At 1120 on the 22nd of October, 1942, three Spitfires took off from Llanbedr on an authorized cloud training flight.
The fighters were last seen over the sea off Aberdovey, about 20 miles south of Llanbedr and the last radio contact came shortly after that.
At 1430 the Spitfires were declared overdue and an air search was initiated, but the search was hampered by the extensive cloud layers in the area, ranging from a cloud base at 800 feet above sea level to tops at 18,000 feet.
Nothing was found, and on the following day weather conditions were so bad that aircraft could not take off at all.
On the 24th, however, the weather had improved and the search was resumed. At 1300 the three missing planes were sighted, wrecked and burned out, on Tarren Hendre, a 2,077-foot mountain about 7 miles northeast of the coastal town of Towyn.
It appeared that the planes had flown into the terrain in level flight and in near-zero visibility. The Spitfires were completely destroyed by impact and fire and the pilots must have died instantly.
Flight-Lieutenant Frank Gillitt (in BM573), Flying Officer Ronald Harrison (in R7296), and Flying Officer Thomas Scott (in BL518), all killed in a flying accident.
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