B-17 Flying Fortress 41-9051 ‘Flaming Mayme’

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B-17 Flying Fortress 41-9051 “Flaming Mayme” on Skiddaw

14 September 1943.

Less than one month after taking command of the newly re-designated 813th Bomb Squadron (formerly 325th BS) Captain William C Anderson, his crew and passengers were killed when their B17 crashed on the upper slopes of Skiddaw in the Lake District, close to the path which slants up from Carl Side to the summit.

The 813 BS was a ‘Pathfinder’ squadron, equipped with the H2X radar, which had been developed from the British H2S system, the world’s first airborne ground scanning radar.

They were undertaking a navigation exercise flying from RAF Alconbury in Cambridgeshire to RAF Turnhouse near Edinburgh when the aircraft crashed in low cloud. They may have been preparing to land, possibly the navigator – unused to the nature of flying in British weather – was unaware the aircraft was a long way off course.

CREW & PASSENGERS
Captain William C Anderson
First Lieutenant Robert J Sudbury
Captain Raymond R Oeftiger
Second Lieutenant Raymond E Diltz
Staff Sergeant Bryson R Hills
Staff Sergeant Robert L Jacobsen
Major Tom C Henderson
Major Henry B Williams
First Lieutenant Clarence H Ballagh
First Lieutenant Theodore R Doe

A B-17 Flying Fortress.

7

32 comments on “B-17 Flying Fortress 41-9051 ‘Flaming Mayme’
  1. salfordlad1 says:

    Fabulous knowledge, wonderful photography…

  2. pasujoba says:

    terrific work Ian . That lead shot really captures the enormity of that scree slope . The scant remains are lost amongst the scree . It really does display how hard finding these places can be .
    It felt even steeper than it looks on the shot !
    No research have I yet done on this crash so now i will try and find a different angle 🙂

  3. nondesigner59 says:

    Super crisp image in such an isolated spot.. Great info..

  4. bill_fawcett says:

    Again, some excellent research and a nice photo!

  5. crusader752 says:

    As [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasujoba44] Paul rightly says you have certainly conveyed the enormity of the landscape here Ian. Flying in cloud (even as a passenger) is always something that makes me think back to early days when dead-reckoning and basic nav was all these poor lads had. Makes you shudder to think how it all ended here but full marks as always for the effort involved in bringing them back to us.

  6. rob the tog says:

    Nice shot, with the amount of bases round north Cumbria in such close proximity to the mountains, I’m amazed there were not more crashes.
    Each time I drive past Skiddaw I look up and wonder where the crash was, I keep meaning to get up there but I don’t have as much time back home in West Cumbria (Whitehaven) as I would like.

  7. stopherjones says:

    Agree, the sheerness, both of the slope angle and the ground cover here are visually alarming. You can only imagine the horror at realising the situation, although I expect that was mercifully brief

  8. S Cansfield says:

    Very thought provoking, I agree with all of the comments above.

  9. gastephen says:

    nice diagonal composition

  10. Highy says:

    Nicely done mate, looks like you had a great day up there, love the contrast you caught between the slates and the valley. Reckon I’ve been pretty close to that without seeing it, for some reason I thought it was around the northern slopes.

  11. Richard Tierney says:

    Nice work as always… See your getting "known" quite well now Ian. seen in Explore long with few others of late.

    See you and Paul made the effort and got to the Derwent Valley last Thursday…loved to have been there but I was in transit to Warwickshire. Some great photographs of the Lanc.. ah well there is always 2018 to look forward to.. thats 2 flypast I have missed.. hope I last long enough to see the next one !

  12. **PhillR** says:

    Great shot Ian

  13. chrisw09 says:

    Thanks for posting.

  14. pasujoba says:

    See , I said you would get a crash site in Explore . If I shit a golden egg and took a selfie of me doing it I wouldnt get an explore ……am not bitter or owt 🙂

  15. mick cooke says:

    bet i walked past there a couple of yrs ago Ian and never noticed it , great work and a great photo

  16. janano2010 says:

    Fabulous shot and magnificent scenery too

  17. rob the tog says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/32431958@N07] lol, brilliant comment, although I’ve got a disturbing mental image now 😉

  18. jr55 (John Richardson) says:

    Nice work as usual Ian.

  19. Tech Owl says:

    Great combination shot Ian – almost like you are on top of the world. Great detail too as always

  20. And who am i says:

    Congratulations on Explore, really is an exceptional shot.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasujoba44] That image will haunt me for a long time.

  21. And who am i says:

    Congratulations on Explore, really is an exceptional shot.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasujoba44] That image will haunt me for a long time.

  22. amyrey says:

    its a long way down…..

    great research as always.

  23. Keartona says:

    Paul says above it felt steeper in reality….. well it looks steep enough to me.

  24. Misses Davies says:

    interesting piece Ian

  25. cgullz says:

    i really like the strong diagonal through the shot, made by a completely different ‘land’ than that beyond. looks a world apart, and it is in altitude and geology i guess. great light, beaut colour and a very nice memorial shot. great info, nicely done Ian, nice to see you out in the hills again.

  26. SolarScot. says:

    very poignant

  27. bazylek100 says:

    Very good photo, Ian, I like the diagonal composition too. The background shrouded in shadows add to the mood. It does look a really steep slope, by the way!
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasujoba44] Sorry to dash your hopes mate, but such image you’d have to mark as "moderate" at least, if not "restricted", so it would never get to Explore when only "safe" pictures are allowed 🙂 Oh, those damn Puritans with no sense of humour! Pity about that, as it would certainly be a fresh and unorthodox addition to your current Explore set :)) bighugelabs.com/scout.php?username=32431958@N07&combi…

  28. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasujoba44] LMGEAO [laughing my golden egg arse off].

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/bazylek] that is a bummer [pun intended] ..

  29. Reflective Kiwi %-) says:

    Fantastic shot Ian. Beautiful composition…
    and I love the cross and poppy… very poignant! %-)
    Sorry I havent been in touch in AGES and haven’t responded to your comments/email… I’ve had a bit of a stressfull time over the past few months… been meaning to write you and promise I will do soon. I’ve popped back online tonight for the first time and was initially a bit thrown out by this new Flickr layout… have been wroking my way through a few contacts and just saw you comment on Marty’s latest photo… both his and your comments made me feel sad.. I know I haven’t been around for a while… but I have missed my dear Flickr friends and was looking forward to reconnecting… I totally understand your frustration and the impact it has on your work and how disheartened your are. I hope whatever happens… you will stay in touch… I’ll be back later for a proper catchup! %-)

  30. Peter stockton says:

    Apparently the whole mountain was secured after the crash in order to prevent the radar falling into the wrong hands. May explain why so little of this aircraft is left, particularly given its isolated location.

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