Martin B-26G Marauder 44-68072, debris in Cwm Cywion

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Martin B-26G Marauder 44-68072, debris in Cwm Cywion

1st February 1945.

16 brand new B-26 Marauders were being flown from the air base at St Mawgan in Cornwall to the USAAF depot at Burtonwood near Warrington. It was the last leg of a long journey which had taken several days from Morrison Army Airfield in Florida to the south western tip of England via Trinidad, Brazil, Dakar and Marrakech.

Upon arrival at Burtonwood the crews and the aircraft would be dispersed around the country for operational duty.

Marauder 44-68072 and the 5 airmen on board never made it. After take off, the weather deteriorated and while cloud cover obscured their view, winds had pushed the bomber off course and instead of descending to land at Burtonwood at the expected ETA, the aircraft crashed on the summit ridge of Y Garn in the mountains of Snowdonia killing all those on board.

The long southerly journey – using the Mid-Atlantic Air Ferry Route – was designed to keep them from the dangers of winter weather over the north Atlantic. But no matter how safe the trans-Atlantic route, British weather caught them out just 100km from their final destination.

The body of one the crew was found near the summit, the rest were all in the wrecked aircraft which broke up on impact, with the front of the bomber careering over the cliffs of the north face of Y Garn and down into Cwn Cywion where some of the wreckage remains today.


2nd Lt. Kenneth W.Carty (pilot) from California
2nd Lt William H. Cardwell (co-pilot) from Utah
1st Lt. Nolen B. Sowell (navigator) from Texas
Cpl. Jack D. Arnold (radio operator) from Dakota
Cpl. Rudolph M . Aguirre (engineer) from New Mexico

Crew of a B26 Marauder.
image from wikipedia commons;

Below; the impact point, looking towards Nant Peris where the body of the airman found here was taken.

Below; The green arrow shows the impact point. Most of the aircraft went over the cliffs and down into Cwm Cywion. The bodies of the four airmen found there were taken down to Llyn Ogwen.

Below; two more photos taken in Cwm Cywion


44 comments on “Martin B-26G Marauder 44-68072, debris in Cwm Cywion
  1. crusader752 says:

    Another tail of woe Ian. Fabulous imagery and information as alwys but poor sods – fancy getting that close to end up as just ‘statistics’. Tragic!

  2. pasujoba says:

    Top drawer stuff this Ian . Love the presentation . A detailed account not only of the crash but our day out looking for it . I see i am gonna have to up my game 🙂
    Its quite a suprise to see how the terrain looks quite rounded in the top shot ….it of course isnt 🙂
    Is the Bomb Aimer/gunner having a cigarette ? Its a terrific image of a Marauder anyway!
    You will have to let me know how you did the map , its been an interest for me for a while now ….it feels we should put a map with the account , especially in locations such as this where the wreckage is spread across the mountain!

  3. *Psycho Delia* says:

    Wonderful set of shots.

  4. nondesigner59 says:

    Fabulous set of shots and great info..

  5. Ian D B says:

    [] [] []
    Thanks guys, very kind of you.

    Paul your comment is very much appreciated. This is the reason why I am always saying I will catch up with everyone, spend so long doing these!

    I have e-mailed you re; the map. It is easy.

    Yeah the bombardier is having a crafty cigarette!

  6. mick cooke says:

    nice series of photos ian such a lonely place for them to die

  7. SolarScot. says:

    maybe youll think im a bit mad but this reminded me of a Nazareth song with the lyrics,

    Up there’s a heaven, down there’s a town
    Blackness everywhere and little lights shine
    Blackness, blackness dragging me down

    Come on light the candle in this heart of mine

  8. pasujoba says:


    thankyou for sharing with

  9. Tech Owl says:

    Amazing series of finds again Ian – and to see the scale is important.

  10. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Great series of photos Ian – like the addition of the map too !

  11. salfordlad1 says:

    Sad, tragic..However, your presentation is wonderful as always..fanbulous story telling Ian..

  12. martin.jordan says:

    Another interesting story Ian. Really like that other shot of the strut in the stream by the way.

  13. Gizzardtreedude says:

    Perfect presentation. Very nicely done with not only the account of the crash but your adventure tied in too. Well done Ian

  14. cgullz says:

    cohesive and comprehensive series .. lovin the variety in the shots, the great colour and frames, you have provided. as for the bw Marauder crew shot – geez you’d have to be a brave fella to sit in the nose so vulnerable and exposed like that. …
    is it me, or have i read this tale earlier in your stream? sorry my memory is shite, but i do remember thinking ‘poor buggers, make it all the way across the world only to end up .. so close and yet so far ..’

    [] John, how very apt and very beautiful.

    [] funny you should say about the maps [coincidences!] i nearly took a pic from a book i have [didn’t due plagiarism] that shows the lay of the land around the peak Y Garn, and mailed it to you! and uncannily enough, it looks similar to what Ian has posted! .. i agree, re: the flat look to the land top shot, at first glance you’d think they were two different places!

