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Loch Skerrow, Typhoon Air Crash

 
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4831
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:23 pm    Post subject: Loch Skerrow, Typhoon Air Crash Reply with quote

Not listed on UKNIWM

Location (see below for details on location) but it is in the general vicinity of Loch Skerrow, to the north of Gatehouse of Fleet.

I have been trying to find this for some time, but today returning from a training session with the Mountain Rescue Team one of the members who knew the location of this memorial guided me to it. The memorial is a cairn (with mortared stones) and mortared into the top are parts of an aircraft, it marks the site of an aircraft crash. There is no plaque or inscription. The area around the cairn has a large number of parts from a crashed aircraft many in the undergrowth and presumably more buried underground.

Unverified information I have been given is that the plane was a Typhoon (the 1940s type) and that the pilot was Polish. I have yet to find the date of crash or name of pilot.

Loch Skerrow was the most remote station on the rail network with no road or track leading to it. The remoteness cannot be overstated - you would not find this with a six figure grid reference, in fact I walked within less than 5 metres and could not see it even though I was looking for it until it was pointed out by my companion.

I know that many crash sites have been raided by souvenier collectors and that the only reason that this site is still intact is probably that it is extremely remote and exact location unknown. I have therefore elected in this instance to keep the exact location to myself (not usual with war memorials I know) but I hope the forum members will agree that it seems appropriate in this case. Of course if anyone would like to visit the memorial, please contact me and I will be glad to make arrangements.







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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4831
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has been quite a bit of research for what is just a small amount of information at the end of the day. I and a few others have spent quite a few hours in the last couple of weeks trying to uncover the details of the crash. My thanks to Alan Leishman from the Dumfries Aviation museum for providing the information - I wish I had known to go to him first Exclamation

Typhoon JR 439 of 440 sqn. crashed on 18.3.44 killing the Canadian pilot P/O K O Mitchell.
He was 22 years old and a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. He is buried in Ayr cemetery.

Name: MITCHELL, KENNETH OSBORNE
Initials: K O
Nationality: Canadian
Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Age: 22
Date of Death: 18/03/1944
Service No: J/19123
Additional information: Son of Theodore Osborne Mitchell and Ethel Lucy Mitchell, of Greenfield Park, Province of Quebec, Canada.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2720.
Cemetery: AYR CEMETERY, Ayrshire

http://scottishwargraves.phpbbweb.com/viewtopic.php?t=282&mforum=scottishwargraves

I am toying with the idea of going back to the memorial to add a small semi permanent sign to the cairn with the above details (but without causing any damage to the memorial) - perhaps a painted sign hung on a chain. I realise that there is a very small chance that it might get removed but worth the risk I think. What are anyone's thoughts?

\Paul
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7385
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul

That would be a nice touch, it would mean anyone visiting this cairn would know why it was there.

Regards

Adam
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dhubthaigh
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not Paul, and show us the finished result.

Mark
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4831
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have decided that this memorial has been anonymous for long enough and so I have ordered and now received a suitable (if modest) plaque to be placed on the memorial. As 18th March 2009 will be the 65th anniversary of the pilot's death, I thought that would be a suitable occasion to fix the plaque to the cairn. It certainly won't be an occasion for royalty but if anyone would like to attend (or visit at another time) please let me know so that I can try and make sure that the forest roads are open and guide you to the site. 'Country' footwear will be needed and your car WILL get dirty Very Happy

I intend to write to the newspaper in the pilot's home town and see if any relatives (or anyone else) is interested and in fact can tell us more of the man himself. I also intend to write to Dumfries Aviation Museum, and the man who helped identify the pilot in particular to see if they are interested in going along.

\Paul
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4831
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a fine day yesterday (the 65th anniversary of his death), I unveiled the plaque at the memorial. Morris Service, Davie Reid and Drew Porteous from the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum attended. My thanks to my wife Betty for the photo.

The plaque carries the phrase "until the day break, and shadows flee away" which is from the Song of Solomon and is what the family chose to have inscribed on his gravestone in Ayr cemetery.

A few words were said about the man, his mission (training for deployment to Kent to combat V1 Flying Bombs) and his family in Canada. Two minutes silence was observed.

There has been some coverage in the local papers and I will post the articles when I get the scanner out.

\Paul



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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that this memorial is more public, the OS Map Ref is NX 58306 66954
(you might need GPS to find it, especially in the summer when the bracken is grown up). Many more photos available including of the aircraft wreckage which surrounds the area.

\Paul
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David McNay
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Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Article in the Dumfries and Galloway Standard:

http://www.dgstandard.co.uk/dumfries-news/local-news-dumfries/local-news-dumfriesshire/2009/03/18/dalry-man-seeks-elusive-war-memorial-51311-23162442/
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JOLLY GREEN



Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 6
Location: GREAT BRITAIN

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul,

I am really pleased that it went so well and the weather was fair, sorry that I could not be there. My Dad, Davie and Drew were pleased and honoured to attend on behalf of the Aviation Museum. Well done Paul! It is only through the dedication of people like you that anonymous memorials are identified and given the respect they deserve.

Great photos by the way!

Mark Service
Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum
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DerekR
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul,

Well done in all your efforts.
_________________

Time but th' impression stronger makes, As streams their channels deeper wear.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4831
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the press cuttings from Dumfries and Galloway Standard 18th March 2009 followed by Galloway News 19th March 2009. I managed to get the project mentioned on both. Notice by the way that it is on the bottom of the plaque. A shame my ugly mug had to go and spoil it but they particularly wanted me in the photo - evidence I suppose Laughing

\Paul



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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4831
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another newspaper clipping from the actual unveiling.

Dumfries and Galloway Standard, 1 Apr 2009

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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb Smile
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Details reported to UKNIWM.

\Paul
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stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 527

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is now WMR/UKNIWM memorial 71889.

Quite a story
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