View Full Version : Actual Whirlwind crash sites... For real this time!

12-22-2005, 03:20 PM
Read this first... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

The English Channel and the North Sea were the focus of a significant proportion of air activity during the last war, with many hundreds of aircraft being abandoned or crash-landed close to the coastline due to combat damage or technical failures. For example, 234 aircraft of RAF Fighter Command crashed into the sea during the four months of the Battle of Britain, whilst the log for the Skegness lifeboat records that it was called out to aircraft crashes on sixteen occasions between 1939 and 1945. Given the relatively low speed of impact in many cases, aircraft which crashed at sea were often largely intact as they came to rest on the sea floor and may have remained so, though subsequent damage by trawler nets, salt corrosion and storm action is often severe. The same is true of crash sites in the inter-tidal zone. As with other types of archaeological deposits, preservation within these environments has been generally good, while the majority of the more visible sites have become depleted through souvenir hunting and amateur excavation. It is likely that in submerged and inter-tidal contexts some previously unidentified sites will remain intact and in a good state of preservation. In general terms preservation is often best in waterlogged contexts, where anaerobic conditions slow the oxidisation of metals and allow the survival of organic materials such as wooden airframe structures, wooden and fabric coverings, parachutes, documents and clothing. Heavy clay soils also aid survival by sealing the debris in pockets of oil or aviation fuel, thus ******ing deterioration. Airframes and engines often contain a large amount of aluminium alloy. Although aluminium is in itself relatively resistant to decay, the metal
with which it is alloyed has a significant bearing upon its survival.

Between 1939 and 1945 RAF Bomber Command lost 1,380 aircraft within the UK whilst either outward or inward bound on operational flights and, along with its Operational Training and Heavy Conversion Units, a
further 3,986 aircraft in non-operational accidents.The Luftwaffe is known to have lost 1,500 aircraft in and around the UK. American losses are harder to establish because contemporary statistics made no distinction between those aircraft lost in combat over continental Europe or those crashing on their return. However, the Ukbased VIIIth Army Air Force reported 1,084 aircraft destroyed through nonoperational causes.With the addition of losses for RAF Fighter, Coastal, Army Cooperation and Transport Commands, the Royal Navy€s Fleet Air Arm, the Italian Regia Aeronautica, the US IXth Army Air Force, the US Navy and the VIIIth Air Force€s operational losses, the combined total figure for World War II might be expected to be considerably in excess of 10,000 aircraft. Although records relating to actual crash locations are often imprecise, during World War II a significant number clustered along the southern and eastern margins of England where the majority of air activity took place. For example, there are estimated to have been around 1,000 wartime crash sites in Suffolk, compared to the 500 aircraft believed to have crashed in Warwickshire. Research for the MPP survey indicated that crash sites are likely to contain the largest and most intact remains of twenty one (22 per cent) of the ninety aircraft types which operated over the UK during World War II, for which no complete examples survive (seeTables). Of the British military aircraft used in the UK prior to World War II, sixty-seven (72 per cent) of the ninety-three types are extinct, and crash sites pertaining to any of these aircraft would therefore be particularly valuable. Aircraft in the post-war period have generally been produced in much smaller numbers and have fared better in terms of preservation, with intact examples of all major types surviving. This is because the high cost of producing new aircraft means that existing airframes are more likely to be successively upgraded and modified than replaced, with the result that they remain in service far longer than their predecessors.When aircraft go out of service they tend now to be offered to museums and collectors in comparatively large numbers. Also, since the 1960s lobbying by the aircraft conservation movement has ensured that the MoD has given greater consideration to preservation when disposing of aircraft. Crash sites from this post-war period are therefore considered to have less archaeological merit than those of earlier date.

Criteria for selection of
important sites
English Heritage recognises the importance of sites in terms of survival, rarity or historic importance, and would wish to minimise unnecessary disturbance to examples that meet a combination of the following criteria:

_ The crash site includes components of
an aircraft of which very few or no
known complete examples survive.
Examples of the commonplace may also
be considered of importance where they
survive well and meet one or more of
the other criteria.
_ The remains are well preserved, and
may include key components such as
engines, fuselage sections, main planes,
undercarriage units and gun turrets.
Those crash sites for which individual
airframe identities (serial numbers)
have been established will be of
particular interest.
_ The aircraft was associated with
significant raids, campaigns or notable
_ There is potential for display or
interpretation as historic features within
the landscape (for example as upland
crash site memorials), or for restoration
and display of the crashed aircraft as a
rare example of its type.

