Fairy Lochs and USAAF Liberator
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
Paths cover rugged and boggy areas. Good walking boots are a must, as is full walking clothing, the weather can look good but can also change quickly. Map recommended (OS Explorer 433).
On the 13th June 1945 a USAAF B-24H Liberator with 9 crew and 6 US army passengers took off from Prestwick for home, having survived the War. The exact events are unknown but it appears the airplane lost its way in poor visibility and glanced off the nearby mountain of Slioch. The airplane started to break up as it circled Gairloch bay and on its second run in to the bay, possibly trying to ditch, it failed to clear the rocky knolls near Sidhean Mor and crashed into an area known as the Fairy Lochs, all on board were killed instantly.
Wreckage still covers the area, please leave it where it is, this is a War grave.
You could take a 2 mile walk there and back or a 3 miles circular walk via Loch Horrisdale (recommended). There is parking opposite the Sheildaig Hotel where you may then wish to start your walk from N57 41.273 W005 40.805. Cross the ford and head up the track to the cairn at N57 41.124 W005 40.953.
From here the South East fork takes you on an uphill scramble direct to the site or continue South West up the track passing Lochan Fuar then further to where the path branches off to the cache. There was a cairn here but it seems to have gone when visited in August 2008, but the co-ords were/are: N 57 40 224 W 005 41 252, just before a wrecked wooden bridge and ford.
Below you is the sandy beach at Loch Braigh Horrisdale which can be good for a picnic, if you do that make sure you head back and go North East on that branching path, following the burn upwards, then cairns and wooden markers across the bogs to the Fairy Lochs, crash site and cache.
The path leads away to the left of the memorial and gives superb views before dropping back down to the first cairn.
The cache is a tupperware box containing toys and a few other bits and bobs.
Please take care if you climb the rocky knolls, especially children.
NOTE ADDED 12th JUNE 2012: I am so pleased this place has been visited by people from all over Europe. However, I have always been conscious of the fact that although these air men and soldiers died a sad death at the end of the war, the job of Allied bombers is likely to involve bombing innocent civilians in Germany. I have for a while tried to find a memorial to those killed by allied bombing in such raids in Germany, this is not so easy for many reasons.
However Coventry and Dresden are twinned, both suffering heavy bombing in WW2 and I did find the following site about Coventry Cathedral:
I would prefer to list a German site, can YOU suggest one for me?
nobir na nern bs jerpxrq shfryntr vf n xabyy, bar ebpx unf n pnivgl orybj, bofpherq ol n fgbar naq urngure.