Village to mark 70th anniversary of secret wartime plane crash

19 April 2012

A Yorkshire village is to mark the 70th anniversary of a historic wartime plane crash by creating a permanent memorial.

Residents of Great Ouseburn, near Boroughbridge, will use the occasion of their spring festival on Sunday, 29 April to unveil a plaque to mark the disaster in 1942, when a secret wartime flight carrying Russian military officials plummeted to the ground in a field, killing all ten people on board.

The disaster attracted international interest, with fears that the engine fire which caused the crash was the result of a Nazi plot. However no evidence of satobage was ever found.

The four Russians were on a reconnaissance trip to Britain in advance of a secret visit by the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. They were accompanied by six members of the RAF and travelling in the same Flamingo plane which had carried Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle two years before.

The plaque will be unveiled at 2pm after a short ceremony which will include a presentation by local historian Kev Cale.

Cllr Keith Scott, chairman of the parish council, said:

The Great Ouseburn plane crash caused an international scandal at the time and 70 years later, it is attracting renewed interest. We thought it was time that there was a permanent memorial to mark the site. The plaque is inscribed in both English and Russian as a tribute to the victims of both nationalities.

There are a number of eyewitnesses who still remember the crash including Margaret Stead, 84, who now lives in Moortown, Leeds. Descendants of two of the UK pilots who died in the crash are expected to attend the event.

The spring festival features a full day of events and attractions including the opportunity to visit 12 outstanding gardens, a craft fair, plant stalls and garden jumble sale, a flower and music festival in the church, children’s games, scarecrow trail, animal farm and lots more. For further details see


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