Vickers Wellington Mk.IC Z1078 (JN-L), 150 Squadron, RAF Snaith
crashed The Cheviot, Northumberland on 15th January 1942
|Position||Rank/Title||Full Name||Age||Service Number||Injury|
|Pilot||Sgt||Laurence Warren Hunt||20||405278||Fatal|
|2nd Pilot||P/O||Bertram Alexander Macdonald||21||J/6029||Injured|
|W/Op Air Gunner||Sgt||William Henry Allworth||1259356||Injured|
|Observer||Sgt||Thomas Walter Irving||23||405378||Fatal|
|W/Op Air Gunner||Sgt||Frederick George Maple||33||1311110||Fatal|
|Air Gunner||Sgt||Charles Frederick Glover||535512||Injured|
On 15th January 1942 Wellington Z1078 left RAF Snaith in Yorkshire, it was one of fourteen aircraft assigned to attack Hamburg in Germany. Flak was moderately accurate over the target but not intense and the bombs were released at heights between 10,000 and 15,000 feet, detonations being seen in the target area, which had been illuminated by flares dropped by the lead aircraft. On the return Z1078 became lost following the failure of its navigation aids and as a result the aircraft flew too far north over the North Sea. The flying south east when it struck a glancing blow on the lower slopes of The Cheviot at an altitude of 1,500ft which was obscured by a blanket of low snow clouds. The aircraft immediately caught fire and Sgt Irving was killed on impact.
The crash was heard by John Dagg of Dunsdale Farm who made his way up the hill, guided to the scene by the smell of burning and exploding ammunition. He found three of the crew unconscious close to the burning wreckage, these were P/O Macdonald, Sgt Hunt and Sgt Maple. A further search of the area found Sgt’s Glover and Allworth, who were discovered sheltering from the burning wreck behind a rock.
By now John Dagg had been joined by two further shepherds and together they brought the survivors down from the blizzard swept hillside. Sadly Sgt Hunt and Sgt Maple succumbed to their injuries the following day.
The Crash Site
The crash site is difficult to find as there is little surviving wreckage. The largest sections are part of the balloon cable defenders from the leading edge of the wing, an oil tank and some small sections of the geodetic construction. The grass is still very stunted where the aircraft burnt out and the area is littered with tiny burnt fragments.