Douglas C-47B 43-48473 of the 27th Air Transport Group flew into the cliffs above Llyn Dulyn in the Carneddau while flying form Le Bourget to Burtonwood on the 11th November 1944


C-47 Dakota


William C. Gough 2nd Lieutenant Pilot Killed
Richard R. Rolfe 2nd Lieutenant Co-pilot Killed
Hyman Levitski Corporal Radio Operator Killed
Kirk McLoren Staff Sergeant Flight Engineer Killed


The crew were flying the aircraft from Le Borget airport near Paris to Burtonwood in Cheshire. They had departed at 08:30 (local) on the 11th November with a flight of three other C-47s which were also bound for Burtonwood.

Cliffs of Craig y Dulyn with the crash site of C-47 43-48473 part way up
The crash site is located high up on the cliffs in this photograph. Due to its position, without the proper equipment approaching it is extremely dangerous. This photograph was taken from close to the crash site of Whitley BD232 which had crashed near the lake 2 years before 43-48473.

On nearing Burtonwood the crew were informed that the airfield was closed due to bad weather and that they should divert to RAF Valley where weather conditions were suitable, they acknowledged this order and proceeded towards North Wales at just before 13:00 GMT. No further radio communication was had with the crew and after failing to arrive at RAF Valley the aircraft was declared as overdue.

Propeller from C-47B 43-48473 in Llyn Dulyn, Snowdonia
On the two propeller units from the aircraft was recovered from the bed of the reservoir and brought to the spillway by divers. This photograph is looking towards the crash site of the aircraft on the 11th November 2016, the 72nd anniversary of the crash.
Propeller from C-47B 43-48473 in Llyn Dulyn, Snowdonia
All three blades are still attached to the hub and the outer most part of the engine reduction gear.

By the time it had been declared overdue it was too late to conduct an air search for the missing C-47 so the following morning an aircraft (probably and Anson) from No.9 (O)AFU at Llandwrog with the Senior Medical Officer (and leader of the Mountain Rescue Team) onboard left to conduct a search of the mountains of Snowdonia. Attention was paid to the Carneddau range where it was thought they aircraft may have crashed, as experience had shown aircraft approached from the east usually came to grief on this range. No wreckage was spotted an the search by the RAF was stood down. Strangely no ground search was ordered.

Wreckage at the crash site of C-47B 43-48473 on the cliffs of Craig y Dulyn above Llyn Dulyn, Snowdonia
Very little of the aircraft remains high up on the cliffs, access while not impossible is not advised due to the ever present danger of being 500ft above the lake.
This photograph was taken at just after 11:00 on the 11th November 2016.

On the 22nd November that the wreck was located by an RAF radio unit which was carrying out maintenance on a warning beacon which had been placed on the summit of Foel Grach. The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted high up on the cliffs of Craig y Dulyn above the Dulyn Reservoir.

Crash site of C-47B 43-48473 on Craig y Dulyn, Llyn Dulyn, Snowdonia
The view from the crash site on the cliffs looking out over the lake.
Crash site of C-47B 43-48473 on Craig y Dulyn, Carneddau, Snowdonia
This is the view down from the ledge on which the aircraft crashed.

During the autumn of 1972 parts of the aircraft were recovered from Llyn Dulyn by the Warplane Wreck Investigation Group and the West Bromwich Underwater Exploration Club. One of the items recovered was the tail fin of the aircraft. It went on display at the WWIG’s museum, which is currently located at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton. Below is a photograph of the fin taken in the early 90s, it may not be there as there have been a number of changes in the past few years at Perch Rock.

Tailplane from C-47 43-48473 at the Warplane Wreck Investigation Group Museum, Fort Perch Rock
Image: Mark Sheldon


Staff Sergeant Kirk McLoren
Above is a photograph of the Flight engineer, Staff Sergeant Kirk McLoren on his wedding day.
Many thanks to Kirk McLoren Jnr for the photo.


Two of the crew were buried at Cambridge American Cemetery, these were S/Sgt McLoren and Cpl Levitski.

Grave of Staff Sergeant Kirk McLoren at Cambridge American Military Cemetery Grave of Corporal Hyman Levitski at Cambridge American Military Cemetery