Lockheed Hudson T9432

Ben Lui, Tyndrum, Stirling

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: An RCAF Lockheed Hudson Mk.I light bomber. [Wikimedia]

 

a Lockheed Hudson in flight viewed from above

 

Photo: [pre-1942] RCAF (expired Crown copyright)

 


 

BELOW: A preserved Lockheed Hudson at the North Atlantic Aviation Museum (NAAM), Canada.

 

a preserved Lockheed Hudson

 

Photo: 2009 'Plismo'.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Lockheed Hudson Mk.III  /  T9432, ZS-B

 


 

Aircraft Type Designation: Light bomber / coastal reconnaissance aircraft.

 

 

The American-built Lockheed Hudson was an adaption for military purposes of the Lockheed 14 Super Electra civilian aircraft. The Super Electra was the type used by Howard Hughes on his round-the-world trip, and by the British prime minister Neville Chamberlain on his flight to meet Hitler at Munich in 1938.

 

The Hudson was fitted with two Wright radial piston engines. Depending on the variant, the aircraft could be equipped with two forward-facing machine guns, two in the dorsal turret, and the ability to carry a 1,000 - 1,400lb bomb load.

 

The Hudson carried a crew of four (pilot, navigator, bomb-aimer, and radio officer / gunner).

 

The RAF intended the Hudson to be a replacement for the Avro Anson; and, initially, the Hudson was viewed as a fast and superior aircraft.

 

In addition to the RAF and USAAF, Hudsons were operated by the RCAF, RAAF and RNZAF.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

Lockheed Hudson T9432 had taken off from RAF Ballykelly to assist with the escort of convoy OB.309 on a transatlantic crossing.

 

On its return flight, the aircraft was instructed to land at a Scottish RAF station. However, while flying over high ground in the Argyll area, the Hudson struck the side of Ben Lui near Tyndrum. The weather at the time was described as 'poor'.

 

All four crew members died in this accident.

 


 

The following additional information was kindly provided by Alan Thomson:

 

The Operational record book of 58 Operational Training Unit, Grangemouth contains the following:

 

"18 April 1941: Report received from police that an aircraft was seen near summit of Ben Lui. It was thought it might be Spitfire R6643 missing since 10 April. A party was sent out. Crashed aircraft, however, was a Hudson of No 233 Squadron, Aldergrove, with a crew of four sergeants all killed. Body of one recovered and brought to Grangemouth. Remaining could not be recovered without salvage assistance." 24 April: Remaining three sergeants recovered"

 

Spitfire R6643 still remains missing today along with the Pilot Sgt. F.A Pritchard RAFVR who has no known grave.

 

The Hudson was tracked for a while by the Observer Corps post in Crianlarich but it wasn't until the 18th April that the farmer at Connonish spotted the wreckage high up on the mountain. The aircraft was later cut up and dumped in the gully (probably by No.63 Maintenance Unit at Carluke) normally to prevent being reported again on future searches for missing aircraft.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

Those who died were the following:

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

 

Researcher's Notes (1970s) [From John Martindale's log].

 

Aircraft is lying in the ravine at a height of about 3,300 feet. The tail section intact, from the door rearwards. Serial is visible, along with code of ZS-B. Camouflage is brown / grey / light grey (not brown / green / duck egg blue as expected). Two engines are present, one wing in stream, with one more some 500 feet down the hill. Wings and undercarriage are beside the engines, along with the shattered remains of the forward fuselage.

 

    History of Aircraft

     

  • Taken on charge 29/12/40, allocated to 20 MU (Aston Down) on 24/02/41
  •  

  • To 233 Sqn Aldergrove on 14/03/41
  •  

  • Crashed in Scotland 15/04/41 on its first recorded operational flight. Total time 57.15
  •  

  • Struck off charge 30/04/41

 


 

Early Photos (Recent photos follow further down this page)

 

The following photos of the were taken in the 1970s and show the state of the wreckage as it was at that time. Over the years, some parts of this wreckage may have been recovered (officially) or removed (unofficially) from the crash site.

 

 

BELOW: Large sections of wreckage lying in a gulley further down the hillside from the impact point.

 

Large sections of wreckage lying in gulley.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Large sections including undercarriage wheel and well.

 

Large sections including undercarriage wheel and well.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Tail section showing tail wheel fork. The port horizontal tailplane is bent upwards to an almost vertical position, and resembles the tailfin.

 

Tail section showing tail wheel fork.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Wing section showing faded camouflage paint and RAF roundel.

 

Wing section showing faded RAF roundel.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: The tailplane viewed from the opposite end. More wreckage lies beyond the tailplane.

 

The tailplane viewed from the opposite end.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: A closer view of the wing section showing the discoloured roundel and the aircraft's serial code.

 

A closer view of the wing section showing the discoloured roundel.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the wreckage.

 

Another view of the wreckage.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the above wreckage.

 

Another section of wreckage.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 


 

BELOW: An overall view of the wreckage lying in the gulley on the slopes of Ben Lui.

