Wellington DV800

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Wellington DV800, Wales

All 5 crew members of this bomber were killed when the pilot descended through cloud to get a visual fix during a training flight on 19 July 1942 and crashed into Black Ladders in the Carneddau Mountains of Wales.

All that remains are a few fragments of metal piled up against some stones below the crash site and a few more fragments further down the mountainside.


Sgt. Eric H. Longbottom RAAF
Sgt. Lionel D. Traylen RAFVR
Sgt. Richard I Bowen RAFVR
Sgt. Samuel J. Wilson RAFVR
Sgt. Rupert T. Bannister RAAF

RAFVR = Royal Airforce Volunteer Reserve
RAAF = Royal Australian Air Force

Please see the comment below by charlotte435 who came up here a few days after the crash…

24 comments on “Wellington DV800
  1. cgullz says:

    sombre light to reflect a sombre scene. i do quite like it. can’t get over the scale of the terrain. it always looks less threatening from above. sad that they ‘almost’ made it.
    i like how you have included the crews’ force details too.

  2. rob of rochdale says:

    You see, I like how you’ve posted this in upright format. It focuses the eye on the central focal point. Clever stuff Ian!

  3. Gary Shield says:

    Great lighting and shot

  4. nondesigner59 says:

    Excellent tribute..

  5. crusader752 says:

    I’m moved by the respect you show to these wreck sites Ian and the research you put so much effort into explaining the circumstances of how they come to be there too.
    Top that with the superb photographic aspects you bring as well and not to even mention the planning and sheer physical effort you expend in getting to them in the first place and the poignant placing of the Poppy too!
    My Dad trained as a Wellie tail-gunner! Glad he did’nt end up like these
    unfortunate souls! 🙂

  6. Neal. says:

    A long way to come from Australia to end it all on a Welsh mountain.

  7. **Hazel** says:

    Very sad Ian, so many people losing their lives on this mountain! Another amazing photo from you to show they are not forgotten!!!:-)

  8. Tech Owl says:

    Looks cold up there – a little of a different feel to this shot probably with the peak behind it.
    Great work once more Ian

  9. gastephen says:

    nicely done Ian

  10. amyrey says:

    Well done on more superb research and a moving memorial Ian. Looks like they impacted well-below the peak, so really was a terrible miscalculation….

  11. SolarScot. says:

    another sad loss of young lives

  12. mick cooke says:

    great work again ian , your photos and write ups keep the memories alive of these galliant chaps from years ago

  13. GaryJS â„¢ says:

    Cracking shot and another great tribute to our lost heros.

  14. Ian D B says:

    Many thanks everyone, your comments are always appreciated.

    Thank you very much Rob. Do you have any old photos of your Dad’s training days? There’s a story here of a tail gunner in a Wellington who survived when the aircraft crashed but his turret bounced down the hillside, and the gunner walked away from it!

    Wellington W5719 on Kinder Scout, Peak District, Derbyshire.

  15. crusader752 says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] Unfortunately not Ian – I know it was on the Isle of Man in ’45 in the run up to VJ day or thereabouts – all I know is once completed he had drawn all his overseas kit but the war ended and that was it! 🙂

  16. Ian D B says:

    I wonder if he was relieved or gutted to have missed the chance to engage in combat?

  17. sixty8panther says:

    Wow, RIP to all five. Great shot!

  18. Abr303 says:

    Another sad reminder of the tragic loss of life and sacrifice made by our brave airman. Such a remote area and believe the aircraft and crew were not found for 9 days……

  19. charlotte435 says:

    At the time, I was living at Tan Y Foel, above Bethesda. Although I was English. A few days after the crash which was not located for some time because of the visibility and weather, Suddenly The cloud lifted and I saw the bomber. The mountain resque guys had removed the bodies and guns etc. Being only 12, I decided to climb up there without telling my parents. I remember playing inside the wreck and swinging round the gun turret. Suddemnly, some distance away, I saw a flying helmet! I wen over and picked it up. To my horror, it was not complete. A memory that has remained with me all these years. I did not tell my parents where I had been. For many years, the plane was clearly visible from the A5 approaching Bethesda. Now, I live near and often look up at that spot with sadness.

  20. crusader752 says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] Sorry Ian – missed this – not sure really but my guess is a mixture of both! I took him up to Brooklands some years back and we wandered around the Wellie they have there that was recovered from the Scottish Loch.
    They look so small now and he often recounts the ‘gymnastics’ he had to make when getting down to the rear turret with full flying kit on!! Great view once there but not a place I would like to have occupied! 🙂

  21. Ian D B says:

    No problem Rob!
    No indeed, I wouldn’t either. I can’t imagine how it must have been trying to get out of one as it went down, with the crews trying not to panic and get their parachutes on…

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/77020014@N02] charlotte435
    Thanks for your comment here as well, very good of you to share your memories with us. Odd that you should find two incidents you remember on my stream, albeit a 100 miles apart. You were obviously an adventurer! Your comment about what you found is the reason why we treat these places with such respect. Thanks again, great to hear from you.

  22. Jeff Bowen says:

    The surname of Sgt. Richard I RAFVR is Bowen. He was my Uncle

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