Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: Royal Air Force Coastal Command, 1939-1945.
The Interim Torpedo Fighter, or "Torbeau" as this version was known, is armed with a Mark XII aerial torpedo. Note the aerial camera port in the nose. [Wikipedia]
Photo: Hensser H (F/O), Royal Air Force official photographer
Source: Imperial War Museum
This image was created and released by the Imperial War Museum on the IWM Non Commercial Licence. Photographs taken, or artworks created, by a member of the forces during their active service duties are covered by Crown Copyright provisions. Faithful reproductions may be reused under that licence, which is considered expired 50 years after their creation.
BELOW: Bristol Beaufighter Mark VIC, X8035 'J', of No. 235 Squadron RAF Detachment, taking off from Luqa, Malta, during the Italian naval attack on the "Harpoon" Convoy. [Wikipedia]
Photo: 1942 Royal Air Force official photographer
Both of the above photos show Mk.VIc variants of the Bristol Beaufighter. This is the variant featured on this page.
Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Bristol 156 Beaufighter Mk.VIc / EL335, coded P
Aircraft Type Designation: 156 (Long range heavy fighter / bomber.)
Aircraft Type Nickname: Beau.
The Bristol Beaufighter was first night-fighter that was fast enough to take full advantage of airborne-interception (AI) radar, and was used in this role against enemy aircraft.
The Beaufighter Mk.VIc (the variant featured on this page) was equipped with additional radio and navigational equipment for use with RAF Coastal Command.
In addition to the machine guns in the wings, the Mk.VI was also adapted to carry rocket projectiles and torpedoes for strike attack and anti-submarine sorties. This variant was fitted with a backward-firing Vickers K machine gun.
The Mk.VI Beaufighter was equipped with two 1230.4kW (1650hp) Bristol Hercules VI or XVI engines. It had a maximum speed of just over 483kmh (300mph); a range of almost 2,414km (1,500 miles), and a service ceiling of 8,077m (26,500ft).
Aircraft Accident Details
Bristol Beaufighter EL335/P took off from RAF Leuchars, Fife, together with six other Beaufighters. The aircraft had been dispatched on a ship reconnaissance sortie.
Beaufighter EL335/P, however, crashed on the NE slopes of Hill of Wirren in Angus. The circumstances of the crash are unknown.
Aircraft Crew Casualties
The two airmen who died in this incident were:
(Please click on the hyperlinked names above for further details at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.)
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 3 Mar 1943
Hill of Wirren (678m)
(Crash occurred on NE side.)
Nearest road: B966 from Edzell. (Then, N by unclassified roads and tracks leading toward Glen Esk; OR, NW by unclassified roads leading toward Glen Lethnot.)
Nearest town or village:
Nearest large towns:
Stonehaven (E) or Montrose (SE).
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref: N/A
Present Condition: Some small pieces of wreckage remain at the crash site.
Air crash sites in this vicinity:
RAF Consolidated Liberator KG857, Hill of Wirren.
2) RAF Bristol Beaufort AW242, Hill of Wirren.
3) RAF Bristol Beaufighter EL335/P, Hill of Wirren.
4) RAF Hawker Hurricane AF978, Hill of Wirren.
5) RN Fairey Swordfish L9785, Hill of Wirren.
6) RN Hawker Sea Fury VW590, Hill of Wirren.
Registration or Serial: EL335, coded P
Operator: RAF (235 Squadron, Coastal Command)
Operating Station: RAF Leuchars.
Station Location: Leuchars (9.5km / 6 miles from St Andrews), Fife, Scotland.
Current Station Status:
RAF operations will cease in 2013. The station will then be taken over by the army.
Current Station Name (Until Closure): RAF Leuchars
RAF and Related Links
235 Squadron at History of War
235 Squadron at Wikipedia
Bristol Beaufighter (RAF History)
Bristol Beaufighters in action (YouTube newsreel film)
Bristol Beaufighter at The Aviation History Online Museum
Bristol Beaufighter on Facebook
Bristol Beaufighter at Wikipedia
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Bristol Beaufighter EL335
Hill of Wirren, Edzell, Angus