25-01-09 The Sandwood Spitfire
Probably the last thing you'd expect to see when walking on a beach in the far north west of Scotland is a Spitfire but that's precisely what sharp-eyed visitors to Sandwood Bay will find, if luck is with them.

The Spitfire (R7154) came down in September 1941 after suffering engine failure. By all accounts the pilot, Sgt Kilburn, made a perfect landing on the beach and was unhurt, but with the remoteness of the location it proved impossible to recover the aircraft which was subsequently relieved of its ammunition and set alight. The remains have lain there ever since. An excellent account of the incident was published in the Northern Times in 1983, and re-printed recently.

The first photograph shows one of the propellor blades and part of the engine, and comes from a superb set of pictures taken by Adrian Wain when touring Scotland last year, and our thanks go to him for letting us use it.

The second photograph shows the cockpit of the very same Spitfire when new, and bears the names of the towns Accrington, Church, and Oswaldtwistle whose residents donated the money to build it.

The shifting sands of the beach often hide all trace of the Spitfire and no doubt more wreckage remains buried beneath the sands. Perhaps in time more will be revealed.
[Supermarine Spitfire, Sandwood Bay, Kinlochbervie]
Many thanks to Adrian Wain for the photograph.
[Supermarine Spitfire, Sandwood Bay, Kinlochbervie]
The people of the towns of Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle paid for the Spitfire.

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