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26 Mar 1946, Lantau Crash
I'm so pleased to have found this group! I come from Vancouver (which is practically a colony of Hong Kong), and I'm so excited to be planning my first visit to the island in November of this year. My grandfather was a pre-war mountaineer who joined the RAF in late 1941. He spent the next few years flying over Burma, plus 2 seasons running fitness and survival training to RAF pilots in Kashmir. Following the war, he delayed his return home to England in order to see a bit of the world, and volunteered for a 6-month posting to Hong Kong.
One of his tasks was to create a survey for an airstrip and its approaches in the straight between Hong Kong and Kowloon. In March 1946 an RAF Dakota disappeared in heavy cloud around Lantau Island, and my grandfather was assigned to the air search that was carried out. Once the crash site was located, he led a recovery mission to locate the bodies. He described a crash site near the island's main peak:
"We flew along the Seaward side of the island then burned round the southern tip and along the mainland shore. In a small bay we located the air-sea rescue launch which flashed a message on its Aldis lamp to the effect that a crash had been located. As we buzzed the launch the crew waved their arms and pointed in the direction of the main mountain summit so off we went to see what could be seen. It was for all the world like flying into the jaws of Glencoe from Loch Leven; the mountains were of the same type and size, rising steeply on both sides. We came to a saddle from which the valley on the far side turned sharply to the right, back to the seaward shore-line of the island. Almost immediately the crashed 'plane (what was left of it) could be seen high up near the crest of the summit-ridge; a great heat-scar stood out like a beacon, on that dark flank of the mountain. We turned about and, at low speed, flew along the ridge for a look-see. A dark scar ran along the flank of the ridge, no more than fifty feet or so below the crest, where the 'plane's starboard wingtip had scraped along, then came the tail-unit and, just ahead of it, a heap of ashes. We circled above the wreck but could see no sign of life and so, in gathering darkness, headed back to base."
Is anybody familiar with this crash? I found the news story from the China Mail dated 1946-03-27. I'm an avid hiker and would love to try to find the site when I'm there. It looks like there are a number of hiking trails on Lantau, but I haven't been able to find any sign of a marker or memorial that might mark the crash site.