Whitley Mk.V BD295 / UO-N of No.19 OTU crashed on Cawdor Moor near Nairn on the 17th May 1943
|Raymond Wilson Pitts McFarland DFM||Flight Lieutenant||Pilot||Injured|
|Kenneth Johnson Sampson||Sergeant||Pilot||Killed|
|Alexander Chalmers Barrie||Flying Officer||Navigator||Killed|
|Ronald Hartley||Sergeant||Air Bomber||Killed|
|Arthur Thomas Hawkins||Flight Sergeant||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||Killed|
|Ronald Alfred Hartwell||Sergeant||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||Died of Injuries 19-5-43|
Flight Lieutenant McFarland and the trainee crew he was instructor to were on a night cross country navigation and bombing exercise from RAF Kinloss near Forres in Moray on the night of the 16th/17th May 1943. The end of the exercise was to drop practice bombs on a range at Clunas which is the south east of Cawdor.
While attempting to locate the range at around 02:00 the aircraft flew into moorland on an unnamed ridge which is on the northern most extent of Carn nan Tri-tighearnan about six miles SSW of Cawdor. The aircraft had been in radio contact with Kinloss at the time and was seen by staff at range to fly over at around 500ft in a southerly direction.
When nothing further was heard from the aircraft it was declared overdue. At 05:23 a telephone call was received from Sergeant Padley stating that the aircraft had crashed and the crew still at the crash site had been badly injured. He had made his way off the moorland and reached a farm near to Cawdor but was unable to say exactly where the aircraft had crashed.
Medical staff set out from both Kinloss and RAF Dalcross, which was slightly closer to the crash site, to begin a ground search as well as three Avro Ansons from Kinloss which started an air search. A detachment of RAF Regiment personnel were also drafted in to help with the search.
It was 10:55 before the crash site was located and reached by people on the ground by which time it was found that four of the crew were dead with only two still being alive. They were removed to hospital where one of them, Sergeant Hartwell, subsequently died of his injuries.