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Richard Kukura and
Tommy Hulme in Ireland

My Own Childhood Memories

As a child in the fifties and early sixties I used to love rowing to the island when the lake was low and finding pieces of the plane. Of course most of it had been taken away by the Irish Army very soon after the accident and there were only pieces of aluminium cladding, spars and other pieces of twisted metal left to find. Many people at the time used to feed their hens off pieces of the flat sections. It is still possible to find pieces of aluminium in the water although tourists have found and taken away most of them now.

Many local people remember the crash and hearing the plane circling for ages. Some thought they were going to be bombed! Just before the crash a local woman heard a bang on the roof of her house about a mile and a half away. She thought a bomb had been dropped which hadn't exploded. Some days later, she had a man go up on the roof to investigate. He found a wooden box, painted RAF Blue, which he took down. It contained a 'Hand Bearing Compass', known as a Type 06A. The 06A compass handle contains a torch, which may be used independently but when normally screwed to the base of the compass illuminates the rose for taking night bearings through the prism. On the inside of the hinged lid of the box there is a rubber stamped mark indicating that the compass was checked at the Admiralty Compass Observatory on 30 May 1942. As I had always coveted the compass, the woman, who had been a family friend and had known my great grandparents, gave it to me sometime in the late sixties.

Compass & box