USAAF P 47 Thunderbolts 42-7872 and 42-7898

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USAAF P 47 Thunderbolts 42-7872 and 42-7898

30 September 1943. Two American Thunderbolts piloted by Captain Malta L Stepp Jr and Staff Sergeant Lynn R Morrison, were on a training exercise from their base at Atcham near Shrewsbury when they crashed in low cloud on the western slope of Cat’s Tor near the Cat and Fiddle in the Peak District. Both men died instantly. It is not known why leader Capt. Stepp was flying so low given the high ground in the area.

They wouldn’t have known much about it. Capt Stepp would have been concentrating on reading the instrument panel, while S/Sgt Morrison would have been watching his leader’s port (left) wing and copying his every move.

The two impact craters in the photo above show the positions of the aircraft at that final moment. There are some scraps of debris at both sites.

Cat’s Tor showing the approach of the P47’s.


Details from
Peakland Air Crashes – The Central Area (2006) by Pat Cunningham.

Crash site visit with Seán of UK Air Crash Site Cooridnates UK Air Crash Site Cooridnates (formerly Peakwreckhunters), September 2018




13 comments on “USAAF P 47 Thunderbolts 42-7872 and 42-7898
  1. Keartona says:

    Now its people crashing their cars and not planes!
    Amazing that the place of impact is still visible.

  2. pasujoba says:

    The clouds look amazing Ian , and the usual great background info .

  3. mick cooke says:

    nice clouds and great story

  4. michele ciavarella says:

    This is a beautiful picture in a dramatic context.
    Great story!

  5. andyholmfirth says:

    Ouch !
    What’s the youngest military crash site you’ve either visited or know of Ian ? I was in the Cairngorms just a day or two after something very expensive had crashed into the back of Ben Macdui and there was a huge exclusion zone whilst they cleared things up.There’s absoloutely no sign of it ever happening on the ground.This was maybe 10 years ago.Do they clear these sites up now a days ? The pilot had bailed out and was picked up pretty quickly.

  6. Neal. says:

    Those were powerful planes, another tragedy.

  7. Tech Owl says:

    What a place to crash into!!
    Lovely scene Ian, great detail as always

  8. Lo Scorpione says:

    Another wonderful crash site presentation. Somehow the heavy clouds just make this image and its story come to life…

    Seen on your photo stream. (?)

  9. andyholmfirth says:

    Thanks for that Ian.And also Alan – I’d no idea it was such a bad incident but remember it being very busy with helicopters and orange smoke when I was up there.

  10. redrocker_9 says:

    Can’t believe that there are still craters that big after all this time.

  11. P.A.B. says:

    Another great capture with the historical fact to back it up.These photos of yours are great and important, I think if not for them and and others like them, both those impact craters could be mistaken for ‘sheep scrapes’ and those two pilots fates would be forgotten..

  12. RamizPhotography says:

    Nice mood in this photo. As someone said, it makes the story come alive. Good capture.

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