Carsphairn Archive

The Search

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In September 1992 a search began for the remains of the Spitfire Blue Peter AD540. Ralph Davidson of The Spitfire Society visited the area regularly with members of Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum also Jim Bell was valuable with his local knowledge.

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An appeal for information was made to the public in the Galloway News and lots of offers of help were received from readers.

Armed with metal detectors, wet weather gear and enthusiasm they scoured the hill for weekend after unsuccessfull weekend.

On the point of giving up the search Blue Peter revealed itself and again saw the light of day for the first time 51 years to the day after the crash on 23rd May 1993.

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John Leslie from Blue Peter visited the site after his programme had been broadcast and became just as muddy as the regulars in his enthusiasm to find yet more pieces of the elusive Spitfire.

Specification chart shows how much was retrieved

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Every now and again during their excavations the team fell silent as they found significent pieces of the plane. The oxygen connector pipe was found together with the valve, which may have failed - crucially. The rudder pedal assembly that still swivelled freely. Lettering on the de-icing equipment was visible for only one hour after coming into the light of day for the first time in 51 years - oxidisation to blame. The film from the gun camera was found but not the camera itself.