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16 October 2014
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Lough Navar Crash

Many planes crashed in County Fermanagh during World War II ....

Article by Ernesider.


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Catalina (JX242)
Monday 20th November 1944

Many planes crashed in County Fermanagh during World War II, but the Catalina (JX 242) that crashed in the middle of Lough Navar forest on the 20th November 1944 near Lough Anlaban killing eight men is still remembered by many locals.

Today it is hard to find the exact location of the crash as it is off the beaten track and necessitates a long trek through forest and bog land. However, when you finally get to the crash site it is worth the tiresome walk to see the peaceful waters of Lough Anlaban in the middle of the forest.

Lough Anlaban, Co Fermanagh
Lough Anlaban

There is one remaining piece of the plane lying at the lough shore and thoughts turn to the young men who had flown in from the Atlantic on that fateful Monday morning, and had hit the rocky ridge at the side of the lake. How unlucky they were. Just a couple of extra feet would have brought them over the top of the ridge to the safety of the Castle Archdale Flying Boat base.

There were two survivors W/O Clifford Henry Moore and F/Sgt Charles Wilfred Bowater . They made their way over the Barr of Wealt and were helped by the local families. Eventually they were brought back to Castle Archdale.

Squadron Leader Owen Bishop knew the young men while stationed at Castle Archdale. Recently he said: "They were a very good crew and I mourn them yet. My young and exceptionally competent Australian navigator Flight Sergeant Bill Sharpe is buried in the Church of Ireland graveyard at Irvinestown. He was the best."

A memorial tablet to this crash has now been erected at Lough Navar Forest viewpoint - find out more.

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