Fascinating story about two German planes which crashed on Lundy

By Sue Read   |   Senior Reporter   |
Sunday 27th January 2019 8:48 am
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The cover of ‘Eagles on Lundy’. ()

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WITHIN a month of each other in 1941, two German planes had crashed on Lundy, their story now being told by aircraft historian Graham Lewis who used to live in Crediton, now at Penzance.

Eddie Watford, who shared Graham’s passion for aviation archaeology, had been writing about war time crashes in the South West, since the 1960’s.

One of his visits to Lundy was three days when he and Graham were researching, finding remains of the craft and checking with local people. Eddie was the first recruit to the South West Aviation Historical Society which Graham formed in 1993.

Eddie has since died leaving Graham determined to publish the book which was his brainchild, putting together all the research and photographs he had collected over the years.

"The illness came too early and took him away. I miss him. I hope I do justice to his work. I am sure he would be delighted that his book has finally been published," writes Graham in the Introduction to "Eagles on Lundy".

There are maps, photographs of the aircraft and their crash sites, copies of original documents, tales of the aircrews and memories from those who saw the two crashes.

One was on March 3, 1941, the other on April 1, 1941.

It is a fascinating story of how one crew tried to lie their way out, all the tangling of stories from both crews and how local people saved them, stopping the crowd from killing them then and there.

"Eagles on Lundy" tells how a Ramsgate trawler had been attacked by one of these planes. It is a lovely account of bravery and lies and what happened next.

"Eagles on Lundy" by Graham Lewis is published by Leesthorpes Publishing of Penzance and printed by Headland Print also of Penzance.

Graham’s vast collection of aircraft artefacts and photographs can be seen at the RAF Memorial Museum on Davidstow Moor not far from Launceston.

Graham was the man who managed to set up a permanent memorial at Morchard Bishop to the crews of two Halifax bombers that had crashed after colliding in a war-time exercise and another at Manley Bridge on the Grand Western Canal at Tiverton to the memory of the two man crew of a Canberra jet bomber which crashed there in 1961.

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