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Winston Churchill and the death of Prince George, Duke of Kent


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John can you provide a link to and/or a direct quote of Fresson's account. Did he give it during his lifetime or was this as reported by his son?

Richard Freeson published his father's account in the Scotsman on 7th September 1985.

Can you provide a link to the account or post here (or on Sparticus) I couldn't find it on the Net, not even the paper's website but it seem for some reason articles from 1951 - 2000 aren't available and I doubt many members will be able to find 20+ year old issues of that paper in their local libraries.

Can you post a copy of the crash scene photo as well?

Edited by Len Colby
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The Sunderland was fitted with Mark II anti-surface vessel radar. Although primarily designed for detecting enemy ships, it was also routinely used by flight navigators to find the coastline.

AH! Okay, that makes sense. I tend to think of navigation as a position fix, but the ASV would certainly detect the coastline as long as there was sufficient vertical relief.

Thanks!

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It is my opinion that the evidence suggests that the Sunderland flying boat was not off course. That Goyen/Mosley intended to take a route over land. This is also implied in the official report when it says: “Captain of aircraft changed flight-plan for reasons unknown and descended through cloud without making sure he was over water and crashed.” The report does not say that the Sunderland had deviated from its flight plan. At what stage did Goyen/Mosley changed the flight-plan? Was it changed before the flying boat took off? Is this why the original flight-plan has not been released?

As I said earlier, the squadron record book states that the Sunderland took off at 13.10 and crashed at 14.00. However, the crash site is only 25 minutes from Invergordon. What was the aircraft doing in the other 25 minutes? This increases to 55 minutes if you take into account a report that appeared in the John o’ Groat Journal (28th August, 1942). It included an interview with David Morrison (the farmer who raised the alarm). Morrison stated he heard the explosion at 2.30 p.m. He sent his son, Hugh, on motorcycle to raise the alarm in nearby Braemore. Hugh returned at about 3.00 with military personnel. They then formed a search-party and it took them another hour to find the wreckage.

Considering the fact that an extra body was counted at the scene of the crash it would seem that the missing 55 minutes could be accounted for by picking up a passenger. The idea of an extra person is supported by a news item in the John o’ Groat Journal (28th August, 1942). After describing the funeral of the Duke of Kent it states that the bodies of ten of the airmen had been sent south by train and four others had been taken to Oban. That of courses makes 15 bodies rather than the official number of 14.

In the John o’ Groat Journal (4th September, 1942) the newspaper reported that Andy Jack was the: “sole survivor of the plane crash in which the Duke of Kent and 14 others lost their lives.” On 14th September George VI visited the scene of the crash. A local newspaper reported that the King asked about the “15 victims of the crash” and also made “special enquiries about the progress of Flight Sergt. Jack, the only survivor.” A local history book, Caithness – and the War, 1939-1945 by Norman Glass, that was based on reports from local newspapers, also said that 15 people died when the Sunderland Flying Boat crashed on 25th August 1942.

Then we have evidence that the Duke of Kent was involved in a “special mission”. This has been claimed by the Duchess of Kent and the relatives of some of those killed in the crash. It was also confirmed by Sir Samuel Hoare, who told friends at a meeting in Madrid in October 1942 that at the time of the Duke’s death he was undertaking a special mission on his behalf. (I will return to the activities of Hoare later).

Could the flying boat have landed on an inland body of water? According to Robert Brydon, who has carried out an in-depth study of this case, there are only three possible landing sites. The main one is Loch More that is two miles long and a third of a mile wide. This was on the land of Sir Archibald Sinclair. Yes, the same Archibald Sinclair, who was the air minister at the time and the man who set up the inquiry into the crash and delivered its report in the House of Commons. Loch More lies about eight miles to the north of the crash site. It is the middle of Sinclair’s family estate and is not overlooked by the public.

By the side of Loch More are two cottages owned by the Sinclair family (Braemore Lodge and Lochmore Cottage). Sinclair’s son, Robin (Lord Thurso), claims that when he was a boy his father used flying boats on the loch. A S-25 Sunderland Mk III Flying Boat needs three-quarters of a mile to take-off and even less to land. It was therefore possible for Goyen/Mosley to pick up a passenger from someone staying at one of these two cottages.

The Sunderland would have approached from the south and landed towards the deeper end near Braemore Lodge. It would then take off in a southerly direction. To get back the official flight-plan, it would have needed to head for the coast. The safest route would have been to follow Berriedale Water. That would have taken it over Eagle Rock, the scene of the crash.

