Lockheed F5E 44-24229

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Lockheed F5E 44-24229

11 September 1945, USAAF Lockheed F-5E 44-24229 a reconnaissance variant of the P-38G crashed on Pumlumon Fawr in Ceredigion killing the pilot Second Lieutenant Xenophon Eugenedes. Pumlumon Fawr is the highest hill in mid Wales. The aircraft struck the ridge leading up to the summit, losing its propellers but careered across the valley for about 1km before coming to a halt on the western slopes of Pen Lluest-y-carn.

Below; approx location of impact and terminal points
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Second Lieutenant Eugenedes was on a training exercise from Chalgrove airfield in Oxfordshire, home to the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group. It is not known why he was flying at insufficient height to clear the high ground. Other reports state the aircraft was being taken to Burtonwood from Chalgrove which would put the pilot substantially off track.

Below; Photo of an F-5 of the 7th PRG at Chalgrove, photo taken in January 1945. This could be the same aircraft.
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Below; Looking up to the ridge which the aircraft struck

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There is a lot on the internet about this crash site and the discrepancy regarding the identity of it, some sources listing the aircraft as P-38G 420-13345. However, I have gone with Joe Baugher (see below) among others.

There are also reports in books and online about the state of this crash site. Terence Hill (‘Down in Wales’, 1994) wrote “Up to a few years ago this was one of the most complete aircraft crash sites in Wales. I have been told of so called ‘recovery groups’ removing large items only to sell them later for scrap.”

However, it would appear that 10 years after he wrote that, some people cut out the supercharger breaking up the largest piece remaining to get at it and dragged it off the mountain.

Below; How the crash site looked in 2002 before this remaining wing section was cut up and the supercharger removed without permission. Photo credit Chris Andrews. See also video below of a visit to this site by enthusiasts in 1995

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In the photos here, I have raised the exhaust duct which used to connect with the supercharger to show it off better. There is debris strewn down the hillside and in the stream, though as can be seen from the video recorded in 1995, much has been lifted since Terence Hill wrote about it.

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The shortest and most direct route is via the Old Mine track but I went up to the summit of Pumlumon Fawr first and then cut across the moor, though either way it is very easy hillwalking. The farm at Eisteddfa Gurig charges £5 for car parking or park at one of the laybys on the A44.

Video on youtube showing the site as it was in 1995

Refs;

The crash site is at grid reference SN 79840 86523 (source; Peakwreckhunters)

Joe Baugher

photo credit wreck site in 2002
Chris Andrews

photo credit F-5 at Chalgrove in 1945;
Roger Freeman Collection

4 comments on “Lockheed F5E 44-24229
  1. Elodie McGuirk says:

    Thank you so much for posting these photos of my uncle’s Xenophon Eugenedes, plane crash. I have not had the opportunity to visit the crash site in Wales. Seeing the video of the crash affected me more than I thought. Although Xenophon died before I was born, I heard much about his accomplishments. Someone created a beautiful website honoring him. Wish I knew who created it so I could thank them personally. They went to a lot of effort, time and expense.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Elodie, I am pleased you found this page on my site about your uncle. Thank you very much for taking the time to comment.

      Ian

  2. Elodie McGuirk says:

    Hi Ian,
    Thank you so much for responding to my post. May I ask if you knew my uncle and how you came to honor him in such a memorable way?
    Thanks again so much for what you did.
    Sincerely,
    Elodie

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Elodie, I never knew your uncle – I wasn’t born until the late 1960s!

      It is my purpose using this website to photograph some of the places where aircraft crashed during the war and the years either side of the war. If you click on the green title header at the top of this page, it will take you back to the home page where you could access other photos and stories. I have lost count of how many of these places I have visited over the past 11 or so years.

      Sometimes there is wreckage remaining which is often the thing that draws me to a particular site as I want to record it before it disappears (people will always remove debris from crash sites so it will all disappear eventually). This just happens to be one of those places I visited.

      One reason for recording all these stories is because people in the UK are often surprised that debris remains and also they had never considered the existance of these places, which are largley forgotten about by all but the relatives of the crew, such as yourself. I maintain the website advert free as a mark of respect.

      I am glad you found this page though. It must a different thing for someone casually reading these stories and looking at the photos and maps, to that experienced by someone reading about one of their relatives.

      Hope you and ypour family are well,

      Ian

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