Vought F4U-1 Corsair JT693 crash at Ballykelly, Co. Londonderry

On 9th October 1944, Sub-Lieutenant C.H. Schwenger force landed Vought F4U-1 Corsair R JT693 in Lough Foyle where the wreckage remains visible at low-tide.

On 9th October 1944, Vought F4U-1 Corsair R JT693 force landed in Lough Foyle close to Ballykelly, Co. Londonderry. While on a routine training flight, pilot Sub-Lieutenant Charles Henry Shwenger of No. 1843 Naval Air Squadron ditched the plane after it sustained an engine fire.

At the time No. 1843 Naval Air Squadron was at the nearby R.N.A.S. Eglinton airfield. Schwenger of the Royal Canadian Navy walked out of the wreckage uninjured and made his way to shore across the mud flats.

Some records suggest the wreckage was “discovered” in 1994. However, an attempt was made by a crew from No. 663 Squadron, Army Air Corps in a Westland Scout AH I to recover the plane in 1972. Other photos show the mostly intact fuselage in the early to mid-1960s. Recovering the plane wreckage would prove impossible as the suction from the mud would tear the fuselage and wings to pieces.

The remains of Vought F4U-1 Corsair R JT693 remain visible to this day at low tide although with every passing year, tide and time destroy more of this Second World War aircraft.

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