Avro Anson Mk.I R9583 of No.20 OTU crashed on Carn nan Tri-tighearnan on the 27th July 1940
|Thomas William Newberry||Sergeant||Pilot||Survived|
|Lionel Miller Petersen||Sergeant||Observer||Survived|
|Colin Beresford Graham Knight DFM||Sergeant RNZAF||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||Survived|
|Reginald Harry Bird||Sergeant||Survived|
|William Johnstone Westwater||Sergeant||Survived|
The crew of the aircraft were on a night cross country exercise from RAF Lossiemouth on the Moray coast, they had departed at 22:15 on the 26th July. After completing the planned route Sergeant Newberry headed for Lossiemouth, making a turn at 3,000ft in cloud on ETA for passing Dores on the shore of Loch Ness. Shortly after turning the wireless operator received and air raid warning and so Sgt Newberry turned onto a northerly course and began to descend to reach the Moray coast but while still in cloud, and at 00:35 on the 27th, the aircraft struck the barren moorland on Carn nan Tri-tighearnan to the east of Moy. On impact the aircraft broke apart with the fuselage sustaining significant damage while both engines were torn from their mountings and the wings severely damaged, the starboard one coming away from the rest of the aircraft.
All of the crew received relatively minor injuries for having flown into a hill, Sgt Westwater suffered a broken left ankle and Sgt Newberrry concussion while the others were treated for various contusions and lacerations.
Sergeant Colin Knight had been awarded his Distinguished Flying Medal while with No.99 Squadron in the later part of 1939, particularly for gathering signals intelligence on the locations of German radio stations on a precursor to the ill fated Schillig Roads daylight raid in December 1939. The award was the first to a member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War. He would go on to serve with the RNZAF until after the end of the conflict and died during 1998 at the age of 85.
The aircraft’s pilot, Sgt Newberry would go on to receive a commission eventually retiring from the RAF at the rank of Squadron Leader after the end of the Second World War.
Lionel Petersen had earlier served with No.115 Squadron and while with that Squadron survived the crash of Wellington R3154 on Rosedale Moor in the North Yorkshire Moors, a crash site we have also visited along with Richard Allenby whose page about that crash is linked above. Later in his service he was with No.159 Sqn and while serving with that Squadron was killed in action in North Africa when Liberator AL537 was shot down during an attack on Tobruk harbour on the 23rd August 1942. He is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial in Egypt to those who died in North Africa and have no known grave.
The remaining two airmen both survived the conflict, Sgt Bird, from Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, having served since 1930. He died in 1994 in Barrow at the age of 81.