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C47 crash site | by Richard Tierney
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C47 crash site

This C47 Skytrain crashed 24th July 1945.only yards away from a Lancaster that crashed a few months earlier.. The RAF recovery crew dumped the main parts down the hillside into a ravine over the fence in this image. All aboard died in the crash. The pilot was only a few hundred feet off clearing the hilltop....


The C-47 took of on July 24th 1945 on a routine supply trip from Leicester East to Renfrew in Scotland. The pilot, First Lieutenant George L. Johnson, had been warned of bad weather along the flight path up central England. So he decided to take the more direct route and risk the high ground. The rest of the five man crew consisted of co-pilot, First Lieutenant Earl W. Burns; navigator, First Lieutenant Beverly W. Izlar; Crew Chief, Sergeant Theodore R. McCrocklin and the radio operator, Sergeant Francis M. Maloney. There were two passengers, Corporal Grover R. Alexander, USAAF and RAF Leading Aircraftsman J. D. Main.


The crash was found two days later at 5 o'clock in the afternoon when Sergeant Pridgeon, an RAF cypher clerk, and his girl friend came upon the wreckage of a Skytrain whilst out walking. He knew of the Lancaster bomber that had crashed at some point on the mountaintop they were on, just nine weeks earlier, and he thought that he had come across the scene of the Lancaster bomber wreck. It was only when he came upon the dead bodies of the crew that he realized that he had come across a new crash scene. It appears that the Skytrain hit the high ground, when the hills were shrouded in low cloud as they so often are. When I was at the site in May 2003 there was a plastic Memorial plaque, which was placed there during 2002 by the brother and sister in law of the co-pilot First Lieutenant Earl W. Burns, Glen and Elsie Burns when they visited the site both aged 69 years.

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Taken on March 20, 2011