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Cairngarroch Bay, C-47 Crash

 
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4939
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Cairngarroch Bay, C-47 Crash Reply with quote

Not listed on UKNIWM

Location – fixed to a rock in Cairngarroch Bay at OS Map Ref NX 04526 49503 (by GPS). The rock in question is about 50 metres south of Red Cave and the plaque is about 7 feet up, and you need to look away from the sea to see it.

The plaque reads:

“Near this spot on 27th July 1944
A USAF C47 aircraft
carrying wounded servicemen from Normandy
crashed into the cliff all 22 persons
on board perished
lest we forget”

The plaque was unveiled with due ceremony on 27th July 1999. Just less than 10 years later it is showing significant damage caused by the sea spray. Around the plaque are various pieces of aircraft wreckage, some mortared in place.

This crash is the subject of a book ‘The forgotten Rhinns’ air disaster’ by Sandy Rankin. It contains the warning “Cairngarroch Bay can be reached only on foot by an unmade track, which comes down to the South end of the bay. The memorial plaque is situated at the North end and is accessible only at low tide. Even then the very rocky nature of the terrain means that getting to the site demands a difficult and lengthy scramble along the shore over high, steep, and jagged rocks.’ I would agree with all of that, plus the rocks are slippery so be sure to wear good boots. Park your car in front of heather cottage (NX 054 494) and follow the signs for the coastal path down to the bay then turn right at the shore. Allow about an hour and a half for the round trip and ONLY ATTEMPT THIS AT LOW OR FALLING TIDE.

There is also a related memorial at Portpatrick Lifeboat Station.

The aircraft involved was a USAF Douglas C-47A (known as Dakota in UK service) serial 42-93038 based at Merryfield, Somerset and was heading for Prestwick.

The crew (all Americans) were:
1st Lt Galen R Hendricks
2nd Lt Raymond Hutchings
2nd Lt Leon J Tully
S/Sgt Merl W Skinner
Sgt Jay V Alcorn
2nd Lt Mary E Jackley (Medical Corps)
T/3 John H Salmi (Medical Corps)
F/O Dan W Meshaw

Wounded American servicemen (all killed in the crash):
Major Irving J Shure
2nd Lt John W Ingram
2nd Lt Theron W Ward
Sgt Ernest H Corvin
Sgt Billy Morris
Cpl Elmer F Lauf
Pfc James D Green
Pfc Keith G Lowdermilk
Pfc Marcus Saposhnikoff
Pvt James Ayers
Pvt Jack F Sheidler
Pvt Edmund L Davis
Pvt Donald R Hammerstrom

There was only one British victim, LAC Samuel Gilmour who had obtained a lift on the plane. He came from Kilwinning where he was buried; his grave is posted on SWGP.

Much more detail is available in the book previously mentioned.

The rock with plaque at the centre..................





Pieces of aircraft wreckage..................





Terrain to be crossed to reach the memorial......................



The view towards Red Cave from the memorial....................

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Adam Brown
Curator


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7356
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done for getting this memorial Paul. It must have been quite an adventure to get there. The minor road from Portpatrick to Ardwell is a nice drive but it doesn't go near the coast so you must have had quite a trek before you even got to the shore.

Regards

Adam
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4939
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the nearest parking place on a minor road (described earlier), it is just under a mile to the beach, downhill all the way. Unfortunately that means it is a long slog back up - the hardest part is getting along the beach, certainly gets the heart pumping.

\Paul
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7356
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: Cairngarroch Bay, C-47 Crash Reply with quote

spoons wrote:
There was only one British victim, LAC Samuel Gilmour who had obtained a lift on the plane. He came from Kilwinning where he was buried


He's is listed on the Kilwinning War Memorial

Regards

Adam
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stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 2342

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is now on the WMR (ex UKNIWM)- reference 71607.

This is about as obscure a location as they come
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Mike Morley



Joined: 17 Apr 2013
Posts: 2996
Location: Roberton, Lanarkshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The August 1 2019 edition of the Wigtownshire Free Press carries a report of the 75th anniversary of the crash, the laying of a wreath in the bay and of an updated version of the book which has just been reissued. It also carries of photograph of nurse, Lt Mary Edith Jackley, who died in the crash.
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