Hawker Hurricanes PZ851, PZ765 and PZ854 of No.11 (P)AFU crashed on Tintwhistle Knarr near Glossop, on the 22nd February 1945

Hawker Hurricane


Ernest Mary Leon Marien (Belgian) Flight Sergeant Pilot (PZ851) killed
Marcel Henry Leon Orban (Belgian) Flight Sergeant Pilot (PZ765) Killed
John Victor Robinson Flight Sergeant Pilot (PZ854) Killed


The flight of three aircraft had taken off  at 10:00 from RAF Calveley near Nantwich with F/Sgt Marien leading the flight. They had been tasked with practicing formation flying and had been instructed to avoid flying in cloud. For some reason, around 20 minutes after take off, the flight entered smog to the East of Manchester, on the Form 1180 it was described as industrial haze, while flying in this smog the three aircraft flew into rising ground below the summit of Tintwhistle Knarr where all three aircraft broke up and burst into flames killing the three pilots.

It was thought that the lead pilot had seen the high ground and attempted to climb over it but was too close for the rapid climb to have any meaningful effect.

The two Belgian pilots were repatriated to their homeland, possibly after being buried in the UK for sometime.

Flight Sergeant Robinson was buried at London’s Abney Park Cemetery, which is a Victorian era ‘Garden Cemetery’ where trees and undergrowth have been allowed to grow unimpeded. This can make photography a little troublesome.

Grave of Flight Sergeant John Victor Robinson at Abney Park Cemetery, London
Flight Sergeant Robinson’s grave at Abney Park Cemetery in London.
Wreckage of Hawker Hurricane PZ765, PZ851 and PZ854, at the crash site on Tintwhistle Knarr, Longdendale
Above is a photo of some of the few remaining parts from the aircraft.
Memorial cross on Tintwhistle Knarr in memory of the air crew who died on the hill
Below Tintwhistle Knarr is this simple wooden cross with a plaque to all the airmen who died on the hill.
These are the crew of PA411, the Pilot of P-38J 42-67207 and the three pilots of the Hurricanes.
Memorial on Tintwhistle Knarr in memory of the air crew who died on the hill
A closer view of the plaque.