RAuxAF de Havilland Vampire, Lammermuir Hills, crash date 17/04/55

[Picture from wikipedia.org]

OS 10-figure grid refs (GPS):

NT 57013 63253 NT 57220 63297
NT 57025 63240 NT 57055 63269
NT 57034 63234 NT 57043 63279
NT 57072 63200 NT 57002 63304

Google Maps display showing wreckage locations

This site lies between altitudes of about 350m and 440m in the Lammermuir Hills south-east of Edinburgh, near Harestone Hill. It is very hidden and not well known. There are only a few small pieces of wreckage remaining and they are very hard to find in a small and steep gorge with two streams that is overgrown with trees and ferns.

This is the remains of a 603 Sqn (City of Edinburgh) RAuxAF aircraft that crashed in 1955 during a weather check in which the pilot was killed (information courtesy of Neil Daniel).

There is some information about the crash here. The Air Crash Investigation & Archaeology website (which is no longer active) used to have some pictures of this crash site, including an old black-and-white photo that appeared to show the treeless site as it was soon after the crash. It seems that all the plant growth that now hides the site so well has appeared since the crash.

The ACSS website has some photos of the wreck site and information about the crash here.

This site lies about 5.5km north of the wreck site of a Boulton Paul Defiant, see my page about this site here.

At the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, there is a de Havilland Goblin engine on display (two photos below), the same type used by the Vampire, and some wreckage parts at the crash site are recognisable as coming from this engine type.

These pictures were taken in August 2008.

These photos were taken on a second visit in December 2008. Much more wreckage was found on this visit, as the winter undergrowth and leaveless trees made discovery much easier. A section of the cockpit canopy was discovered higher up the hill (first photo), and a section of the engine (probably the impeller) lower down in one of the streams in the gorge (fifth photo) that I believe have not been photographed by any other source.

National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.