Sunday, 15 April 2012

Easter Monday - April 2012 .... Lest we forget

What better way to spend an Easter Monday in the pouring rain and mist and sleet and cold and … than a navigational exercise around Bleaklow?. Then we came across this … the B29-A Superfortress Aircraft wreckage ...

And having done the research, I realised that we'd come across the largest of the 50+ air crash sites situated around these Northern Pennine hills … It turned the trek into a sombre and thought provoking day.

“On the 3rd November 1948 a Boeing RB-29A Superfortress, 44-61999, was being used for a flight from Scampton near Lincoln to Burtonwood near Warrington, a flight of less than a hour.  Low cloud hung over much of England that day and as such the flight was to be conducted on instruments.  After having flown for the time the crew believed it should have taken them to cross the hill they descended.  However the aircraft was not quite passed the hills and struck the ground near Higher Shelf Stones and was destroyed by fire.

The aircraft was soon reported missing and the local authorities and nearby RAF Mountain Rescue Service team were alerted. At the time the MRT were on a training exercise in the Kinder Scout area, they made their way as quickly as possible to the southern side of Bleaklow to begin a search for the crash site. They arrived at the crash site at the around 16:30 finding that there had been no survivors and with light fading left the recovery of the crew until the following morning.

The aircraft had, for at least part of its existance, carried the name 'Over Exposed', it got the name while being used by the 509th Composite Group to photograph atomic weapon tests as part of Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll during 1946” Ref here

Leaving the site in a quiet reflection, we glimpsed back from the trig point, in weather reminiscent of that day 64 years ago ...

... Ironically passsing a Mountain Rescue Patrol officer as we made it back to the A57

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