Fairey Barracuda DP872

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Has anyone got any photos of the 1970 recovery of DP872 from Blackheath Moss, Enagh Lough near Derry/Londonderry N'Ireland. I was 12 years old at the time and as I lived nearby went over to the site to watch the recovery in progress. I believe the remains of the three man crew were still with the wreck. I remember seeing police present and items including a wrist watch being placed in a plastic bag. I always wondered why the remains of the crew were not recovered at the time of the accident-1944 I think. The area where this aircraft crashed was a very small lake from memory around 50 meters across-if that, surrounded by soft ground but very close to a road. Maydown airfield where the A/C took off would be only a mile or so away which would have made it easy to get recovery equipment to the site quickly. I was told that for a number of years after the crash part of the aircraft was visible above the water which leads to believe the wreck was in very shallow water. I Would love to see any related photos or hear from anyone who was involved with the recovery or who was present at the time.
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I think there are photos of the recovery in the Fleet Air Arm musuem if it's the one I'm thinking of. There's also an explanation of the difficulties involved in the recovery which I think is why nothing was attempted in 1944. You could try contacting them.
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Yes! this is the a/c at the fleet air arm museum. I did get to see the wreck around 1980. I was on 702 squadron at Yeovilton at the time. I contacted the museum and asked if they had the wreck and if I could see it. Some weeks later I got a call from the curator. I made my way to a hanger on the other side of the airfield where the wreck was stored, however I was unable to see very much as it was very dark in the hanger as there was no lighting. The engine and instrument panel has been restored and is on display in the museum. I must contact them and ask if they have any plans for the rest of the airframe.
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Control Column magazine for the period would be my first port of call. Mark
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Hi Mark, Any idea where I could find copies?
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I remember when visiting the FAA Museum ten years ago that there were some pics about the recovery next to the nose of the Barracuda. Would make a great article in any of the magzines Cees
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Hi Mark, Any idea where I could find copies?
I have riffled through Control Column magazine from 1970 to 1974 inclusive. There are no photos. There is mention of the Irish Barracuda in the BAPC report of late 1971 saying recovery has been delayed until next year. Best I can do. Lee Howard, any views? Mark
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I remember when visiting the FAA Museum ten years ago that there were some pics about the recovery next to the nose of the Barracuda. Would make a great article in any of the magzines Cees
I did see the photos you mention, however I don't think they show much of the recovery process. I would indeed love to see a magazine article with history of the crash and the the story why it took twenty seven years before an attempt was made to recover the wreck....was there an unsuccessful attempt in 1944? I believe the remains of the crew were buried in a local curch yard after an postmortem in 1971. I am not aware if any relatives of the crew were contacted or attended the funerals. Paul.
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I have riffled through Control Column magazine from 1970 to 1974 inclusive. There are no photos. There is mention of the Irish Barracuda in the BAPC report of late 1971 saying recovery has been delayed until next year. Best I can do. Lee Howard, any views? Mark
Thank you Mark, I wrongly thought it was 1970. However I don't think it was as late as '72 as I had moved from the area by then.
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I found the following information on the crew of DP872. Taken from "RNVR Officers 1939-1945. Oxby, Dennis Herbert * D.H. Oxby (Photo courtesy of Mr D.L. Oxby) Son of Frederick William Oxby, and Dorothy Oxby (née Wheeler). * birth registered as Herbert Dennis Oxby 07.10.1924 Lincoln district, Lincolnshire - 29.08.1944 [age 19] [Faughanvale (St Canice) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Eglinton, Londonderry, NW Extension] T/A/S.Lt. (A) ? Education: Bulwell Hall Estate School (...-1935); won a scholarship to High Pavement Grammar School (1935-1940) Worked with Nottingham Corporation Transport Department. ? - 29.08.1944 HMS Peewit (RN Air Station, East Haven, Angus) [in his last week of training he was flying a Fairey Barracuda II [DP872] which took off from Maydown for East Haven, spun into bog five miles from airfield - Blackhead Moss near Enagh Lough, Waterside, Londonderry; S.Lt. D.H. Oxby RNVR, S.Lt. F.R. Dobbie RNVR and Ldg.Airm. D.A.T. Mew were all killed] Link to page; http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RNVR_officersO.html
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Control Column magazine for the period would be my first port of call. Mark
No, I'm afraid - but I do have a memory of reading about the recovery in "Flight Deck" around that time.

