Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XVI SL611 of No.603 Sqn, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, crashed on Ill Crag close to Scafell Pike on the 20th November 1947

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XVI


Donald James Ott Loudon Flight Lieutenant Pilot Killed


Flt Lt Loudon an instructor for No.603 Sqn had taken off from RAF Hullavington for a cross-country flight to Turnhouse, now Edinburgh Airport.  He had landed at RAF Hawarden near Chester in the late morning to re-fuel before continuing on for Turnhouse.  At sometime not long after midday while flying in low cloud SL611 struck Ill Crag and disintegrated killing Flt lt Loudon instantly.  The aircraft was reported overdue at Turnhouse and a search commenced for the missing Spitfire, this was hampered by appalling weather.  The search had concentrated on the Lake District but the aircraft was not spotted in the poor conditions and the search was after a few days scaled down and then called off.  It was on the 1st May 1948 163 days after the aircraft had disappeared that the wreck was discovered by a local farmer’s son out tending sheep.

Small piece os wreckage near the crash site of Supermarine Spitfire SL611 on Ill Crag, Scafell Pike
Much of the aircraft remained at the site until the 1990s when it was removed, however various pieces still litter the scree on the side of Ill crag as shown above.
Crash site on Ill Crag of Supermarine Spitfire SL611
The point where the bulk of the aircraft came to rest is marked by a bare patch containing many small components from the aircraft.
Memorial plaque on the rockface near where Supermarine Spitfire SL611 crashed
In 1997 a plaque was placed at the site in memory of the pilot by, Geoff Bland, David Earl and Dave Ramsey, this can be seen near the centre of this photograph with the area where the tail of the aircraft came to rest in the foreground. However the weather is taking its toll on the plaque which will need replacing before long.