Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Botton Head, site of a WW2 air crash

Climbed Botton Head onto Greenhow Moor in search of the site of a WW2 air crash. On 21 October 1940 an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk. V was returning to its base at RAF Linton on Ouse, just off the A19 north of York, from a raid on the Skoda factory in Czechoslovakia, crashing into the hillside above Greenhow Botton. The Whitley was a heavy bomber of WW2, nicknamed the Flying Coffin, and flew by a crew of five, of which three were killed instantly and another succumbed to his injuries two days later. One man survived. There is some confusion about the cause of the crash. Some records say it was shot down, others that it ran out of fuel, Perhaps a bullet had punctured the tank and it was losing fuel on the flight home. But either way, it is a sobering reminder of the precariousness of the missions and of the heroism of the crew. The crash is well documented but I won’t give the precise location on the map below. I wouldn’t want to make it too easy for souvenir hunters. There are still small bits of aluminium and glass lying amongst the bracken, slowly being buried by the undergrowth.

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