A.W. Whitley EB384

Murley Hll, Glen Esk, Angus

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: An A.W. Whitley Mk.V. This is the variant featured on this page.

 

a.w. whitley mark v

 

Photo: Source unknown.

 


 

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

 

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber

 

Photo: c.1940

 

This artistic work created by the United Kingdom Government is in the public domain

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V / EB384, coded ZV-U

 


 

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 However, from the Whitley Mk IV, these were superseded by the more powerful Rolls Royce Merlin X piston engines.

 

The Whitley bomber entered service with the RAF in 1937 and was withdrawn in 1945.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Due to heavy losses and the introduction of more powerful 4-engine bombers, the Whitley was withdrawn from front-line service and allocated to Coastal Command.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

 

RAF Whitley EB384 of 19 OTU was on a navigational training exercise (NAVEX) when it crashed at Murley Hill, Glen Esk.

 

The pilot had lost control in cloud while flying on a fighter affiliation and cross country exercise.

 

The aircraft crashed and burnt.

 

 

[Additional crash and crew details were kindly provided by Alan Leishman]

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

Those who died in this incident were:

 

  (Buried, Fettercairn Cemetery.)
  (Buried, Fettercairn Cemetery.)
  (Buried, Romford Cemetery, Essex.)
  (Buried, Fettercairn Cemetery.)
  (Buried, Fettercairn Cemetery.)
  (Buried, Fettercairn Cemetery.)

 

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

 

 

Note: In the CWGC's entry for Sgt Donnelly, the date of death is recorded as 25 May 1944. Presumably, this is an error, as the aircraft did not crash until the 26 Maya day later.

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

 

The following two photos were taken in November 2001
during the recovery operation for

The Whitley Project

 

 

BELOW: Attaching strop.

 

Attaching strop.

 

Photo: © 2001-2015 Elliott Smock / The Whitley Project

 


 

BELOW: Ready to go.

 

Ready to go.

 

Photo: © 2001-2015 Elliott Smock / The Whitley Project

 

 


 

 

Other Photos

 

 

BELOW: The main crash site at Murley, on the border of the Balmoral and Invermark estates.

 

Lochnagar can be seen in the distance.

 

 

Photo: © 2014 Jerry Drury

 


 

BELOW: Part of the main wing from the A.W. Whitley aircraft on Murley near Glen Lee / Glen Esk.

 

The box spars reinforcing the wing are clearly visible in this photo.

 

Whitley wing on Murley near Glen Lee / Glen Esk, Angus

 

Photo: © 2013 Cameron Paterson

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the Whitley wing section.

 

another view of the whitley wing section

 

Photo: © 2013 Cameron Paterson

 


 

BELOW: A section of the main wing from Whitley EB384.

 

a section of the main wing from whitley eb384

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Another section of the aircraft's main wing.

 

another section of the aircraft's main wing

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 


 

BELOW: Box spar plating used for the internal construction of the wings.

 

box spar plating from wing construction

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel

 

 

 

Note: The port wing has been recovered from the crash site. Remaining wreckage status is unknown.

 

 


 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Page last updated: 17 Oct 2015

 

(The Whitley Project recovery photos added.)

 


 

Accident Date: 26 May 1944

 

Accident Site:

Murley (Hill), Glen Esk / Glen Lee.

 

Region: Angus (Grampians)

 

Nearest town, village or hamlet:

Tarfside.

(On unclassified road W of B966 and Glenesk Caravan Park.)

 

Nearest large town:

Laurencekirk [map] (E) (B966 and B9120)

 

OS Grid Ref. N/A

 

GPS Ref. N/A

 

Present Condition: Port wing section recovered from site. (See below under Related Links / Recovery Project Links.) Some smaller parts may still remain at the crash site.

 


 

Other air crash in this vicinity:

 

BOAC de Havilland Mosquito Mk.VI / G-AGGF.

Crash at Drumhilt, Easter Balloch (Glen Lee), in 1943.

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: EB384, coded ZV-U

 

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

 

Operating Station: RAF Kinloss (now, Kinloss Barracks).

 

Satellite Station for RAF Kinloss: RAF Forres (or Balnageith).

 

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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