But who was the passenger? Lord Thurso told the historian Stephen Prior, that according to his mother, Rudolf Hess was kept at Braemore Lodge during the summer of 1942. This story is supported by the testimony of Lady ‘Bunty’ Gunn, who lived in Caithness during the war.

If Hess was one of those killed in 1942, who was the man who was murdered in Spandau Prison on 17th August, 1987? Is Hess the first man to be murdered twice?

Edited by Gary Loughran
Baremore to Braemore
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John,

Are you aware that there was a recent documentary covering some of this mateial, including the Hess flight? I saw it on the history channel (I think) in the last few weeks. It went into detail about the Duke's flight and the possibility that the Hess that died in 1987 was not the original one. Apparently Hess has bullet wound in his armpit which was not identifiable on the 1987 Hess.

John

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John,

Are you aware that there was a recent documentary covering some of this mateial, including the Hess flight? I saw it on the history channel (I think) in the last few weeks. It went into detail about the Duke's flight and the possibility that the Hess that died in 1987 was not the original one. Apparently Hess has bullet wound in his armpit which was not identifiable on the 1987 Hess.

John

No, I did not see the documentary but I have read Hugh Thomas' book, The Murder of Rudolf Hess (1979). In the book he argues that the Hess in Spandau Prison was not the same Hess who was a leader of the Nazi Party. This is based on the medical records of the two men.

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Taking a welcome break from the "Apollo Conspiracy" threads I've created a series of maps using Google Earth that I hope may be of use to members trying to visualise events. Invergordon is marked with a green pin, the crash site (Eagle's Rock) with yellow, Loch More in red. 3D shots show the ground relief exaggerated by a factor of 1.5.

Overview of Northeast Scotland

Zoom on Northeast Scotland (2 mile scale in bottom right)

3D approach from the South

3D approach from the North (Loch More) (The crash site is just visible near the top left).

3D approach from Northwest (closer)

The exact position of the crash site memorial (where the Duke's body was found) is here. The memorial itself is shown below:-

74b3a934-cb95-4033-a310-bf756d7404f7.jpg

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Taking a welcome break from the "Apollo Conspiracy" threads I've created a series of maps using Google Earth that I hope may be of use to members trying to visualise events. Invergordon is marked with a green pin, the crash site (Eagle's Rock) with yellow, Loch More in red. 3D shots show the ground relief exaggerated by a factor of 1.5.

Overview of Northeast Scotland

Zoom on Northeast Scotland (2 mile scale in bottom right)

3D approach from the South

3D approach from the North (Loch More) (The crash site is just visible near the top left).

3D approach from Northwest (closer)

Thank you very much for that. It should help readers of the thread to get their bearings. I also intend to create some materials to enable students to study this case. These maps will be of great help to them. What starts out as a murder mystery ends up as something very different.

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I believe High Thomas also wrote a book about Hitler and how he was most likely strangled by a member of his inner circle and that Eva Braun excaped. This was based upon medical records. Here is the blurb from Amazon,

From Publishers Weekly

Rejecting historians' consensus that Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun, committed suicide in the Nazi underground bunker as Allied forces took Berlin, British surgeon and forensic expert Thomas (The Murder of Rudolf Hess) asserts that the two partially charred corpses found by Soviet troops were actually those of Hitler-and a substitute for Braun, wearing one of her dresses. In his scenario, SS guards murdered Hitler, rather than allow a degenerate, raving Fuhrer to fall into Soviet clutches, and let Braun escape. Hitler, he further speculates, suffered from Parkinson's disease, which made him a partially paralyzed, grossly weakened, uncontrollably shaking insomniac. Thomas bases his detailed analysis, which raises far more questions than it answers, on Russian State Archive material comprising alleged skull fragments of Hitler and Braun, as well as on their dental records and on six folios of documents found with the skulls. Using Paraguayan police files released in 1993, Thomas concludes that Martin Bormann, Hitler's personal secretary, survived the bunker, apparently moving to Paraguay in 1956. Photos.

Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Thomas, a British surgeon and author (The Murder of Rudolph Hess, 1979), uses forensic evidence from newly opened archives in the former Soviet Union and from Paraguay to reach his conclusions about the final days of Hitler and Martin Bormann. Most historians believe that Hitler committed suicide and that Eva Braun died with him. Thomas counters that Hitler was strangled by a member of his inner circle and that Eva Braun escaped. Before reaching this conclusion, Thomas examines Hitler's personality and health. He believes that the dictator had Parkinson's disease and was a borderline schizophrenic. The author spends over 75 pages on the mysterious Bormann, arguing that he escaped to South America and is buried there. Those who enjoy reading about conspiracies, mixed with forensics and the flight of Nazi war criminals, will enjoy Thomas's reasoning processes. Yet Thomas makes a few mistakes. For example, he has Gen. William J. Donovan, head of the OSS, as William O'Donovan. Thomas's book will find a readership in public libraries with large collections on World War II, but interested readers should also check the standard work on Hitler, Allan Bullock's Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1964. rev. ed.).?Dennis L. Noble, Sequim, Wash.

Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Adolf-Hitler-...4047&sr=8-1

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Guest Gary Loughran
Taking a welcome break from the "Apollo Conspiracy" threads I've created a series of maps using Google Earth that I hope may be of use to members trying to visualise events. Invergordon is marked with a green pin, the crash site (Eagle's Rock) with yellow, Loch More in red. 3D shots show the ground relief exaggerated by a factor of 1.5.

Overview of Northeast Scotland

Zoom on Northeast Scotland (2 mile scale in bottom right)

3D approach from the South

3D approach from the North (Loch More) (The crash site is just visible near the top left).

3D approach from Northwest (closer)

The exact position of the crash site memorial (where the Duke's body was found) is here. The memorial itself is shown below:-

Thanks for that Dave, it does give some perspective to the area in question.

If I play Devil's Advocate here; Could this have been a true accident, and once this occurred it became incumbent on Churchill et. al. to cover it up for fear of causing confusion among the people and troops at war?

Had the mission succeeded wouldn't everyone have had a slice of the European pie and all sides kept their dignity; with no losers?

What would the furore at the time have been had the Duke and Hess been found to have been on the same crashed flight - on the other hand no-one needed to know this if the objective of the mission was achieved? This also may have created a better legacy and more potential heroes than the continued war.

If an accident, the only option, surely, would have been to cover it up and continue the war.

On another hand (how many hands can you use in one post? :) ) the only outcome of sabotage/murder would have been a free hand in escalating the war. Which I have no doubt is were we're headed, and with good evidence?

Again, if an accident there is good reason to cover up the mission and interesting passenger as I've explained. Can this not be the case.

The number of plane crashes mentioned in this and the JFK forum must account for a huge percentage of all crashed flights...and they say it's a safe way to travel. Additionally the personages on board all these crashes is startlingly extraordinary, thank goodness for Easy Jet.

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I've taken a slightly different approach.

I've read various diaries and official accoounts of what was happenind at the supposed destination at around this time. In no particular order:

1. there was an issue re blackmarket dollars and the use of the Icelandic Kronu by service men, and employmnent, or not, of local labor.

2. there was a large shipment of Gold Bullion passing through.

3. There was a rapid escalation of German interest in the area around August including surreptitious setting up of German weather stations on a nearby island (part of Greenland)

4. there was shortly to come a rapid de-escalation of German interest as the Russia war was biting deep into German resources.

5. at the time of the crash, the British HQ on Iceland had only just completed handing over to the US.

6. There was a significant Icelandic pro German sentiment.

7. Iceland was a valuable position for predicting weather for the European theatre. There are accounts that these days of August 42 had a window of clear weather.

8 A flight from Iceland the day before had dropped off 'a courier' in Scotland

re the valise of Icelandic Kronurs: to whom, on an island with a native population of less than 150,000, was the Kronu of value?

Edited by John Dolva
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Taking a welcome break from the "Apollo Conspiracy" threads I've created a series of maps using Google Earth that I hope may be of use to members trying to visualise events. Invergordon is marked with a green pin, the crash site (Eagle's Rock) with yellow, Loch More in red. 3D shots show the ground relief exaggerated by a factor of 1.5.

Overview of Northeast Scotland

Zoom on Northeast Scotland (2 mile scale in bottom right)

3D approach from the South

3D approach from the North (Loch More) (The crash site is just visible near the top left).

3D approach from Northwest (closer)

Thank you very much for that. It should help readers of the thread to get their bearings. I also intend to create some materials to enable students to study this case. These maps will be of great help to them. What starts out as a murder mystery ends up as something very different.

I agree, thanks a lot Dave very good work

John -

Do you know if the memorial was built on the exact spot where the wreckage was found?

Is this the Fresson photo? Do you have access to a higher resolution copy?

