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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 22481
Last updated: 17 November 2021
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Time:03:00 LT
Type:Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Owner/operator:50 Squadron Royal Air Force (50 Sqn RAF)
Registration: L4063
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Windy Gyle, Cheviot Hills, Northumberland -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Destination airport:
On the night of 16-17/3/40, two aircraft of 50 Squadron, RAF, took-off from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshhre, for a night-time security patrol in the Heligoland Bight. Having completed the patrol, both aircraft were diverted to R.A.F. Leuchars in Fife, Scotland due to bad weather at base.

Nothing of interest in the patrol area was reported. One aircraft (L4164) made a safe landing at Leuchars. However, the second, Hampden, L4063 piloted by 39479 Flying Officer Vivian Howard Ayres, with 2nd pilot 41646 Pilot Officer Peter Aubrey Forrester Addie, Air Gunner 514444 Sgt. George Albert Rowling and W/Op-Air Gunner 550802 LAC Allan Vincent Wallace crashed into hills at Windy Gyle, (Opposite Cock Law Foot, Morbattle) in the Cheviot Hill, of Northumberland, at around 2,032 feet AMSL on the Pennine Way about 12 Miles SSE of Kirk Yetholme near Jedburgh while making for Leuchars in the early hours of the morning on the 17th. All four on board were killed.

The aircraft’s instruments were thought to have been fed incorrect QDM’s due to QDM equipment failure which led to the aircraft descending to 2000 feet in the area where hill tops were 3000 feet. A memorial has recently been erected on the crash site.

Pilot Officer Addie is buried at Oundle Cemetery; Flying Officer Ayres is buried in Cardiff cemetery. George Rowling and Allan Wallace are ‘Missing’ and are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial.

Later on 17/3/40, two pilots, Pilot Officer Bull and Pilot Officer Pilcher flew to Leuchars, possibly in connection with the loss of L4063. They returned on the 18/3/40, performing an anti-submarine patrol from Leuchars on the way.

Nothing of interest was seen however the aircraft was intercepted by a Spitfire and after firing recognition signals the Spitfire disengaged; friendly fire was to cost many lives during this war. L4164 returned from Leuchars to Waddington later in the day
39479 Flying Officer Vivian Howard Ayres pilot (killed),
41646 Pilot Officer Peter Aubrey Forrester Addie pilot (killed),
550802 LAC Allan Vincent Wallace wireless operator/air gunner (missing),
514444 Sgt George Albert Rowling air gunner (missing)

Up until the 1960’s a considerable amount of wreckage, including the engines,rear fuselage and outboard wing sections were present at the site. It is believed that these were removed by helicopter but their ultimate fate is unknown, some sources claiming they went to the Otterburn Range to serve as targets.

Despite this, up until the mid 1990’s there was still a considerable amount of small to medium sized pieces still to be found in the main impact crater, and on the opposite side of the hill, the underside of the nose was partly buried in a stream. However these final remains were recovered from the site by the Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group (LARG) and now only small fragments are to be found at the scene.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-L9999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1978 p 23)
2. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 81/101:

Revision history:

10-Aug-2008 01:36 Anon. Added
21-Jan-2012 07:54 Nepa Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Narrative]
06-Jul-2013 18:19 JINX Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Phase, Departure airport, Narrative]
02-Feb-2015 16:43 Xindel XP Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Mar-2018 00:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
07-Mar-2018 00:03 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
06-Jun-2019 17:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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