The crash site of V9977 showing the
starboard outer engine wreckage
This photograph is believed to have been taken on Monday, 8 June 1942.
It shows the starboard outer engine of Halifax V9977 - the engine that caught
fire and caused the aircraft to crash
The engine lies upside down in the field where the aircraft came down just after 4.20pm on Sunday, 7 June 1942.
The photograph clearly shows the devastation caused following impact. The
bent and buckled remains of the 3-blade
propellor can be seen in the bottom left hand corner of the image.
As the aircraft passed over the mid-point of the River Wye the structural
integrity of the Starboard outer main spar failed.
This is the part of the aircraft that holds the wing to the main inner spar of the fuselage. The outboard mainplane disintegrated
making the aircraft unstable and unable to maintain level flight. At this point the Halifax rolled over
through 180° degrees, ending up practically on its back, at the same time it dropped almost vertically
towards the ground falling in an arc down towards the field in which Mr. Onslow Kirby, farm worker,
stood witnessing the entire event.
Halifax V9977 struck the ground on the South side of Coppet Hill where the
field rises quite steeply
from the North bank of the River Wye. The main fuselage section hit the ground first 130 yards from the River
just below Kirby's direct line of vision, which was slightly obscured by a low ridge.
The severed piece of wing followed the crashing aeroplane falling short of the main fuselage by 30 yards.
This photograph has NEVER been published before and has been missing for the last 61 years.