Been there, dunnet!
Supermarine Spitfire P8259 on Dunnet Head.
(Distance covered = 2.0 mile/Ascent =+43m)
Short Sunderland P9622
(Distance covered =
7.5 mile/Ascent =+125m)
Day 1 of my 2018 walking holiday started off by visiting what must be the most northerley crashsite on the British mainland.
We didn't have a grid ref for this one but there was a memorial stone and it wasn't very far to walk at all so we were confident we would find it, even more so when we parked the car and could clearly see the stone in the distance.
Parking up near Hunspow Farm, the memorial was visible from here.
Nice easy walk to start the week off.
There was no sign of any wreckage in the vicinity of the memorial but there was an obvious crater and there could have been some bits in there. The memorial stone is engraved simply with the pilot's name and the date of the crash.
Above and below:-Memorial stone on Dunnet Head for Sgt Hugh K M THOMSON (pilot) RAFVR, his Spitfire crashed here after he lost control in a practice dogfight.
After Dunnet head we nipped down the road to have a look for another crashsite that Stuart had been researching, Short Sunderland P9622. This one as far as we know has never been found since the end of the war, but Stuart had an inkling where it might be so the only way to find out if he was right was to go and have a look.
Farmhouse that one of the crew walked out to for help.
There was no climbing involved in walking over to this crashsite just a relentless trudge over featureless moorland for quite a few miles. It would have been a right bog slog as well if it hadn't been for the fact we were there following a long heatwave and the ground was pretty dried out, there was still some pools and areas of spaggy moss to avoid though.
Above and below:-Making our way across the moors to where we hoped we would find the crashsite of the Sunderland.
About halfway to our objective we came across a burn which proved quite impassable thanks to being flanked by large areas of spaggy moss. We had to make quite a large diversion to find a suitable place to cross.
Spaggy Moss burn, trying to avoid this on the way back did provide us with a little bit of luck.
We found no sign that a crash of any sort had occured in our search area and as we resigned our selves to that fact the weather decided to match our mood and it started chucking it down. It was also starting to get late so we headed off back for the cars but took a different route so as to have a quick search in that direction as we went and to try and avoid the spaggy burn. After walking out for about half a mile Stuart found a piece of pipe lying in a ditch.
Possible bit of fuel pipe from the Sunderland?
As it was now raining quite hard and we were pushed for time for
getting off the moor before dark we didn't have the time or the
inclination to start searching in this area, other than have a quick look
in the immediate vicinity of the pipe. This area of the moor was very
remote and there were no fences, quad tracks or anything remotely man made
anywhere near, so we deduced the Sunderland was the only thing this pipe
could have come from and it certainly looked to be about the right age and
was in the right area. I
think we will definately be back to this one in the future for another look but for
now until proven otherwise I am counting this one on my list of crashsites
found, as we did find something!
In the summer holidays of 2019 while out and about on CC19b we returned to have another look for P9622. Despite spending quite a few hours searching on the moors around where we found the bit of pipe we found no sign of any further wreckage, in fact we couldn't even find the bit of pipe again. Because of this the crashsite of P9622 has now been relegated from my crashsites found list to the probables.