Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Hawker Hurricane / LF160
Aircraft Type Nickname: "Hurry"; "Flying Tin Openers"; "Flying Can Openers" (later versions).
A military single-seat interceptor / fighter / bomber flown by the Royal Air Force. The Hurricane was designed by Sydney Camm and built mainly by Hawker Aircraft Ltd.
The Hawker Hurricane was equipped with 1 Rolls Royce liquid-cooled Merlin III 12-cylinder power plant. Later versions had Merlin XX, XXI or XXII power plants.
The Hurricane fighter-bomber was armed with eight .303 inch Browning machine guns mounted on the wings. The Mark IV version also carried 2 x 250lb or 500lb bombs or fragmentation bombs. Some Hurricane Mark IVs were equipped with rocket projectiles,100m).
Aircraft Accident Details
NOTE: The accident details for this aircraft and also for Hurricane LF207 which crashed on Beinn na Seilg have much in common, as both aircraft were part of the same training exercise.
The Hawker Hurricane featured here was attached to 516 Squadron, 26 Group Bomber Command, then operating out of RAF Connel near Oban on the west coast of Scotland. This aircraft was flown by Warrant Officer (W/O) J. E. Stephen (RAF).
Together with two other Hurricanes, the pilot took off on a low-flying training exercise scheduled to take place just off Ardnamurchan Peninsula, NE of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. However, after completing the exercise and while beginning their flight back to RAF Connel, the pilots encountered heavy cloud and mist.
In an attempt to find the nearest suitable landing area, the three aircraft separated. W/O Stephen set course for the base at RAF Tiree. Sadly, the pilot failed to reached Tiree. His wrecked aircraft was discovered 3 days later at Hyne on the Isle of Coll.
Another Hurricane, LF207 flown by Fl/Lt A. J. Woodgate, crashed at Beinn na Seilg on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, killing the pilot. A third pilot survived after crash-landing his Hurricane at Carse Farm, Stirling.
Aircraft Pilot Casualty
The pilot who died on the Isle of Coll, was:
W/O Stephen was laid to rest at Havant and Waterloo (Warblington) Cemetery.
A granite boulder overlooking this and one of the other crash sites bears a plaque dedicated to the memory of these pilots.
For a more comprehensive account of this accident, please see Phillip Jones' entry at Combined Operations website, under 516 Squadron.
Crash Site Photos
Memorial Related Links
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 6 Feb 1944
SW of Arinagour [Map]
Region: Argyll and Bute (Isle of Coll)
Nearest town, village, or croft:
(SW of Arinagour)
Nearest large town:
None on Coll. Nearest by ferry to Oban (Timetable link)
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref. N/A
Present Condition: A few identifiable sections and fragments of wreckage still remain on the Island.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Hawker Hurricanes in the UK at MilitaryAirshows.co.uk (includes Merlin engine sounds)
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Hawker Hurricane LF160
Hyne, Isle of Coll, Argyll and Bute