In general terms, sites meeting any three of these criteria are sufficiently rare in England to be considered of national importance.

Hmmm€¦ The Westland Whirlwind seem a good candidate for further investigation don€t you think... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

This Map shows three primary sites where Whirlwinds were ditched at known (Or at lease localized€¦) locations.

Just in case you can't make it out...

I.) (Blue) P7042 Shot down over Cherbourg Harbour by Me 109€s; Sgt. Buckwell POW

II.) (Light Blue) P6980 Missing in sea near Sand Bay 12.12.40; F/O Britton missing.

III.) (Purple) P7064 Damaged by flak & ditched between Le Touquet & Boulogne 31.10.42 (248 Flying Hours) Pilot picked up by ASR Walrus


The following is a list of secondary sites of either downed or ditched A/C whose positions are as yet not known.

1.) P7002 Ditched after misjudgment of height 4.4.43
2.) P7052 Shot down by flak & ditched in sea 12.2.43; Sgt. Williams missing
3.) P7091 Hit by flak in one engine during attack on train 30.10.41 Ditched in the channel short of fuel; F/O Clark died after being picked up by a destroyer.

Wonder if Time Team would be interested...

12-22-2005, 03:42 PM
where did you get your excellent satellite picture ?

12-22-2005, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Badsight.:
where did you get your excellent satellite picture ?

It€s a composite put together in PhotoShop

From this:


and this:

12-22-2005, 03:57 PM
hey! your not bad with the photoshop thing!

(or the trolling . . . .)

12-22-2005, 03:59 PM
Thanks... Just playing with it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

12-22-2005, 04:34 PM
I've got some local divers going through their maps and charts. Seems there's one on the seabed near Portland.
Will keep you informed....

12-22-2005, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Low_Flyer Seems there's one on the seabed near Portland.

Where did that info come from... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif You are a 'Whirly Master'.

Sand Bay, by the way is about two good spits (Greenie - 'Filthy Devil'... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif) up from me... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif Burnham-on-sea - Brean, Weston-super-Mare - Sand Bay. If it is still there it will be in the Inter-Tidal-Zone so it probably would get a hammering from the bore... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

12-23-2005, 11:13 AM

12-23-2005, 12:46 PM
I thought a pirate treasure sattelite map might be in order...

(That really is an HMS Hood sunk in the entrance to Portland Harbour, btw. WWI anti U-boat measure.)

It could be an old fisherman's tale, but I saw it on a map years ago. As I said, have got some local divers interested, they're going through their stuff now for me. Trouble is, there's so much plane wreckage in that area - not to mention the odd ship....it could get very confusing.
I really wouldn't want to get people's hopes up. But you never know.

I've got no idea of depths or diving possibilities, will keep you informed.


12-23-2005, 05:02 PM

I see L24 the 1080 ton British submarine sunk in 1924 after a collision with HMS 'Resolution' is in your neck of the woods as well... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

This site lists all: http://www.divedorset.com/index.html?/wreckinfo.htm

Portland Bill... The childhood memories come flooding back... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif How many times on Chesil Beach did we get oil over our shoes and hands... Or the time we walked up the lighthouse steps then finding the door down had blown shut and stuck fast... It took them an hour to get it open again... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif How we laughed that day... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

I still can't find a blessed thing on this sunken Whirly... Greenie reckons your doing a 'Whirly Windup" as pay back for my previous
aberration of character... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

You wouldn€t do that, would you... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

12-23-2005, 05:16 PM
Like I say, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, but it's one of those things I seem to remember. I researched the area's involvement in WWII professionally for the 50th anniversary - my credentials are impeccable. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Unfortunately, the woman who lost my notes and floppy disks can make no such claim. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

I will certainly inform all of the outcome my fresh enquiries as soon as I have the information.

12-23-2005, 05:27 PM
Unfortunately, the woman who lost my notes and floppy disks can make no such claim. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

You dark horse you... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

12-23-2005, 05:50 PM
Heh heh, more of a silver fox nowadays http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Anyhoo, a definate wreck is the M2 seaplane carrier submarine. Fairly well preserved apparently. Interesting stuff...


And more pics here:-