DH Mosquito G-AGGF

Drumhilt by Easter Balloch, Angus













Aircraft Photo


BELOW: British Overseas Airways Corporation and Qantas, 1940-1945.

Illuminated by a Chance Light, "civilianised" Mosquito FB Mark VI, G-AGGF (formerly HJ720) of BOAC, taxies onto the flare path at Leuchars, Fife, prior to a night flight to Stockholm. Sweden.


 G-AGGF was lost on 17 August 1943 when it crashed at Invermairk, [or Invermark] killing its crew.


G-AGGF taking off at night from RAF Leuchars


Photo: 1940-1943 Clark N S (P/O), Royal Air Force official photographer.


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: A scale model of BOAC de Havilland Mosquito G-AGGF. This is a replica of the aircraft shown above and featured on this page.


model of Mosquito G-AGGF


Photo: © PewterAircaft.com






Aircraft Type and Background


BOAC de Havilland Mosquito Mk.VI  / G-AGGF.


(RAF registration: HJ720)



(Click here for RAF history of this type.)



Aircraft Type Nickname: "The Wooden Wonder"; "Mossie".


The de Havilland Mosquito was a multi-role combat aircraft which ranged from fighter to bomber to photographic reconnaissance types.

Mosquitoes were equipped with two Rolls-Royce Merlin in-line piston engines. The B IV type could fly at 380mph.

The fuselage and wings of the Mosquito were made largely of wood. This permitted construction of these parts to be sub-contracted to furniture manufacturers and piano builders, thereby relieving the strain on the overstretched conventional aircraft industry.

The first Mosquitoes to enter service with the RAF were the photo reconnaissance types (PR.IX's).


The Mosquito featured here had been assigned to the civil operator, British Airways Ltd. (BAL)  (an assignment transferred later to BOAC). The Mosquito was being used to carry vital supplies and mail between Scotland and Sweden. The aircraft bore military camouflage, but civil registration codes.






BOAC Flights to Sweden


Background to BOAC Flights between Scotland and Sweden


"British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC)saw in the Mosquito an unarmed light merchantman that could outpace enemy fighters and fly above flak. This would be invaluable for carrying small freight and mail on the service which in 1941-42 they were conducting, with difficulty and danger, between Scotland and Sweden.


"Daily contact was necessary with the neutral country that was trading with both sides. There were many personal negotiations, [and] much secret mail. Stockholm buzzed with espionage. Mail was carried also for Allied prisoners of war in German camps.


"Bomber crews often came down in Sweden, or got there somehow, and tried to get back to England by any means. Even after American bombing developed it was still mainly the British who found ways of getting back into operations.


"...Furthermore, Britain was obtaining special engineering products from Sweden, such as ball-bearings, machine-tool steel, fine springs and electrical resistances [i.e., resistors].


"The Germans were rival customers, and after the USAAF raid on their ball-bearing works at Schweinfurt in mid-1943, it was a couple of BOAC Mosquitos, quickly modified to take one passenger each in the bomb bay [!] that made possible an immediate and successful negotiation for the purchase of Sweden's entire output of essential ball-bearingsprimarily to prevent the Germans from getting hold of them..." 2



[Above details extracted from information kindly provided by Neil Daniel.]





1. British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC): Flights between Scotland and Sweden were operated originally by British Airways Ltd. (BAL). However, at a later stage, these flights were taken over by BOAC.

(Incidentally, British Airways Ltd. was not the same as either the present-day British Airways Limited or the UK flag carrier, British Airways. Rather, it was a distinct company operating in Europe between 1935 and 1939.)


2. Extracted from Chapter 21 / Operations: The Mosquito Airliner.






Aircraft Accident Details


Accident Summary


"Capt. Wilkins...and his radio officer N. H. Beaumont left Leuchars in G-AGGF on 17 August 1943. Soon after take-off he radioed that he was returning. No more was heard, but a gamekeeper on 8 September found wreckage in Glen Esk.3 The aircraft  had hit a mountain4 at 2,500 ft. on approach in bad weather and had become BOAC's first Mosquito loss...5



Official Accident Report (Synopsis)


"Immediately after take-off from [RAF] Leuchars the aircraft took up a course approximately 18 degrees to starboard of the correct one. After about forty minutes the aircraft turned, for an unknown reason, and flew on the reciprocal for a few minutes then adopted a homeward course which again was about 18 degrees to starboard of the correct one. It then flew toward and into the hills, crashed on high ground at 2,550 ft., approximately 38 miles North of Leuchars, and caught fire." 6



[Above details extracted from information kindly provided by Neil Daniel.]





