Vickers Wellington L7845

Muckle Cairn, Upper Glenesk, Angus

 
     
 
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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 Mk IC / L7845

 


 

(Click here for RAF history of this type)

 

Aircraft Type Nickname: Wimpey (formerly, Wimpy).

 

 

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 bomber was on a test flight from either an airfield in former Banffshire (not RAF Banff, as this airfield was not operational until 1943) or from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray. Following this flight, it had been scheduled to take off on a bombing mission.

 

However, while still undergoing its test flight, the aircraft lost part of a cowling. The dislodged cowling section subsequently damaged one of the propellers, causing engine failure. The Wellington then crashed while the pilot was attempting a forced landing.

 

The remaining wreckage can be found in the vicinity of Muckle Cairn / Tom Titlach on the hills above Glen Esk in Angus.

 

The crash had been witnessed by the pilot of another aircraft, and his report was relayed to Scone Aerodrome (Perth). The authorities at Scone alerted the local police. Very soon P.C. Thomas Campbell headed up the glen (probably, Glen Clova) together with David Laing and David Hanton (head keeper at Cortachy Estate).

 

On arrival at the crash scene, the rescuers found that all crew members, except the rear gunner, had died in the accident. 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

The crew who died were:

 

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

 

 

Sgt Oscar K. L. Jensen's name is engraved on the family stone in Greenwood Cemetery, Carman, Manitoba.

 

An island in a lake in northern Manitoba is named after Oscar (Jensen Island). 

 

See also Sven Ivar Lerche Jensen on page 2. 

 


 

Memorial Photos

 

BELOW: The memorial plaque at the crash site on Muckle Cairn dedicated to Sgt (Obs.) Joseph Weatherson.

 

(See related photos on Page 3.)

 

This plaque was placed at the crash site on 25 October 2013.

 

memorial plaque to joseph weatherson at muckle cairn

 

Photo © 2013 Meredith Barnes / Glynis Symes
with Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: A propeller section from Wellington L7845.

 

Propeller memorial at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre

 

Photo: © 2010 Graham Philip

 

 

Until 2013, this propeller was on display at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre. However, for the centenary of RAF Montrose in 2013, the propeller was replaced by a commemoration stone at the same site (photo below).

 

 

BELOW: Memorial at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre dedicated to the men and women who served at RFC/RAF Montrose. Unveiled by HRH Earl of Wessex 26th July 2013.

 

Each year, on Remembrance Sunday, the commemoration stone is the focus as a memorial to the crews and others from this area.

 

 

 

Photo: 2013 Kevan Dickin

 

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

 

 


 

 

CWGC Fettercairn Cemetery, Kincardineshire.

 

 

BELOW: The Commonwealth War Graves at Fettercairn. (Jensen has the third grave from the left, now partially hidden by the large plant.)

 

some crew members buried here.

 

Photo: © 2014 Andrew Allom

 


 

BELOW: Oscar Knud Lerche Jensen (26) RCAF.

 

Oscar Knud Lerche Jensen (26) RCAF

 

Photo: © 2014 Andrew Allom

 

 


 

BELOW: Arthur George Wilson Keene (23) RCAF.

 

Arthur George Wilson Keene (23) RCAF

 

Photo: © 2014 Andrew Allom

 

 


 

BELOW: Alfred Kirby (21) RCAF.

 

 Alfred Kirby (21) RCAF

 

Photo: © 2014 Andrew Allom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

NOTE: The following photos are of 45 Commando RM Sigs troop on a navigation exercise using the wreckage as one of their checkpoints.

 

 

BELOW: Two members of 45 Commando Sigs troop approaching the Wellington wreckage.

 

Two members of 45 Commando Sigs troop approaching the Wellington wreckage.

 

Photo: © 2016 Shaun Green

 


 

BELOW: The main debris field from Vickers Wellington L7845.

 

The main debris field from Vickers Wellington L7845.

 

Photo: © 2016 Shaun Green

 


 

BELOW: Remains of one of the two radial engines from the Wellington aircraft.

