DH Mosquito MM244

Corryfoyness, Loch Ness, Highland













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: A de Havilland Mosquito in flight.


a de havilland mosquito in flight


Photo: [pre-1957] UK Government. Now, public domain.






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF de Havilland Mosquito PR Mk IX / MM244



(Click here for RAF history of this type)


Aircraft Type Nickname: "The Wooden Wonder"; "Mossie".



The de Havilland Mosquito was a multi-role combat aircraft which ranged from fighter to bomber to photographic reconnaissance types.

Mosquitoes were equipped with two Rolls-Royce Merlin in-line piston engines. The B IV type could fly at 380mph.

The fuselage and wings of the Mosquito were made largely of wood. This permitted construction of these parts to be sub-contracted to furniture manufacturers and piano builders, thereby relieving the strain on the overstretched conventional aircraft industry.

The first Mosquitoes to enter service with the RAF were the photo reconnaissance types (PR.IX's). It was one of this type which crashed at Corryfoyness in the Scottish Highlands.



BELOW: A de Havilland Mosquito B35 Bomber photographed at the Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Canada.


DH Mosquito on display at the Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Canada


Photo: 1980 'Bzuk'. Released by the author to the public domain under Wikimedia Commons licensing arrangement.






Aircraft Accident Details


Mosquito PR (Photo-Reconnaissance) Mk IX  MM244 was on a squadron training flight, together with several other Mosquitoes. They had been instructed to fly out to a rock off the NW coast of Scotland and fly back.

It was extremely bad weather. Maybe one or two Mosquitoes returned to their base at RAF Benson; the rest had all sorts of problems and diverted to other airfields. Mosquito MM244 lost first one engine; and then, a little while later, the next.

The Navigator, F/O Alex Barron, went out of the aircraft first and landed on one side of Loch Ness. The Pilot, F/Lt Joe Burfield, landed in thick bush land on the other side. The aircraft continued to glide for a short distance, before impacting a hillside nor far from the loch.

After landing, F/Lt Burfield eventually found an old farmer who took him to the local police station in a horse and cart. Because neither of them could barely understand a word the other was saying (Australian v Scots accents), the farmer treated this large (6' 4") man in a flying suit with the gravest suspicion and had a shotgun within reach all the way.



Personal reminiscences of the incident by F/O Alex Barron, DFM, navigator, RAF


There were one or two training flights during the first couple of months. On one of these I had my second occasion to bale out. This happened on a flight from Benson routed around the North of Scotland. Three or four aircraft were routed round roughly the same course. The weather was very cold and at 30,000ft the temperature was just about as low as you could find it. I think it was something like -50 degrees Centigrade. Two of the other aircraft had to land about half way round due to fuel problems which were later found to be associated with the extreme cold. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any fuel feed problems until we were at the furthest point of the trip over the Outer Hebrides. The engines coughed and spluttered and finally cut out entirely. It is quite frightening to experience the eerie silence with no engines.







Aircraft Crew


Both the pilot and the navigator of this aircraft survived the accident. These were:

F/Lt Joe Burfield DFC, Pilot, RAAF.

F/O Alexander Barron DFM, Navigator, RAF.



BELOW: 544 Squadron A Flight.

This photo was taken at RAF Leuchars in February 1945, where they were based briefly, in order to photograph targets in Norway.

544 Squadron A Flight. Photo taken at RAF Leuchars in 1944

See enlarged photo here

Front Row - 3rd from left: F/O Alex Barron DFM, Navigator, RAF
Front Row - 2nd from left: Malcolm Mosely, Vicker's navigator
Front Row - 4th from right: F/Lt Joe Burfield, DFC, Pilot, RAAF
Front Row - 3rd from right: F/Lt Harold Vickers, Pilot, RAAF
Front Row - 2nd from right: F/Lt Ron Foster, DFC, C de G, Pilot, RNZAF


Photo kindly provided by Dr. Grant Burfield


Together with his Australian pilot F/Lt Burfield, F/O Barron continued to serve with the RAF in the European theatre of war until 1945.





BELOW: Citation awarded to Flying Officer Burfield, RAAF, issued by the G. Q. Parachute Company (now, Airborne Systems) in Woking on 20th March 1944.


This citation shows official membership of the G. Q. Club, later renamed the Gold Club, and then Irvin-GQ Ltd.


Citation awarded to Flying Office Burfield from G.Q. Club

See enlarged photo here


 The above inscription reads:

Whereas by virtue of your successful accomplishment of a descent from the upper airs of this planet by parachute we have thought fit to nominate and appoint you No AUS 416927, Flying Officer N M Burfield, R.A.A.F. to be a member of the G.Q. Club.


