H.P. Hampden L4063

Windy Gyle, The Cheviots, England













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 Mk B.1 Hampden / L4063


(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 However, due to heavy losses at the hands of the faster Luftwaffe fighters, Hampdens were withdrawn from this role in 1942.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


This Hampden bomber had left its base at RAF Waddington for an anti-shipping patrol to Heligoland. On its return flight, however, the aircraft apparently strayed off-course, ultimately crashing into high ground between Cock Law and Windy Gyle.1

The aircraft's bomb load exploded on impact, killing the four crew on board.

Malfunctioning direction finding equipment producing an inaccurate QDM (magnetic drift factor) is reported to have contributed to the accident.


1 Windy Gyle: Windy Gyle on the Pennine Way forms part of the Cheviot Hills, and lies about 12 miles SSE of Kirk Yetholm in the Borders region of Scotland.




Aircraft Crew Casualties


Those who died were:

(Please click on hyperlinked names above for further details)


The names of Sgt Rowling and LAC Wallace are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial, panels 19 and 24 respectively.



Memorial Photos


BELOW: The Memorial to those airmen who lost their lives on the Cheviot Hills during WWII.


memorial to airmen who perished in air crashes on the cheviots


Appearing in the photo above are Gary Nelson's wife, Donna, together with their young son, Stuart (now, in his teens). Braydon Crag on West Hill (near The Cheviot) can be seen in the background.


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: A closer view of the Memorial showing the inscription.


closer view of memorial inscription


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Engraved on the Memorial is the Royal Air Force Badge, representing the various airmen and squadrons who perished in these hills.


The Royal Air Force badge engraved on the memorial


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: The list of aircraft that crashed on the Cheviots between 1939 and 1945.


the list of aircraft that crashed on the Cheviots


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Another view of the RAF Memorial.


the memorial stone


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson






Crash Site Photos


NOTE: Almost all of the wreckage shown below has since been recovered from the crash site. Please see Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group for more information.



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


collection of wreckage from Hampden L4063 - most of this wreckage now recovered from site


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Fragmented wreckage from the Hampden bomber encircles Sharni, the dog.


fragmented wreckage encircles Sharni the dog


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Mangled wreckage apparently piled together..


heap of wreckage gathered together


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Some larger pieces of wreckage.


larger pieces of wreckage


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson



BELOW: The wreckage pile viewed from above . Sharni's presence nearby provides some idea of scale.


wreckage view from above with Sharni the dog  providing some idea of scale


Photo: © 2008 Gary Nelson





Photo Gallery


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

















Crash Date / Site


Country: England


england national flag



Accident Date: 17 Mar 1940


Accident Site:

Windy Gyle (619m / 2,032ft)


Region: Cheviot Hills, Northumberland National Park (Scottish / English border)


Nearest towns or villages:

Kirk Yetholm (Borders, Scotland) or

Barrowburn from Alwinton (Northumberland, England).


Nearest large towns:

Wooler (NE), (England) or

Jedburgh (W) (Scotland)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: Practically all wreckage has now been removed from the crash site. A Memorial has been erected on the site by the Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group.



Air crashes on or near The Cheviot:


RAF Vickers Warwick HG136 crash at West Hill, near Cairn Hill, The Cheviot, in 1946.


Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 44-6504 crash at West Hill, The Cheviot, near Braydon Crag, in 1944


RAF Vickers Wellington Mk.IA IC Z1078 crash at West Hill, The Cheviot, in 1942.


RAF Short Stirling Mk. III EE972 crash near Broaden, The Cheviot in 1944.


RCAF Avro Lancaster Mk. X  KB745 crash above Goldscleugh, The Cheviot, in 1944.


RAF Hawker Hart K6482 crash above Goldscleugh, The Cheviot, in 1939.


RAF Supermarine Spitfire P8587 crash at Bellyside Hill, The Cheviot, in 1943.


RAF Handley Page Hampden L4063 crash at Windy Gyle, The Cheviots, in 1940. (The aircraft on this page.)




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: L4063


Operator: RAF (50 Squadron RAF)


Operating Base: RAF Waddington


Base Location: Waddington, Lincoln, LN5 9NB


Current Airport Status: Operational Military Airport.


Current Airport Name: RAF Waddington (IATA: WTN / ICAO: EGXW)





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