H.P. Halifax DK116

Glendhu Hill, Northumberland













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: An RCAF Handley Page Halifax bomber in flight. This is an earlier variant of the type featured below.


an RCAF Halifax bomber in flight


Photo: Pre 1949. Public domain.





Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Handley Page Halifax Mk V / DK116



(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 R-R 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. The type featured on this page was a Halifax Mk. V.


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





Aircraft Accident Details


Halifax DK116 developed an engine fire in one of its port engines while on an exercise from RAF Sandtoft. Apparently, the pilot was unable to quench the blaze using the inbuilt engine fire extinguishers. Therefore, in an attempt to douse the fire, the pilot put the aircraft into a dive.


Before entering the dive, three of the seven-man crew bailed out of the Halifax. The others remained in the aircraft, attempting to release the rear gunner from his turret.


Unfortunately, the pilot was unable to recover from the dive before he struck the ground at Glendhu Hill  [map] / Caplestone Fell in Kielder Forest.






Aircraft Crew Casualties


The four airmen who died in this accident were:

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



Those who bailed out and survived were:


Sgt John Mahoney, Navigator.


Sgt Reid, W/Op


Sgt Hammond, Air Gunner






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: Lying deep within Kielder Forest at Glendhu Hill, this is all that remains of Halifax DK116.


Other wreckage was salvaged some time ago to help with the restoration of another Halifax.


accumulated remaining wreckage in Kielder Forest


Photo: © 2009 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another view of the wreckage pile.


Little of the remaining wreckage can be positively identified, apart from some sections of the aircraft's landing gear and a few other parts.


another view of the wreckage pile


Photo: © 2009 Gary Nelson



BELOW: A closer view of some of the wreckage, with 'Sharni' the retriever in the mid ground.


Some smaller parts of wreckage lie in the rough grass behind Sharni. A wheel hub lies just to the left of Sharni.


a closer view of some of the wreckage


Photo: © 2009 Gary Nelson



BELOW: This view helps to show how difficult it can be to locate this crash site.


Although the Halifax crashed on the slopes of Glendhu Hill, the wreckage is well within Kielder Forest. The forest lies on the east side of Glendhu Hill.


view showing wreckage located deep in forest


Photo: © 2009 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Some of the remaining wreckage. A section of the aircraft's rusted landing gear lies in front of Gary and Sharni (the retriever).


pile of wreckage inlcuding part of landing gear in front of Gary Nelson and Sharni the dog


Photo: © 2009 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another view of wreckage. Although there are some smaller wreckage parts scattered further afield, it would appear that the main remaining wreckage has been piled together in this area.


The dog just to right of centre gives some idea of scale.


closer view of wreckage pile


Photo: © 2009 Gary Nelson



BELOW: This view shows a wider debris field. Other smaller wreckage parts lie hidden among the rough grass.


Again, Sharni the retriever (centre of photo), provides some idea of scale.


wider debris field


Photo: © 2009 Gary Nelson



BELOW: These sections lie further back from the main pile.


wreckage in background


Photo: © 2009 Gary Nelson




External Link


Additional details and photos, can be found at the Air Crash Investigation and Archaeology website.





Photo Gallery


There are no additional photos of this aircraft in the Photo Gallery




















Crash Date / Site


Country: England


england national flag 


Accident Date: 15 Oct 1944


Accident Site:

Glendhu Hill (520m / 1,684ft)

(Caplestone Fell)


Region: Northumberland / Cumbria boundary (Kielder Forest Park / Kershope Forest boundary)



Nearest town or village: Kershopefoot or Newcastleton


Nearest large town:

Hawick (N)


OS Grid Ref:

 OSGB36  NY 578 863


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: Parts of this aircraft have been removed from the crash site to aid in the reconstruction of another Halifax.


Some parts still remain onsite. However, the wreckage lies deep within Kielder Forest, on the E side of Glendhu Hill. It may prove difficult to locate the crash site. (See photos below.) However. the Forestry Commisson (Kielder Forest area) may be to able to assist in locating the site.




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: DK116


Operator: RAF (1667 Heavy Conversion Unit)


Squadron Code: GG-Z


Operating Station: RAF Sandtoft


Station Location: Sandtoft, Belton, Doncaster, North Lincolnshire, England.


Current Station Status: RAF Station closed in 1945. In 1955,

airfield disposed of by MoD. Currently, the area is being used partly by Sandtoft Flying Club (Sandtoft Airfield), partly by The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft, and partly  by commercial enterprises.


Current Airport Name: Sandtoft Airfield (EGCF)




Related Links


Accident Specific Link


Air Crash Investigation and Archaeology website. (Details and wreckage photos.)



Museum Link


North East Aircraft Museum (NEAM) (Recovered wreckage sections on display)



RAF and Related Links

RAF Handley Page Halifax (History)

RAF Sandtoft at Control Towers.co.uk

RAF Sandtoft at RAF Lincolnshire.info

RAF Sandtoft at Wikipedia

The Wartime Memories Project - RAF Sandtoft


Other Links

Kielder Water and Forest Park




Hill Walking Links


(Hillwalking, Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Mountaineering, Kayaking, etc.)


England (North Cumbria / Lake District)

David Hall - Lake District Walks at walkthefells.net (Includes map for Great Carrs together with photos of memorial)

Lake District Walks (Down-loadable GPS data for walks)

Outdoor Activities (Cumbria / The Lake District)

Summitreks (Adventure Activities, Outdoor Courses, Activity Breaks, and more in the Lake District and Cumbria)

Striding Edge (A photo diary of Lake District Fell Walks)

Walking in Cumbria





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H and I Adventures (Mountain bike holidays in Scotland).

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Mountain Biking (Sport Scotland, Glenmore Lodge).

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Rock Climbing and Abseiling

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Rock Climbing at Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre (Skills Courses and Qualifications Courses)

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UKClimbing.com (UKC) (Includes Abseiling / Rappelling)


Trekking and Hiking

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