Lockheed Hudson Mk.V AM680, of No.1 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF Crashed at Beda Head near Ullswater on the 10th November 1942

Lockheed Hudson at the Royal Air Force Museum


John Frederick Saunders Flight Sergeant Pilot Killed
Derric Isaac Jones Flying Officer Navigator / Air Bomber Killed
Stanley Alfred Veasey Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner Killed
Harold Dickinson Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner Killed


The aircraft, coded B-68, took off from RAF Silloth on the Solway Firth west of Carlisle at 00:50 on the 10th November for a night navigation exercise. At 01:14 the crew contacted Silloth with the message X114 (decoded as “I will call you again later”). Around this time the Royal Observer Corps plotted an aircraft in the Ullswater area, this plot then faded out and no further reports were logged.

When the aircraft was reported overdue searches were made of its planned route. Two aircraft were also assigned to search the Ullswater area, these had to be abandoned due to poor weather. The local Police had begun a search  at 05:00 and No.13 Group (RAF) took overdue action around the same time, this would have been the notification of air stations in their area of control and to organise search aircraft in the region.

Air searches of the Irish Sea area continued into the morning of the 11th November, but low cloud was still preventing the high ground of the Lake District by air, in the afternoon of the 11th the Commanding Officer of No.1 OTU carried out a brief search of the area in a Lysander but without success. The aircraft was eventually located by the local Police late in the afternoon of the 11th, it was found the aircraft had flown into the western side of Beda Head and burst into flames.

Crash site of Lockheed Hudson Mk.V AM680 at Beda Head near Ullswater
Today only a small amount of AM680 can be found at the crash site. Most of the aircraft was either buried or recovered at the time of the crash, the scar shown here is where part of the aircraft was buried.
Alan on the summit of Beda Head close to the crash site of Lockheed Hudson AM680
Alan stood at the summit of Beda Head.

The crew were buried or commemorated at different cemeteries across the country.

Flight Sergeant John Frederick Saunders' commemoration at Enfield Crematorium
The aircraft’s pilot, Flight Sergeant Saunders, is commemorated on the war memorial at Enfield Crematorium.
Grave of Sergeant Stanley Veasey at Camberwell New Cemetery, London
Sergeant Stanley Veasey was buried at Camberwell New Cemetery in south London.