A.W. Whitley P5009

Loch Enoch, Dumfries & Galloway

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: An Armstrong Whitworth A.W.38 Whitley bomber.

 

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley aircraft type - black and white

 

Photo: [pre 1940 / Public Domain]

 

Photo published in Aircraft of the Fighting Powers Vol. 1. Editors: H J Cooper, O G Thetford and D A Russell. Harborough Publishing Co., Leicester, England, 1940. [Wikipedia.]

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V / P5009

 

(Click hyperlink above for RAF history of this type)

 

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 However, from the Whitley Mk IV, these were superseded by the more powerful Rolls Royce Merlin X piston engines.

 

The Whitley bomber entered service with the RAF in 1937 and was withdrawn in 1945.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 (the variant featured here) 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Due to heavy losses and the introduction of more powerful 4-engine bombers, the Whitley was withdrawn from front-line service and allocated to Coastal Command.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

 

Very little is known about events leading up to this accident. Apparently the aircraft was on a short flight from RAF Dumfries / Heathhall to RAF West Freugh--a small airfield in SW Scotland not far from Stranraer.

 

It is not known what became of the Whitley while on its short mission. However, nothing more was heard from it or about it until some wreckage was discovered at Loch Enoch.

 

Although wreckage can be found on the SW shore of Loch Enoch, most of the aircraft is understood to have entered the loch itself. 1

 


 

Footnote:

 

[The following information is based on details kindly provided by John Neish in June 2011]

 

1 Originally, there had been no wreckage visible on the shore of Loch Enoch. Although the aircraft crashed in 1940, the wreckage which is present there now appeared only in the mid 1970's.

 

As a teenager at that time, John Neish--together with his father--discovered part of the wreckage of this A W Whitley on the shore of Loch Enoch around the mid 1970's.

 

The bright metal wreckage was lying on top of vegetation. In the shallows, lay a large rubber aircraft tyre / wheel assembly, and also a flying boot with some human remains.

 

Knowing that this wreckage had not been there previously, and believing it to be from a recent crash, they reported it to the police. However, they were advised by the police that the wreckage was of a WWII aircraft, and that it had been recovered recently by divers operating in Loch Enoch.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

The two Polish airmen who died in this accident were:

  • Pilot J Luszczewski (24)
  • Pilot L Szamrajew (28)

The third crew member was:

The body of A/C Douglas Barnes was not found at the crash site and has not been recovered. His name is inscribed on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 24.

 


 

The Polish airmen were buried in a joint grave at Dumfries (St Andrew's) Roman Catholic Cemetery.

 

 

BELOW: The joint grave of the two Polish pilots who died in this accident.

 

Joint grave of two polish airmen at Dumfries St Andrew's Cemetery

 

Photo: © 2008 The Scottish War Graves Project

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

BELOW: Approaching Loch Enoch and the crash site of Whitley P5009. Some wreckage lies on the shoreline, but most of the remaining aircraft is underwater.

 

Approaching Loch Enoch and the wreckage site

 

Photo: © 2010 Ian Murgatroyd

 


 

BELOW: Several sections of wreckage still to be found near the SW shoreline.

 

Box-reinforced sections from the Whitley

 

box reinforced section of wreckage

 

 

another view of boxed section

 

 

Another view of box-section wreckage

 

 

Another section of Whitley wreckage at Loch Enoch

 

 

View of rivets on aircraft section

 

Photos: © 2010 Ian Murgatroyd

 


 

BELOW: Close-up of heavily-riveted section with ground maintenance personnel's codes.

 

close-up of heavily-riveted section with ground crews codes

 

Photo: © 2010 Ian Murgatroyd

 


 

BELOW: Another view showing manufacturer's stampings.

 

Another view showing manufacturers stamps

 

Photo: © 2010 Ian Murgatroyd

 

 

 


 

 

Photo Gallery

 

At the moment, there are no additional photos for this crash site in the Photo Gallery.

 

 


 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

Accident Date: 27 Nov 1940

 

Accident Site:

Loch Enoch.

(Some wreckage on SW shore. Photo.)

 

Region: Dumfries and Galloway

 

Nearest town or village:

Glentrool

(13km N of Newton Stewart [map])

 

Nearest large town or city:

Girvan (NW) or Newton Stewart (S) 

 

OS Grid Ref. NX 445 848

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Since the mid 1970's, some wreckage has appeared on the SW shoreline. Remaining wreckage is assumed to be underwater, in Loch Enoch.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

Registration or Serial: P5009

 

Operator: RAF (Polish crew / No. 10 Bombing and Gunnery School (10 B&G School))

 

Operating Station: RAF Dumfries / Heathhall Airfield

 

Station Location: Heathhall, Dumfries.

 

Current Station Status: Closed as an RAF Station in 1957 and developed as an industrial estate from 1959. Control tower presently houses Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum.

 

 

 

 

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