 

Remains of one of the two radial engines from the Wellington aircraft.

 

Photo: © 2016 Shaun Green

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the radial engine - minus the propeller assembly.

 

Another view of the radial engine - minus the propeller assembly.

 

Photo: © 2016 Shaun Green

 


 

BELOW: Three members of 45 Commando Sigs troop at the edge of the debris field.

 

Three members of 45 Commando Sigs troop at the edge of the debris field.

 

Photo: © 2016 Shaun Green

 


 

BELOW: Part of the Wellington's wing and a fuselage frame lie in the background.

 

Part of the Wellington's wing and a fuselage frame lie in the background.

 

Photo: © 2016 Shaun Green

 


 

BELOW: The seven-strong team from 45 Commando ('Four Five Commando') Royal Marines Signals troop who were using this aircraft crash site as a checkpoint while on a navigation exercise.

 

The seven-strong team from 45 Commando RM Sigs troop who were using this aircraft crash site as a checkpoint while on a navigation exercise.

 

Photo: © 2016 Shaun Green

 

 



 

 

NOTE: In 2013, Meredith Barnes and Glynis Symes, accompanied by Gary Nelson, placed a memorial plaque to Joseph Weatherson at this crash site. (See Page 3). In 2014, they revisited the site. The first two photos of the aircraft's tail section shown below were taken on that occasion.

 

 

BELOW: A photo of the tail section taken in 2014.

 

Looking toward the tail section: Andrew Allom (left), Glynis Symes (centre) and Gary Nelson (right).

 

tail section.

 

Photo: © 2014 Meredith Barnes

 


 

BELOW: A closer view of the tail section.

 

closer view of tail section.

 

Photo: © 2014 Meredith Barnes

 

 

 



 

 

NOTE: The following 5 photos were taken some years ago and show the wreckage status at that time.

 

BELOW: The tail section of the Vickers Wellington aircraft.

 

wellington wreckage on Muckle Cairn

 

Photo: © 2013 Cameron Paterson

 


 

BELOW: One of the two propeller assemblies from the Wellington bomber.

 

one of the two propeller assemblies

 

Photo: © 2013 Cameron Paterson

 


 

BELOW: Propeller assembly with part of an engine, and the tail section of the fuselage from the Wellington.

 

propeller assembly, part of engine, and tail section of Wellington

 

Photo: © 2013 Cameron Paterson

 


 

BELOW: A closer view of the tail section, showing the geodetic structure of the airframe.

 

This type of structure, designed by Barnes Wallis and used throughout the airframe, greatly strengthened the Wellington and other aircraft that employed the same design.

 

a closer view of the tail section showing the geodetic structure

 

Photo: © 2013 Cameron Paterson

 


 

BELOW: An internal view of the Wellington's tail cone.

 

Once again, the geodetic (diamond matrix) structure is clearly visible.

 

internal view of wellington's tail cone

 

Photo: © 2013 Cameron Paterson

 

 



 

 

BELOW: Wing sections and trailing edge fuselage frame (arched object).

 

airframe wreckage from the wellington

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: One of the two radial engines from the Vickers Wellington.

 

one of the two engines from the wellington

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Remains of undercarriage assembly (foreground) and engine / propeller assembly (background).

 

debris field with undercarriage section and engine (background) 

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 

 

 

MORE PHOTOS BELOW

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

(The photos immediately below were taken in 2012. Photos on Pages 1-B to 1-D were taken between 2012 and 2013.)

 

 

BELOW: Some of the remaining wreckage from the Wellington aircraft. The arched trailing edge fuselage frame stands near the centre of the image. The wings, engines and other sections of wreckage lie in the background.

 

Welllington forward fuselage section

 

Photo: © 2012 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Another view of this area of wreckage.

 

another view of forward frame wreckage

 

Photo: © 2012 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Part of the Wellington's tail plane. Barnes Wallis' geodetic design is clearly evident in this image.