 

An overall view of the wreckage lying in the gulley.

 

Photo: ©  1970s John Martindale

 

 

(See also related newspaper article on Page 2.)

 

 

 

 

MORE PHOTOS BELOW

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

More Recent Photos

 

(The following photos were taken in 2014.)

 

 

BELOW: Small panels in the burn with the starboard wingtip.

 

Small panels in the burn with the starboard wingtip.

 

Photo: ©  2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Starboard wingtip. This and the other small parts in this valley are located on the other side of a ridge from the rest of the wreckage.

 

Starboard wingtip.

 

Photo: ©  2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Small panels in the burn with the starboard wingtip.

 

Small panels in the burn with the starboard wingtip.

 

Photo: ©  2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: The crushed and twisted tail section.

 

The crushed and twisted tail section.

 

Photo: ©  2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another section of wreckage lying among the rocks.

 

Another section of wreckage lying among the rocks.

 

Photo: ©  2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: An electric motor in the gully below the tail section.

 

An electric motor in the gully below the tail section.

 

Photo: ©  2014 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Part of a damaged engine. This is the more intact of the two engines.

 

Part of one of the two damaged engines.

 

Photo: ©  2014 Gary Nelson

 

 

 

See more of Gary Nelson's photos on

 

PAGES 1-B, 1-C, 1-D, 1-E and 1-F.

 

 

 

Other photos below

 

 


 

 

(The following photos were taken in 1983.)

 

BELOW: The main wreckage from Lockheed Hudson T9432 lies in this gully on the slopes of Ben Lui.

 

main wreckage of hudson lies in gully

 

Photo: ©  1983-2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: General view toward Ben Oss.

 

general view toward ben oss.

 

Photo: ©  1983-2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: General view toward the summit.

 

general view toward summit of ben lui.

 

Photo: ©  1983-2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: Part of the rear fuselage from Hudson T9432.

 

part of rear fuselage.

 

Photo: ©  1983-2014 Alan Thomson

 

 

 


 

 

(The following photos were taken in 1981.)

 

 

BELOW: Part of the aircraft's buried fuselage.

 

buried fuselage.

 

Photo: ©  1981-2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: A section of the aircraft's rear fuselage (later photo shown above).

 

more of aircraft fuselage.

 

Photo: ©  1981-2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: A section of the Hudson's port wing.

 

section of port wing.

 

Photo: ©  1981-2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: The starboard wing tip, located at about 460m (1,500 ft).

 

wingtip at 460 metres.

 

Photo: ©  1981-2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: The rudder from the Hudson's tail.

 

NOTE: The tail fin, rudder and Starboard wing tip all lie at about 460m (1,500ft); well below the main wreckage. The only way to find them is to follow the burn from the valley floor up to the main site and not the normal route up the mountain [Alan Thomson].

 

rudder from tail unit.

 

Photo: ©  1981-2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: One of the two Wright Cyclone engines from the Lockheed Hudson aircraft.

 

a wright cyclone engine.

 

Photo: ©  1981-2014 Alan Thomson

 

 

 


 

 

Other Photos

 

 

BELOW: Part of an undercarriage assembly and one of the engines from Lockheed Hudson T9432 that crashed on the slopes of Ben Lui.

 

undercarriage leg and one engine from the hudson light bomber

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Wreckage from the Hudson's wing lies in this gulley on the side of Ben Lui.

 

Traces of camouflage paint can still be seen on the aluminium.

 

wreckage of hudson's wing lies in gulley

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: One of the two Wright Cyclone air-cooled radial piston engines from the aircraft.

 

one of the wright cylcone engines from the aircraft

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Part of a wing and landing gear strut.

 

part of a wing and landing gear strut

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Accident Date: 15 Apr 1941

 

Accident Site:

Ben Lui (Beinn Laoigh) [map]

 

Nearest main roads: A82 or A85.

 

Region: Stirling / Argyll and Bute boundary.

 

Nearest towns or villages:

Tyndrum (NE) or Crianlarich (SE).

 

Nearest large town or city:

None in this general area. Nearest available: Dumbarton (SE)

 

OS Grid Ref. N/A

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Some wreckage, including both engines, wing sections and electrical components, remain at the crash site.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: T9432, ZS-B

Operator: RAF (233 Squadron.)

Operating Station: RAF Ballykelly. (Now, Shackleton Barracks.)

Station Location: Ballykelly, Co. Londonderry, N. Ireland.

Current Station Status: Disused as airfield. Station now used as army barracks.

Current Station Name: Shackleton Barracks.


 

NOTE: Squadrons operating from RAF Ballykelly were relocated to RAF Aldergrove in 1943.

 

 

 

Related Links

 

  

Lockheed Hudson

 

Lockheed Hudson at YouTube

 

Lockheed Hudson at Wikipedia

 

 

RAF and Related Links

 

233 Squadron.

 

Lockheed Hudson IIIA at RAF Museum

 

RAF Aldergrove

 

RAF Ballykelly

 

 

Other Link

 

OB Convoy Series (OB.309)

 

 

 

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