Crash site of USAAF P-51D 44-72340

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USAAF P-51D 44-72340

May 17th 1945, Captain Richard L Tannehill was killed when his P51 Mustang dived out of formation and into the ground at Cwm Y Dolau, which is off the A494 to Dolgellau in Wales.

The ridge on the right and in sunshine is Dduallt, and the one on the left is Rhobbell Fawr. The area his aircraft came down is marked by the red circle; we failed to find any wreckage and needed to press on.

The aircraft was part of a formation training flight from Debden in Essex. It has been suggested Captain’s Tannehill’s oxygen supply failed and he passed out at the controls.

Below is an attempt at phonetically pronouncing some of these place names. I’m probably miles out.
Cwm Y Dolau = koom uh dol-eye
Rhobbell Fawr = Hrobbeth Vower
Dolgellau = Dol-gethli
Dduallt = thee-athlt

16 comments on “Crash site of USAAF P-51D 44-72340
  1. Ian D B says:

    Two weeks after this crash, two more Mustangs of the 4th Fighter Group based at Debden crashed while flying to Liverpool with the loss of both men, one at Glossop, the other on the moors above Oldham. One pilot had a lucky escape though – flying in formation and concentrating on his leader’s starboard (right) wing, a wingtip clipped the ground, but he managed to pull up just as his leader’s plane disintegrated as it hit the ground near Oldham.

    Mustang crash site on Castleshaw Moor, near Oldham.

    And that of the one which crashed near Glossop.

    Photo of a P51 Mustang… and possibly the earliest recorded Elvis impersonator?

  2. pasujoba says:

    When you say it like that Ian, Welsh is just badly spelt Yorkshire .:-)
    An interesting twist on the info , works well especially as we found nowt.

    By the way ….it was well worth waiting for the light , the sun dappled forest looks great.

  3. Lo Scorpione says:

    Those Welsh place names….

    Great landscape shot, apart from the once again sad story attached to it. Love the black and white shot as well, an "Elvis impersonator"? 😀

    Seen on my Flickr home page. (?)

  4. {thanks, farewell} says:

    Oh, Ian, this is such a lovely composition, and the exposure is amazing. The vistas you and Paul capture are fairy tale like, very LOTR (New Zealand[y]). Lovely!!!

  5. Tech Owl says:

    Yes such an amazing landscape – interesting to hear about the follow up incident too. Aerobatics at the limit!!

  6. het broertje van.. says:

    Wow…………………….Outstanding picture Ian!!!

  7. andyholmfirth says:

    Nice quiet hills these Ian.I think the Welsh is even harder than gaelic and that’s saying something.

  8. sidewinder54 (Closed For Business) says:

    Always struggle with welsh pronunciation..

    Interesting work as always Ian, wonderful landscape shot to accompany this story.

    Have a great week!

  9. mick cooke says:

    nice photos oh the welsh hills and great story

  10. Neal. says:

    If I remember my aviation history they put rolls royce engines in these and they never looked back.

  11. Keartona says:

    Going in search of these sites gets you into some terrific landscapes.
    I never realised just how many crash sites there are!

  12. Ian D B says:


    Let me know what area you are heading out to, or if there are any sites in particular you’d like to visit, and I will get the grid refs to you.

  13. redrocker_9 says:

    I am picturing the walls in your house covered with maps and red pins ^.^

  14. Ian D B says:

    Mrs D B would say you are not far off the mark at all!

  15. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    Great landscape shots and I’m slowly getting to grips with my welsh course, please keep up the good work!

  16. seansonofbig says:

    Found the wreckage….Eeh those woods are thick!…

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