Historian seeks info on Heinkel crash

Aviation historian Alan Stewart is writing a book on the lesser-known events and places during World War 2 in the North East of Scotland.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:55 am

Mr Stewart told us there are several sections about Fraserburgh in the proposed book, which are:

* Aspy being parachuted in near Tyrie,

* Fraserburgh beach Minefields,

* Defence of Fraserburgh)

However, one topic which lacks sufficient detail concerns a German Heinkel He 115 Seaplane which crashed at Windyheads (New Aberdour) on September 15/16, 1940.

Mr Stewart wonders if anyone knows of a photograph of the crash site or even where any parts that were ‘acquired’ as souvenirs went.

He says: “I know the Anchor of the plane was given to the new Aberdour Policeman, who later donated it to Fraserburgh Library, however it appears its whereabouts is now unknown.”

The aircraft had a crew of three. Their mission was to undertake armed coastal reconnaissance off Kinnard Head. Due to very poor weather they decided to abort the mission and return to base.

During the turn to head back, and thinking they were over the sea. A wing tip unexpectedly hit the high ground causing the aircraft to crash near Windyheads Farm.

The farmer, Jimmy Beedie; housekeeper Agnes Marr and James’s cousin Donald Watson heard the noise and went to investigate. To their shock they found it was a German aircraft with one of the crew badly injured. Jimmy went for Police on his motorbike and Donald went to find something to carry the injured airman - leaving Agnes alone with the aircrew who were armed! They could have taken her hostage or worse, but their focus was on the injured airman.

Jimmy got a policeman from New Aberdour, who in turn called the police in Fraserburgh as well as the Home Guard. When they turned up at the farmhouse, The pilot was deep in conversation whilst Agnes provided food. At a time when food was scarce, police were less than complimentary about the spread put on for the Germans.

The injured Airman was taken to hospital in Aberdeen and the other two went to a POW camp. The unexploded bombs were dealt with and the aircraft removed from the site.

Mr Stewart concluded: “I would be keen to hear from anybody who may recall the crash - who would have been a child then.”

Anybody with information can reach him at [email protected]