BELOW: Vickers Wellington bombers.
Photo: [Pre 1950] Crown Copyright (expired)
Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Vickers 290 Wellington Mk IA / HE802
(Click hyperlink above for RAF history of this type)
Aircraft Type Nickname: Wimpy (or Wimpey).
The Wellington was a medium bomber, of which there were 16 variants, the first Wellington bombers were powered by two 1,050 hp Bristol Pegasus Mk. I radial engines. It had a maximum speed of 235 mph (410 km/h). The Wellington featured on this page was fitted with two Bristol Pegasus Mk. XVIII engines.
Like the Vickers Wellesley, the Wellington was constructed using a geodetic (lattice) framework to provide additional strength and durability for the fuselage. As a result of this design by Barnes Wallis, Wellington bombers were able to survive and return safely to base even after sustaining considerable damage.
The first Wellingtons entered service with No. 99 Squadron RAF. Later, an improved version entered service with RAF Bomber Command. The aircraft carried a crew of six.
Aircraft Accident Details
On 26 August 1943, Vickers Wellington HE802 1 of 20 OTU took off from RAF Lossiemouth on a cross-country training flight.
It is believed the Wellington was struck by an object of some sort, which may have damaged the propellers (injuries to the pilot suggest he may have been killed, or incapacitated, by a fragment of propeller blade entering the cockpit), before it crashed on Corry Down (or Corrydown) near Gartly (on the A97, S of Huntly).
Although not shown on large scale maps, this Corrydown is located within Clashindarroch Forest, Aberdeenshire.
On 3 July 1943—about 6 or 7 weeks prior to the incident described here—Wellington HE802 had been involved in another incident in which it had caught fire while airborne and enroute to Cologne. On that occasion, the pilot of HE802 had aborted the mission and had landed at RAF East Moor airfield.
Following repairs to the damaged aircraft, Wellington HE802 was assigned to 20 OTU (Operational Training Unit) at RAF Lossiemouth.
For further details of the previous incident and the aircrew involved, please see this website.
Those who died in this tragic accident were:
(Please click on hyperlinked name above for further details)
The non-RCAF members of the crew were claimed by their relatives while funeral services for the four Canadians were held at Lossiemouth Burial Ground, Drainie.
[Much of the information in the above two panels was provided courtesy of Mrs B Clark (Canada) and is based on details supplied by Peter and Jacqui Westley of RAF Lossiemouth.]
Crash Site Photos
There are no photos of this crash site.
Crash site location
The exact location of this crash site is uncertain. The report says that the aircraft crashed at 'Corry Down' or 'Corrydown' (in what is presently a forested area).
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 26 Aug 1943
Corrydown (350m) near Gartly.2
Region: Aberdeenshire (Strathbogie)
Nearest town or village:
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref: N/A
Present Condition: Unknown.
The location of this accident was originally given as Corrydown near Turriff. Apparently, this was an error. No records of the crash and subsequent loss of life exist in that area. Furthermore, local farmers have not been able to recall such a crash, nor have they come across any remaining wreckage. From this, it is concluded that the crash may have occurred some miles SW of this location, at Corrydown near Gartly (south of Huntly) in Clashindarroch Forest.
Registration or Serial: HE802
Operator: RAF (20 Operational Training Unit (OTU); (later transferred to No. 91 Group))
Operating Station: RAF Lossiemouth; (RAF No. 91 Group Bomber OTU. Operating base also for No. 46 Maintenance Unit (MU), and RN HMS Fulmar.)
Current Station Status: Operational Military Air Base.
Current Station Name: RAF Lossiemouth (EGQS)
Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields
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Vickers Wellington HE802
Corrydown, Huntly, Aberdeenshire