Hurricane PG472 near Bolton, Lancs.

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Hurricane PG472 near Bolton

Second visit to this crash site.

February 2nd, 1945. Two 21 year old Hurricane pilots with orders to undertake flying exercises within the vicinity of their base at RAF Calverley in Cheshire, immediately flew North in formation. 20 minutes later, Flight Sergeant Thomas Stanley Taylor and Warrant Officer Norman Thomas Huckle crashed into each other at about 6,000 feet in cloud and dived to the ground north of Bolton in Lancashire. Both men were killed. Warrant Officer Huckle’s Hurricane came down close by, at Horrocks Fold Farm, while Flt. Sgt Thomas Stanley Taylor ‘s Hurricane crashed here on the moor.

A factory worker later responded to a newspaper appeal for information, and said that a colleague of hers had been engaged to one of the pilots, and they were going to give the factory girls an unauthorised air display, but alas the aircraft never arrived.

Grid reference SD 68832 14134

Relatives of Flight Sergeant Taylor please see comment and photo by Norman Hodgson near the foot of this page.

28 comments on “Hurricane PG472 near Bolton, Lancs.
  1. Neal. says:

    What a way to go, to think all that you leave behind is a pile of twisted metal.

  2. P.A.B. says:

    But, here we are a bunch of strangers with no connection to them, aware of their existence and remembering them because of it. So not just a pile of metal. Not much of an upside either, granted, but still..
    Sad story though.

  3. pasujoba says:

    Great shot Ian , and great background info too .
    Its easy to tell from the picture how close to civilisation this site is , I reckon not many folk who live down there will know this site exsists.
    Its good that we remember .
    The hurricane is smashing too , is it one of yours ?

  4. andyholmfirth says:

    Only 21 ?!

  5. ​favourite waste of time​ says:

    As you post these I keep wondering what it would be like to have had a father die in one of these spots and to go back and see this small pile of rusted metal that is all that is left of his plane. And to be able to look out over the country and feel that breeze and hear the silence broken only by an occasional bird. Thought provoking.

  6. {thanks, farewell} says:

    very arty, Ian…for a crash site. 🙂

  7. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    I agree with P.A.B., more than 60 years later and these young men are still being remembered and there stories told to new generations. Nive Hurricane pic by the way!

  8. C J Paul (chris) says:

    amazing ian good work again. like the picture of the hurricane its good to see what one looks like. thanks for all your hard work mate…..

  9. mick cooke says:

    great story ian and a great photo to go with it

  10. Tech Owl says:

    Amazing how much info there is still – nice before and after shot Ian

  11. redrocker_9 says:

    I see the sun is shining very nicely on this and always love the detailed information you provide.

  12. Reflective Kiwi %-) says:

    Oh dear.. what a sad story. Gosh I really love your shots, you always seem to capture such beautiful lighting… and the commentary is so interesting too! %-)

  13. Richard Tierney says:

    I live in Bolton and my mother 89 still remembers this being reported in the then Bolton Evening News, not long afterwards a Spitfire being flown by a local lad carrying out aerobatics over his girlfriends house crashed into houses in Bolton killing he pilot… young men showing off.. sad waste…There are quite a few crash sites to the North of Bolton military and civilian.

    Great set of photos and info Ian..

  14. Ian D B says:

    Thanks Richard. Yeah, lot of sites on the moors over Bolton and Darwen and Bury. Some fascinating accounts attached to them. Winter Hill has had its share of crashes.

  15. cgullz says:

    they wouldn’t have seen it coming, or at least not until the very last. tragic that they were both in the same spot, especially in cloud – such a big sky and they still found each other. great light and perspective for the shot Ian.

    [] "young men showing off.. sad waste" .. yes!

  16. I believe that I have the cockpit jemmy from the crash of Hurricane
    PG 472 which was retrieved from the crash site by my father who was
    one of the police officers who attended at that time.
    The pilot of the other Hurricane I was told was killed when his aircraft caught fire, but the pilot of PG 472 died when his fighter hit the ground nose first. The item I have was, as I understand it found in the cockpit, and I would like to gift this to his relatives
    if, A. I can find out who they are, and B.If they would want it.

  17. Ian D B says:

    Photo as described above.

  18. Ian R. Makinson says:

    I note with great interest Richard Tierney’s comment in 2010 about his mother’s memories of the incident, & in particular the reference to a Spitfire’s having crashed locally not long afterwards. My dad, Ronald Makinson, of Barrow Bridge, who died in 2000, used to tell me of his friend Tommy Blackburn’s Spitfire having crashed after flying over the village in the circumstances described above. He seemed to be under the impression that it had come down into one of the reservoirs.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Ian. After seeing Richard’s comment, I did some research and determined it was actually a P40 not a Spitfire (easy mistake to make) and it crashed at Mornington Rd. Please see this link – photos of Sgt Blackburn’s grave and the crash site.
      Ian D B

      • Ian R. Makinson says:

        Thanks, Ian, very much indeed, for taking the trouble to clarify the circumstances of Tommy’s misfortune. The photos really bring it home, especially the grave ; another potential link to my own family history. It is, of course, somewhat disappointing to lose the Spitfire connection – Dad made me a beautiful blue wooden replica of one of the early Reconnaissance examples ; given away by my parents when we moved to Fleetwood ! Alas !

        • Ian D B says:

          I am pleased to be able to help clarify the story but it is always sad when the research reveals our memory is not quite what we thought. I have had people mention cherished memories of the blitz, for example, and events happening on certain days when the evidence shows that those things could not possibly have happened on that date. It is difficult to know what to do in those circumstances – leave the memory or advise of the reality?

          It happens to all of us. Until very recently I was convinced I was in Berlin just two days after the Berlin Wall was breached. For 25 years I have been telling people “I was there” but only when I found my old passport and saw the visa stamp that I realised it was actually 2 weeks later that I was there!

          Unfortunate that your unique model Spitfire was given away. Not the best of photos, but this is a shot of the blue Spit taken at Derwent last year.


          • Ian R. Maknson says:

            Just realised I hadn’t got back to thank you for this latest photo, so thank-you very much ; it’s a beaut., in spite of its being a more distant shot !

          • Ian D B says:

            Hi Ian, no problem!

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