Easby Moor

Easby Moor is perhaps better known as the moor where Capt.Cooks Monument stands. Most visitors climb straight to the summit unaware of the drama which happened where this photo was taken just a couple of hundred metres north west of the it.

The winter of 1940 was particularly bad. Snow, sleet and freezing fog lasted most of January and into February. At 4:10 on the morning of Sunday 11th February 1940 a Lockheed Hudson aircraft took off from Thornaby Airfield to search for German minesweepers operating off the Danish coast. Five minutes later the plane crashed on Easby Moor killing three of the four man crew and injuring the fourth. Ice had formed on the wings causing the aircraft to fail to gain sufficient height to clear the hills. The aircraft clipped the escarpment then ploughed through the larch plantation shown in the photo before coming to rest. The gap between the trees is approximately 60 feet corresponding with the Hudson’s wingspan of 65½ feet. The aircrew who died were Flying Officer Tom Parker, Sergeant Harold Berksley and Corporal Norman Drury. Leading Aircraftman Athol Barker survived but was later shot down three years later whilst flying over Germany. The four unexploded bombs that the Hudson carried were later detonated by the RAF creating a small pond nearby.

In 2003 a memorial was erected on the main track up to the monument.

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