USAAF P-47C Thunderbolt 41-6227, Horsehill Tor, Edale, Derbyshire

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USAAF P-47C Thunderbolt 41-6227, Horsehill Tor, Edale

Pilot Second Lieutenant John E Coenen USAAF survived by baling out when he lost control of his Thunderbolt in a thunderstorm on 25 April 1943.

On a routine flight from Norfolk to Liverpool and back, 2nd Lt Coenen was on the return leg when he encountered vile weather. He tried turning back, but his P-47C was thrown about and went into a powered spiral dive. A disoriented 2nd Lt Coenen just managed to bale out, but his parachute caught on the tailplane. Luckily it broke free, though a ripped chute meant a quick and heavy landing for the airman.

Cunningham goes on to say that 2nd Lt Coenen returned to flying, and on his last mission of the war – supporting a bombing raid on Emden – he shot down two Focke Wulf 190s.

This remarkable photo shows P-47Cs of the 56th Fighter Group (same as 41-6227). Also it was taken in 1943, same year as the above crash.


Details from Peakland Air Crashes – The North, Pat Cuningham, 2006.

Site visit June 2020



11 comments on “USAAF P-47C Thunderbolt 41-6227, Horsehill Tor, Edale, Derbyshire
  1. sidewinder54 (Closed For Business) says:

    Such an interesting series Ian. Great shot of the crash site & that shot of the fighter group is just amazing.

  2. pasujoba says:

    Cannot make out the number of the fourth plane but its not the first three, found the Life magazine photos on a site earlier today , some very interesting shots indeed .
    Thankfully a crash with no casualty.

  3. ​favourite waste of time​ says:

    I like the ones where the plane didn’t make it but the pilot did. A pretty lucky guy too it sounds like… I think I flew over this area coming down to London from Scotland…

  4. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    P 47, now there was a workhorse. Compared to the sleek lines of the Mustang and the spitfire the P47 was the opposite, a large piece of metal work that was surprisingly agile in the air, a fair old "beast"!

  5. andyholmfirth says:

    So much history in that pile of metal.

  6. Tech Owl says:

    I can picture the scene from the description Ian – nice point of view for the shot too!

  7. jerseyimage says:

    Very lucky he made it. Interesting capture.

  8. het broertje van.. says:

    Wow……………love the landscape!!!!

  9. Lance says:

    I just have to say thank you for such an amazing and informative website. I have a young lad who is looking at WWII at school and has been lucky enough to go and see where his Great Grandad landed troops on the Pointe du hoc on D Day. To follow up on this I wanted him to also understand that the war affected the UK with the blitz, V1 and V2 attacks. To find a site where there are photos, history and such great info near to where we live is brilliant and humbling. A great generational loss was given by incredibly brave men and women across the world. Thank you for collating all of this information.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Lance, thank you very much for your comment. It means a lot when people leave feedback like that, makes it worthwhile to know it’s of use. I was out again this morning in the Lake District, photographing a place where a Royal Navy aircraft crashed, am just about to upload those photos. But good to hear of your son’s interest in WWII. Pointe du Hoc is a moving place, in fact that whole stretch of coastline is fascinating, lots of museums and remains. I agree totally re; that generation. Not many still with us now, we won’t see the like again.

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