this time the aircraft’s port engine lost power and failed. Sometime after this having either flown onto Cape Wrath or turning for base near Stornaway the aircraft flew into high ground in near white out conditions to the North East of Inchnadamph.  The aircraft was reported overdue at Kinloss and an air search was initiated but this failed to locate the missing aircraft, it wasn’t until the 25th May that the aircraft was located by a shepherd. All six of the crew were killed. The crash site is the only site in Scotland where the crew are buried at the crash site.

Flying Officer JH Steyn DFC.  Pilot

Pilot Officer WE Drew.             Observer/ Instructor

Sergeant J Emery.                      Wireless operator gunner

Flight Sergeant T R Kenny.       Wireless Operator

Sergeant CM Mitchell.              Observer Pupil

Sergeant HA Tompsett. .           Wireless operator gunner.

The new Memorial.

Ben Kilbreck

1955 March – Vampire Crash  – Ben Klibreck

In the past I have extended a day on Ben Klibreck it by going to an aircraft crash site on the South East Spur of Meall Ailein and to a monument to the crew of a Vampire Trainer aircraft from Royal Naval Station Lossiemouth that crashed in 17 March 1955 sadly killing both crew.

The RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue team were involved in the recovery and located the crash in a wild March day all those years ago.  The weather was wild and after a 6 hours search the aircraft was located.  It is a remote site and a very impressive memorial set on the ridge with great views this wild part of Scotland. It is worth extending the day and going out to visit this site that few see.  The monument is marked on the map and pieces of the aircraft can be found a grid reference Sheet 16/6182316 and NC 619305

The Ben Kilbreck Memorial

Sadly both crew died –

Gaelic spelling of Klibreck

Lt Peter Leslie Beers aged 24

Lt John Knight aged 23

Lest We Forget

Please if you visit these sites treat with the upmost respect and have a few thoughts for those who gave their young lives for us.

Tomorrow blog RAF de Havilland Mosquito, Cranstackie, crash date 05/04/43 Ben Loyal Hampden crash

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, Munros. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Far North Aircraft Crashes. Ben More Assynt Conival and Ben Klibreck – Munros with a sad tale.

  1. What a lovely tribute to those young men. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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