Douglas Boston Z2186

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Douglas Boston Z2186, Snowdonia

17th October 1942.

Flying out of of RAF Bradwell Bay in Essex on a cross country training flight, Boston Z2186 crashed near the summit of Carnedd Dafydd in Snowdonia, Wales with the loss of two of the three crew members on board.

All that is left now are odd scraps, the largest piece being this bit of armour plating.

Sgt. Mervyn Sims RCAF DFC Pilot (injured)
F/Lt. Harold Longworth RCAF Navigator (killed)
Sgt. Ronald Walker Air Gunner (killed)

Canadian Sgt Sims lay close to the aircraft under an improvised shelter of wreckage for two days before being discovered. He had a broken leg, fractured skull, broken spine and multiple other injuries.
Despite all this he eventually made a full recovery and returned to his squadron where he went on to serve with distinction, completing a full tour, shooting down German aircraft and was awarded the DFC.

27 comments on “Douglas Boston Z2186
  1. pasujoba says:

    Lovely shot Ian . Its ashame so little remains at this site especially as there was a whole wing there only a few years ago.
    A lancaster ! , ewan McGregor …how has he wangled that ?

  2. amyrey says:

    Not surprised he got a DFC….. what a man! It amazes me the stuff these guys went through and then went back into combat.

    [] I’d be happy watching Ewan McGregor doing just about anything!!

  3. crusader752 says:

    Marvellous image Ian and great info too. Tragic about his comrades but what a man?
    If ‘counselling’ was available then he would have most likely have turned it down……and just got on with it!

  4. Ian D B says:

    Yeah, thanks for the reminder.

    Coz he is a spawny get.

    Like I said, he’s a spawny get.

    Thanks to Paul for digging up that gem.

  5. hornbost says:

    Brillant, i really like it! Its a fantastic work
    of a special Photographer!


  6. mick cooke says:

    brilliant ian great photo and info

  7. andyholmfirth says:

    Another stunning location Ian.

  8. Mustang Koji says:

    Ian, wonderful research once again… You made the trek, too, eh? What a man…but then again, those "laddies" as you say were real men albeit boys… I salute them!

  9. Neal. says:

    Tough man, glad he made it through.

  10. cgullz says:

    [] i’m with you on Ewan, Amy 😉 [great pun!]

    hadn’t even heard of a ‘Boston’ before. must have been one of them ones that pilots didn’t like for want of power, or decent engines!

    regarding the site: a beautiful image. really love the blue sky beyond, seems to add a sense of poignancy to me, as bluesky days are mint for flying, and these poor souls didn’t get the chance. that Sgt. Sims lasted two days, injured, at altitude [and colder even if Oct] is amazing. that he goes to to fight some more, even more amazing. gosh, they were made of stern stuff back then. great story Ian.

  11. Stezzer says:

    I’m amazed that you’ve found so may bits of these aircraft dotted around the country even to this day. What a good ending given the circumstances o_O

  12. rob of rochdale says:

    2 days up there and I would be a blithering wreck. Then for the chap to rejoin his squadron on active service… I really tip my hat to him!

  13. RodtheRhodie says:

    A nice story, shows what courage and vigour the older generation had. Puts modern youth to shame really

  14. Mark McKie says:

    Nice one mate. I’m sky+ Bomber boys.

  15. Ray~Watson says:

    Genius… brilliant work Ian, and great story too!

  16. Tech Owl says:

    More great work Ian – and another fitting shot

  17. Highy says:

    Great stuff again Ian.
    Sgt Sims was a tough bloke alright, McGregor on the other hand must be one of the jammiest blokes on the planet. Some good footage on that programme last night.

  18. C J Paul (chris) says:

    nice work ian

  19. bandman12 says:

    Your quest of history can bring on some side thoughts… of all the places any of us humans could leave this earth, many would not be as beautiful as some of the ones you have photographed.

  20. bill_fawcett says:

    Another interesting piece of aviation history! Thanks to both you and Paul for doing this fantastic work!

  21. Gizzardtreedude says:

    Oh just fantastic, I do beleive that Bradwell Bay, being close to the coast, had to regularly burn fuel to disperse fog

  22. Mike J Chapman says:

    A nicely composed image in it’s own right, with lots of interesting detail. As always though, the research makes it more than just a picture.

  23. gray1720 says:

    I visited this site in 1994, when there was still a substantial wing section – pretty much from nacelle to tip – lying on the hillside. I gather it was removed that same year, and have heard both that it was scrapped and that it has recently surfaced from the collection it was in, exact location unclear though.

    Not sure where Ian found his Boston photo, but I ran across it last summer on the cover of a book on Orkney aviation – I gather it’s a still from a film, which must be well worth seeing. The aircraft is taxying past the unique control tower of the magnificently named RNAS Twatt, on Orkney. Yes, really, there was an airfield called Twatt.

    Bradwell Bay was fitted with FIDO gear for fog dispersal – I’ll let the interested look it up from that info.

  24. Nick Stone says:

    I believe the wing section of this now resides at CNAM in Norwich.

  25. Cliff Adams says:

    Currently writing Sim’s story from beginning of trip through his rescue and hospitalization (4 – 5 months) after which he went through 51 OTU at High Ercall and learned to fly Mosquitos. then back to 418 Squadron where he and his new navigator got 6 1/2 “kills” and DFC. Sims survived the war and died in Calgary Alberta Canada in 2007.
    I’m currently the “unofficial” and certainly unpaid historian for 418 Squadron Association here in Edmonton Alberta. If anyone has information about the crash, please let me know – thanks

  26. Adrian says:

    Hi Cliff, I assume you’ve already found this, but Z2186 is featured in Eddie Doylerush’s book “No Landing Place” – in fact, there’s a photo of one of the engines on the cover.

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