USAF B-29 Superfortress 44-61999 “Over Exposed”, air crash site on Bleaklow

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Re; selling bits of wreckage on e-bay, see in comments thread

Visit with Pasujoba Paul and Richard Tierney.

There were a number of other people visiting the site, a large number of kids among them. They shouted, played their ipods and clambered over the wreckage. But upon seeing all this stuff they might be encouraged to wonder what happened here, possibly even develop an interest in the historical. That’s got to be a good thing.

Over Exposed was an RB29 Superfortress. It was a photo reconnaissance aircraft – hence the name – and had photographed some of the nuclear bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean and had taken part in the Berlin airlift.

CREW & FLIGHT DETAILS
Captain Landon P. Tanner took off on the morning of 3rd November 1948, at around 1015. It was a routine flight from Scampton in Lincs to the US airbase at Burtonwood, carrying USAF wages among other things. The crew were due to return to the States in a few days.

His crew for the trip;

co-pilot, Captain Harry Stroud;
engineer, Technical Sergeant Ralph Fields;
navigator, Sergeant Charles Wilbanks;
radio operator, Staff Sergeant Gene A. Gartner;
radar operator, David D. Moore;
camera crew, Technical Segeant Saul R. Banks, Sergeant Donald R. Abrogast, Sergeant Robert I. Doyle and Private First Class William M. Burrows.
Two other crew members were Corporal M. Franssen and Corporal George Ingram.
Acting as photographic advisor was Captain Howard Keel of the 4201st.

All 13 men were killed instantly when the Superfortress flew into the moor. It is not known why Captain Tanner did not fly at a height sufficient to clear the high ground.

43 comments on “USAF B-29 Superfortress 44-61999 “Over Exposed”, air crash site on Bleaklow
  1. pasujoba says:

    Great take on the crash site with the youngsters examining one of the engines and with Richards great composite I am left with a problem 🙂 …..how am I gonna do it justice now !

  2. Keartona says:

    A bit of a busy day up there then!

  3. Ian D B says:

    It was a busy day, perfect weather for tramping the moors. Was thinking of your photo at Doctor’s Gate as we came down Ashton Clough then walked back up to the top of the Snake Pass.

    Doctors gate

  4. pasujoba says:

    You mentioned it Ian , I recall it now I see it again . Thats where we were:-)

  5. Mark McKie says:

    Good shot mate and thanks for the info.

  6. rob of rochdale says:

    what a cracking photo Ian. To see so much wreckage is unbelievable!

  7. **Hazel** says:

    Wow, one amazing photo Ian with so many visiting the site!! Thanks for the info, so sad so many died!! I hope you are OK Ian and have a good week!!!:)

  8. redrocker_9 says:

    That’s a large amount of wreckage still about there.

  9. Richard Tierney says:

    I have thought a lot about our day up there Ian along with Paul we all seemed to hold the same opinion and values… "they" in fact all the poor souls aboard all those many aircraft that came to grief on the UK’s high ground deserve to be remembered. Especially by youngsters… to see that large group of kids walking around through and on the wreckage was both pleasing ( they were interested ) and sad ( they are semi desecrating a grave site ) I know the three of us all felt that peculiar feeling of intrusion and something akin to walking around a church..Well I did. I am so pleased I have seen this site and intend to return. The weather that day was near perfect. A far cry from that fateful cloudy/misty day back in 48….

    Your pics of the lads looking at the engine is great… I hope they, like me, stood in awe at the scene of devastation and remember ….

    Thanks for the link and for me including my little bit :-)))

  10. mick cooke says:

    great photo Ian hope the young ones who where up there do think how, why, this happened

  11. het broertje van.. says:

    …………….colors and composition are so beautiful again man!!!

    Janwillem

  12. SolarScot. says:

    all three of you have contributed superbly to bringing this story to our attention and to life,well done lads

  13. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    If the party of kids had been part of an organised group I certainly hope their leader had the knowledge and took the time to explain exactly what they were looking at and to take a moment to reflect. In fact Ian, I think you could have done that side of things for them and gave them a real experts view on the details of the crash site and of the wreckage that is left.