We do by these presents bestow upon you the dignity of membership and hereby authorize you to have hold and enjoy the  privilege of wearing its gold badge of two wings No 218, without challenge let or hindrance.


Given under our hand this day 20th March 1944

Signature (Chairman)


Photo: © 2008 Dr Grant Burfield





BELOW: Medals of valour and distinction awarded to F/Lt Burfield, DFC, during his service with the RAAF.


The G. Q. Wings Badge, No. 218, is attached to the top of the medals.


medals of valour and distinction awarded to F/Lt Burfield DFC

See enlarged photo here


Photo: © 2008 Dr Grant Burfield



F/Lt Joe Burfield had left Australia on a ship carrying mutton early in 1942, eventually arriving in Liverpool after sailing in convoy through the Panama Canal and on to New York. He returned to Australia in 1946. Of the 10 RAAF aircrew on the mutton boat who left Australia, he was the only one to return.

F/Lt Burfield passed away in 1995, aged 80. F/O Barron retired from the RAF in 1947, and passed away in 2000.

For more details on F/Lt Burfield & F/O Barron's service, please see the entry by Neil Barron on the BBC's WW2 People's War website.






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: En route to Mosquito MM244 crash site in Abriachan Forest, indicated by the blue arrow.


En route to Mosquito MM244 crash site in Abriachan Forest, indicated by the blue arrow.


Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson



BELOW: Approaching the crash location. Some of the remaining wreckage parts lie among these trees.


Approaching the crash location. The little remaining wreckage parts lie among these trees.


Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson



BELOW: A small piece of Plywood.


A small piece of Plywood.


Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson



More photos from Gary Nelson's collection on


Pages 1-B and 1-C



Earlier photos below





BELOW: Phillip Jones' two eldest sons at site of the crashed Mosquito PR.IX MM244 in Abriachan Forest near Corryfoyness. Wreckage fragments, including skinning and miscellaneous pipes, etc., lie scattered among the trees across the surrounding hillside.


Phillip Jones' two sons investigate the mosquito crash site in Abriachan Forest at Corryfoyness


See enlarged photo here


Photo: © 2008 Phillip Jones



BELOW: Some parts of the aircraft have been buried onsite.


some parts of the wreckage have been buried onsite, leaving a water-filled trench


See enlarged photo here


Photo: © 2008 Phillip Jones



BELOW: Some fragments of remaining wreckage.


some fragments of remaining wreckage lie heaped together


See enlarged photo here


Photo: © 2008 Phillip Jones






(Approach Route Photos)








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Crash Date / Site



Pages last updated: 30 Oct 2015


(More wreckage and route photos added)



Accident Date: 25 Nov 1943


Accident Site:

Corryfoyness (310m / 1,111ft) [map]

(Abriachan Forest , near Great Glen Way) PDF Document and Map


Region: Highland


Nearest town or village:

Achmony or Drumnadrochit

(by Loch Ness)


Nearest large town or city:

Inverness (NE) [map] or Fort Augustus (SW) [PDF area map]


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: NH 55022 BNG 32514


Present Condition: After the recovery of the two power plants, etc., much of the remaining aircraft wreckage was buried onsite. Some fragmented remains are to be found on or near the surface and scattered across the surrounding hillside. However, finding individual wreckage fragments is made rather difficult since the crash site is located within a forested area.




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: MM244


Operator: RAF (16 Group; 544 Squadron; PRU (Photographic Reconnaissance Unit))


Operating Base: RAF Benson


Base Location: Benson; c. 9 miles SE of Oxford, or c. 12 miles NW of Reading, Oxfordshire.


Current Airport Status: Operational Military Airport.


Current Airport Name: RAF Benson (EGUB)





Related Links


General information on de Havilland Mosquito aircraft can be found at:

DH Mosquito.com (History of type)

History in Illustration

uboats.net (Fighting the U-boats)


RAF and Related Links

544 Squadron RAF (History)

Forces Reunited (RAF Benson)

Mosquito at RAF Bomber Command

Mosquito TT35 at RAF Museum

RAF Benson

RAF de Havilland Mosquito (History)

The Wartime Memories Project - RAF Benson


Forums, Organisations, and Societies

The Mosquito Page (The "Mossie" Organisation)

WW2 People's War (BBC Archives)



De Havilland Museum (Incorporating the Mosquito Aircraft Museum)

Mosquito TT35 at RAF Museum


Other Link

de Havilland Mosquito at Wikipedia


Borders Book Link


Focus on Europe: A Photo-Reconnaissance Mosquito Pilot at War, 1943-45 (Book by Ron Foster (shown in photo on left)—includes details of Mosquito MM244 crash)


Focus on Europe - link to book at Borders


Author: Ron Foster, DFC, Croix de Guerre




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