Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Blenheim V6099: Elidirs-continued....

Blenheim V6099
Skua/Beaufighter: Elidir Fawr
Originally uploaded by seansonofbig2

The continuing saga of Elidir Fawr: are there actually four planes on the mountain, but we have the wrong four? RJMP, a sixties/seventies wreckhunter reports as follows:

"We thought at the time that the wreck on the NW side of Elidir Fawr was a Beaufighter, because that is what the RAF Valley lists said, but I accept that it is probably a Blenheim. They were very similar of course.

I knew all of the Blenheim's wreckage long before ‘aviation archeologists' and others started moving it all around (And of course, when it was only 25 years old, not 65 years old!!). I recovered various live .303 rounds I remember. All the wreckage on this side of the mountain is from one wreck. The wreckage extends from the point of impact, where the burned wreckage is to be found, right down into Marchlyn Bach. There were no engines in those days (mid 60s to early 70s), so they were either well buried or more likely recovered.

The Skua is indeed on the other side of the mountain.

Interestingly, I once found a single small piece of wreckage at around SH613618, away from the Blenheim wreckage trail. At the time I considered it to be what I called an ‘erratic’ (glaciologists will know what I mean) – a piece of the Blenheim that had been carried here and then discarded.

A few years later, when construction of the Marchlyn Mawr dam was commenced, they actually drained the lake in order to build the dam footings and presumably to dig the tunnel down to the turbines in the Dinorwic quarry. When they drained the lake they found a German aircraft in the bottom of the lake, complete with crew remains! There was a report in the local newspaper about it, which I didn't see, but my father did. I have wondered since whether the small piece of wreckage I found came from this wreck. I have never seen any other reference to the aircraft in the lake. "

I have written to the council to see if they know anything about the German 'plane. I'll see if I can track down the local paper report.

So it seems to be Tomahawk on the summit, Blenheim on the west side, Skua on the east, and a German plane in the lake. No Beaufighter. We'll be back in summer to see if we can find the evidence to back up the reports. In the meantime, research continues.


Hawker said...

Ooh, stories of missing German aircraft, now normally I'd dismiss it out of hand but he seems to be quite credible. I'm interested how this passed under the radar, definatley worth looking into.

Anyway I'm off back tomorrow to have a look for the skua (depending on snow cover). I'm glad my theory of the other side of the mountain has been proved correct. I'll let you know how I get on. Cheers Hawker (aka Rob the Tog).

jan said...

Hi - I live in Deiniolen, just under Elidir, and have researched just about all the sites in Snowdonia.
I know of no German wreckage being found in Marchlyn Mawr. However - consider the record of the famous "lost" Dornier 17, 11th October 1940 coded 7T+HH, attacked by Spitfires of 611 Sqn, who reported it burning and crashed at Capel Curig. The escape hatch of the Dornier was found at the time close to Marchlyn Bach lake. Two baled out - the W/Op landed on moorland nearby but the A/G hit the a/c and his body landed in the Nant Ffrancon. The two remaining aircrew put out the fire and managed to return to base at Brest. Many people have searched for this "phantom" crash site, which is probably the origin of your story.

Sean said...

RJMP comments on jan's comment as follows:

"It doesn't fit the story my father gave me, which was that there was an aircraft with crew remains still inside. And it was Marchlyn Mawr, not Marchlyn Bach. I am suspicious however, that it is proving so difficult to find out anything about the aircraft."