Monday, 3 September 2007

Bomber Crash at Giant's Causeway - 2

Glenda Rodgers met John Quinn, author of "Wings over the Foyle", last Wednesday, August 30. John gave Glenda a conducted tour of Aghanloo Airfield near Limavady, going into all the existing buildings and explaining their use.

They then had tea with Lorna, daughter of Mrs Acheson who organised social gatherings for the airmen in Limavady during WWII. Lorna clearly remembered Vernon Pither, the RAAF pilot, who perished in the crash.

Jill Moss arrived from New Zealand yesterday. She's a niece of P/O Wilson Twentyman, NZAF, the other pilot who died in the crash. After a quick tour of Belfast Glenda and Jill drove up the Antrim Coast Road, dropping into Murlough Bay on the way.

Today's itinerary begins with a visit to Aghanloo then it's off to Drenagh House, near Limavady, where the airmen were billeted and to the Alexander Arms where they spent their leisure time. The Limavady trip will also include a visit to the graveyard at Christchurch Parish Church, Drumachose, where Jill will lay a New Zealand poppy in memory of her uncle.

Sometime this afternoon they will visit the crash site near the Giant's Causeway. According to Colin Sinclair, the plane flew over the houses on Runkerry Road, just before Runkerry House, and crashed on the high ground overlooking Portcoon. The nose cone of the bomber ended up at the back of the little gorge there and it's possible that the bomber collided with a small eminence that lies between Blackrock Strand and Portcoon. Portcoon is the first inlet on the Ulster Way as you walk west from the Giant's Causeway Hotel.

Update: The Wellington bomber's serial number was DV772. Was it a Mk 1C*? Where was in manufactured?

The photo shows Jill and Glenda being interviewed at the Giant's Causeway by Bob Huggins of Downtown Radio on Wednesday, September 4.

Barbara Woodhouse, niece of Vernon Pither, is planning to visit the North Coast on September 15.

*It was a Mk 1C - the image at the top is a Mk 2