3. Glen Esk: i.e., in the general vicinity of Glen Esk; but more precisely on a hill above Glen Lee to the W of Glen Esk.


4. mountain: i.e., Drumhilt by Easter Balloch in Glen Lee, W of Invermark.


5. Extracted from Chapter 21 / Operations: The Mosquito Airliner.


6. From RAF / MoD Air Accidents Investigation Branch Report.






Aircraft Crew Casualties


Both the pilot and the radio officer of this aircraft died in this accident. They were:

  • Flight Captain L. A. Wilkins, BOAC. (Photo of Captain Wilkins (centre, white flying suit.))

  • Radio Officer  N. H. Beaumont, BOAC.


[IWM photo of Captain Wilkins kindly provided by Phil Davies.]






Crash Site Photos



NOTE: During excavation of the site a number of years ago, a current pilot found Captain Wilkins' pipe. This pipe was retrieved from the crash site and presented to Captain Wilkins' son.


[This information was kindly provided by Phil Davies.]




BELOW: Wreckage from BOAC Mosquito G-AGGF lying on Drumhilt near Easter Balloch above Glen Lee.


wreckage from G-AGGF lying on Drumhllt


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Another view of the debris.


another view of the debris field


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Wing root section and undercarriage struts.


wing root section and undercarriage struts


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel





Forward to Page 2 

(More detailed report of aircraft accident)





















Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 17 Aug 1943


Accident Site:

Drumhilt (803m) [map] by

Easter Balloch (834m).


(W of Invermark Castle [map])


Region: Angus (Grampians)


Nearest town, village or hamlet:

Tarfside [map] (on unclassified road W of B966 and Glenesk Caravan Park.)

or Edzell [map]. (E then S from Tarfside.)


Nearest large town:

Laurencekirk [map] (E) (B966 and B9120)


OS Grid Ref. NO 347809


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: Small pieces of wreckage still remain at Drumhilt by Easter Balloch.



Other air crash in this vicinity:


RAF Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V / EB384, coded ZV-U.

Crash at Murley Hill, Glen Esk in 1944.




Aircraft Details



BOAC Registration or Serial: G-AGGF.


(RAF Registration or Serial: HJ720).


Operator: BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation.)


Operating Station: RAF Leuchars.


Station Location:



Current Station Status: Operational Military Air Station (RAF). Due for closure in 2013.


Current Station Name: RAF Leuchars.



Destination Airport (Intended): Bromma, Stockholm, Sweden.




Related Links



General information on de Havilland Mosquito aircraft can be found at:

DH Mosquito.com (History of type)

History in Illustration

uboats.net (Fighting the U-boats)


BOAC Mosquitos and Related Links

BOAC losses on service (including G-AGGF).

BOAC Mosquitos at PPRuNe (Professional Pilots Forum).

BOAC de Havilland Mosquitoan Illustrated History (includes G-AGGF)

The Story of the Glen Lee Mosquito [the aircraft on this page] (with photos).


Forums, Organisations, and Societies

The Mosquito Page (The "Mossie" Organisation)

WW2 People's War (BBC Archives)



De Havilland Museum (Incorporating the Mosquito Aircraft Museum)

Mosquito TT35 at RAF Museum


Hill Walking Route Link

Drumhilt, Easter Balloch at Scottish Hills.com (with photos).




Hill Walking Links



(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

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

Walking Scotland's Mountains



Emergency Services Link

Register for Text 999 Emergency Service

If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.




Essential Gear



Beacon GPS Guide Maps


Essential Equipment - Three Seasons.


Trespass - Outdoor Clothing and Equipment


Walking Boots Advice