Avro Anson Mk.I MG827 of No.10 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit crashed on Criffel near New Abbey, Dumfries & Galloway on the 4th November 1944


Clive Eric Johnson Flying Officer (RAAF) Pilot Survived
Hugh Gunn Flying Officer Navigator Survived
Neil Jackson Warrant Officer Wireless Operator Survived
Norman Albert Burt Wing Commander Passenger (Navigator) Survived
Roger Hutton White Flight Lieutenant Passenger Survived


The aircraft was being used for a daytime cross country navigation flight from RAF Dumfries when it flew into the north western side of Criffel, an 1,800ft high mountain on the Solway coast 11 miles from the airfield, in poor visibility. The aircraft did not break up too severely on impact, though all onboard were injured. After the crash the wireless equipment was still operational which allowed the Warrant Officer Jackson to communicate with Dumfries and summon assistance.

A rescue party under the command of the Station Medical Officer, Flight Lieutenant Meiklejohn, set out to New Abbey to locate the crash site. When they arrived in the area they found that the navigator, Flying Officer Gunn, had despite a broken arm and lacerations descended from the crash site in search of help. Instead of going to hospital for treatment he turned around and guided the rescue party to the crash site, speeding up the arrival of medical help for the other injured airmen who were still in the wrecked aircraft sheltering from the 75 mph wind.

Both Flying Officer Gunn and Warrant Officer Jackson received Log Book Commendations from the Officer Commanding No.10 (O)AFU for their actions following the crash.

Wreckage in a gully on Criffel near New Abbey, from Avro Anson Mk.I MG827
The aircraft was broken up on site and most of the wreckage disposed of into this gully, where today one engine, both undercarriage oleos and numerous panels are still present.
Armstrong Siddeley Cheetha engine from Avro Anson Mk.I MG827 on Criffel, New Abbey, Dumfries & Galloway
The remaining Armstrong Siddeley Cheetha engine, partially buried in the bottom of the gully.
The second engine was left at the site but was recovered before the 1990s by a forestry worker who then donated the engine to the Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum. For some time it was displayed at the RAF Millom Museum until that closed in 2010 and the engine was returned to Dumfries.
Undercarriage from Avro Anson Mk.I MG827 on Criffel near New Abbey, Dumfries & Galloway
One of the two remaining undercarriage oleos, this is the more complete of the two.
Panels at the crash site of Avro Anson Mk.I MG827 on Criffel, New Abbey, Dumfries & Galloway
Some of the panels which can be found in the gully at the crash site.