Bristol Beaufighter EL335

Hill of Wirren, Edzell, Angus

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: Royal Air Force Coastal Command, 1939-1945.


The crew of a Bristol Beaufighter Mark VIC (ITF) of No 144 Squadron RAF stand by the cockpit of their aircraft at a dispersal at Tain, Ross-shire.

 

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]

 

RAF Coastal Command Beaufighter

 

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]

 

beaufighter of 235 squadron raf

 

Photo: 1942 Royal Air Force official photographer


Crown Copyright (expired)

 

Source: This is photograph GM 1040 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.

 


 

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

 


 

(Click here for RAF history of this type.)

 

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:

  • F/O Michael Edward Hallam (62662), Pilot, RAFVR.
    (Buried, Grave 10437, Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire.)

  • F/O George Hugh Turner (19) (127460), Navigator, RAFVR.
    (Buried, Section M, Grave 63, Leigh-on-Sea Cemetery, Essex.)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

At the moment, there are no crash site photos for this aircraft.

 

 

 


 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Accident Date: 3 Mar 1943

 

Accident Site:

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.)

 

Region: Angus.

 

Nearest town or village:

Edzell (S) or Brechin (S).

 

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:

 

1) RAF Consolidated Liberator KG857, Hill of Wirren.
 

2) RAF Bristol Beaufort AW242, Hill of Wirren.

 

3) RAF Bristol Beaufighter EL335/P, Hill of Wirren.
(The aircraft on this page.)

 

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.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Related Links

 

 

RAF and Related Links

235 Squadron at History of War

235 Squadron at Wikipedia

Bristol Beaufighter (RAF History)

 

Other Links

Bristol Beaufighters in action (YouTube newsreel film)

Bristol Beaufighter at The Aviation History Online Museum 

Bristol Beaufighter on Facebook

Bristol Beaufighter at Wikipedia

Imperial War Museums

 

 

 

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