D.H. Venom WR557

Broad Mea, Northumberland, England













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: A new DH 112 Venom FB4 WR540 at Manchester (Ringway) airport in 1956. The Venoms were built there by The Fairey Aviation Company.


DH Venom new at Manchester Ringway airport


Photo: 2010 RuthAS


Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.



BELOW: The control panel of a Swiss Air Force de-Havilland Venom. [Two separate links.]


venom cockpit control panel


Photo: 2007 Rama


Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 France license.






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF de-Havilland DH 112 Venom FB4 / WR557



The twin boom fighter-bomber De-Havilland DH 112 Venom was developed from the DH 107 Vampire.


The prototype Venom first flew in 1949. The FB1 began flying in1952. The improved FB4 variant entered service in 1955.


 A Sea Venom (with folding wings) was developed for aircraft carriers.


The Venom was powered by a de-Havilland Ghost turbojet engine. The Venom FB4 could attain a speed of almost 600 mph.


 The aircraft was armed with four 20mm Hispano Mk V autocannons. It could also carry bombs or air-to-ground rocket projectiles. 


The FB Mk 4 variant featured here was the last variant built for the RAF. Unlike earlier variants, the FB4 was equipped with an ejection seatsimilar to the Martin Baker types used by Sea Venoms.


This version of the Venom carried only a pilot. (The NF2 (night fighter) variant was the only variant that carried both a pilot and a navigator / radar operator.)


 RAF front line Venoms were retired from service in 1962; although the Swiss Air Force continued to use theirs after this date.






Aircraft Accident Details


de-Havilland Venom WR557 was on a test flight from RAF Silloth when the wing elevators malfunctioned. Unable to gain lift or maintain height, the aircraft crashed into a hillside a short distance due S of Broad Mea in Northumberland.


Broad Mea lies between the villages of Croglin (B6413) and Slaggyford (A689).






Aircraft Crew Casualty


Sadly, the pilot died in this accident . He was:

  • Flt Lt W. F. Marshall





Crash Site Photos


BELOW: A wing section from the de Havilland Venom showing part of the serial code. (The full code was WR557.)


wing section from venom with part of serial code.


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Some of the wreckage from the de Havilland Venom has been collected and piled into a heap, as here.


wreckage heap from de-havilland venom near Broad Mea


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another view of the wreckage piled close to the wire mesh fence, and showing part of a wing with the serial code WR557 (although the last digit is not visible.)


another view of wreckage including wing section


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another view of the wreckage pile.


 Apart from the wing section, it is very difficult to identify individual parts or sections among the remaining wreckage.


another view of the same wreckage pile


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another shattered section from the wrecked Venom.


another shattered section


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Gary supporting a wing section with the RAF roundel visible. Although faded, there is still some colour in the roundel.


Other larger wreckage lies nearby.


wing section with RAF roundel and other larger wreckage


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another view of the wing section with RAF roundel and serial code (WR557) visible.


another view of wing section with raf roundel and serial code wr557


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another separate wreckage section. It is curved or arched in shape, but difficult to identify.


another separate wreckage section


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson









BELOW: Some smaller wreckage sections.


some smaller wreckage sections


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another (smaller) wing section shown at close quarters. Part of the RAF roundel is visible on this section too.


another smaller wing section shown at close quarters


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW:  Another unidentified section from Venom WR557.


another unidentified section from Venom WR557


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another view of the debris field lying close to the wire mesh fence.


another view of the debris field.


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: A wing section and some other larger sections.


a wing section and other larger sections


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: More unidentified wreckage from the Venom.


more unidentified wreckage


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: cone-shaped section, wing section and some other larger sections of wreckage.


jet engine cowling, wing section and other sections


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: A final view of Venom WR557's debris field.


final view of WR557 debris field


Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson




Photo Gallery


There are no photos of this aircraft crash site in the Photo Gallery.

















Crash Date / Site


Country: England


England national flag



Accident Date: 4 Mar 1957


Accident Site:

near Broad Mea

(On moorland just due S of this location. See OS Grid Ref below.)


Region: Northumberland


Nearest town or village:



Nearest large towns: Carlisle (NW) or Penrith (SW)


OS Grid Ref: NY 641 472


GPS Refs: N/A


Present Condition: Significant wreckage, including wing sections, remain onsite. Some wreckage, however, is highly fragmented.




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: WR557


Operator: RAF (22 MU)


Operating Station: RAF Silloth


Station Location: Silloth, Cumbria (formerly, Cumberland), England.


Current Station Status: Military operations ceased. Station now derelict. (See also here.)




Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields




Related Links



Accident Specific Links


Accident Report at The National Archives


de Havilland DH 112 Venom History and Design Links


Vic Flintham's website.


RAF and Related Links




RAF Silloth


The Wartime Memorials Project RAF Silloth


Other Links

de Havilland Venom jet fighter bomber on YouTube (video)




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