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P-47D Thunderbolt 42-22758 crash site on Pendle Hill
On February 6th 1944, 5 American P-47 Thunderbolts were flying from East Wretham in Norfolk, to Warton near Preston. They had taken off in spite of a warning of bad weather over Lancashire.
Two pilots, Captain Charles Francis (Flight leader) and Flight Officer John Runnells were killed. Capt. Francis’ Thunderbolt had crashed on approach to Warton, while Flt Off Runnells crashed here on Pendle Hill. It would appear he had run out of fuel while circling in the hope of getting a break in the cloud and obtaining a visual fix.
At the site were some 50 caliber rounds with blue incendiary tips. Visible on one of these was a fragment of the machine gun belt (there were 4 guns in each wing). Paul also found the copper plated antenna mast.
Photo taken just after the crash. Note the tail section on the left.
The bullet holes in this fragment show the wreck would have been used for target practice, Pendle Hill being used as a training ground by the army during the war.