Mosquito mk.IX LR412
Black and White version of propellor hub with alloy blade remnants
On wednesday the 9th February 1944 Mosquito Mk.IX LR412 of Squadron No. 540 of the RAF, crashed onto the higher slopes of Aran Fawddwy , Snowdonia , SSW of the summit itself .
Both crewmen were killed in the crash .
Pilot- F/O Marek Slonski, PAF
Nav- F/Lt Paul Riches DFC, RAF
They were flying out of RAF Benson and were testing two new flaps .
Both pilot and navigator were very experienced , F/Lt Riches having been awarded the DFC in 1943.
The weather was not too bad ,some cloud but not extensive . The crash does seem to have some mystery surrounding it , the propellor does not appear to have been turning on collision with the ground ,yet a Mosquito could fly comfortably on one engine . Visability was reportedly quite reasonable and both were experienced men .
They are buried together at Chessington , St Mary, cemetery, Surrey.
The aircraft itself had taken part in many operations over enemy territory.
540 Squadron operated successfully has a photo -reconnaissance unit . Aircraft of this unit carried no squadron markings so has not to be easily identified if shot down over enemy territory .
More pictures from this wreckhunting trip can be found here