Bristol Beaufighter T.F. Mk.X NE309 of No.304 Ferry Training Unit, RAF, flew into high ground on Sunderland Hill near Bruichladdich on the Isle of Islay on the 1st January 1944

Bristol Beaufighter at the Royal Air Force Museum


Archibald Neville Book Flying Officer RCAF Pilot Killed
Francis Edward Osbaldeston Flying Officer Observer Injured


The two crew of NE309 were carrying out a local flying exercise from RAF Port Ellen when their aircraft struck the ground on the boggy low moorland of Sunderland Hill near Bruichladdich. The pilot was killed but the Observer was able to escape with only abrasions and shock.

Four days later the Pilot was buried at Bowmore Parish Churchyard with full military honours, it was reported that a number of local civilians also attended the funeral service.

Grave of Flying Officer Archibald Neville Book at Bowmore parish church
Flying Officer Book’s grave at Bowmore.
Crash site of Bristol Beaufighter Mk.X NE309 on Sunderland Hill, Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay
Myself with the largest remaining piece of the aircraft, as can be seen the crash site lies on a fairly flat area.
Nearby there is a suspiciously rectangular depression which looks as though it could be the work of the Salvage party who may have buried the burnt remains.