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Blackburn Skua L2892 Ė 02/02/1943

Type Serial No Unit Station Duty Crew Passengers
Blackburn Skua L2892 No 776 Squadron Speke Routine flight 2 -

On the 2nd February 1943 Blackburn Skua No L2892 of No 776 squadron flown by (A) Anthony John Newton was on a routine flight from RAF Woodvale to Speke when it is believed the aircraft suffered an engine failure struck high ground in bad visibility, bounced over a number of fields, crashed through a wall and plunged into a lodge 60 feet deep at Dunscar near Bolton trapping both crew members.

Below follows the recovery details of L2892 extracted from No 75 Maintenance Unitís operational Record Book,

February 3rd Site inspected for possibilities of salvage. Aircraft located by means of dragging about 14ft from sheer quarry face. As approach to edge of quarry by crane was impossible six scaffold poles were obtained and lashed together in pairs to form a strong type of sheer legs. These were erected on the top edge of the quarry face and the tops were braced in several different directions including one long guy to the far side of the quarry.

February 4th Naval divers descended and fastened cable onto wreckage and this cable was passed to the snatch block on the sheer legs approximately 80 yrds away, a stone wall being partly demolished to enable the hawsers to be fixed, the boggy ground preventing a closer approach to the quarry face of the crane. Crane proceeded to drive ahead and the tail portion of the aircraft broke surface but owing to lack of height of the sheer legs the main portion of the aircraft was still submerged.

A chain stopper was placed on the wire hawser and fastened to the base of the telegraph pole, approximately 30 yrds away. A fresh wire was then fastened on the wreckage at a lower point and passed over a second block fastened to the top of the shear legs, and then fastened to the crane as previously. The crane then proceeded ahead thus bringing a further portion of the fuselage clear of the water and enabling the first body to be recovered from the wreckage. The first hawser was again fastened and the tail unit was bodily hauled onto the bank and lashed down. Another search was then made and the pilotís body recovered.

February 5th It was determined to ease the guy from the far side of the quarry and at the same time go ahead with the crane, thereby pulling the top of the sheer legs in towards the bank. When this was accomplished the crane was stopped and the aircraft wreckage lashed down on the collapsed sheer legs, as these then formed a rough type of sledge. The crane was directed to proceed, thereby hauling sheer legs and salvaged aircraft up the bank to level ground in one operation.

Salvage of the engine was abandoned, as it was embedded in deep mud, divers being unable to attach hawsers.

February 6th Site cleared of all scrap, damaged ground and walls inspected by Damage Officer. Salvage party returned to unit.

The Bristol Perseus engine from L2892 was recovered from a depth of 25 feet by Bolton Sub Aqua Club in 1975, the engine was taken by the RAF to RAF Cardington after being cleaned at the Bolton Institute of Technology, however after the closure of the storage facility at RAF Cardington the engineís whereabouts are currently unknown.

Sub Lieutenant (A) Anthony John Newton's inscription 

Sub Lieutenant (A) Anthony John Newton's inscription

Sub Lieutenant (A) Anthony John Newton is remembered on the Liverpool (Anfield) Crematorium, Panel 2.

The second crewman as yet remains unidentified.

Crash Site 2001

Crash Site 2001

The quarry at the crash site has now been filled in and become a play area for a new housing development.

Position Rank Name Service No Age Status
Pilot Sub Lieutenant (A) Anthony John Newton - 20 Killed
- - - - - Killed

Speke Incidents