On November 3, 1948, a B-29 Superfortress crashed in the Peak District near Bleaklow.
The United States Airforce Boeing RB-29A was part of the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron. It had previously been used to photograph nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll, including the dropping of an atomic bomb.
The aircraft crashed near Higher Shelf Stones on Bleaklow during a routine daytime flight to the US Airforce Base in Warrington. It’s believed that the pilots thought they had passed the hills of Bleaklow, but due to low cloud cover their visibilty was obscured and the aircraft hit the ground a little over 2,000 feet above sea level. All 13 crew members were killed on impact.
Much of the wreckage remains on the moors to this day, along with an official memorial erected by the Royal Air Force Finningley in 1988. Sections of the wings and fuselage are still visible, along with gun turrets and Duplex-Cyclone engines.
Know Before You Go
The grid reference for the site is SK 090949. Parking is often available at the layby on Snake Pass. There is a trail up to Bleaklow Head that can be followed to the trig point at Higher Shelf Stones, from there you can navigate to the site. It can be challenging to locate initially, but it's also visible on satellite maps. Be aware of weather conditions and the terrain on the moors when traveling.