Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: An Armstrong Whitworth A.W.38 Whitley bomber.
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 However, from the Whitley Mk IV, these were superseded by the more powerful Rolls Royce Merlin X piston engines.
The Whitley bomber entered service with the RAF in 1937 and was withdrawn in 1945.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Due to heavy losses and the introduction of more powerful 4-engine bombers, the Whitley was withdrawn from front-line service and allocated to Coastal Command.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
[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:
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.
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.
Photo: © 2010 Ian Murgatroyd
BELOW: Several sections of wreckage still to be found near the SW shoreline.
Box-reinforced sections from the Whitley
Photos: © 2010 Ian Murgatroyd
BELOW: Close-up of heavily-riveted section with ground maintenance personnel's codes.
Photo: © 2010 Ian Murgatroyd
BELOW: Another view showing manufacturer's stampings.
Photo: © 2010 Ian Murgatroyd
At the moment, there are no additional photos for this crash site in the Photo Gallery.
Recommend this page.
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 27 Nov 1940
(Some wreckage on SW shore. Photo.)
Region: Dumfries and Galloway
Nearest town or village:
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.
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.
Accident Specific Links
Local Hill Walking Links
Museum Link (Local)
(The control tower used by the museum to house indoor exhibits was formerly the watch tower of RAF Dumfries / Heathhall)
RAF and Related Links
RAF Armstrong Whitworth Whitley (History)
RAF Dumfries 18 MU (WWII era photos)
RAF Heathhall at Flickr (Aerial photo)
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)
Other Outdoor Activities
Backpacking and Backpackers
Cicerone (Backpacking Guides for Walking in the UK)
Kayaking and Canoeing
Kayak Scotland (Sea Kayaking in Scotland)
Kayaking at Active Scotland (Various venues)
Rock Climbing and Abseiling
Abseiling Scotland (Various venues)
Rock Climbing at Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre (Skills Courses and Qualifications Courses)
Rock Climbing in Scotland (Rock Climbing Areas)
Trekking and Hiking
Gairloch Trekking Centre (Pony Trekking in the Scottish Highlands)
Pony and Quad Treks (North Wales)
Ramblers (Worldwide Holidays)
Emergency Services Link
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.
A.W. Whitley P5009
Loch Enoch, Dumfries & Galloway