George Stevenson - Memorial
On Monday 21st July 1941 while on a training exercise, a Hawker Hurricane 1 Fighter Aircraft with serial number W9112 from the Royal Airforce Base at Crosby on Eden, Cumberland, crashed into the Lowther Hill at approximately 2375 ft above sea level. The Pilot, Sgt. George "Geordie" Stevenson was killed at just 26 years of age.
The wreckage wasn't discovered until two days after the plane had taken off from its base at Crosby on Eden.
Although the exact cause of the crash is unknown, it is believed that Sgt. Stevenson became disorientated in bad weather and low cloud and impacted into the hillside.
The Hawker Hurricane
(The Hawker Hurricane was developed by Sidney Camm).
The Hurricane was based on the design of the Fury built by Hawker and was powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. On October 12th 1937, the first flight of a production Hurricane took place.
The Hurricane first made its mark in February 1938, piloted by Squadron Leader J W Gillan, he flew from Scotland to Northolt (with a tailwind), a distance of 327 miles, with an average speed of 409 mph in just 48 minutes.
In the Battle of Britain, the battle is frequently associated with the Spitfire, but the Hurricane played a major role in this battle. On August 8th 1940, the RAF called on 32 squadrons of Hurricanes and 19 squadrons of Spitfires. Making the Hurricane the more dominant British plane in this battle.
The Spitfire was fast, elegant and agile until it was damaged. The Hurricane, though slower and less graceful, was incredibly strong and capable of taking many hits before it was taken out.
In total, more than 14,000 Hurricanes fought in World War Two in all areas of the war - a truly remarkable plane.
Crew: 1 - Maximum speed: 328 mph at 22,000 ft (6705m)
Ceiling: 36,500 ft (11,125m) - Range: 480 miles
Armaments: 8 x 0.303 machine guns.
Sgt. George Stevenson R/71742 RCAF
(Royal Canadian Air Force)
George Stevenson, better known as "Geordie" was born, 26th November 1914, in Kilwinning, Ayrshire and was educated at Darvel near Kilmarnock. His father died in 1924 and in 1928 with his Mother and three Sisters, emigrated to Canada to join his elder Brother.
The Family settled in the Owen Sound area of Ontario where George worked as a painter until he gained an apprenticeship as Assistant Butter Maker at the Meaford Creamery in 1935. George attended the Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph and gained his diploma in Dairy Chemistry and Bacteria.
George enlisted into the RCAF on the 20th August 1940 in Toronto stating he wanted to be trained for Aircrew as a Gunner. This was fairly unusual as most recruits enlisted to become pilots. He was posted to the Bombing and Gunnery School, Jarvis, Ontario until 8th November 1940, it was at this time he was recommended for pilots training, and on the 28th November 1940, he attended the Initial Training School in Toronto. On the 4th January 1941, he was transferred to the Elementary Flying Training School at Mt. Hope, Ontario. On his report card, it was noted that He was good pilot material with a good fighting spirit, steady and can be depended upon.
George trained on Fleet Finch II aircraft while at Mt. Hope and achieved 65 flying hours by the time he graduated on the 21st February 1941. The Chief Flying instructor noted that his flying is average, but has lots of intestinal fortitude, is cool-headed in emergencies, should make a good combat pilot.
He was posted to the Service Flying Training School (SFTS) at Dunnville, Ontario, on the 5th March 1941. He progressed to receiving his Pilots Flying Badge on the 16th May 1941 and promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
George was posted to the Operational Training Unit at RAF Station, Crosby on Eden, Cumberland, England on the 14th July 1941.
Sadly, just seven days later he would lose his life in the crash of his Hawker Hurricane Fighter.