Vickers Warwick BV512

Culbin Forest, Forres, Moray













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: Warwick C Mark III, HG227, of No. 525 Squadron RAF, on the ground at Lyneham,Wiltshire.


vickers warwick aircraft.


Photo: Royal Air Force official photographer, Ashley (P/O). Crown Copyright (expired)



BELOW: A Vickers Warwick Air/Sea Search and Rescue (ASR) aircraft with a lifeboat slung beneath the fuselage.


A Vickers Warwick Air-Sea Rescue aircraft with rubber lifeboat slung  below fuselage


Photo: Original source unknown.






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Vickers Warwick I / BV512



Intended for use with RAF Bomber Command, the Vickers Warwick was designed as a twin-engine bomber. In certain respects it resembled the Vickers Wellington bomber. However, although the Warwick had a slimmer fuselage, it was slightly longer and had a greater wingspan than the Wellington. The Warwick therefore was the larger of the two aircraft.


Both types used geodetic (i.e., diamond lattice) framework for the construction of the fuselage and wings. This design helped considerable to strengthen the airframe and to permit badlyalthough not criticallydamaged aircraft to continue flying, sometimes until they  had returned to base.     


Originally, the Warwick was designed to carry a crew of six, and was equipped with eight 0.303 Browning machine guns. The aircraft had gun turrets in the nose and tail (and, in some variants, an additional dorsal turret). However, this arrangement was modified when the aircraft entered service in an ASR role.


Almost from the outset, the Warwick was plagued with technical problems. After overcoming instability of the airframe by the fitting of a dorsal fin, no satisfactory engines could be found in the UK to power this large aircraft, although several types were tried. Eventually, in order to complete the project, early production Warwicks were equipped with Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engines sent by ship from the USA. However, these shipments proved sporadic. In 1943, a suitable UK typethe Bristol Centaurusbecame available, and this engine was fitted to subsequent Warwick aircraft.


Before the Warwick entered RAF service, however, the Air Ministry and RAF Bomber Command considered the Warwick unsuitable for their needs. Furthermore, they had begun to favour four-engine bombers rather than two-engine types like the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley  and Vickers Warwick. Therefore, instead of being assigned to Bomber Command as originally intended, many of these Warwicks were used by the RAF as Air/Sea Search and Rescue (ASR) aircraft. For this purpose, an Uffa Fox-designed lifeboat or Lindholme Gear was slung beneath the aircraft. During a rescue operation, the Lindholme Gear or the lifeboat could be dropped at sea suspended by parachutes.






Aircraft Accident Details


Vickers Warwick BV512 had just taken off from RAF Kinloss near Lossiemouth when it crashed a short distance away at Culbin Forest. The cause of the crash is unknown.






Aircraft Crew Casualties


Those who died in this accident were:


  • Flt Lt Roy Howard Mitchell (24), DFC, RAFVR.
    (Buried, Section B, Grave 314, Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent.)

  • F/O Alan Bywood, (23), Pilot, RAFVR.
    (Grave Reference: Screen Wall, Panel 1, Leeds (Lawnswood) Crematorium)



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






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: One of the Warwick's two engines. Part of an undercarriage leg (hydraulic oleo strut) lies in the left foreground. The second engine can be seen in the background between the trees.


one of the warwicks two engines.


Photo: © 2014 Roy Young



BELOW: Another view of the engine, with some debris from the Warwick.


another view of engine.


Photo: © 2014 Roy Young



BELOW: The second of the Warwick's two engines. The radial cylinder arrangement can be seen clearly here.


second warwick engine.


Photo: © 2014 Roy Young



BELOW: Unidentified (shock-absorbing?) assembly.


unidentified assembly.


Photo: © 2014 Roy Young



BELOW: Part of a landing gear leg (tailwheel strut).


part of landing gear.


Photo: © 2014 Roy Young









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Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 5 Dec 1945


Accident Site:

Culbin Forest
[Map] [Directions]


NOTE: Arrow on Culbin Forest map (link above) does not relate to wreckage site.


Nearest main road: A96.


Region: Moray.


Nearest town or village:

Forres or Nairn


Nearest large town or city:

Inverness (W)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: Unknown.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: BV512


Operator: RAF (6 OTU. (Becoming 236 OCU from August 1947))


Operating Station: RAF Kinloss (now, Kinloss Barracks).


Satellite Station for RAF Kinloss: RAF Forres (or Balnageith).


Station Location: (RAF Kinloss) Kinloss, Moray.


Current Airport Status:

RAF operations ceased in 2012. Now, Kinloss (Army) Barracks.



Note: Following the closure of RAF Leuchars, RAF Lossiemouth (near Kinloss) will be the only remaining operational RAF Station in Scotland.




Related Links



RAF and Related Links


6 OTU and 236 OCU


RAF Kinloss airfield photo (1946)


RAF Kinloss (Forces Reunited)



Other Links

Vickers Warwick at




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