8b.jpg

Supposedly “the impact point is bottom right”

http://freespace.virgin.net/paul.sclyde/page10.htm

You said the Andy Jack was never called by the court of enquiry. The author of the site I previously said:

“The most pertinent witness to these events, Andrew Jack, was never called to the court of enquiry. His signed statement had been obtained while he was still a patient in hospital.”

http://freespace.virgin.net/paul.sclyde/page12.htm

I seriously doubt Hess was killed on that flight, that would presuppose there was an imposter for 45 years. Why on earth would they keep the double alive so long? The easiest and safest thing to do would have been to bump him off, they could have done this at the end of the war claiming Germany's defeat depressed him and few people would have asked any questions.

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… and here's another result of that search (from http://www.airmuseum.ca/mag/0412.html)

Dear John and Doreene Moyles,

I have studied your website with much interest and, in particular, the April 2004 Newsletter entitled SHORT BURSTS. There is a letter from 'AC2 Don Macfie', who was stationed at RAF Oban in 1942, in which he quotes extracts from his 1942 diary concerning the crash of Sunderland W4026 on 25 August that year. I have been interested in this tragic event ever since first reading Sarah Bradford's outstanding biography of George VI some ten years ago. I was intrigued by the sentence on page 456: 'The King, for some reason, was not told of his brother's death until dinner that night.' During dinner, the King, who was at Balmoral with other members of the Royal Family, was asked to take a phone call from the Air Minister, Sir Archibald Sinclair. The Duchess of Gloucester, who died a fortnight ago, was present and recorded the event in her diary, which Ms Bradford quotes.

I have no professional interest in this matter: I am a retired solicitor; formerly I was a partner in major British law firm (now Addleshaw Goddard.) My father, James Gowans, served in the RAF during the War; he gained his

wings at the No1 British Flying Training School at Terrell, Texas. He sailed from Liverpool on New Year's Eve 1944 for Halifax, Nova Scotia and travelled on to Texas via Montreal and Chicago. Coincidentally, his mother's family came from Wick in Caithness, just a short distance to the north of Eagle's Rock where the Duke's plane crashed. My father now lives in Cyprus and is a regular visitor at RAF Akrotiri. My nephew, Neill Gowans, is a Flight Lieutenant currently based at RAF Brize Norton. I was brought up in Wales, and as a child in the early Sixties I vividly remember going on board one of the last Sunderlands - then a floating museum - at Pembroke Dock. Ever since, flying boats have fascinated me.

Accordingly, when I came across Mr Macfie's letter on your website, I was amazed to read his diary entries for 25 and 27 August 1942 and his note of a meeting a short while later with the sole survivor of the crash, Andrew

Jack. In all probability, Mr Macfie is one of the few people still alive who has any direct knowledge of the crash. For many years I have been trying to piece together the events surrounding the tragedy, and although I am

convinced that human error was to blame - and not sabotage - and that the bizarre allegations that Rudolf Hess was on board are nonsense, I remain puzzled by the number of bodies recovered: the authorities stated that

fifteen people were on the plane, and, before it was discovered on 26 August that Andrew Jack had survived, statements had been issued confirming that fifteen bodies had indeed been recovered at Eagle's Rock. Moreover, as stated in recent press reports, according to Jack's niece, Margaret Harris, Jack told his brother that there was an unauthorised person on the flight.

I should greatly welcome the opportunity to put a few queries to Mr Macfie. Would it be possible for you to contact him and obtain his permission to give me his address, fax or e-mail details?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,

Glyn Gowans

GLYN MACAULAY GOWANS

S'HORT D'EN PAU,

SEXTA VUELTA 6163,

S'HORTA,

07669 MALLORCA,

SPAIN

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This is the AC2 diary extract:

From Don Macfie’s Diary

August 25, 1942 – This evening an aircraft (Sunderland) from 228 Squadron RAF crashed into a Scottish hillside with the Duke of Kent on board. All were killed with the exception of rear gunner Flt/Sgt Andy Jack. P/O Saunders the Navigator was with us in Debert NS. That is eight Debert boys lost since we came over in June.

August 27 – We flew over to Invergordon today, taking the CO of 288 over to see about the return of the bodies from the crash. We went up Caledonia Canal and by Inverness. We flew up the valley between the mountains. It was really the nicest scenery I had ever seen.

Note: some weeks later at Oban I was standing at a bar and noticed Andy Jack beside me. He was jut out of hospital minus most of his nose. I asked him what had happened. He leaned over and whispered, “I think the Duke was flying.”

BTW, I'm not a historian in any sense of the word, so I hope I'm not irritating the *real* historians by dredging up stuff like this!

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