Site of 1944 plane crash, Llandudno Junction
Site of 1944 plane crash, Marl Hall Woods
An RAF plane crashed close to this spot in February 1944, killing all five men on board. If you've just scanned the QR codes near the entrance to Marl Hall Woods, look northwards (to your left) beyond the pond towards the small culvert under the grassy bank. The plane came down a short distance beyond the culvert in a field that now is now crossed by the A470 road.
The plane took off from RAF Mona, Anglesey, on the afternoon of 16 February 1944, a cold day. It was an Avro Anson N5130. On board were a pilot, a wireless operator and three trainees. They were on a routine navigational training exercise, and planned to take in the towns of Richmond and Brompton in Yorkshire before returning to base.
Tragedy struck less than half an hour after take-off, when the plane went into a steep dive from c.1,500 metres (5,000ft) and crashed at high speed into the ground. An investigation into the cause of the accident revealed that there was a “structural failure of the airframe” causing the pilot to lose control. With pieces of the aircraft falling off, the pilot had no chance of recovering the plane from its dive.
The men who died were: Flight Sergeant Melville Samuels, aged 23; Flight Sergeant Thomas Clothier, of New Zealand; Pilot Officer Charles Folkard, of Suffolk; Sergeant Sylvester Yates; and Jan Radecki, aged 30, serving with the Polish Air Force.
During the Second World War, the RAF welcomed into its ranks thousands of men from Poland. The Poles earned a reputation for exceptional courage and devotion to duty.
On 15 February 2014, a plaque commemorating the men who died in the crash was unveiled at St Michael and All Angel's church in Llandudno Junction. Descendants of the airmen travelled from various parts of Britain to attend the ceremony.
With thanks to Gwyn Hughes, of Deganwy History Group