Republic P-47C Thunderbolt 41-6195 of the 495th FTG USAAF, crashed close to the Aled Isfa reservoir on the Denbigh Moors on the 8th July 1944

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt

Orin Wahl 2nd Lieutenant Pilot Survived


2nd Lt Wahl was on a training flight from RAF Atcham, near Shrewsbury, with two other P-47 aircraft. He was flying in the No.3 position in a line astern formation. The lead aircraft entered an immelman manoeuvre and the other two aircraft followed. Lt Wahl had got most of the way through the manoeuvre when he noticed his airspeed was 150 mph, he considered this to be low and attempted to bring the aircraft to the level. At the time he was inverted with the nose pointing upwards at 30o. While trying to get out of this position the aircraft stalled and ‘flicked’ into a spin. As he was at around 10000 feet and there was dense cloud below him Lt Wahl felt he did not have enough safe height to escape the spin and recover the aircraft so he abandoned the aircraft.

The tale is then picked up by the RAF Mountain Rescue Service at Llandwrog, they received a call at 11:45 to say that a pilot had landed by parachute near to Pentrefoelas, on the A5 between Betws-y-Coed and Corwen a few miles east of the former. The medical party set out for Pentrefolas, but on arrival were redirected to Llansannan nearly 10 miles NNW of where they were. On arrival in Llansannan the RAF medical officer found that Lt Wahl was not at the Police station but had been taken to another address in the village by members of the National Fire Service. He was tracked down and found to be medically fit and was soon collected by a USAAF Officer from Atcham.

The aircraft had fallen to earth a few miles south of Llansannan on open moorland near to Aled Isfa reservoir and had been completely wrecked.

Crash site of P-47 Thunderbolt 41-6195 near Aled Isfa Reservoir, Denbigh
Very little remains at the site today, the main give away is the large crater caused when the aircraft impacted and a subsequent recovery by the Warplane Wreck Investigation Group.
The engine is still with WWIG at their museum at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton.