LAIT logo Barracuda DR306 Whernside

15th December 1945

Last updated 17.12.2004

Type Unit Base Duty Crew Passengers
Barracuda Mk.II 769 Naval Air Squadron Rattray Cross-country Navex 1 -

On 15th December 1945 Fairey Barracuda Mk.II serial No. DR306 of 769 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Navy, a FAA training unit based at RNAS Rattray near Crimond, Scotland, was on a routine cross-country navigational exercise. The Squadron had been assigned to torpedo bomber reconnaissance training for crews in preparation for joining the 21st Carrier Air Group. The aircraft is believed to have been on the return section of the flight when the pilot encountered cloud and must have elected to descend through it to confirm his position. Unfortunately at this point he was unknowingly in the vicinity of Whernside, near Ingleton, at 2,414 ft, the highest of the Yorkshire Dales famous "Three Peaks" . The aircraft struck the lower slopes of the hill some 500 feet below the summit where the ground slopes more gently and as it skidded to a halt largely intact, the lucky pilot vacated the cockpit with only minor cuts and bruises and was able to walk to the nearest farm to raise the alarm.

Name Position Status
P/O J.R. Crevier? Pilot U.

Surprisingly the recovery crew attending this incident disposed of the airframe by simply cutting it up and burying it on site, making it for many years one of the most intact wreck sites in the area. However a series of excavations uncovered the remains and piece by piece it gradually disappeared. Unfortunately the group responsible no longer exists and the whereabouts of the major sections that they recovered is unknown at the present time. Only a few corroded small panels remain at the site today, these being well scattered - possibly dropped during the recovery attempts or picked up and later abandoned by curious walkers.

Scattered fragments only remain to mark the crash site.


Acknowledgements:

Ray Sturtivant (Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 - 45), David Earl (Hell on High Ground 1).

 

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This page & all articles on this site Copyright Nick Wotherspoon 2004