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Hi there, I'm not sure if this thread is still active, but I do have something which may be of interest. While I have no photographs, my Father was one of the first people to arrive at the crash scene back in 1944 and, I would imagine, among the last people still around who were there on that day. Here are some of his recollections: I was a member of the "crash crew" formed at RNAS Maydown, not a full-time job of course, but in the event of a crash we immediately went to the site. DP872 Barracuda ceme down, shortly after take-off, in Blackhead Moss bog, on the edge of Lough Enagh. It didn't land in water but in a very marshy area which made it difficult to stand in one place for more than a minute or so before beginning to sink. The force of the landing caused the front of the aircraft to be completely submerged, though part of the rear end was still visible. Various parts had come adrift, including a wheel with part of the undercarriage attached, wedged high up in a nearby tree. We laid some planks down and tried to clear the sludge from where we estimated the cockpit would be if still attached, and did locate part of the canopy, but it was still slowly sinking and we were unable to pull it free. A number of American soldiers arrived and said they had a powerful pump available which would possibly suck some of the sludge away, but this seized up as soon as it started up. The fire brigade then turned up, but were unable to do anything. We spent the following day clearing up as much as we could of what was left above ground, and the next day we laid duckboards down on the solidest part of the site and the Chaplain conducted a funeral service for the three crew members.

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Very interesting to hear about the crash of 'our' Barra, thanks for that; there's already a thread running about the announcement of it's rebuild- bit of merging for a mod to do maybe?
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Hi Neil, Just noticed your post on this old thread. Please thank your father for the information he has provided. I recently contacted the museum at Yeovilton and I am hoping to view the wreck before it goes for rebuild. Back in the '60s the crash site was a very small lake and almost impossible to get near with high reeds surrounding it. From the info provided by your Father I would say the lake formed as a result of the crash.

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Hi everyone- just reviving this old thread with a bit of a request. As many of you may know, we mad lot at The Bluebird Project are going to have a crack at resurrecting DP872 for the FAAM. While they obviously have their own archives which we may dip into, we'd like to make a general appeal now for anyone who has any Barracuda reference material to share to get in touch- we're looking for good reference photos, footage, parts, anything really that may help. We'll also be on the look out for any interested volunteers- if you're based in or willing to travel regularly to the North East, and would like to help out with bringing the type back to life, we'd love to hear from you. We're gearing up gradually at the moment- we still have a good while to go on Bluebird after all- but we're also already doing some Barra work; we've already started on it's elevators- and we'll shortly be setting up a dedicated unit as our Barra workshop too. If you can help with anything, anything at all, please PM me. Thanks!

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Norway should still have some sites with Barracuda remains.

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Cheers for the reply David. Yes, we're considering what wrecks are out there, and what else we might be able to get hold of, either ourselves our via the FAAM of course. I stress that it's very early days yet, and the FAAM do already have a considerable amount of Barracuda, but as we'd like this to be a Barracuda built solely from original parts, the more we have to start with the better!
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My father served on a Barracuda squadron during the war. Apparently the CO of the squadron refused to fly the aircraft because he considered it too dangerous! What surprised me was the fact that it was the most numerous type to serve with the FAA in WW2.

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Yes- it was plentiful and had a worthy service career- but it seems forever doomed to be remembered for it's quirks and awful looks!

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IIRC there are photos on display at FAAM of the remains being extracted from its resting place. I'll try and have a look on Wednesday.

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We thought everybody might like a look at what we've been doing whenever we've had little bits of downtime between jobs on Bluebird...we're proud to unveil the world's only Fairey Barracuda starboard elevator! This took two of us about a month to build...it's a conglomeration of original and new build parts BUT! the newly made parts are made from...scrap Barracuda! Yup, see all those rib booms for example? They are made to the correct section from the original Fairey drawings from tattered old bits of Barracuda skinning etc, making the elevator 100% original Barracuda material...nifty huh? It's very early days but we hope that we can build the entire aircraft like this- there's certainly enough parts scattered about. Our friends at the FAAM have a good haul of bits, and then there's some lovely bits laying on various hill and mountainsides...I'm convinced that there's easily a complete Barracuda left in the world- we just need to sweep it up and weld it back together! We're coming on nicely with setting up a dedicated unit for the Barra Project, and we're still happy to hear from anyone that can help in any way whatsoever.
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