  14. Nate Parker Photography says:

    great work Ian-

  15. andyholmfirth says:

    Must visit this site as it’s not to far from home.So much wreckage ! I remember your errie night time shots from here Ian.

  16. Billy Currie says:

    fair amount of wreckage around

  17. Ian D B says:

    Many thanks everyone, very much appreciated.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/7949465@N06]

    We are still on for a bivi this summer? Perhaps not here (!) but am happy to do a guided tour to this or any of these sites if you like. Or I could just provide some grid refs. There are a number of crash sites on Bleaklow, top of my head I can think of 8 on this hill alone.

  18. Tech Owl says:

    Great work as usual Ian – interesting that the kids were there. They usually have those questions which might trigger something in the future.
    I like the close up and also Richard’s shot too – thanks

  19. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Wow – there`s an incredible amount of wreckage here Ian, excellent background info as usual. With luck the youngsters visiting the site might find the whole experience thought provoking if nothing else ?

  20. Neal. says:

    A big bird and great loss of life too, I wonder how many wrecks there are in total on these isles.

  21. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    There is a half page article/picture in todays MEN re the above site and items being sold on Ebay – some people will do anything for money 🙁

  22. rob of rochdale says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/davel59] Gosh, that’s so sad. Is nothing sacrosanct? 🙁

  23. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/longsidepies] Sadly not Rob if the article is correct. Whatever happened to morals ?

  24. Ian D B says:

    Here’s the link. Thanks for the heads-up Dave.

    menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1413407_fury_…

    I expect e-bay will remove the items from sale. But they must be thick to tell the world they have bits for sale, it is illegal to remove them. But these ****s really piss me off. Sometimes you see items for sale in august publications like Flypast, though I think they have cottoned on now, it’s been a while since I saw anything in the small ads.

  25. Neal. says:

    There must be that amount, if i think of the ones near here that i know of including the one my Mum witnessed as a wee lass of a spitfire crashing into a field, it must add up to about 20 so times that by the size of britain and the number of years we’ve been flying it must add up.

  26. Neal. says:

    they stole bits of the lockerbie crash so folks will steal anything sad but true.

  27. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/31878512@N06]
    I recall that, I thought at the time, what ghouls people must be to do that. The memory of that has stayed with me, one reason I always go on about people taking this stuff.

  28. pasujoba says:

    A great article which echoes my feelings . The ‘people’ who take items and sell em are SCUM, not enthusiasts , just SCUM.
    It makes my blood boil.
    Ebay doesnt give a shit , I reported one lot to them they told me to go to the police and fleabay let the auction go ahead . Problem with going to the police is that they will contact the RAF and the RAF will just shrug , the police will then say there is nothing they can do and the SCUM get away with it .

  29. Ian D B says:

    Is that right? I thought if you report a crime to the old bill, they have to investigate, can’t not do. Might not be the same day, or week… but at some point they have to respond?

    Edit. But on reflection, then what? Is it a good use of public money to investigate it and push through a prosecution?

  30. rob of rochdale says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasujoba44] Unfortunately, ebay will only see it as "business". Kingsdude/Dave had it spot on… "whatever happened to morals"? Would be great if no-one bought the stuff but, like Tiger/Rhino/Elephant etc parts, if there’s a buyer, there’s a seller 🙁

  31. Richard Tierney says:

    Paul and yourslef along with other decent folk appreciate the significant damage done by removing articles from sites.. apart, as you say Ian, it is illegal, these "SCUM" are only interested in making money as are EBAY and their like. What would happen if folk decided lets dig up some poor sod, he might have something valuable I could sell or squirrel away for only me me look at? One could open a right can or worms re the good and bad points of archeology. To disturb and rob a crash site is both illegal and immoral in my mind. It is or could be a recognised war grave. I appreciate that the armed forces RAF and USAF have official and permitted groups that recover aircrew from crash sites and give them a proper funeral.. they don’t along the way, gather a few bits and sell them on Ebay do they? After talking to you and Paul at the crash site and the other 2 we saw that afternoon, I firmly believe it is respectful to simply look, photograph and then LEAVE the parts in situ. The group of kids we saw walking around the site of Over Exposed, appeared respectful and interested.. what about future groups attending this and other sites, when the scavengers have picked it clean.. what will they be able to see and feel learning the history that is no longer there to see?

