Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Hawker Hurricanes P2724 and P2874
Aircraft Type Nickname: "Hurry"; "Flying Tin Openers"; "Flying Can Openers" (later versions).
A military single-seat interceptor / fighter / bomber flown by the Royal Air Force. The Hurricane was designed by Sydney Camm and built mainly by Hawker Aircraft Ltd.
The Hawker Hurricane was equipped with 1 Rolls Royce liquid-cooled Merlin III 12-cylinder power plant. Later versions had Merlin XX, XXI or XXII power plants.
The Hurricane fighter-bomber was armed with eight .303 inch Browning machine guns mounted on the wings. The Mark IV version also carried 2 x 250lb or 500lb bombs or fragmentation bombs. Some Hurricane Mark IVs were equipped with rocket projectiles,100m).
Aircraft Accident Details
The two Hawker Hurricanes featured here were attached to 17 Squadron, then operating out of RAF Elgin / Bogs O'Mayne just outside Elgin in Moray.
17 (and other) Squadrons had been briefed to operate anti-Luftwaffe bomber patrols over north-east Scotland, and especially over RAF air stations such as Lossiemouth. Severe damage had been caused already to aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth by surprise attacks by Luftwaffe He111 Heinkel bombers.
During a practice attack, one pilot (Sgt May) was killed in Hurricane P2724 when it collided with P2874 over the small town of Garmouth. One aircraft crashed near Connagedale Farm on the south side of Garmouth and the other aircraft crashed at an unknown location in or near Garmouth.
BELOW: The roadside memorial cross on the B9015
Photo: © 2014 Roy Young
A local man who witnessed the crash placed a little white cross near the crash site. Over, the years, this cross has been replaced many times in memory of the airman who died. The cross can be seen on the right-hand verge of the B9015, about 200 metres south of Connagedale Farm 1. The Farm is situated on the south side of Garmouth. The OS Grid Reference is NJ 330 640.
BELOW: A closer view of the white memorial cross with remembrance poppies.
Photo: © 2014 Roy Young
The inscription on the plaque below the cross reads:
In memory of Sgt Leonard May
Footnote 1: The site at Connagedale Farm may now be under the management of Future Homes (Scotland) Ltd.
Aircraft Pilot Casualty / Survivor
The pilot who died was:
(Please click on the hyperlinked name above for further details at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.)
The pilot of the other Hurricane bailed out safely from his aircraft. Unfortunately, however, his name is not known.
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 8 July 1941
Crash site 1: Near Connagedale Farm, Garmouth.
Crash site 2: Unknown location, Garmouth.
(Mid-air collision involving Hawker Hurricanes P2724 and P2874.)
RAF and Related Links
17 Squadron (History).
RAF Elgin / Bogs of Mayne at Aircrew Remembered.
Roadside Memorial Links
The Northern Scot. (Letter outlining accident and advising of memorial cross)
IWM War Memorials Archive. (Description of memorial cross type and location.)
Hawker Hurricane Links
Hawker Hurricanes in the UK at MilitaryAirshows.co.uk (includes Merlin engine sounds)
Hill Walking Links
(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)
Hillwalking (The Scottish Mountaineering Club)
Hillwalking.org.uk (Equipment, etc.)
Mountain Guides (Routes, maps, advice and guidance compiled by Steven Fallon)
OutdoorScotland.co.uk (Directory of Clubs, Associations, and Mountain Rescue Teams)
WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)
Emergency Services Link
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.
Hawker Hurricanes (x2)