70 years on: Beinn Edra air disaster remembered

TODAY (Tuesday 3.3) marks 70 years since the Beinn Edra aircraft disaster in Staffin – which claimed the life of Charles Jeanblanc – and eight of his colleagues.

The community will mark the solemn milestone on Saturday at the Staffin War Memorial where a plaque, inscribed with the crew’s names, will be unveiled.

Charles Jeanblanc was the navigator on the Flying Fortress when it crashed into the rockface on the Trotternish Ridge on March 3, 1945, in heavy fog. He was 23-years-old.

Charles Jeanblanc.

Charles Jeanblanc.

Skye minister, Rev Rory MacLeod, a former Commando chaplain, will lead the commemoration, which will include a minute’s silence. The north Skye branch of the Royal British Legion will parade the colours and young Kilmuir piper Eoghainn Beaton will play a lament.

The commemoration starts at 2pm and everybody is welcome. Please ensure you wear waterproof clothing as the weather forecast is warning of heavy rain.

After the commemoration, which was jointly organised by the Staffin Community Council and Staffin Commuity Trust, there will be hot drinks in the Columba 1400 Centre, a small exhibition about the disaster and a talk by aviation archaeologist Dr Terence Christian, of Glasgow University.