    Your last comment about using public money to push through prosecutions.. if we don’t, if we turn a blind eye, then the Police will simply turn their backs on all "trivial and not really serious crime" on the slippery slope for sure there. Wonder what the lads who died in these crashes would think, to know, that would be the way society went, after they defended decent folk in society from the bad ones, only for the bad ones to win and get away with it…. sad.

  32. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/7749921@N04]

    Thanks for your comment Richard. Looking at other people who visit and photograph these places the attitude that you take only photos is the prevalent view, thankfully.

    As I just put in an e-mail to you, is this any way to treat our heroes? By the way, I would say it is a good use of public resources to tackle these tossers in order to preserve these remains, but I don’t know if most others would agree, especially when Police are losing their jobs.

    Thanks everyone for your comments about the sale of artifacts stolen from wreck sites.

  33. pasujoba says:

    My reaction was probaly a bit OTT , Ive calmed down now 🙂 I was fuming !
    I think that you have all made some very considered accurate and correct comments .
    Unfortunately i suspect that those of us who see the benefits of leaving it at the crash site are far outwieghed by the numbers of folk who would like to take it to thier garages and sheds.
    We are among the last generation who will be able to see these sites . I suppose that with the remains vanishing it is all the more important to keep recording these sites .
    Obviously the many books have them covered too but on the internet and flickr, folk who are not aircraft geeks can also see and hopefully appreciate the sites.

  34. jr55 (John Richardson) says:

    Nice work again, with some important points made, well done.

  35. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/32431958@N07]
    OTT? No. Passionate. It makes my blood boil too, but I am pleased at the position taken by the Manchester Evening News.

    Yeah, good point too, ours is the last generation to see most of these remains.

  36. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Some excellent points of view in the above thread and given the subject matter all the more reason to start that book Ian ??

  37. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/7378796@N08]

    Resistance is futile!

    One of these days I will have to scratch that particular itch.

  38. Through Collette's eyes says:

    Great shot Ian – reading the thread it does amaze me about the ebay comments you just wouldn’t think it would be allowed!

  39. Deputy Don says:

    Have to agree heartily with all the comments about the greed, insensitivity, and sheer ghoulishness of people who plunder these sites for their own gratification or for money! (These people are no different from the heartless guys around here who nicked our phone lines to sell the copper, and last week nicked the copper off the church roof.) I guess making the crash sites secure would be out of the question, too expensive for one thing. Maybe what’s needed is an organisation that can bring private prosecutions against people who traffic in them, like the RSPB does for people who rob the eggs from birds’ nests.

  40. pasujoba says:

    It would be a lot easier if ebay grew a pair and just banned all sale of crashed aircraft artifacts. Its not like the sellers are hiding the fact , its the main selling point the fact that it comes from a named crashed aircraft . With the Government legal position on the matter and the self admission of the sellers to what they are selling I cannot see why the police need to be involved for ebay to act . It clearly is illegal and they just sit there and let it happen . If its harder to sell then the reason for taking it lessens.

  41. kristi collins says:

    I’m disturbed by the fact some artifacts from this crash sight are being sold, my grandfather George Ingram was one of the 13 airmen killed in the crash. My father was just barely 2yrs old when he died. One day we hope to be able to visit this sacred sight and pay our respects to our deceased loved one. I’ve enjoyed this web sight very much and am thankful to those in the town that honor the loss of life from that day. Thank you for remembering them.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Kristi, thank you for visiting and for your comments. You are very welcome, am pleased you like these pages and that you can learn something of Corporal Ingram from them. Your dad actually commented on this photo a couple of years ago so it is especially good to hear from you too.

      The remains of ‘Over Exposed’ make it a particularly moving place. It is probably the best remembered air crash site in the country and I hope you and your family can make a visit one day.

      It is sad that there are people who sell these remains. We have challenged individuals about it and have complained to e-bay but it continues. At any given time you will find people selling this stuff.

      Ian

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