by John Lowe


“The Boys”

In the late evening of Friday, 21st March, 1941 an RAF Hampden bomber crashes onto Dartmoor.

After seventy years, this storey attempts to bring into focus the events of that day and reflects on
the young aircrew whose lives ended that night on the windswept slopes of Hameldown.

Meet “The Boys” of X3054

The four aircrew of this aircraft like all other RAF aircrew were not conscripts but volunteers.

They came from widely differing backgrounds and from all parts of the Commonwealth and beyond. All had undergone long detailed and rigorous training. which in itself was fraught with death and danger to reach this point in their lives...

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The Handley Page Hampden

The Handley Page Hampden was a British twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force serving in the Second World War.

The Hampden bore the brunt of the early bombing war over Europe, Taking part in the first night raid on Berlin and the first 1,000-plane raid on Cologne. It was retired from bomber command service in late 1942.

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Crash Archaelogical Survey

It was realised early in the research project that an archaeological survey of the area in which it was thought the crash of X3054 took place might reveal something positive.

Regular Detection surveys are scheduled in support of the planned geophysical undertaking. Archaeologist will be on site once the full survey gets underway.

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Guided Walk

Join John Lowe for a guided walking tour to the crash site of the RAF Hampden Bomber.

The story of “The Boys” will be unveiled on this fascinating 3hr guided walk on Dartmoor.


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Meet The Author John Lowe

After retiring from Teaching, John has indulged his lifetime love of being in wild country; especially that of Dartmoor, the Lake District and Scotland.

He has a passion for history and after a career in the Royal Air Force has been able to combine his experience as an aviator with that of researching the final operation of “The Boys”.

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John brings the story of “The Boys” to life in fully illustrated talks suitable for Associations, Clubs, and Societies.

This presentation captures the mood of 1941 and relates the story that lies behind the stark granite memorial that now honours the final resting place of the Royal Air Force Hampden aircraft that crashed there.

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