Whitley Mk.V BD232 of No.24 Operational Training Unit (OTU) crashed on Foel-fras in the Carneddau close to Llyn Dulyn reservoir 25th September 1942


Charles Alexander Stuart Sergeant Pilot Killed
Victor Ralph Smith Sergeant Navigator Killed
William Robert Hughes Sergeant Bomb Aimer Killed
Joseph Patrick Hookey Sergeant Wireless Operator Killed
John Hassall Sergeant Air Gunner Killed


The crew of BD232 were on a night cross country flight from Honeybourne near Evesham in Worcestershire with its outward leg being over Wales and out over the Irish Sea from Great Ormes Head. The ground station at Honeybourne received a message stating that the aircraft has taken off at 19:18 and received two QDYs (similar to QDMs but indicate that the magnetic course to the station has barrage balloons on that course within 60 miles of the station) at 19:24 and 19:34 after which no further radio messages were received from the aircraft. When the aircraft was overdue from is flight enquiries were made with No.92 Group and the Air Ministry who began a search operation to locate the missing Whitley. Aircraft were flown along the route taken, but until the 27th September most of the high ground of North Wales was covered by low cloud which prevented searching those areas from the air. On the 27th another aircraft from No.24 OTU made a search of the high ground close to the route flown as it was clear of clou and the crew of that aircraft spotted wreckage of what they believed to be a Whitley to the North East of Bethesda. This message was passed to No.9 (O)AFU at Llandwrog who sent out a search party which located the crash site on the 28th and confirmed that it was the missing aircraft and all of the crew had been killed in the crash.

Crash site of Whitley BD232 on Foel Fras near Llyn Dulyn, Carneddau
The crash site of BD232 on the side of Foel Fras, beyond is Llyn Dulyn reservoir and on the cliffs to the right in November 1944 C-47B 43-48473 met its end.
Crash site of Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V BD232 on Foel-fras, Conwy.
A photograph of the impact scar taken in November 2016.

On the 30th September No.24 OTU, with the agreement of No.9 and No.92 Groups to change their coastal departure point from Great Ormes Head to Rhyl. The reason given in their records was to allow for aircraft being slightly off track when near the coast and not putting them too close to the near by high ground, which rises to over 3,000ft above sea level.

Crash site of Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V BD232 on Foel-fras, Conwy, with the view of Llyn Dulyn
Looking towards Llyn Dulyn and the cliffs of Craig y Dulyn from the crash site.

Until 2005 a quantity of larger parts, including engine and undercarriage parts as well as structural items from the airframe remained at the site. These were recovered with the assistance of an RAF Chinook helicopter to aid in (as of 2016) a still ongoing project to recreate at least a significant portion of a Whitley.

Propeller boss near the crash site of Whitley BD232 on Foel Fras, Llyn Dulyn the Carneddau
Near the crash site was one of the prop bosses form the aircraft.
Undercarriage legs near the crash site of Whitley BD232
Also lying nearby were sections of the undercarriage.
Wreckage at the crash site of Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V BD232 on Foel Fras, Conwy, Snowdonia
When the site was visited in November 2016 very little remained at the crash site, close by in some rocks were these panels which had clearly been missed in 2005 as all the larger items, including severely damaged engine parts, had been removed.
Wreckage from Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V BD232 near the crash site on Foel Fras, Conwy
Approximately half a mile away from the site is this large section from the inner box section of a wing with part of the engine/undercarriage mounting point attached to it.
Wreckage near the crash site of Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V BD232 on Foel Fras, Conwy
A second photograph, showing the front of the section of wing box some distance from the crash site.