HALIFAX BOMBER FIND ON SPEETON BEACH:
On Wednesday 21st May I decided to visit the wreck of the Submarine “G3” under Buckton Cliffs.
And although initially interested in aircraft , I have a passing fascination for shipwrecks and I am currently researching & photographing the wrecks which can be seen to the South of Filey, at low tide.
Whilst combing local beaches maritime relics tend to stand out more than smaller pieces of aircraft aluminium. I`d caught the tide quite low and spent quite a while looking at and photographing the remains of the “Diamond”, a steam trawler that had been driven onto the rocks at Dulcey Dock under Speeton Cliffs in 1912. Whilst searching for remnants of the vessel in the rocks surrounding the boiler, I came across two pieces of aluminium of the grade used in aircraft construction.
The piece of aluminium had a complete bracket still attached. Having worked with wartime aircraft at The Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, near York, and having surveyed numerous wartime crash sites, I knew there would be a Manufacturers number on the bracket somewhere. As luck would have it, the bracket wasn't too corroded and once inspected & cleaned I found two sets of numbering that confirmed that it was a piece of aircraft. Each set of numbers began with “57” which was Handley Page's prefix stamp for their Halifax aircraft. Each part of the airframe was stamped with this mark to identify it.
On 11th December 1942, Halifax W7764 was outward bound on a bombing operation to Turin in Italy.
Having experienced an engine fire in the vicinity of Scarborough the crew decided to jettison their bomb load once over Flixton and head to the coast to ditch in the sea. Once over Filey Bay the aircraft was seen to ditch off Bempton and the crew scrambled out onto the aircrafts wings to be rescued by local fishermen.
Various other Halifax aircraft are known to have crashed or ditched into the sea off our coast, but this piece of wreckage is more than likely from W7764.