A.W. Whitley LA877 ZV-W

 Meallan Odhar, Laggan, Dalwhinnie













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 AW.38 Whitley Mk.V  / LA877, ZV-W



(Click here for RAF history of this type)


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 However, from the Whitley Mk IV, these were superseded by the more powerful Rolls Royce Merlin X piston engines.


The Whitley bomber entered service with the RAF in 1937 and was withdrawn in 1945.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Due to heavy losses and the introduction of more powerful 4-engine bombers, the Whitley was withdrawn from front-line service and allocated to Coastal Command.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


This A. W. Whitley from 19 OTU was operating out of RAF Kinloss on a training flight. However, the crash details are unknown.







Aircraft Crew Casualties


 Those who died in this accident were:

  • Sgt Dennys Cyril Hunt (20), Pilot, RAFVR.
    (Buried, North of church, Wareside (Holy Trinity) churchyard, Hertfordshire.)

  • Sgt Edwin Albert Deacon (21), Navigator, RAFVR.
    (Buried, Grave 59, Row C., Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground, Moray.)

  • Flt Sgt Donald James Gillies (23), Air Bomber, RCAF.
    (Buried, Grave 61, Row C., Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground, Moray.)

  • Sgt Robert Norman Cowie (30), W.Op. / Air Gnr., RAFVR.
    (Buried, Section 32, West Div., Grave 23, Aberdeen (St Peter's) Cemetery.)

  • Sgt Keith Pratt Gemmel (19), Air Gnr., RCAF.
    ((Buried, Grave 60, Row C., Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground, Moray.)

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






Crash Site Photo


BELOW: The debris field from Whitley LA877 lying at the SE base of Meallan Odhar, Laggan—near Loch Pattack.


debris field from whitley bomber la877


Photo: ©  2013 Neil Daniel





See also debris field photo at Dalwhinnie Voices.






Recommend this page.


























Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 3 Jul 1943


Accident Site:

Meallan Odhar, Laggan
(NW of Loch Pattack [map])


Nearest main road: A889.


Region: Highland (Cairngorms).


Nearest town or village:



Nearest larger towns:

Fort William (W), Kingussie (NE) or Pitlochry (SE).


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: Some wreckage and individual parts remain at the crash site.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: LA877, ZV-W


Operator: RAF (19 OTU (Operational Training Unit))


Operating Station: RAF Kinloss / satellite of RAF Lossiemouth


Station Location: (RAF Kinloss) Kinloss, Moray.


Current Airport Status:

RAF operations ceased in 2012. Now, Kinloss (Army) Barracks.



(NOTE: Following the closure of RAF Leuchars in 2013, RAF Lossiemouth (near Kinloss) will be the only remaining operational RAF Station in Scotland.)





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