  15. cgullz says:

    [] [] YAY a shot with Paul in it 🙂 *claps hands* 🙂

  16. Ian D B says:

    Thanks everyone. [] Yes, it is very fitting, cheers John. But I don’t know Nazareth. Sort of thing Paul [] would have on a patch sewn onto the back of his denim jacket.
    [] [] [] [] [] Thanks very much guys. The long exposure was with the camera balanced on a pile of stones. [] I think it would have been quick. Most of these crashes would have been over in seconds. [] What do you mean "YAY a shot with Paul in it"? I’ve got him spoiling loads of my lovely landscapes. I’d ask him to move out of the way only I don’t want to hurt his feelings. BTW, it was on Paul’s stream you first read this story.

  17. pasujoba says:

    I know Nazareth , have seen em twice ..if honest a bit yelly for my taste ….i prefer more edicaterd musiK vese dais .

    Why do i always look so bloody fat in photos …I lost three stone in the last year !
    and am like a mountain goat these days !:-) …a fat mountain goat but still goat like as opposed to elephant like !

  18. Ian D B says:

    Has someone spiked your Ovaltine?

  19. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    [] I remember "Broken down angel" – Nazareth weren`t a half bad band in their day ! Didn`t realise they were still together though after all these years ?

  20. airplaneguy38 says:

    stellar stuff Ian and a nice tribute to these fallen soldiers. BTW your efforts the photography are excellent

  21. het broertje van.. says:

    Impressive stuff here man!!!


  22. bazylek100 says:

    Striking contrast of the sunlit piece of wreckage against a sinister dark sky.
    Great reportage, interesting reading.

  23. SolarScot. says:

    this flight tonight

  24. gastephen says:

    Great collection there Ian.

    Paul looks very ‘marooned’ there. (Sorry, couldn’t help it)

  25. cgullz says:

    [] LOL

    [] but in saying that ^^ … there’s got to be something to hold onto don’t there?! us girls don’t want bruises! if anything i don’t think you look fat at all, i’d say ‘solid build’, more prop than winger if you know what i mean. we’re not all meant to look like David Bowie in tights. if you’ve lost 3 stone, wow! great work by you!

    [] … i thought he’d tripped coming out of the crypt for the night. either that or he’s related to The Count LOL

  26. cgullz says:

    [] nice guitaring in that one John

  27. pasujoba says:

    Build is deceptive ….i used to play scrum half in RL …I am tiny compared to a prop and too short (not fast enough) for a winger although I did have a fair turn of pace back in the day !
    I once had a 100m race against the (at the time) Oldham winger called Peter Ward .. i beat him , last time i saw him was at a Leeds match at Headingley , on reminding him he said he could not remember at all ! Arse !

  28. cgullz says:

    [] funny how folks forget, perhaps his ego goes before him .. as for getting yr ‘scale’ wrong, my apologies, guess the massive mountain backdrop threw me out.

    [] "got him spoiling loads of my lovely landscapes .." lol and here was me telling Paul he needed to be in more!

  29. IANLAYZELLUK says:


  30. Ian D B says:

    thanks for the link, I always thought Nazareth were heavier than that?
    [] [] [] [] [] Thank you all very much!
    [] []
    Aye. Besides a heartbeat always adds to a photo. Good to give a sense of scale too.

  31. amyrey says:

    Brilliantly documented and photographed Ian.

  32. Billy Currie says:

    Would never have known what this was if I had walked past it

  33. stopherjones says:

    Striking series of photos, from the crew really crammed in, to the drama in the landscape and main photo, to the poignancy in the long exposure stream. Moving stuff again, Ian

  34. cgullz says:

    [] "Besides a heartbeat always adds to a photo" o aye, i like that. good words them is.

  35. PeaceLoveScoobie says:

    Great job Ian. Well done!!!

  36. **Hazel** says:

    So many times the weather has its part to play in these terrible accidents Ian!! Thank you to people like you who keep the memories alive in photos and descriptive text! Your selections of photos place the crash area in the countryside where they could so easily be lost to nature!!!

  37. bill_fawcett says:

    Very nice series of photos Ian and the usual excellent narrative.

  38. Mark McKie says:

    I really enjoy looking through your shots mate. Keep up the good wok.

  39. f3liney says:

    A fascinating account Ian.
    Tragic to lose another crew who had by then mastered the B26’s inherently dangerous low speed handling and went out to fight the war in it, only to die because of bad weather.

  40. Ken Dyble says:

    Sadly this crash is just another example of too little information being given to the brave airmen flying these aircraft to join the fight against the Nazi threat,by the powers ‘that be’!!

  41. Paul says:

    Great story Ian well compiled , worth the re read …..that fella in the shots looks well dodgy though !

    • Ian D B says:

      Cheers Paul. This is one of my favourite photos. I love it when the distant landscape is shaded by cloud and the foreground is brightly lit.

  42. Brian Pritchard says:

    Some 15-20 years ago, I found a metal disc with the maker and seriel no. off a windscreen motor from the Maraurder. Through the internet I was able to make contact with the daughter of Cpl. R. M. Aguirre, and posted it to her as a memento of her father.

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