H.P. Halifax JP165/D

Beinn nan Leac, Isle of Harris













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: A Royal Air Force Handley Page Halifax B.V Series 1 (Special) (s/n EB151, "OO-R") of No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit based at Rufforth, Yorkshire (UK), getting airborne from RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, during a training flight. [Wikipedia]


This is a similar variant to the type featured on this page.


a B.V Halifax bomber of 1663 HCU


Photo: c.1943 Flying Officer W. Bellamy, Royal Air Force official photographer.


Crown Copyright (expired).


HMSO has declared that the expiry of Crown Copyrights applies worldwide (ref: HMSO Email Reply) More information.



BELOW: An RCAF Handley Page Halifax bomber in flight.


an RCAF Halifax bomber in flight


Photo: Pre 1949. Public domain.






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Handley Page H.P.57 Halifax / JP165/D



(Click here for RAF history of this type)


The original design of this aircraft was for a twin-engine bomber using Rolls-Royce Vulture engines. However, during development, the plans were altered to produce a four-engine aircraft using the more powerful RR Merlin X engines.


The Mk I version of the Halifax was equipped with two .303 Browning machine guns in the nose turret, with another two in the centre of the fuselage and four in the rear turret. In the Mk II series, the nose turret guns and the guns in the fuselage waist area were deleted. A Boulton Paul twin-gun turret was installed in the dorsal position to replace the waist guns.


In time, other versions and variants followed with greater improvements.


Equipped to carry a crew of seven, the Halifax entered service with RAF Bomber Command in 1940.






Aircraft Accident Details


H.P. Halifax JP165/D took off from RAF Stornoway intending to carry out radar and other exercises. However, due to the appproach of poor weather from the Atlantic, the control centre at Stornoway instructed the pilot of the Halifax to confine his exercises to the local area.


While engaged on these exercises, the crew decided to fly the aircraft from East to West Loch Tarbert through the 'Tarbert gap'. However, the aircraft manoeuvred too far south to clear the high ground above Loch Tarbert. Consequently, it crashed on Beinn nan Leac, several kilometers south of the intended route.






Aircraft Crew Casualties / Survivors


The crew members who died in this accident, or who died later as a result of injuries, were:


  • Flt Lt Ronald Alister Shrubb (29), Navigator / Bomber, RAFVR.
    (Buried, Old Part., Grave L.R.29, Thomas Ditton (St Nicholas) Churchyard, Surrey.)


  • Flt Sgt Thomas Michael Gledhill (22), W/op / Air Gnr., RAFVR. (Survived initial crash but died of injuries on 14 Apr 1945.)
    (Buried, Section M, Grave 2983, Sandwick Cemetery, Ross and Cromarty.)


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




Those who survived (with lesser injuries) were:


    F/O W J Richardson DFC, DFM, Pilot.


    Flt Sgt E Lack, Co-Pilot.


    W/O J M Stitt, Flt Engr.


    Flt Sgt L R Griffiths, W/op/Air Gnr.






Crash Site Photos



NOTE: This is a remote and potentially difficult site to access. Please take care!





BELOW: Part of the remaining wreckage from Halifax JP165/D, which crashed here in 1945.


part of halifax wreckage.


Photo: © 2007-2014 Steven Spink



BELOW: Another large section of wreckage from the Halifax bomber.


another wreckage section.


Photo: © 2007-2014 Steven Spink



BELOW: Part of the main debris field on the slopes of Beinn nan Leac.


part of main debris field.


Photo: © 2007-2014 Steven Spink



BELOW: Another view of the debris field.


another view of debris field.


Photo: © 2007-2014 Steven Spink



BELOW: Unidentified section.


unidentified section.


Photo: © 2007-2014 Steven Spink



BELOW: Part of the airframe (ribs, etc).


part of the airframe.


Photo: © 2007-2014 Steven Spink



BELOW: Part of a shredded rubber tyre from the landing gear wheels.


shredded rubber tyre.


Photo: © 2007-2014 Steven Spink



BELOW: Aluminium panelling.


aluminium panelling.


Photo: © 2007-2014 Steven Spink
























Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 9 Apr 1945


Accident Site:

Beinn nan Leac [map]


Nearest road: A859.


Region: Western Isles
(South Harris, Outer Hebrides)


Nearest town or village:

Tarbert (A859 / A868)


Nearest large town: None in this general area


OS Grid Ref. NG 127 982


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: Aircraft engines have been recovered from the site. Remaining wreckage parts / fragments are scattered down the hillside from near the summit to the base.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: JP165/D


Operator: RAF (18 Group; 58 Squadron)


Operating Station: RAF Stornoway


Station Location: Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides.


Current Station Status: RAF Station closed in 1998. Now, civil airport.


Current Airport Name: Stornoway Airport




Related Links



RAF and Related Links

58 Squadron

58 Squadron at the Wartime Memories Project.

Wartime History of RAF Stornoway.




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

Walking Scotland's Mountains




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