Far North Aircraft crashes Part 2 – Cranstakie Corbett the Mosquito and Ben Loyal Hampden the local heroes who saved a life.

Beinn Spionnaidh is the northernmost peak in Britain over 2500 feet. A whaleback ridge of quartzite scree, it offers unique views of the north coast.It’s neighbour another Corbett Cranstackie is a mountain of 801 m in Sutherland, the northwestern tip of the Scottish Highlands. It is a Corbett located west of Loch Eriboll and northeast of Foinaven. Like Foinaven and Beinn Spionnaidh to the northeast, its top is covered with loose, broken quartzite. On this hill is the wreckage of a de Havilland Mosquito Mk.IV DZ486 of No.618 Squadron, RAF, crashed on Cranstackie NC 350560 at 2000 feet near Durness on the 5th April 1943 while on a bombing exercise from Skitten Mosquito DZ486 – Flew into hill while on a bombing exercise .The aircraft is reported to have flown over Durness and Balnakeil before turning south and flying down the glen towards Cranstackie. 5.4.1943

Cranstakie Mosuito crash site 2000.

Crew : F/O (124.814) Donald Louis PAVEY (pilot) RAFVR – killed Sgt (1220369) Bernard Walter STIMSON (obs) RAFVR – killed. I have visited this site on 3 occasions its a grand hill and enjoyed looking for the wreckage not easy in the days before GPS. NC 350560 ROUGH GRID REF

Ben Loyal known as the Queen of Scottish Mountaindis an isolated mountain of 764 m in Sutherland, the northwestern tip of the Scottish Highlands. It is a Corbett located south of the Kyle of Tongue and offers good views of the Kyle, Loch Loyal to the east, and Ben Hope to the west.Ben Loyal has the remains of an Hampden aircraft that crashed on the mountain in 1943. Grid Ref NC 583498 Sgor Chaonasaid at 1600 feet.The aircraft is a Handley Page Hampden, Serial No: P2118 Unit Codes: Z9-D Squadron: 519sqn Crash Date: 25.08.43 Based: Wick Crew:

Pilot; Flt Lt H. Puplett DFC,Navigator: F/O G. Richie,Radio Operator/Air Gunner:F/O C. Faulks Air Gunner:Sgt T Hudson-Bell

F/O Faulks was the only survivor when the aircraft flew into the side of Sgor Chaonasaid, the highest point in the Ben Loyal range. The aircraft was returning to Wick from an aborted search for missing Hampden P5334 when it flew into the hillside in a thunderstorm just before midnight on 25th August 1943. The rescue party arrived Ribigill a large farm house between Tongue and Ben Loyal, the rescue party were led by shepherd Mr E Campbell and Dr F Y McHendrick. The survivor was strapped to a piece of aircraft wreckage and carried him down from the mountain. after a long trip by horse and cart he was taken by RAF ambulance to Golspie’s Lawson County Hospital about forty miles away. He arrived there some 15 hours after the crash and was found to have very serious injuries including a broken right leg, a smashed up left foot and severe facial injuries and was initially not expected to live. Having spent some 18 months in hospital he rejoined his squadron taking up a ground-based role but was keen to be in the air again. He flew again before the War ended. Shepherd Eric Campbell and Dr Fowler Yates McKendrick M.B. Ch.B were both awarded the British Empire Medal for their rescue attempt on that night (Gazetted 3rd December 1943. In all they made six trips up and down to the aircraft that night, recovering the injured man and the bodies of his comrades. Dr McHendrick was also praised for his efforts in keeping F/O Faulks alive as they removed him to safety.

Ben Loyal wreckage photo Stuart McPhail

Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker’s Guide: Historic Crash Sites on the Moors and Mountains of the British Isles.

More info:

This study of aircraft crashes on hills and mountains of the UK and Ireland covers the period 1928 to 1992, the majority relating to World War II. Drawing upon Air Force records, civil accident reports and news reports, the author has included the accounts of survivors, eye-witnesses and rescuers.

Reference http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/scotland/p2118.htm

www.bbc.co.uk › history › storiesWW2 People’s War – A Lucky Escape – BBC

Please if visiting these crash sites treat them with respect. Young men lost their lives here.

Lest we forget.

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, Articles, Corbetts, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, People, Recomended books and Guides. Bookmark the permalink.

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