USAF C47 Crash, Cairngarroch Bay


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Reference WMO215103

Address:

The Beach

Cairngarroch Bay

Scotland

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Status: On original site
Type: Non freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Board/Plaque/ Tablet
Materials:
  • Metal Metal (any)
Lettering: Incised
Conflicts:
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: Details and Photos on SWMP Link. The pin position is apoproximate within the bay. Location – fixed to a rock in Cairngarroch Bay at OS Map Ref NX 04526 49503 (by GPS). The rock in question is about 50 metres south of Red Cave and the plaque is about 7 feet up, and you need to look away from the sea to see it. The plaque was unveiled with due ceremony on 27th July 1999. Just less than 10 years later it is showing significant damage caused by the sea spray. Around the plaque are various pieces of aircraft wreckage, some mortared in place. This crash is the subject of a book ‘The forgotten Rhinns’ air disaster’ by Sandy Rankin. It contains the warning “Cairngarroch Bay can be reached only on foot by an unmade track, which comes down to the South end of the bay. The memorial plaque is situated at the North end and is accessible only at low tide. Even then the very rocky nature of the terrain means that getting to the site demands a difficult and lengthy scramble along the shore over high, steep, and jagged rocks.’ I would agree with all of that, plus the rocks are slippery so be sure to wear good boots. Park your car in front of heather cottage (NX 054 494) and follow the signs for the coastal path down to the bay then turn right at the shore. Allow about an hour and a half for the round trip and ONLY ATTEMPT THIS AT LOW OR FALLING TIDE. There is also a related memorial at Portpatrick Lifeboat Station. The aircraft involved was a USAF Douglas C-47A (known as Dakota in UK service) serial 42-93038 based at Merryfield, Somerset and was heading for Prestwick. (Copied from SWMP)
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Near this spot on the 27th July 1944 a USAF C47 Aircraft carrying wounded servicemen from Normandy crashed into the cliff. All 22 persons on board perished. Lest We Forget.

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