Blenheim L9039

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Blenheim L9039

8 April 1940. All 4 crew on board Blenheim L9039 were killed when their light bomber crashed into crags to the south-east of Carnedd Llewellyn.

Regarding the crash, Chorley says;

“T/o Bicester for a formation cross country; base – Ronaldsway – Hartland Point – base. Left the formation, in cloud, banking gently and crashed circa 1120 on Carnedd Llewellyn some 6 miles SSE of Bethesda, Caernarvon. All rest in cemeteries within the United Kingdom. It is thought Sgt Hall may have been dazzled by the sun as he emerged from the overcast.”

W R Chorley, 2002,
Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses, Volume 7, Operational Training Units 1940-1947

Sgt Alfred Ernest Hall (pilot)
Sgt Fred Graham (observer)
Sgt Anthony Charles Catton* (observer)
LAC Geoffrey Halstead James (wireless operator / air gunner).

*not listed in Chorley

Grid refs from Peakwreckhunters;

SH 69624 63897
SH 69244 64090
SH 69247 64078
SH 69293 64101

The Blenheim crashed high on the mountain, but the debris fell down the mountainside. The lead photo was taken on the edge of the marshes at the foot of the crags. The photos below, which show a bit of the undercarriage and reduction gear, were taken much higher up.



Below; A Bristol Blenheim Mk IV (the same as L9039) on sisaphus’s stream, photographed in 1996.
Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV

33 comments on “Blenheim L9039
  1. gastephen says:

    nicely shot through the foreground!

  2. nondesigner59 says:

    A bit bleak there.. Great info.

  3. Mark McKie says:

    I always enjoy reading about the history behind your shots.

  4. Gizzardtreedude says:

    Nicely done and very interesting

  5. Tech Owl says:

    Quite a catalogue Ian – I like the way you positioned the top shot as well.

  6. crusader752 says:

    Another interesting exploit backed by your usual data banks Ian. Amazing to think thats almost a life-time ago now. Blenheims and Wellingtons were really the mainstay of the RAF in those early days of the war as our equipment base had been eroded so much during the previous decade, hence we were somewhat behind the curve before the main thrust of re-equipping with Lancasters and Mosquitos etc really got into full swing.
    Mmm I feel a deja vu moment approaching…..:-(

  7. cgullz says:

    having the hooded figure in the shot adds a good dose of poignancy to the image, like he’s taking a moment to remember / farewell / bless / appreciate the wreckage. nice touch.

  8. **Hazel** says:

    Another sad story Ian, so many people who lost their lives on our rugged landscape!!!

  9. mick cooke says:

    great story ian and photos

  10. het broertje van.. says:

    Nice, love your info Ian!!!


  11. bandman12 says:

    a very complete job researching and of relating these moments in history. the shot looking down the mountain shows what must have been the challenges of flying in terrain in bad or overcast weather

  12. Mustang Koji says:

    It is always painful to understand these boys and men perished so young… While I also see it as a young man driving too fast in his first car then crashing, hundreds of thousands more plummeted to their deaths in the ensuing years.

    May they rest in peace. I thank them for what I have today.

  13. Highy says:

    Cracking job as always Ian, they’re restoring one of these at Duxford:

    Rest In Peace indeed.

  14. Ian D B says:

    Thanks everyone.
    Yeah those early bombers were underpowered, underarmed and under protected. Even Lancs were different to B17s in their lack of armour plating and high calibre guns, as you know. But then Lancs generally didn’t raid during the day. But yes, the losses of crews in Wellingtons, Hampdens, Blenheims etc were horrendous. A look at Germany’s production of bombers is a lesson in how not to do it, never developed any operational heavy bombers, kept plugging away at the next miracle weapon which would win the war, never refining any one design. I hope your prediction is wrong!

    That’s what I was going for Ang, a mournful figure stooped over the wreckage.

    Me too Koji, me too.

    Thanks for the link Al. I caught a glimpse of it last time I was there, hope to take a closer look next month.

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

    More emotional with the guy looking down Ian.


  16. Ray~Watson says:

    A thought provoking shot Ian, with great info.

  17. andyholmfirth says:

    Evocative scene looking through the soft rush like that.

  18. SolarScot. says:

    such a sad thought they were above the clouds free as a bird to crash in bleak remote lands far from home,brave men cut short

  19. pasujoba says:

    Missed this Ian ……thanks for the link to the video . Great work by the way …i always forget to look in the Chorley books !
    Am not very happy with my shots of this site so intend a return this year and will take the option of climbing up to the impact point too whilst there !
    That Blenhiem shot is a great find too!

  20. bill_fawcett says:

    Lovely composition Ian and another well written and researched piece of aviation history. Great work!
    Brave lad standing that close to the edge in Paul’s video!

  21. Mike J Chapman says:

    A great shot, and a sad but very interesting story

  22. f3liney says:

    Very poignant.

  23. sixty8panther says:

    Another great & fascinating shot. A+

  24. symbianos07 says:

    Hi Ian great photos M8 🙂 looks like some green paint still visible on this one also.nice meeting you at the Sykes moor Blenheim early Sunday 27th may …. Jason

  25. Ian D B says:

    Hi Jason, good to meet you too! Will upload a photo from Sykes Moor in a day or so.

  26. Air Frame Photography says:

    We flew past Bicester on Saturday…

  27. Graham says:

    I like this through-the-reeds point of view

    • Ian D B says:

      Cheers Graham. I am slowly re-inserting all the missing secondary images which I lost when i cleared everything out of Fluckr. How are you getting on?

  28. sam says:

    Hi there!
    I know this is rather a long shot but wondered if anyone is able to give me directions and co-ordinates as to where I can discover the crash site. One of the airmen who perished was my great uncle (Sgt.Anthony Catton). He was only 21 and it was such a tragedy in my family no-one could bear speak of it. I only found out las year what happened and I have been on a voyage of discovery ever since. I am going to stay near Tryfan next month so it would be extremely helpful to have directions, some idea of how long/how far etc.
    Many thanks

    • Penny Burr says:

      Sam, just seen your message.
      I may be able to help you with your voyage of discovery.
      I am related to Tony on my paternal grandfather’s side.
      Tony was an amazing poet and greatly missed by his parents being their only child.
      I had contact as a child with his mum Winnie (who loved cats) and often spoke of Tony, before her passing in the 1980s.

  29. Penny Burr says:

    So sad,
    RIP Great Uncle Tony.
    Always remembered by your family.
    Much love Penny.
    Sam, just seen your message.
    I may be able to help you with your voyage of discovery.
    Tony was an amazing poet and greatly missed by his parents.
    I had contact with his mum Winnie before her passing in the 1980s.

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