Stirling Mk.III LJ628 of No.1654 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF crashed on Upper Commons 21st June 1944 while flying from Wigsley in cloud the aircraft flew into rising ground

 

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
McDonald Sergeant Navigator OK
Thomas Edward Burroughs Sergeant Wireless Operator Injured
Ludlow Sergeant Flight Engineer OK
Austin Sergeant Air Gunner OK
Lennox Schultz ‘Swig’ Van Nierkirk Sergeant Air Gunner Injured
Hadland Squadron Leader ? OK

 

On the 24th January 2005 the aircraft was recovered for the Stirling Project by Chinook. The aircraft involved was Chinook H.C. Mk.2A ZH893 of No.27 Sqn. Below are some images 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.

Recovery of the main undercarriage oleo from the crash site of Short Stirling LJ628 on Upper Commons, Langsett
The main wheel oleo after being removed from the hole it had been in probably since 1944.
Recovery operation at the crash site of Short Stirling LJ628 on Upper Commons, Langsett
Parts being collected in one of a number of the lifting nets used during the recovery.
Gully at the crash site of Short Stirling LJ628 on Upper Commons, Langsett
Compare this last image with the one taken 4 years earlier below.
Gully at the crash site of Short Stirling LJ628 on Upper Commons, Langsett
looking down hill along the gully that most of the wreckage was dumped in.
Exhaust manifold at the crash site of Short Stirling LJ628 on Upper Commons, Langsett
The exhaust manifold from one of the four Bristol Hercules engines seen in 2001.
Control surface at the crash site of Short Stirling LJ628 on Upper Commons, Langsett
The remains of a control surface which was recovered.
Undercarriage oleo at the crash site of Short Stirling LJ628 on Upper Commons, Langsett
Slightly to the north of the gully was this main under carriage oleo, this item was among the parts recovered in 2005