• Galloway Air Crashes 1940 - 1979

    On 12th July 1993 I was lucky enough to join my dad and other aviation enthusiasts at a small clearing in the forest just off the A713 Ayr to Castle Douglas road. It was a warm summers day, and the Royal Navy based at HMS Gannet in Prestwick loaned the aviation group a Sea-King helicopter to assist with the recovery of AD540. (Image 8).

    Galloway Air Crashes
    Image 8. A Royal Navy Sea King from 819 Squadron based at HMS Gannet, holding in the hover while its
    cargo nets are loaded with Spitfire AD540.

    We cleared the landing site of any debris that could be displaced by the downwash and then we watched in silence as the expertly flown grey Sea-King, made three runs back and forward, carrying the crumpled remains of the Spitfire in cargo nets underslung below the ten-tonne helicopter. Most of the aircraft, including the wings, was recovered having been placed into the ground by the recovery team, in the days following the accident.

    In September 1993, a piper played a lament as the Battle of Britain Memorial flight flew low and fast, with a wing dipped in memory of David Hunter Blair. A memorial plaque was also unveiled beside the crash site.

    In October 2019, the wonderful Dominic Smith and myself were able to spend an enjoyable trek into some of Galloway's finest scenery. On a bright autumn day we wandered along the wooded shores of Loch Trool, before heading up a forest track, under the Minigaff hills and onto the slopes of Curleywee (674m). On the summit I was able to point out the location of Backhill of Bush, Meikle Craigtarson, Corserine, and other key locations in the area. The views were endless, and we even managed a wee sip (or two) of whisky at the summit to warm us up before the chilly descent back to Bruce's Stone. (Image 9)

    Galloway Air Crashes
    Image 9. Me and Dom enjoying the great outdoors near Curleywee.

    Fading light restricted us slightly timewise and we weren't able to visit a nearby Avro Anson crash site on Bennanbrack. Hopefully, next time Dom? The hipflask is packed away in my rucksack. (Image 10)

    Galloway Air Crashes
    Image 10. Now where¡¦s the hipflask?


    7 Comments
    1. AlyMac's Avatar
      AlyMac -
      Fantastic reading auld pal - thanks fur sharin :-)
    1. BarryDon's Avatar
      BarryDon -
      Thanks Aly. My pleasure
    1. sky44's Avatar
      sky44 -
      Very Interesting.
    1. BarryDon's Avatar
      BarryDon -
      Thank you.
    1. W33's Avatar
      W33 -
      Excellent article!

      Thank you for the time and effort you put into writing this. Your research is superb!

      W33
    1. BarryDon's Avatar
      BarryDon -
      My pleasure W33. Thank you for the kind comments!
    1. archangelmj12's Avatar
      archangelmj12 -
      Superior writing and accounts of history. Under the same pretense i was researching and saw an article about the missing aircraft that took off from Malaysia and was lost.
      From what the article said he had found the plane in a Vietnam jungle, well I went on to Google map and i located the wreckage and i measured it from satellite in meters, the measurements were off by two meters of the fuselage small break. I also located a small clearing with huts about from what im seeing at the most 3 to 10 miles. its a large makeshift clearing, near enough that anyone there would of heard the plane crash.
      Im surmising that the clearing with huts was a recovery by either legal or illegal operatives.
      What I did find interesting is the damage to the aircraft which showed wings rudder flaps all intact, the aircraft went down without power and there wasnt any fuel damage to vegatation anywhere in the surrounding area, no skid no downed trees, this aircraft did a freefall, and from the damages im seeing, there is sign of holes made by projectile and what appears to be damage from a missile of some sorts.
      What i found absurd is after the find Im not seeing anyone stepping up in Govt anywhere discussing what to do next.
      As you recall, the Soviets shot down an airliner over the Kamchtuk Peninnsula and strafed the water killing all passengers including a senator or congressmen from Georgia.
      Im also wondering if the reason they havent gone in is as to what they will find.
      Semper Fidelis
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