Martlet / Wildcat AL251

Beinn Bheula, Lochgoilhead, Argyll

 
     
 
lefttop
 

 

 

Advertisements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: A US Navy Grumman Wildcat (Martlet) F4F-3

 

An F4F-3 Grumman Wildcat of US Navy

 

Photo : [no date] US Federal Government photo released to the public domain.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RN (FAA/NAS) Grumman F4F Martlet (Wildcat) / AL251

 


 

The Grumman Martlet was a single-seat carrier based fighter aircraft. Essentially, the Martlet was a modified version of the F4F ('Wildcat') used by the US Navy.

 

The Martlett Mk. I aircraft series entered service with the Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm) in 1940. These aircraft had been ordered originally by France, but were transferred to Britain in June 1940. This Mk. I version was equipped with Wright R-1820 "Cyclone 9" radial engines, and with four 0.5 inch machine guns. Most of these Martlets were designed with folding wings for storage on aircraft carriers.

 

From 1940 until 1944, the aircraft continued to be known as the Martlet. However, during 1944, it reverted to its original US name of Wildcat.

 

In the early days of RN use, the Grumman Martlet was associated with 804 Naval Air Squadron (NAS). The Squadron embarked initially on HMS Glorious, but were transferred later to HMS Furious at Campbeltown.

 


 

BELOW: A Grumman Martlet / Wildcat on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

 

grumman martlet or wildcat at imperial war museum duxford

 

Photo: 2007 Robert Stevens / 2008 Ian Dunster. Released by the author(s) to the public domain under the terms of the Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0 licensing arrangment.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

Martlet AL251 of 802 Naval Air Squadron took off from Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling), Glasgow, on a delivery flight to Donibristle (HMS Merlin), Fife. It crashed at Beinn Bheula on 13/12/40 killing the pilot.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Pilot Casualty

 

The pilot who died in this accident was:

  • Lt. Godfrey F Russell

Lt. Russell was buried in Douglas Bank Cemetery, Dunfermline 

 

 

[The information in the above two sections was kindly provided by Alan Leishman]

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos (Page 1-A)

 

BELOW: A waymarker post on the route to Beinn Bheula.

 

at the waymarker heading for bheinn bheula

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 



 

BELOW: A wing section from the Grumman Martlet aircraft.

 

A faded Royal Navy roundel can still be seen on the wing.

 

a wing section from the grumman martlet aircraft

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: The radial engine from the Martlet fighter.

 

the radial engine from the Martlet fighter

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Wing section and spars.

 

wing section and spars

 

Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel

 

 

MORE PHOTOS BELOW

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

BELOW: A wing end from the RN / FAA Grumman Martlett on the slopes of Beinn Bheula.

 

a wing end from the grumman martlett

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: More of the aircraft's wing.

 

more of the aircraft wing

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: A detached section from the cockpit showing armoured plating.

 

piece from cockpit with armoured plating

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Ben Nelson holding a section of landing gear.

 

Even after over 70 years on the hills (since 1940), some of the chrome is still visible on this oleo leg.

 

landing gear section

 

Photo: © 2013 Gary Nelson

 

 

More (larger) photos from this collection shown on

Page 1-B

 

And also on Pages

 1-C and 1-D

 

 


 

 

Earlier Photos

 

 

(The next six photos shown below were taken by Bill Davies on 31 August 2010).

 

BELOW: The remains of the Grumman Martlet / Wildcat radial engine still lying on Beinn Bheula.

 

ramains of martlet engine at beinn bheula

 

Photo: © 2010 Bill Davies

 


 

BELOW: Part of cockpit (rear) with armoured plating.

 

part of cockpit (rear)

 

Photo: © 2010 Bill Davies

 


 

BELOW: Wing section with faded Royal Navy roundel.

 

wing section with roundel

 

Photo: © 2010 Bill Davies

 


 

BELOW: Main wing remains.

 

main wing remains

 

Photo: © 2010 Bill Davies

 


 

BELOW: Wing showing remains of landing gear.

 

wing with landing gear

 

Photo: © 2010 Bill Davies

 


 

BELOW: Remains of tail fin from Martlet AL251.

 

remains of tail fin

 

Photo: © 2010 Bill Davies

 

 


 

(The two photos shown below were taken by Alan Leishman in 1996)

 

BELOW: Alan Thomson supporting one of the larger remaining sections of Grumman Martlet AL251.

 

larger remaining section from martlet al256. photo taken in 1996

 

Photo: 1996-2009 Alan Leishman

 


 

BELOW: Alan T. with a part of the tail wreckage from the Martlet.

 

part of tail wreckage from martlet

 

Photo: 1996-2009 Alan Leishman

 

 


 

 

Forward to Page 1-B

(Other wreckage / Wings, etc.

from Gary Nelson's collection.)

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP OF PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Date / Site

 

 

Accident Date: 13 Dec 1940

 

Accident Site:

Beinn Bheula (Range)  (700m)

 

Region: Argyll and Bute (Argyll)

 

Nearest town or village:

Invernoaden, Lochgoilhead or Lettermay

 

Nearest large town:

Dunoon (S)

(To Gourock by ferry)

 

OS Grid Ref: 63 / 155 973

 

Other Grid Refs:

N56 08.004 W004 57.973 (wing with roundel still visible)

 

N56 07.966 W004 58.038 (radial engine)

 

N56 08.042 W004 57.770 (tail fin)

 

Present Condition: A large wing section and parts of the engine are the most substantial wreckage remains onsite.

 

 The wreckage, in five main bits, is scattered over about a 300m area. This includes rear of cockpit with armoured plating still attached, and wing section with landing gear. [B. Davies] (See grid refs. above.)

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: AL251

 

Operator: Royal Navy / Fleet Air Arm; 802 NAS; (FAA later renamed Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS))

 

Operating Base: RN HMS Landrail / RNAS Machrihanish; HMS Furious (Carrier-Borne, Mobile).

 

Base Location: Machrihanish near Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland.

 

Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport; RAF Enhanced Care and Maintenance airport

 

Current Airport Name: Campbeltown / Machrihanish Airport (EGEC)

 

 

 

 

 

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