Fairey Swordfish P4223 of No.751 Squadron, RN, crashed at Heydon Head, Black Hill, Holmfirth on the 25th January 1940
|Gerald Vyvian Williamson||Sub Lieutenant (RNVR)||Pilot||Killed|
Sub Lt Williamson took of from Silloth near Carlisle along with three other Swordfish bi-plane torpedo bombers for a ferry flight to RNAS Ford near Little Hampton in West Sussex, a straight distance of just over 300 miles. At some point in the flight he became separated from the others in his flight and wandered over the Pennines, where the pilot must have descended to determine his position and flew into the ground on Holme Moss. The aircraft was reported missing but was not found due to bad weather, it was a month later a road worker clearing snow from the Woodhead to Holmefirth road spotted an odd shape on the hill, which when he went to investigate it turned out to be the wrecked aircraft.
It is possible that the pilot was up to 30 miles off course when he crashed as the logical route from Silloth to Ford would take to flight to the west of Manchester, though he could have been trying to avoid the built up areas by following the hills down the centre of England.