USAAF Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Beinn Edra, Skye, crash date 03/03/45

[Picture from]

Full list of OS 10-figure grid refs (GPS)

Google Maps display showing wreckage locations

This well-known wreck site lies near Beinn Edra on the Trotternish Ridge on the island of Skye. The B-17 bomber was flying from Iceland to Wales during the Second World War when it crashed in low cloud into the escarpment cliffs to the east of the 611m summit of Beinn Edra, killing all nine US airmen aboard.

There is a large amount of wreckage remaining at the site, all of it very fragmented, 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.

The debris field is orientated in a south-west to north-east direction, approximately 600m to the north-east of the summit of Beinn Edra, and is about 500m in length. The wreckage lies between altitudes of approximately 240m and 350m (and probably slightly higher).

This wreckage is not easy to get to though, as walking approaches to the remote site from the both the west and east are on difficult boggy and pathless terrain, with approaches from the west having the extra obstacle of the steep Trotternish ridge to negotiate. This may explain why there is still a large amount of wreckage at the site despite it being so well-known and at such a relatively low altitude.

Identifiable pieces of wreckage include many engine components, including two radial cylinder sections, one of which is almost completely buried underneath scree and grass (19th and 25th photos below), cowling sections and compressors. There are also undercarriage struts, propellor parts and what looks like a section of armour plating (27th photo below). There is also a section of fuselage with what looks like a window or door opening (14th and 15th photos below). There are probably more pieces of wreckage located nearer the base of the cliffs where the scree and grass slope steepens, and in the gully in the cliffs itself.

There are some pictures of this site on the TFDACSS website here (including a photo of a large piece of airframe with a lattice-like structure that I didn't manage to locate). There are some photographs of the site and information about the crash on the ACSS website here. There are also some pictures of this site on the AWUK&I website here. There is a BBC website news article about a study of the site in 2011 here and a local commemoration of the crash in 2015 here.

These pictures were taken in May 2011.