During my recent trip to Skye (see my previous blog posting, ‘Skye (2)‘), I looked for the site of a USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bomber that crashed on Beinn Edra on the Trotternish Ridge during the Second World War.
This wreck is well-known amongst locals on Skye and I have heard many discussions about it in the past, so it was good to finally visit it.
The site is just below the 611m summit of Beinn Edra, which I had walked to the top of with Lesley the day before, approaching from the west. However, the wreck site is located to the east of the steep Trotternish ridge, so to avoid this obstacle for my second trip to the ridge, I approached from the east from the village of Marishader near Staffin, across bleak and boggy moorland with no landmarks. No approaches to the remote site are particularly easy, which might explain why there is so much wreckage of the aircraft remaining onsite after all this time.
All of the remaining wreckage at the site is very fragmented however, showing the high-speed nature of the impact. Although the actual impact point is located in an innaccessible location in the cliffs below the summit of Beinn Edra, most of the wreckage is located in a wide area on the relatively easy-angled slopes below the cliffs, directly below a prominent gully in the cliffs.
Identifiable pices of wreckage include many engine components, including two radial cylinder sections, one of which is almost completely buried underneath scree and grass, cowling sections and compressors. There are also undercarriage struts, propellor parts and what looks like a section of armour plating. There is also a section of fuselage with what looks like a window or door opening.
You can see my page about this wreck site on my website here.
This wreck site was visited in 2011 by Terence Christian, a PhD student from the University of Glasgow who is studying wreck sites in Scotland, see a BBC website news article about this here: