Boeing B17-G Fortress 42-31604, Unassigned
ditched in Loch Quoich, Western Scotland on 13th January 1944
|Position||Rank/Title||Full Name||Age||Service Number||Injury|
|Navigator||2nd Lt||Murray Schenker||Minor|
|Bombadier||2nd Lt||Melvin Gladstone||Minor|
|Ball Gunner||Sgt||Ed Vallee||Minor|
|Waist Gunner||Sgt||Efrain Longoria||Minor|
|Waist Gunner||Sgt||Alvin Leonard||Fatal|
|Tail Gunner||Sgt||Joe Czerwonka||Minor|
The aircraft was on a transatlantic ferry flight from Goose Bay to Nutts Corner when, 600 miles off the Scottish coast, it suffered an engine failure, the wireless went u/s and the pilot decided to ditch in Loch Quoich on the western coast of Scotland.
Four crew bailed out into the loch but sadly Sgt Leonard was drowned.
The Crash Site
The aircraft was salvaged by members of 56 Maintenance Unit based at Inverness and they beached the aircraft on 29th February 1944, after a month’s work. The aircraft was broken up on the shore and removed in sections to the nearest road some considerable distance away.
The Loch is large so pinpointing the exact location where the aircraft was beached proved difficult. It wasn’t until we realised that the level of the Loch was raised when it was dammed in the 1950’s that the pieces of the jigsaw came into place. In the background of the contemporary photos a sizeable building can be seen which isn’t present on modern day maps. This building, historically the only sizeable construction on the shore of the Loch, turned out to be Glenquoich Lodge which is now under water.
It seems that the aircraft was brought ashore just to the west of the lodge and removed along the very narrow road out of the glen.