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Walking Log ... Walks including "Buckden Pike War Memorial"

Buckden Pike War Memorial
Erected in 1973, and dedicated to the memory of the five Polish airmen who died here after crashing their RAF Wellington Bomber in a severe snowstorm during WWII. The memorial is a stone cross built on a base that has parts of the aircraft embedded in it. It was created by the sole surviving crew member, Sergeant Joseph 'Joe' Fusniak, with the help of local villagers.

The plane, carrying out a training mission on 30 January 1942, hit an unexpected snowstorm and were flying blind, unknowingly towards the mountains of the Yorkshire Dales. The plane clipped a wall on top of Buckden Pike and careered several hundred feet along the mountain top before coming to a rest. Four of the crew were killed instantly. Joe had suffered a severely broken ankle, and the last remaining airman was badly injured. Without knowing exactly where he was, Joe set off into the storm to find help. With only several feet of visibility, and having to drag his broken limb behind him, he was struggling to make any progress until he came across some fox tracks in the snow. Following the faint footsteps he crawled and dragged himself for miles before finally making it to the safety of Cray village. Unfortunately by the time a search party could be organised, the other crewman had also passed away.

Every year around Armistice day, a Remembrance Service is carried out at the monument by members of the 264 Squadron and an RAF chaplin.

Yorkshire Dales - Southern Fells - Yorkshire - England
OS Explorer Map(s): 30S
OS Landranger Map(s): 98


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GPX Route:
Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
3074 ft. - 12.9 miles
Cloudy, thick clag at height, rain on the route up to Buckden Pike, strong breeze throughout
Yorkshire Dales

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