Aircraft Type and Background
USAAF Consolidated B-24D Liberator / 42-72851
Type Nickname: "Lib"; "Lumbering Lib"; "Flying Boxcar", and others.
The Consolidated B-24 heavy bomber first flew in 1939. The
prototypes were equipped with four
Pratt & Whitney 1200hp R-1830-33
Twin Wasp engines. Early production versions were fitted with
1200hp R-1830-41 engines with GE turbo superchargers. Later
production versions (B-24Ds) were fitted with P&W R-1830-43 engines.
Later variants followed. Their maximum speed was about 487km/h
BELOW: The cockpit controls of the B-24D Liberator shown above.
Photo: Courtesy of the National Museum of the US Air Force
Aircraft Accident Details
On 15 September 1943, Consolidated B-24 Liberator 42-72851 set out from Meeks Field (Reykjavik) in Iceland on a delivery flight to RAF Nutts Corner in Northern Ireland. During WWII, No. 120 Squadron RAF operated Consolidated B-24 Liberator maritime patrol aircraft from Nutts Corner.
However, while flying very low over the Western Isles in a heavy rainstorm and mist, the Liberator crashed at North Ben Lee [Lì a Tuath]. North Ben Lee lies just south of Lochmaddy, North Uist, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
On impact with the ground, the Liberator erupted in flames—setting off ammunition carried on board. Although heroic attempts were made by the local people to rescue the 10 airmen, these proved unsuccessful. It was discovered that most of the crew had died during the crash. Those who survived initially succumbed to their injuries a short time later.
There is now a memorial plaque to the crew, which also pays tribute to the people of Lochmaddy who
did all in their power to rescue the airmen.
Aircraft Crew Casualties
Ten airmen died in this accident—either immediately, or a few days later.
(Please click on the hyperlinked names above for further details at the [US] National WWII Memorial Registry website.)
BELOW: The Memorial plaque at North Ben Lee [Lì a Tuath], near Lochmaddy. on North Uist.
Photo: Source unknown.
Crash Site Photos
At the moment, there are no photos of this crash site.
However, if anyone is able to provide a few photos of the crash site, or other photos of the memorial, these would be very welcome.
Air Crash Sites-Scotland
Search here for: aircraft types | crash
sites | crew names | hills or mountains
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 15 Sep 1943
Region: Western Isles (North Uist)
Nearest town or village:
Lochmaddy (Loch nam Madadh)
Nearest large town or city:
None in this general area. Nearest available on the Scottish mainland, accessible by CalMac ferries.
OS Grid Ref. NF93300 66392 approx.
GPS Ref: N/A
Lat 57.582355 Lon -7.130067 approx.
Present Wreckage Status: Some small pieces of wreckage can still be found at the crash site.
Registration or Serial: 42-72851
Intermediate Departure Station: Meeks Field
Intermediate Departure Station Location:
Destination Station: RAF Nutts Corner.
Destination Station Location:
6 miles from Belfast, N. Ireland.
Current Airport Status: RAF and civil air operations ceased.
Airfield partly overbuilt by A26 road. Parts of former airfield in use by Nutts Corner Raceway,
Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields
American Battle Monuments Commission
B-24 Liberator Aircraft Links
USAAF Related Link
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.
B-24D Liberator 42-72851
N. Ben Lee, N. Uist, Outer Hebrides