H.P. Hampden P2118

Ben Loyal, Lettermore, Highland

 
     
 
lefttop
 

 

 

Advertisements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: A Handley Page Hampden bomber in flight..

 

handley page hampden bomber in flight

 

Photo: [pre-1950] Taken by an employee of the UK government. Photo now in the public domain.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Handley Page HP52 Met I Hampden/ P2118, Z9-D

 


 

(Click here for RAF history of this type)

 

(Former bomber / torpedo bomber)

 

Aircraft Type Nickname: "The Flying Suitcase"

 

 

The Handley Page Hampden was a five-seat medium bomber which first entered service with No. 5 Group RAF in 1938. The aircraft had a fixed forward-facing gun in addition to three manually operated Lewis guns. However, crew positions in the narrow fuselage were cramped: hence the nickname, 'the flying suitcase.'

 

Initially, Hampdens were used in daylight bombing raids over Germany. However, due to heavy losses at the hands of the faster Luftwaffe fighters, Hampdens were withdrawn from this role in 1942.

 

Hampdens were used also by RAF Coastal Command as torpedo bombers. This role ceased, however, in 1943.

 


 

BELOW: A restored Handley Page Hampden bomber on display at the Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, British Columbia.

See other views of this aircraft from inside the wire fence at the Canadian Museum of Flight.

 

restored hampden bomber on display at Canadian Museum of Flight Langley BC

 

Photo: 2006 'Bzuk'. Released by the author to the public domain under Wikimedia Commons licensing arrangement.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

When the aircraft featured here crashed, it was attached to RAF Coastal Command 519 Squadron—the successor to 1406 (Meteorological) Flight.

Another Hampden (P5443) had taken off from RAF Wick on the morning of 25 August 1943 to assess and report on weather conditions. It's flight path would have taken it over Iceland, Norway and then back via the Faeroes to Scotland. In the early afternoon, however, while over Sullom Voe in the Shetlands, the aircraft issued a distress call. Apparently, it had experienced engine problems.

In response to the distress call, the Hampden featured here (P2118) set out to search for the missing aircraft. However, after a prolonged search, they could find no trace of the missing Hampden. Ultimately, they set course for their base at Wick.

While over the Scottish mainland, however, they encountered a severe thunderstorm. As the weather conditions worsened, the aircraft began to fly off-course. Very soon, it impacted Ben Loyal, just a few miles from Tongue, but about 80km (c.50 miles) short of its base in Wick.


 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties / Survivor

 

Of the four crew on board, only one survived. Those who died were:

Flt Lt Puplett & P/O Ritchie were laid to rest in Wick Cemetery. Flt Sgt Hudson-Bell was laid to rest in Chislehurst Cemetery.

 

 

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

 

 

The one surviving, but very seriously injured, crew member was:

 

F/O Faulks, Observer (further details here)

 


 

Aircrew Graves

 

BELOW: The graves of P/O G. W. Ritchie (Navigator) and Flt Sgt T. R. T. Hudson-Bell (W/O A/G) at Wick cemetery. These were two of the three airmen who died in this accident.

 

headstone and grave of P/O G W Ritchie and Wick Cemetery

 

 


 

 

Grave and headstone for Flt Sgt T R T Hudson-Bell at Wick Cemetery

 

Photos: © 2008 Steven Spink

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

BELOW: A section of the airframe from the Hampden at Ben Loyal.

 

a section of the airframe from the Hampden on Ben Loyal

 

Photo: 2013 © Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Another detached section from the airframe.

 

another detached section from the airframe

 

Photo: 2013 © Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Fuel tank from one of the wings (?)

 

fuel tank from one of the wings ?

 

Photo: 2013 © Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Wreckage from the tail assembly of Hampden P2118.

 

wreckage from tail of Hampden

 

Photo: 2013 © Neil Daniel

 

 

 

More Photos Below

and in Photo Gallery

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

Earlier Photos

 

BELOW: Looking toward the summit of Ben Loyal from wreckage scattered around the higher slope.

 

looking toward summit from wreckage on higher slope

 

Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Looking down the valley from wreckage on higher slope.

 

looking down valley from wreckage on higher slope

 

Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: This section appears to have two wire cable pulleys attached.

 

wreckage section with wire cable pulleys attached

 

Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: View of actuator assembly (see alternative, larger, view in the Photo Gallery)

 

alternative view of actuators

 

Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson

 

 


 

 

Photo Gallery

 

For additional crash site and wreckage photos please select

 HP-HAMPDEN-BEN-LOYAL

from the drop down Album Menu in the Photo Gallery.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP OF PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Date / Site

 

Accident Date: 25 Aug 1943

 

Accident Site:

Ben Loyal (763m / 2,504ft)

 

Region: Highland (Sutherland)

 

Nearest town, village, or hamlet:

Ribigill

 

Nearest large town:

Tongue

 

OS Grid Ref. N/A

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Some

scattered wreckage still onsite, including engine section, panels and machinery parts.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

Registration or Serial: P2118, Z9-D

 

Operator: RAF (1406 Meteoro-logical Flight; succeeded by RAF Coastal Command No 519 Squadron)

 

Operating Base: RAF Wick (18 Group Coastal Ops.)

 

Base Location: Wick, Caithness Scotland.

 

Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport.

 

Current Airport Name: Wick Airport (IATA: WIC / ICAO: EGPC)

 

 

 

Related Links

 

 

Discussion Forums (Share information about this air crash on these forums)

 

Aircraft Crash Project

 

The Aviation Forum (Historic Aviation)

 


 

RAF and Related Links

Battle of Britain at RAF Wick

RAF 519 Squadron (Wick)

RAF Handley Page Hampden (History)

The Wartime Memorials Project - RAF Wick

 

RCAF Links

RCAF.com

HP Hampden at RCAF.com

 

Other Links (Hampden Aircraft)

HP Hampden at Canadian Museum of Flight

HP Hampden at Wikipedia

HP Hampden photos at The Aviation Forum

 

Other Links (General)

Air Operations from RAF Wick

Wings over Wick

 

 

 

Hill Walking Links

 

(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

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

Walking Scotland's Mountains

 

 

Other Outdoor Activities

 

Backpacking and Backpackers

Backpacking in Britain

Backpacking Lite

Cicerone (Backpacking Guides for Walking in the UK)

The Backpackers Club

UK Backpacking Websites

 

 

Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayak Scotland (Sea Kayaking in Scotland)

Kayaking at Active Scotland (Various venues)

Sea Kayak Scotland

 

Mountain Biking

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

Mountain Bike Trails (Forestry Commission Scotland)

Mountain Biking (Sport Scotland, Glenmore Lodge).

Mountain Biking in East Scotland.

Scotland Cycle Routes.

Trail Scotland (Scotland's mountain bike community).

 

 

Rock Climbing and Abseiling

Abseiling in Perthshire

Abseiling Scotland (Various venues)

Climbing, Scrambling and Abseiling Scotland

Mountain Sports Courses and Paddle Sports Courses at Glenmore Lodge

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

Rock Climbing in Scotland (Rock Climbing Areas)

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

 

Trekking and Hiking

Gairloch Trekking Centre (Pony Trekking in the Scottish Highlands)

Pony and Quad Treks (North Wales)

Ramblers (UK)

Ramblers (Worldwide Holidays)

Trekking Britain

Walking and Hiking

 


 

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.

 

 

 

 
righttop