Highlands & Islands

WWII Lancaster bomber crash site artefacts listed

Wreck recovery team with part of a propeller. Pic: RAF Waddington
Image caption Members of the team who recovered the objects with part of a propeller blade

An engine was among almost 50 items recovered from the wreck of a World War II Lancaster bomber, a Ministry of Defence (MoD) report has revealed.

Six Royal Australian Air Force personnel and an RAF crewman died when the aircraft came down on Balavil Estate, near Kingussie.

A team from RAF Waddington, Lincoln, from where the bomber flew missions, recovered the objects in 2008.

The MoD report listing the items has now been published on a database.

Its entry on Highland Council's Historic Environment Record said more objects were recovered than expected from the wreck site and had included one of the Lancaster's Merlin engines.

Image caption RAF Lancasters flew bombing missions during World War II

The aircraft's camera, an oxygen mask, part of a parachute and a section of the rear gun turret were also recovered.

Part of a propeller blade that was found is now a memorial to airmen killed during World War II in a cemetery at Balavil House on the estate where the bomber crashed.

The other items found are now being cleaned and preserved at RAF Waddington.

Artefacts were recovered from the crash site under a licence and their locations in the landscape were recorded using GPS before being removed.

The crew from 467/463 Sqd were on a night training flight over the Cairngorms and Monadhliath mountain ranges when the bomber came down.

The cause may have been damage as a result of anti-aircraft fire, or freezing conditions, encountered during a mission the previous night.

The six Australian crew members were interred in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in Cambridge, while the sole RAF airman was buried in Glasgow.

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