Aircraft Wreck Hunting In The Peak District : Kinder Scout
We had a great journey from South London in beautiful sunshine, but rain had set in for the day by the time we had pitched the tent. We decided to retire to the pub(s) and leave wreck hunting to the next day, which left plenty of time for planning routes and drinking some splendid ales in the hostelries of Hope and Castleton. We did however find our first crash site on the road between Hope and Castleton. In 1943 Vickers Wellington HF613 of 22 OTU crashed on a training flight with the loss of 5 lives. A memorial plaque is set into the roadside wall of Marston Farm along with a tree that was planted as a memorial by family members.
The next morning was rather better weather wise and we headed to Bowden Bridge near Hayfield to start off with an ascent of Kinder Scout from the quarry from where the Kinder mass trespass of 1932 started. The event is marked with a commemorative plaque.
Our ascent commenced with a woodland walk emerging at the Western end of the Kinder Reservoir, following which the path becomes steeper and climbs until it meets the Pennine Way. From the junction of the paths we proceeded Westward for about 1km to Mill Hill to locate our first wreck - the remains of USAF B24 Liberator 42-52003.
There we found the bulk of two engines, some recognisable undercarriage parts and a sizeable piece of what appeared to be a wing. We were both quite surprised that such significant parts were still sitting on the surface after more than 65 years since the crash in 1944. This was one of the easier wrecks to find on our little tour and also one of the happier stories as both of the crew survived the crash which occurred on a ferry flight between Burtonwood and Hardwick.
|Kinder Scout USAF B24 Liberator 42-52003
After pausing to take some photos and eat some lunch we headed East looking for the remains of 2 Sabres which are scattered over both sides of "The Edge" bordering Black Ashop Moor. This is the final resting place of 2 Sabres, XD707 and XD730 that crashed in 1954, it is not clear if they collided or simply flew into the hillside in bad visibility. Both pilots were killed.
At this point the weather changed and having set out to try to locate the more Northerly wreckage, we had to give up our search due to very poor visibility and the possibility of getting lost. We returned to the Pennine Way, and turned East in thick fog, eventually glimpsing something promising to the North of the path. We have no idea how obvious the wreckage that we found would have been from the path in clear weather, but in the conditions on the day we would have walked past without noticing if we had not been looking for it. We found a quantity of wreckage spread over 0.25km or so, there were plenty of small fragments in the area but no particularly large pieces were visible.
|Kinder Scout RAF Sabre XD707/XD730
That was it for our search on Kinder Scout even though there are more wrecks up there which we may track down another day. The sun came out on the way down the hill and we had nearly dried out by the time that we got back to the car park where we bought a coffee from a nice lady in a burger van painted to look like a log cabin.
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