The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme


Liberator crash site, Hoy


Liberator GR Mk V FL949Y formed part of 331 Squadron stationed at Tain in northern Scotland. The plane was returning from an uneventful anti-submarine patrol on 1 January 1945, but weather conditions were bad with low cloud, high winds and heavy snow. The crew failed to heed high ground warnings and crashed into Cuilags on Hoy, about 30 metres from the summit. All eight Czech crewmen were killed.
Some of the wreckage was salvaged by the recovery crew from No 56 Maintenance Unit who spent 5 weeks on the island, their work hampered by snow and gales. Whilst parts of the aircraft still litter the Hoy moors, a wing section is now held by the Orkney Museum and recently featured in an exhibition about wartime Orkney.