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  • Writer's pictureDan Brown

The Carneddau B-26 Botha Crash Site

Four men perished in what was yet another tragedy in the Welsh hills, when their Blackburn B26 Torpedo Bomber came down on Llwytmor on August 28th 1943.

Those four men were Sergeants George Markham Heppinstall, William Frearson, Douglas Owen Hargreaves and Wendelin Bernard Bettin.

Three-quarters of a century later, us modern day walkers are able to enjoy long days hiking through the mountains, in a serene and peaceful environment, almost stumbling at random upon the wreckage of an unimaginably horrifying incident. It seems almost unthinkable that the areas us "walking types" like to escape to for tranquility, can be so littered with the wreckages of a time of global conflict.

I am not trying to pass myself off as an expert on these matters here, so I have provided links at the bottom of the page to more detailed info about the aircraft and incident. Instead I would like to share some high quality images and a few thoughts about the B26 crash site.

As I say in the video from the wreckage below, there seems to be an almost disrespectful lack of awareness that sites like this exist amongst the general population. Aviation fanatics and hikers may be aware, but when showing some people these images, they almost have a disbelief that this level of recognisable debris could really be out there all these years later.

I suppose the idea of seeing World War Two era wreckage debris with recognisable wings and engines does seem like it would be at the limit of believability without the photos to prove it. For me I think that the very fact there are these recognisable aircraft components is what makes sites like this more relatable and gives them a little bit more gravitas and the feeling of a memorial to those who lost their lives here.

Being able to see the effects of time slowly creeping in on the details of the engine is also a reminder of how fragile our grasp and relation to history is. There are countless crash sites that have been cleared/looted/overgrown/disintegrated already, with no visible trace that would let anybody know that anything notable had ever happened, the human stories of those places now consigned to oblivion. At the very least, we are now lucky enough to be able to document these places in 4K video and hi-res images. How many sites and lingering memories of human hardship or triumph have not been so lucky to survive into the age of the internet?

I hope that in a tiny way, my few photos of details and minutes of footage can act as a reference for those who are curious and as a reminder for those who have never been shown our recent history and the sacrifices that so many made in all corners of the world, and in places that people may never expect.

For loads more information take a look at the BAE page for the plane model HERE and information on the crash HERE.

Thank you very much for reading my friends.

Keep it boat worthy,

Keep it interesting,



(Want to help me out? Please take a look at my boat life books HERE, and my YouTube Channel HERE)

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