Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Armstrong Whitworth AW.38 Whitley / P5041, coded YG-C
Aircraft Type Designation: AW.38 (Front line medium bomber.)
The Whitley was an all-metal monoplane and medium-heavy bomber, fitted with two engines. Initially, these were Armstrong Siddeley Tiger IX (later reverting to VIII) engines. However, from the Whitley Mk IV, these were superseded by the more powerful Rolls Royce Merlin X piston engines.
The Whitley bomber entered service with the RAF in 1937 and was withdrawn in 1945. The aircraft carried a crew of four (six on the Mark VII).
Improvements to the Whitley Mark V included a Nash and Thomson powered tail turret with four 7.7mm (0.303in) machine guns, an extended rear fuselage to improve the tail gunner's view, and de-icing equipment.
The Whitley Mark V could carry up to 3,178kg (7,000lbs) of bombs distributed between the bomb bay and wing racks. It had a range of 2,654km (1,650 miles) and could fly at 357km/h (222mph).
Due to heavy losses and the introduction of more powerful 4-engine bombers, the Whitley was withdrawn from front-line service and allocated to Coastal Command. The Mark VII variant of the Whitley was equipped with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk II radar and proved effective in its role as a reconnaissance aircraft.
Some Whitley Mark V bombers were converted to freight-carrying aircraft operated by BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation). Flying at night, they ferried essential supplies between Gibraltar and Malta, until replaced by the more fuel-efficient Lockheed Hudsons.
Aircraft Accident Details
RAF Whitley P5041 coded YG-C of 502 Sqn. took off from Aldergrove at 1222hrs on 23rd January 1941 to provide escort cover for Convoy HG50 en route from Gibraltar to Liverpool. P5041 became lost on return to Aldergrove and flew into high ground near Balmavicar.
Aircraft Crew Casualties
The crew who died in this incident were:
(Please click on the hyperlinked name above for further details at the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's website).
Queens College Oxford
LIBER VITAE REGINENSIUM
FLYING OFFICER A. P. B. HOLMES, B.A.
ARTHUR PETER BUCKLEY HOLMES was the son of Buckley Holmes
On leaving Oxford he studied at home for the Civil Service,
In 1935 he joined the Auxiliary Air Force and was commissioned
On 23rd January 1941 he together with his Captain and crew took
He leaves a widow and son.
[The crash site photos below and most of the information in this Panel and the Panel above was kindly provided by Alan Thomson.]
Crash Site Photos
BELOW: Highly fragmented wreckage from Whitley P5041 at Balmavicar, NW of Beinn na Lice on the Mull of Kintyre.
Photo: © 2014 Alan Thomson
BELOW: Part of a main undercarriage (oleo) leg from the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley aircraft of RAF Coastal Command.
Photo: © 2014 Alan Thomson
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Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 23 Jan 1941
Nearest road: Unclassified roads only from Campbeltown to "The Gap" (the road / track Between Beinn na Lice and Torr Mòr).
Region: Argyll and Bute (Argyll / Mull of Kintyre)
Nearest large town or city: None in this general area.
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref. N/A
Present Condition: Undercarriage (oleo) leg and highly fragmented wreckage remains at the crash site.
Registration or Serial: P5041, coded YG-C
Operator: RAF (502 Squadron, Coastal Command.)
Operating Station: RAF Aldergrove.
Station Location: Aldergrove, N.Ireland.
Current Station Status: Operational Military Station.
Current Station Name: JHFS (Joint Helicopter Command Flying Station) Aldergrove
RAF and Related Links
Coastal Command Strike Again (anti-submarine patrols)
RAF Aldergrove / JHCFS Aldergrove
RAF Armstrong Whitworth Whitley (History).
Hill Walking Links
(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)
Hillwalking (The Scottish Mountaineering Club)
Hillwalking.org.uk (Equipment, etc.)
Mountain Guides (Routes, maps, advice and guidance compiled by Steven Fallon)
OutdoorScotland.co.uk (Directory of Clubs, Associations, and Mountain Rescue Teams)
WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)
Emergency Services Link
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A.W. Whitley P5041
Balmavicar, Mull of Kintyre, Argyll.