The Fairy Lochs is a recent English name for Na Lochan Sgeireach and are a small group of lochans approximately 2 miles (3 km) SE of the village of Badachro near Gairloch in Wester Ross, Scotland. The lochans have become known as the 'Fairy Lochs' due to the close proximity of the 'Sìthean Mòr' hill which translates into English as the 'Large Fairy Mound'.
The lochans are close to Loch Bràigh Horrisdale, which flows into the Badachro River (Scots Gaelic: Abhainn Bad a' Chrodha). There are several large waterfalls in the area, and Sìthean Mor overlooks the Lochan Sgeireach and the bay of Loch Gairloch.
The lochs are remote and are accessed over farmland and along paths through marshy ground.
USAAF Liberator crash memorial
|USAAF 42-95095 crash site, Fairy Lochs|
|Scotland, United Kingdom|
Aircraft wreckage arranged to form a simple memorial
|For The crew & passengers of USAAF 42-95095, lost in an air crash on 13 June 1945,|
near Badachro, Wester Ross
|IN MEMORY OF THE CREW AND PASSENGERS OF A B-24-H LIBERATOR BOMBER, SERIAL NO. 42-95095, WHICH BECAME LOST WHILE RETURNING TO THE U.S.A. ON JUNE 13th, 1945, AND CRASHED AT THIS PLACE WITH THE LOSS OF ALL ON BOARD.|
Although small and remote, the Fairy Lochs are notable as the crash site of an American World War II bomber. On 13 June 1945, a USAAF B-24 Liberator bomber (serial 42-95095, based at the Warton Aerodrome) was returning home to the USA from Prestwick Airfield at the end of World War II.
The crew of nine was from 66th Bomber Squadron; also on board were six crewmen from Air Transport Command.
Its route via Keflavík (Meeks Field) in Iceland should have taken it over Stornoway in the Western Isles, but for an unknown reason the aircraft instead flew over the Scottish mainland. Over Wester Ross the aircraft began to lose height, and struck the summit of Slioch, a 980m mountain overlooking Loch Maree, losing parts of its bomb bay doors, before flying on towards Gairloch. An attempted crash-landing resulted in the B-24 colliding with rocks and crashing into the Fairy Lochs, scattering wreckage over a wide area. All 15 crew and passengers on board perished in the accident.
Today most of the wreckage remains where it fell; pieces of fuselage litter the marshes, and a propellor and an engine can be seen protruding from the lochan. The area is now classed as a war grave. Visitors are expected not to disturb the remnants of the wreckage. A memorial plaque, listing those lost, has been erected by the families and friends of those killed. (see left)
The loss of the USAAF 42-95095 was not unique in this region, as other accidents involving military aircraft have taken place nearby. In 1951, an Avro Lancaster crashed on Beinn Eighe, a mountain near Slioch on the opposite shore of Loch Maree.