Vickers Wellington R1646

Dubh-choire, Glen Clunie, Braemar













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: An RAF Vickers Wellington bomber.


An RAF Vickers Wellington bomber in flight


Photo: Source unknown






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Vickers Wellington / R1646



(Click here 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)


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.



BELOW: A Vickers Wellington Mk IV. This aircraft had just returned from a raid on Bremen. The geodetic structure which strengthened this aircraft enabled it to return safely to base after sustaining heavy damage.


wellington mark iv after its return from bremen. fuselage severely damaged but returned safely due in part to geodetic construction 


Photo: Original source unknown 






Aircraft Accident Details


This Wellington aircraft was on a routine training flight from 20 OTU at RAF Lossiemouth. However, the aircraft failed to return to its base, and eventually it was presumed lost at sea.


Nothing more was heard about the fate of the aircraft or its crew until about one month later. Then, a gamekeeper working on the Invercauld Estate, Braemar, about 60 miles S of Lossiemouth, thought he could see an unfamiliar object on the hills forming part of Dubh-choire.


When he investigated further, the gamekeeper realised that it was the wreckage of an aircraft. The gamekeeper reported his discovery to the police at Braemar; butwhen contactedthe RAF could not initially identify any aircraft as missing.


A search was then organised, involving the local policeman from Braemar, a member of the local Home Guard, and others. This small party eventually reached the wreckage and were able to establish that it was a bomber that had crashed.


These details were then  passed to the RAF, who dispatched a surveying unitand, later, a search and recovery teamto the area. By this time, it had been realised that the aircraft was Wellington R1646, which the RAF had listed as missing almost a month earlier but had presumed lost at sea.


For a more detailed account of this discovery and recovery of the bodies, see Linzee Druce's website here.






Aircraft Crew Casualties


The crew who died were:


(Please click on the hyperlinked names above for Commonwealth War Grave Commission details)




Memorial Photos


BELOW: One of the engines from the Wellington aircraft that crashed at Dubh-choire.


The memorial is located in Braemar, a few miles north of Dubh-choire.


aircrew memorial at braemar


Photo: 2009 Richard Dorrel

 via - 1503946.jpg


Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0



BELOW: Another view of the crew memorial at Braemar.


Another view of the crew memorial at Braemar


Photo: Courtesy, fitaloon


Released by the author under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial - No Derivs 2.5 Generic License.




BELOW: One of the Wellington's engines mounted on the memorial plinth.


One of the Wellington's engines mounted on the memorial plinth.


Photo: © 2014-2015 Gary Nelson




More memorial photos on PAGE 2







Crash Site Photos



(The following photos were taken in 2014)



BELOW: Part of the Wellington's geodetic airframe showing braced and bolted angle joints.


part of geodetic airframe.


Photo: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Another section of the Wellington's airframe.


another section of airframe.


Photo: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Part of a landing gear leg (undercarriage).


part of undercarriage.


Photo: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW (3 photos): Various pieces of aluminium skinning from the fuselage or wings.


aluminium skinning from airframe.





more aluminium.





another piece of aluminium skin.


Above photos: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Part of wing / tail mechanism (?).


part of wing or tail mechanism.


Photo: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Another small piece of wreckage from Wellington R1646.


small piece of wreckage.


Photo: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW: More wreckage from the airframe.


more airframe wreckage.


Photo: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Fragments of the geodetic structure used within the wings and fuselage.


geodetic structure.


Photo: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Another small section of the airframe.


small section of airframe.


Photo: © 2014 Neil Daniel



BELOW (2 photos): More (unidentified) sections.


unidentified section.






Above photos: © 2014 Neil Daniel





Earlier Photos


BELOW: Parts of the wrecked airframe from Vickers Wellington R1646 at Dubh-choire, Glen Clunie.


parts of the wellington's airframe


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: More fragmented wreckage from the Wellington aircraft.


more fragmented wreckage from the wellington


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel



BELOW: Possibly, a fuel tank from the Wellington's wing.


possibly, a fuel tank from the wellington's wing


Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel














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Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 19 Jan 1942


Accident Site:


(Just N of Glenshee Ski Centre)


Region: Aberdeenshire


Nearest town or village:



Nearest large towns:

Ballater (NE) or Blairgowrie (S)


OS Grid Refs: N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Wreckage Status: Engines removed from crash site. One engine now forms part of a memorial at Braemar (see photos below and on Page 2). Present wreckage status unknown.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: R1646


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.)


Station Location: Lossiemouth, Morayshire, 5 miles N of Elgin.


Current Station Status: Operational Military Airport.


Current Station Name: RAF Lossiemouth (EGQS)






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