About

I had occasionally stumbled across the remains of military plane crash sites while out hill walking but only set out with the intention of visiting a site as the objective of a walk (that of the Superfortress ‘Over-Exposed!’ on Bleaklow) in 2008. I took some photos, wrote some notes and added them to flickr. Over the years more sites were visited and in June 2013 I moved everything from flickr to these pages.

The aim is to provide a record of these crash sites with words and photos; people continue to remove the last remains of these crashes, so recording what is left before it disappears altogether is one reason for uploading all this stuff. Another aim is to bring together various strands of research into one place, pointing out where there are conflicting views or records.

Probably the most important reason is to provide a memorial of sorts to the people who died at these places. Often the accidents occurred during training flights and many of the dead were young men, a long way from home, who never had the opportunity to defend their country in combat and whose deaths are consequently forgotten by all but their families and the readers of these stories.

People viewing these photos for the first time are often surprised that wreckage still remains and many also say they had never considered this part of our history. There are thousands of these places all over the UK; during the war aircraft came down every day. In Britain you are never very far from an air crash site. Those that came down in lowland were cleared, the land built on or cultivated. But in the hills wreckage sometimes remains though many of the sites detailed here have long since been cleared of all surface remains.

I had also uploaded onto flickr a number of then and now composites of Nazi Berlin, histories and photos about Luftwaffe air raids on Britain and a history of my father’s time during WWII in the Royal Navy. They are all on here too.

If you have anything to add to these stories, any corrections or additional info or anecdotes I’d love to hear from you. It’s always good to hear from relatives or from the people who were there at the time. The more valid info we can preserve and present for free, the better.

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See also Aircrashsites.co.uk on TV. ‘Inside Out’ screened on BBC1 – 25 January 2016 (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire) and 01 February 2016 (North West). Video used with kind permission of BBC.
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14 comments on “About
  1. Ang Wickham says:

    Brilliant. Great layout, great display of photos [on white] and that green banner is super eyecatching. Looking forward to a site I can read and spend time at. Good for you Ian, congrats. Ang.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Ang. I have a lot to work out still, things I need to change to make it easier to navigate around. Thanks for visiting.
      Ian

  2. Janet Harper says:

    Hi Ian,
    Just been looking round your site – it’s brilliant! Thank you for including the info on my grandmother.
    My feeling is that WW1 is not as ‘popular’ as WW11 – maybe because of the time lapse? (and lack of unedited media coverage at the time!) I fear this may also happen re WW11 eventually; your interest in the subject and the info you have posted gives a real feeling of the tragedy of the time and how the war affected all people. We shouldn’t forget this.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Janet, thanks for taking a look round. Your Grandmother’s album is a treasure. I agree re; WWI. The imagery, the film footage and colour photography and also perhaps that defeating Naziism was a noble cause, contribute to the popularity of WWII in our culture. Though it is odd that the war in the east is not half as well known either (writing that makes me want to watch It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum).

  3. Ian, what a stunning move! Your perfect research – down to “then and now” photographs – are always exemplary examples of respecting the past… In a historical perspective, in love and and death… Keep up the good work, Ian… while remembering who rescued who 70 years ago. LOL!

  4. Hi Ian,

    I’ve just come across your site and immediately bookmarked it. Initially I was looking at he piece on the JU88 site near Cranage, but having looked through I found you’ve listed the V1 site at Tottington, only a couple of miles from my house and yet I knew nothing about it.

    Fantastic site, keep up the good work and I’ll link to it on my web site if that’s OK.

    Cheers

    Craig

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Craig,

      Thanks for your comment, great to hear from you. This is a new blog so am just building my profile up a bit, but spent a good while looking at your excellent site a couple of weeks back. I visited the site of RAF Cranage after visiting the Ju88 site, was taking a few shots with the farmer’s permission, but for the first time in my life I actually got chased by a bull!

      I’ll upload some photos from there this month though to be honest there is nothing I’d be able to add to the history that rafcranage.org hasn’t covered many times over, so will add links to some of your pages rather than a lengthy write up. Particularly impressed by the old photos of the airfield you have presenetd with the overlaid maps showing the base as it was. Will add a link to your site here as well.

      Yes, the V1 attack is not well known in and around Manchester. Take a look at http://aircrashsites.co.uk/air-raids-bomb-sites/air-raids-on-bury-lancashire/ for more on air raids on Bury which includes details of bombs which fell near Tottington earlier in the war. If you haven’t already seen them, there are also (in Britain at War) other stories about Bury during the war.

      Thanks

      Ian

  5. melfyn hughes says:

    to any one who can help me in finding a relative of an american airman who was killled in an air crash near llangollen during the war. my late father found a gold ring on crash site and we would love to return it to its rightfuk=l owner

  6. Ian,
    Found your site after a hike was called off, I am now glad that hike was called off as a quick Google found you while I was close’ish to the Crash site of Superfortress β€œOver Exposed!” on Bleaklow πŸ™‚

    I had an amazing experience πŸ™‚

    Thanks for all the effort in constructing and maintaining this site.

    Can we have a Search and/or map to allow us to select our visits to sites ?
    TIA

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks Steven, glad you found the page helpful.

      “Can we have a Search and/or map to allow us to select our visits to sites?”

      I will one day add a map but on this site it is not easy to keep it up to date. And I used to have a search option on here, but it wasn’t much good at filtering out stuff, so searches just brought up everything with a tag or reference, which was no use at all. If you have any queries about crash sites in certain locations though, just give me a shout, will provide grid refs I have them.

  7. Kay Kemp says:

    Have you ever been around Combe nr Inkpen,Hungerford? My mum remembers a Junkers crashing on the Hill there. I’ve found out the pilots names but have never found any pictures of the actual crash site. My Grandad was in the home guard and had to put ammunition in sand apparently. My mum said as children they had the steering stick to play with.

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