 

part of the wellington's tailplane

 

Photo: © 2012 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW:  One of the two radial engines from the Wellington.

 

one of two radial engines from wellington aircraft

 

Photo: © 2012 Gary Nelson

 

 

More (larger) photos from Gary Nelson's collection on Page

 1-B

 

And also on Pages

 1-C and 1-D

 

 

 


 

Earlier Photos

 

 

BELOW: A rare surviving photo showing the eerie skeletal remains of the Vickers Wellington bomber which crashed on a ridge between White Hill and Muckle Cairn in Glen Esk, Angus.

 

Note the geodetic structure throughout this aircraft's fuselage and wings. Although unable to protect the crew on this occasion, geodetic strengthening saved many lives by allowing combat damaged Wellingtons to continue flying and to return safely to base.

 

wreckage of Wellington bomber. Photo taken soon after crash occurred 

 

Photo: © 1951-2008 Graham Simpson

 

 

 

Testimony of an early witness to the crash scene: 

 

"The first time I saw this was in thick mist. I had been left with a pony on the hill to wait for a stag to be shot. Through the wind, I heard a 'tinny' sound—on and off—for about 15 minutes, but no-one answered my calls as to who was out there. I tethered the pony to a rock and walked in increasing circles around it when suddenly a large 'something' loomed into view, and then vanished again in the mist. I was scared stiff!! There should have been nothing there—then suddenly it re-appeared—the tailplane [seen in the photo above]. The tinny noise was some part of the wreckage blowing in the wind."

 

 


 

 

BELOW: The remains of Wellington L7845 at Muckle Cairn, Glen Esk. This photo was taken in 1998.

 

The remains of the wellington wreckage when this photo was taken in 1998 

 

Photo: © 1998-2008 Alan Leishman 

 

 


 

 

Page Selector

 

  PAGE 1-A   This Page  
         

Additional Crash Site Photos

         
  PAGE 1-B:   Fuselage, Main Wings, and Undercarriage.  
         
  PAGE 1-C:   Tailplane, etc.  
         
  PAGE 1-D:   Engines, etc  
         
         

Air Crew Photos

         
  PAGE 2:   Oscar Jensen and Sven Jensen  
         
  PAGE 3:   Thomas Holman and Joseph Weatherson  

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Page last updated: 20 July 2016

 

(Current wreckage status photos added. See below under Crash Site Photos.)

 


 

Accident Date: 9 Aug 1942

 

Accident Site:

Muckle Cairn (826m)

(Tom Titlach)

(Upper Glenesk)

 

(NOTE: Muckle Cairn / Tom Titlach is not the same as the Muckle Cairn that is situated E of Glen Lee and N of Easter Balloch. The Muckle Cairn where the Wellington wreckage lies is situated SW of Loch Lee.)

 

Region: Angus

 

Nearest town or village:

Clova

(N of Kirriemuir)

 

Nearest large towns:

Kirriemuir (SE), Forfar (S) or Brechin (SE)

 

OS Grid Refs. 44 / 382762; NO 369759; 377766; 392767 

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Although some large sections of wreckage can still be found onsite, other sections have been removed to museums in the UK. Smaller wreckage parts can be seen at Kirriemuir's Gateway to the Glens Museum.

 

In October 2013, a plaque to the memory of Joseph Weatherson was affixed to the wreckage on Muckle Cairn.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: L7845; coded ZT-Z of 20 OTU

 

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)

 

 

 

 

Related Links

 

 

RAF and Related Links

RAF Lossiemouth at Wikipedia

RAF Museum (London and Cosford)

RAF Vickers Wellington (History)

Vickers Wellington at RAF Brampton Wyton Henlow (The Pathfinder Museum)

 

Other Links

Kirriemuir Gateway to the Glens Museum 

The Courier (Spitfire article includes brief reference to Wellington bomber.) 

Vickers Wellington at u.boat.net

Vickers Wellington at World War 2 Warbirds

 

 

 

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