Avro Anson N9857 XF-F

Beinn an Fhurian, Highland

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: An RAF Avro Anson in flight.

 

an raf avro anson in flight - old black and white photo

 

Photo: Source unknown

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Avro Anson GR1 / N9857 XF-F

 


 

Aircraft Type Nickname: "Faithful Annie"

 

 

The Avro Anson was an adaption of the civilian Avro 652 in use by Imperial Airways.

 

The Anson was the first aircraft in RAF service to be equipped with a retractable undercarriage. The aircraft type was flown initially by No. 48 Squadron of RAF Coastal Command.

 

The Anson was used for coastal reconnaissance and maritime patrols. Latterly, it was used for crew training, light transport, and communications purposes. Among crew members, however, the Anson was considered to be a cold, draughty, and very noise aircraft.

 

Although the Anson was a solidly-built and reliable aircraft, it was nevertheless slow and vulnerable to attack. For this and other reasons, it was inevitable that the Anson would be replacedas indeed it was, with the Lockheed Hudson bomber.

 

Later generations of Ansons (the Anson C.19 series) remained in use with the RAF until 1968.

 

Usually, Mark I Ansons were powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah radial engines. Occasionally, however, other types would be substituted. The Anson had a top speed of about 188 mph (164 knots or 303 km/h) at 7,000ft (2,100m).

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

This aircraft was on a training flight (Navex or Navigation Exercise), and was being flown by a crew attached to 19 OTU from RAF Kinloss. The Anson was carrying at least one instructor (possibly two) along with four (or five) trainees.

 

Accident details are sparse, but apparently the aircraft [wings] began to ice up in a very heavy snowstorm. This made it increasing difficult for the pilot to keep the Anson airborne. Shortly afterward, one of the engines began to fail.

 

Ultimately, the aircraft crashed in one of the most remote areas of Scotland—on the hills E of Inchnadamph in the proximity of Ben More Assynt [map].

 

Partly due to the remoteness of the area, the crash site was not discovered until about 6 weeks later (in May 1941), when a shepherd came across the wreckage while out on the hills.

 

A volunteer recovery team went up to bring the bodies down. (In 1941, there were no Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs). However, due to the state of the bodies, it was decided to bury them at the crash site, where they still lie.

 

A cairn marks the burial location. In 1985, this cairn was refurbished by Air Cadets from No 2489 (Bridge of Don) squadron, commanded by Flt Lt Niall Aslen.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

Those who died in this accident were:

 

(Please click on the hyperlinked names above for further details at the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's website.) 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site / Memorial Photos

 

Memorial Photos

 

BELOW: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Memorial at Inchnadamph Old Churchyard.

 

cwgc memorial at inchnadamph old churchyard.

 

Photo: © 2014 Steven Spink

 


 

BELOW: Inchnadamph Old Churchyard.

 

inchnadamph old churchyard.

 

Photo: © 2014 Steven Spink

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Memorial.

 

cwgc memorial at inchnadamph old churchyard 2.

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: Closer view of the upper plaque on the Memorial.

 

closer view of the upper plaque.

 

Photo: © 2014 Steven Spink

 


 

BELOW: Closer view of both plaques on the Memorial at Inchnadamph Old Churchyard.

 

closer view of both plaques.

 

Photo: © 2014 Steven Spink

 

 

The inscription on the lower plaque reads:

 

Here are commemorated
The crew of an aircraft
Crashed on Ben More *
On the 13th April 1941
Whose bodies
Rest where they fell.

 

[* I.e., Ben More Assynt]

 

 


 

 

New Granite Memorial

 

In July 2013, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission installed a new granite memorial at the crash site, dedicated to the crew of this aircraft.

 

 

BELOW: An RAF Chinook helicopter lowers the new memorial into position.

 

helicopter lowers new memorial into position.

 

Photo: Source unknown

 


 

BELOW: The new granite Memorial on Ben More Assynt."

 

the granite memorial installed at the crash site in july 2013 by the cwgc

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

WAR GRAVE

 

BELOW: The original plaque from the crash site. This site is an official Protected Zone ('War Grave'). Please consider and respect it as such. The crew members are buried at this location.

 

the original plaque from the crash site marking this area as a war grave

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 

 



 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

BELOW: The pile of stones with embedded crosses marking the Anson crew's War Grave at Ben More Assynt.

 

The granite memorial, installed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission assisted by the RAF in July 2013, can be seen in the backround.

 

pile of stones with embedded crosses marking Anson war grave at Ben More Assynt

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: One of the memorials to the crew of Avro Anson N9857 that crashed at Ben More Assynt in 1941.

 

one of the memorials to the avro anson crew

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: Fragmented wreckage parts from the Anson.

 

fragmented wreckage of the Anson

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: Other small wreckage parts.

 

One of the two Cheetah engines is visible near the centre of the photo (see also below).

 

other wreckage from this aircraft

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: The gun turret from the Anson.

 

NOTE: In the 1970's, and at the request of the RAF, Neil Daniel and a party from RAF Kinloss MRT removed the gun turret for transfer to IWM Duxford for an Anson rebuild.

 

the gun turret from the Anson

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: Remains of one of the two Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah engines from Avro Anson N9857.

 

remains of one of the two cheetah engines from avro anson n9857

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: The other Cheetah engine with one propeller blade still attached.

 

the other cheetah engine with one propeller blade still attached

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: Part of the landing gear assembly and tyre from the Avro Anson training aircraft.

 

part of the landing gear assembly and tyre from the Anson

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 

 

 


 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

Accident Date: 13 Apr 1941

 

Accident Site:

Beinn an Fhurian (780m) / Ben More Assynt (998m)

 

Region: Highland (Sutherland)

 

Nearest town or village:

Inchnadamph

 

Nearest large town or city: None in this general area.

 

OS Grid Ref. N/A

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Some wreckage sections / parts remaining, including engine sections.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: N9857 XF-F

 

Operator: RAF (19 OTU)

 

Operating Station: RAF Kinloss

 

Station Location: Forres, Moray, Scotland.

 

Current Station Status: Military flying operations ceased on 31 July 2011; but airfield has been reserved as Relief Landing Ground (Emergency) for RAF Lossiemouth GR4 aircraft.

 

The airfield is also still used by Moray Flying Club, and 663 Volunteer Gliding Squadron.

 

Current Station Name: RAF Kinloss

 

 

 

 

Related Links

 

Accident Specific Links

Linzee Druce's website

Yorkshire Aircraft Co Ltd.

 

RAF and Related Links

19 OTU RAF

RAF Kinloss

RAF Kinloss at Wikipedia

RAF Lossiemouth

 

Other Links

Articles and photos of the Avro Anson type are available at the following sites:

Armstrong-Siddeley Cheetah IX engine

British Aircraft of World War II

Digger History

North East Aircraft Museum (NEAM)

uboat.net

Wikipedia

 

 

 

Hill Walking Links

 

 

(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)

Walking Scotland's Mountains

 


 

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