Short Stirling Mk.III LJ628 of No.1654 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF flew into the ground on Upper Commons on the 21st July 1944
|Leonard Thomas Gardiner||Flying Officer||Pilot||OK|
|John O’Leary||Flying Officer||Pilot (Instructor)||OK|
|Jim Coulson||Sergeant||Bomb Aimer / Air Gunner||Injured|
|John David Gittings||Sergeant||Flight Engineer (instructor)||OK|
|Thomas Edward Burroughs||Sergeant||Wireless Operator||Injured|
|Lennox Schultz ‘Swig’ Van Nierkirk||Sergeant||Air Gunner||Injured|
The crew were on an exercise from RAF Wiglsey in Nottinghamshire, having been briefed to carry out two and three engine flying as part of a cross country flight. The Stirling was unable maintain height on less than four engines and after loosing height flew into the gently rising moorland on Upper Commons to the East of Margery Hill.
For many years this was one of the largest crash sites in the Peak District, however on the 24th January 2005 the bulk of the remaining wreckage from the aircraft was recovered for the Stirling Project by an RAF Chinook. The aircraft involved was Chinook H.C. Mk.2A ZH893 of No.27 Sqn. Below are some photos taken the day prior to the lift while final preparations were being made by members of the Stirling Project and the Joint Helicopter Support Unit, along with a little help from ourselves.
Below are photographs taken when revisiting the crash site on the 21st July 2018.