B-17 Flying Fortress 41-9098, Berwyn, Llangollen.

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B-17 Flying Fortress 41-9098, Berwyn, Llangollen.

B-17 41-9098 has the unfortunate distinction of being the first American bomber to crash in the UK’s hills. On August 11th 1942 the crew were preparing for the USAAF’s first raid 6 days hence, which was on railway marshalling yards at Rouen. Probably lost in the low cloud, the bomber was flying too low for the region and crashed on Cadair Berwyn near Llangollen. All on board were killed.

Crew and passengers

2nd Lt. H. Gilbert (pilot)
2nd Lt. R. Beers (co-pilot)
2nd Lt. L. Schmitt (navigator)
2nd Lt. L Phillips (bombardier)
S/Sgt. R. Kemp (radio operator)
M/Sgt S. Lepa (gunner)
Sgt. K. Branom (gunner)
Sgt. V Sidders (gunner)
Cpl. M Keopke (crew chief)
Cpl. S Aldridge (aerial engineer)
Pvt. F Villareal (assistant crew chief)

The image above isn’t quite the crash site which we had difficulty finding (there’s no visible wreckage on the ground). It’s to the right of this spot.

23 comments on “B-17 Flying Fortress 41-9098, Berwyn, Llangollen.
  1. rob of rochdale says:

    A cracking shot Ian. Love the shallow dof, which really emphasises the cross.

  2. Air Frame Photography says:

    A great shot Ian….

  3. Reflective Kiwi %-) says:

    Oh dear…how sad! Fantastic shots as always though!!! %-)

  4. SolarScot. says:

    may sound silly Ian but in model making at High School i remember Ian Gladstone making a Flying Fortress model and boy was it something to behold even as a model! Villareal was one of the guys? thats a football team in Spain,interesting name. good work lads,you are the Holmes and Watson of crash sites,i leave it to you to decide which is which !

  5. Ian D B says:


    Lol, very good.

  6. het broertje van.. says:

    Impressive view and picture Ian!!


  7. pasujoba says:

    Mmph….. Rathbone and Bruce ….bloody obvious who is who here ……why oh why can I not be more like Jude Law 🙂

  8. Hotpix [LRPS] Hanx for 1.5M Views says:

    Your pix transport me to a new place mate!
    A very cool one!

    Seen in my contacts photostream……..

    Hotpix http://www.hotpix.org.uk

    06/12 – On The Shelf

    Walk a year in my shoes, see a wider view, join me up my street or share my iPod.

  9. The_Photo_Boy says:

    awesome shot!

  10. Mark McKie says:

    Great shot again mate.

  11. C J Paul (chris) says:

    nice work holmes. great dof and a brilliant shot at duxford to ian.
    well done mate.

  12. mickb6265 says:

    love the pov,ian..grab this months flypast mag,mate..a stirling has turned up in the isslemeer..just ten feet underwater..huge collection of parts to be recovered..all the cockpit is there,in huge chunks ect..plus,sadly,parachutes,crew wallets ect..they remained..plans being made to recover everything..

  13. Ian D B says:

    Thanks guys. Yeah, cracking issue of Flypast magazine this month Mick, loads of interest. The discovery of Stirling BK710 in the Netherlands is a great story.

  14. redrocker_9 says:

    Another lovely shot and well told story as always

  15. Visentin "el Templat" says:

    A very interesting image, congratulation.
    I attach a not less interesting link:

  16. cgullz says:

    just darned wonderful.

  17. PeaceLoveScoobie says:

    Great work Ian! 70 years ago today. I don’t know if any of the men had families but we may be the only ones to mark the occasion.

  18. Ian D B says:

    Hi Keith, just logged on and saw your comment. Good that you remember. 70 years, aye.

  19. Don says:

    Ian – Is this the photo of the Barbara Jane B-17? My father was the original pilot and named the plane along with his co-pilot.


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