Whitley Mk.V P5070 / WL-B of No.612 Sqn, RAF, crashed on East Scaraben to the north of Helmsdale on the 1st May 1941
|Frederick Lyddon Arney||Pilot Officer||Pilot||Died of Injuries|
|Henry Matthew Williams||Sergeant||2nd Pilot||Killed|
|Douglas John McPherson||Sergeant (RNZAF)||Observer||Killed|
|Albert Skelhorn||Sergeant||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||Killed|
|Reginald Frank Skelton Smith||Sergeant||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||Killed|
|James Burnett McKenzie||Sergeant||Air Gunner||Killed|
The crew had taken off on an anti U-Boat patrol from Wick on the 30th April 1941 and were returning early from the flight in the early hours of the 1st May when their aircraft flew into the northern end of East Scaraben above Berridale Water between Helmsdale and Dunbeath.
Having failed to return as expected a search began, three other Whitleys from No.612 Sqn are recorded as having gone out on search flights during the morning of the 1st May but they all returned having seen nothing. At some point later in the day the crash site was located, it was found that all but the pilot had killed in the crash, he was found alive at the crash site but died as a result of his injuries the following day.
It was deemed likely that the wireless equipment had failed as no messages had been received from the crew during their return despite Wick having attempted contact.
Around the same time that P5070 crashed on East Scaraben another Wick based aircraft crashed in the region while returning, this was Lockheed Hudson Mk.I T9292 of No.269 Sqn which crashed near Brora after being abandoned.