Marauder Wreckage Near Mataro, Spain


click on the photograph for a full-sized view

If you recognise anything please contact Mike Napier with details!

On 29 Mar 1944 14 Squadron's B26B Marauder "T" (still bearing its USAAF serial number 41-17780) crashed off the Spanish coast near the town of Mataro. The all-Australian crew, pilot Fg Off WC Macdonald, 2nd pilot, Fg Off John Walsh Lewis, navigator Flt Sgt CM Peedom, wireless operator Flt Sgt R Lanham, turret gunner Flt Sgt FR Lamond, and tail gunner Flt Sgt MT Woods all perished. The wreck of the aircraft was re-discovered in 1994 by amateur divers who took these photographs of the wreckage.

Peter Dawson, a boyhood friend of Ron Lanham (who was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner in the crew), has done a lot of research into the incident and has visited Mataro on a number of occasions. His most recent visit was in September 2003 when, once again, he witnessed the extraordinary care which the locals still take of the airmen's graves in Mataro cemetery. He also placed a small plaque in memory of Bill Lamond, the one crewmember whose body was never recovered.

The aircraft was seen to crash into the water just off the beach at Mataro after circling a small merchant ship.  We still do not know whether the aircraft crashed a a result of gunfire from the ship or a failure of an aircraft system, or just mishandling by the crew. 

Thanks to detailed research carried out by Snr Pedro Argila of Fundació Parc Aeronautic de Catalunya (FPAC), we now have evidence that the ship involved was a converted trawler “Romain” which was used for transporting “iron ore” (or more probably tungsten) between Barcelona and Port Vendres. We are extremely grateful to FPAC for sharing the results of their research with the 14 Squadron Association.