Vickers Wellington Z1078

West Hill, Cheviot, Northumberland












Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: Vickers Wellington bombers in flight.


vickers wellington bombers in flight


Photo: Original source unknown.





Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Vickers 290 Wellington Mk IA / IC Z1078


(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 1,050hp 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. The Wellington Mk.IA variant is the Bomber Command type featured on this page.







Aircraft Accident Details


Vickers Wellington Z1078 was returning to RAF Snaith in Yorkshire following a night bombing mission over Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft's communications and navigation aids were inoperative.


When the pilot was passing over the English mainland, he encountered very heavy mist. Unable to determine his course with the U/S onboard navigation equipment and unable to call for assistance over his radio, the pilot soon became disorientated in the mist, snow, wind and darkness.


As a result, he flew further north-west than his intended route to RAF Snaith, and continued heading north until his aircraft was over the Cheviots. Due to the blizzard conditions and heavy mist, he was unaware that he was now over high ground. Very soon, the aircraft crashed into West Hill on a shoulder of The Cheviot.


Local shepherds realised that an aircraft had crashed when they encountered a strong smell of burning on the hills. Three shepherds1 headed for the crash scene, where they found that several of the crew had died in the accident. Of the three that survived initially, two later succumbed to their injuries while in hospital.




Footnote 1:


Two years laterIn 1944one of the Shepherds in the search party (John Dagg with his collie, Sheila) was also involved with the B-17G crash on West Hill, The Cheviot.






Aircraft Crew Casualties / Survivor


Of the six man crew, those who died when the aircraft crashed at West Hill were:

  •  P/O Bertram A. MacDonald, 2nd Pilot, RCAF

  • Sgt Thomas Walter Irving, (23), Obs., RNZAF

  • Sgt William H. Allworth, W/Op / Air Gnr., RAF


Those who died of their wounds the following day were:


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




The sole survivor (with injuries) was:

Sgt Cyril F. Glover, Air Gnr., RAF


Sgt Glover left the RAF in 1946. He died in 1993, aged 75.






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: Some of the few remaining sections from Wellington IC Z1078.


Included below are some sections of landing gear and other unidentified wreckage.


some of the remaining wellington wreckage on West Hill, the Cheviot


Photo: © 2008-2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Possibly, small section of a wing elevator.


possibly, small section of wing elevator


Photo: © 2008-2013 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Rusting wreckage, and also landing gear oleo strut (close to the dog).


rusting wreckage and landing gear oleo strut


Photo: © 2008-2013 Gary Nelson






























Crash Date / Site


Country: England


england national flag



Accident Date: 15 Jan 1942


Accident Site:

West Hill, The Cheviot (815m)


Region: Northumberland.


Nearest town or village:

Wooler [map]


Nearest large towns:

Kelso (NW), Jedburgh (W) (Scotland), or  Wooler (E) (England)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: Some smaller wreckage parts remain onsite.



Air crash sites on or near The Cheviot:


1) RAF Vickers Warwick HG136 crash at West Hill, near Cairn Hill, The Cheviot, in 1946.


2) Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 44-6504 crash at West Hill, The Cheviot, near Braydon Crag, in 1944.


3) RAF Vickers Wellington Mk.IA IC Z1078 crash at West Hill, The Cheviot, in 1942. (The aircraft on this page.)


4) RAF Short Stirling Mk. III EE972 crash near Broaden, The Cheviot in 1944.


5) RCAF Avro Lancaster Mk. X  KB745 crash above Goldscleugh, The Cheviot, in 1944.


6) RAF Hawker Hart K6482 crash above Goldscleugh, The Cheviot, in 1939.


7) RAF Supermarine Spitfire P8587 crash at Bellyside Hill, The Cheviot, in 1943.


8) RAF Handley Page Hampden L4063 crash at Windy Gyle, The Cheviots, in 1940.





Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: IC Z1078


Operator: RAF (150 (City of Oxford) Squadron) (Bomber Command)


Operating Station: RAF Snaith [map]


Station Location: Near Pollington, 7 miles SW of Goole, Yorkshire, England.


Current Station Status: Disused. Partly intersected by M62 motorway. Some derelict buildings remain.





Related Links



RAF and Related Links

150 Squadron Air Cadets

150 Squadron History

150 Squadron Records at The National Archives

RAF Snaith

Memorial: Allied Airmen 1939-45  College Valley (Cheviot)

The Wartime Memories Project: The Second War 150 Squadron


Other Link

College Valley History (with area overlay showing seven aircraft crash sites on The Cheviot, and including the story of Sheila the dog awarded the Dickin Medal the animals' V.C.)




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