Lockheed Hudson Mk.I N7325 / B-59 of No.1 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, crashed on Cross Fell on the 6th September 1942

Lockheed Hudson at the Royal Air Force Museum


Paul Arthur Bourke Pilot Officer Pilot Killed
John Bumpstead Sergeant Navigator Killed
Robert Band Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner Killed
Leslie Thomas Griffin Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner Killed
Richard William Hewitt Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner Killed


The crew had taken off from RAF Silloth late on the 5th September for a night navigation exercise. The planned route was from Silloth to South Rock light off Northern Ireland, turning south to the Kish Bank lightship off Dublin, then eastwards to Skerries lighthouse off Anglesey before returning direct to Silloth. The last radio contact with the crew was at 00:30 on the 6th when they were some 20 miles south of South Rock. Because of the lack of contact it was assumed by the investigating officer that the aicraft’s radio equipment had failed, leaving the crew with only dead reckoning as a means of navigating. While returning to Silloth in cloud the crew strayed off track, eventually being 40 miles to the east of their intended route when the aircraft flew into the southern side of Cross Fell on Willie Bank above Crowdundle Beck. After the aircraft failed to return to Silloth it was declared overdue, at first light a search was started with aircraft from No.1 OTU and other units, including the ASR Squadron based at RAF Valley, searching the Irish Sea along the planned route. The search was extended south in the afternoon but nothing was seen. On the 7th September the crash site was located and reported to the RAF via the Police in Penrith.

View from the crash site of Lockheed Hudson N7325 on Cross Fell
Wreckage from the aircraft is scattered among a patch of scree above Crowdundle Beck.
Wreckage at the crash site of Lockheed Hudson Mk.I N7325 on Cross Fell near Penrith, Cumbria with Great Dun Fell in the background
Pieces of the aircraft are visible in the foreground with the Great Dun Fell NATS radar station in the background.