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Two Griffins holding a 74th shield. The Spirit of the 74th.

Gloster Javelin Crash in the Yorkshire Moors.

It Was in All the Papers.

Javelin Crash in the Yorkshire Moors near Castle Bolton.

Sketch of a crashed Gloster Javelin Aircraft

Sketch: Waiting for the Army to arrive to do the spadework.

"You've just volunteered for a trip to the Yorkshire Moors" Chiefy told me. So I reported to the salvage hanger to check in and was told to collect my cold and wet weather clothing from the stores. Not a good start as the weather really was steadily worsening and snow was on the way. Many of my trips out with the salvage lads had ended up recovering bits of aircraft from bogs in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain and even with cold/wet gear things did get cold and wet.

Training Flight from Leeming.

On the 29th of January 1959 this aircraft was on a training flight from Leeming, Yorkshire when whilst over the Yorkshire Dales a engine failed. The crew could not restart the engine so they ejected safely. The aircraft crashed near Apedale, north of Castle Bolton where much of the wreckage still remains.
The crew had consisted of pilot Flying Officer C P Cowper and navigator Cpt R E Nietz .

Pilot and Navigator Ejected Safely.

Thankfully Both Pilot and Navigator ejected safely because there's nothing worse than finding flying boots still full of blood when rummaging through wreckage. If the crash had involved fatalities a special squad (forgotten their title) was sent to collect bodies or body parts into a black bag. Unfortunately for us more squeamish salvage lads it was only necessary to find a percentage of body parts to constitute a complete body and some nasty bits got left to be discovered by yours truly and his mates. I remember these lads because of their weird sense of humour. For example, at mealtime they would wait until the cookhouse was full then describe in raised voices the gory details of their day's work. I leave it to your imagination because I'm just about to have my own dinner.

Mums the Word!

Funny thing is: there seemed to be frequent crashes and subsequent salvage operations although, thankfully, very few appeared to be fatal (lack of blood etc). Not many of these incidents were reported in the press probably because most happened in remote areas of the country or away from the public on airfields.

Let's Hear Your Stories.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has any stories about this accident; humorous, technical or historical. Please use the Feedback Form to contact me briefly, in the first instance.

Joe Bosher (74th).


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