|26/04/1944||Beaufighter X||NE462||144 Sqn||Wick|
was ona navigation exercise and had called at Sumburgh. It had
just taken-off and was climbing out when both engines cut. It
went into a flat spin and crashed into the end of the Officers Mess,
killing both crew and a civilian.
F/O Allen (Pilot) and F/L Banks. Also killed was an employee of
the GPO, Mr Peter Johnson, of 36 Commercial Road, Lerwick.
|05/05/1944||Catalina IVA||JX581||210 Sqn||Sullom Voe|
was returning from a bombing practise flight. It overrun the landing
area and ran onto some rocks. At low water some wreckage can be
seen off Sella Ness at 397738 which may be from this aircraft or the
|17/07/1944||Catalina IVA||JV928||Y/210 Sqn||Sullom Voe|
an attack on the U-347, which was sunk, the Cat was hit by a 3.7mm shell.
One man was killed and four wounded, including the pilot, F/L Cruickshank.
his injuries F/L Cruickshank insisted on helping F/Sgt Garnett land
the aircraft. It was then beached on landing. Because of
the battle damage and that sustained in the beaching, the Catalina was
received the VC, and F/Sgt Garnett the DFM, for carrying out the attack
against intense fire, and bringing the Catalina home.
F/L J.A.Cruickshank VC (Pilot) wounded; F/Sgt J.Garnett (2nd
Pilot) wounded; Sgt S.I.Fidler (3rd Pilot); F/O
J.C.Dickson (Nav), killed; F/Sgt S.B.Harbison (F/E) wounded;
F/Sgt H.Gershenson (W/Op); F/Sgt F.J.Appleton (WOP/AG), wounded;
Sgt R.S.C.Proctor (WOP/AG) and F/Sgt A.I.Cregan, (Rigger).
|18/07/1944||Catalina IVA||JV929||Z/210 Sqn||Sullom Voe|
was damaged and two crew members wounded in the attack on the U-742.
The U-boat was sunk, but Z-Zebra had a engine put out of action and
a bad fuel leak.
to reach Sullom Voe, the Catalina was beached at Neinkel Gap (sic).
This is thought to be on Unst. Because of battle damage, and further
damage in the beaching the Catalina was a write-off.
F/O R.W.G.Vaughan (Pilot); F/L J.Sinclair (2nd Pilot);
F/O N.Wheatley (3rd Pilot); F/O J.G.Mills (Nav);
F/Sgt P.L.Ludgate (F/E); F/Sgt J.Maule (FME/AG), wounded;
WO C.J.Webster (W/Op); Sgt G.Gibbons (W/Op); F/O K.S.Freeman (WOM/AG),
wounded and F/Sgt S.M.Audifferen (Rigger).
|29/071944||Canso A||11062||162 Sqn RCAF||Det Wick|
home of this Squadron was Iceland, but a flight had been detached to
Wick. This Canso had took-off from Wick at 12.55 for a anti-U-Boat
over, they were returning to Wick. The crew were more relaxed
than they should have been. No watch was being kept on the radar,
and no navigational fixes had been obtained – why bother, there was
nothing but open sea for miles around! At 19.30, flying in cloud,
the aircraft flew into the summit of The Sneug, on Foula. There
was a violent explosion, throwing wreckage over a wide area. One
piece of wreckage fell at the feet of a woman hanging out her washing
at Gossameadow, a mile from the crash.
Davie Gear, with Robbie Isbister made there way up the mountain dreading
what they might find. They were amazed to find one of the crew
alive. F/Sgt Knight had been in one of the blisters, and had been
thrown clear. He had received a broken pelvis and burns.
As luck would have it, the District Nurse, who was the only medical
help on the island was away on holiday. So it was left to the
islanders to make Sgt Knight as comfortable as possible. News
of the accident was sent on the telegraph, but the RAF were already
expecting it. The radar station at Wats Ness had been tracking
the Canso, and when its blip had not re-emerged from the permanent blip
of Foula it was suspected that something was wrong.
the sea was calm, and a pinnace with the Sumburgh MO on board was able
to land, and take Sgt Knight to Scalloway. The next day volunteers
were called for at RAF Sumburgh to go to Foula to recover the bodies.
wreckage was buried, but over the years it became uncovered. Complaints
were made by the islanders about wreckage blowing about the island,
but nothing was done. The last straw came when children brought
home human remains and live ammunition. When news of this reached
the MoD men were sent from Saxa Vord to throw the wreckage into the
crashed at map reference 4/948397. It is not known how much of
it remains, but the engines must still remain at the bottom of the mountain.
F/O Abram Hildebrand, F/O Willis Hilson Lloyd, F/O George Gordon Bradshaw,
P/O James Edwin Bowler, WO2 Robert Densmore Harvey, P/O Elliot Courtney
Watson. All killed. F/Sgt J.H.Knight injured, admitted Gilbert
Bain Hospital. All the crew were members of the RCAF.
|14/09/1944||Warwick I||BV411||280 Sqn||Langham|
was landing at Sumburgh. The pilot finding that he would not be
able to stop before the end of the runway retracted the undercarriage.
But skidding along on its belly, the aircraft carried on into the sea.
F/L J.A.J.Murrey RCAF
|04/11/1944||Mosquito VI||LR363||X/248 Sqn||Banff|
had been on a anti U-boat patrol when one of the engines failed.
The pilot diverted to Sumburgh, but had to make a forced landing before
reaching the runway.
F/L McLoed DFC, F/O Hurn. Both unhurt.
|15/11/1944||Liberator VI||EW288||D/206 Sqn||Leuchars|
had run into four Bf 110s off the Norwegian coast. It emerged
from the fight with one crew member dead and one wounded. One
engine was out of action, and they had no hydraulics or electrical power.
The radio aerial had been shot away, and they had to use the one from
equipment had to be dumped, and on their last drop of fuel the virtually
uncontrollable Liberator was brought in for a good belly landing at
the two pilots returned to Sumburgh, where they were rightly treated
also attempted to rescue the crew of the Warwick in the next entry.
He tried to swim out through the rough sea, but was washed up onto some
F/O M.J.Frost; F/O W.F.Harris; P/O W.L.Seymour; F/Sgt J.A.Nicholson
RNZAF; F/Sgt C.F.Scott RNZAF; Sgt J.Webb; Sgt E.E.Lake; Sgt K.D.Conway;
Sgt G.W.Knight and F/Sgt M.Gollan RNZAF.
|17/11/1944||Warwick I||BV520||281 Sqn||Tiree|
was returning from a ASR patrol when the port engine failed. Coming
into land at Sumburgh, the pilot found he was not lined up correctly
and tried to go around again. But the aircraft was caught in the
down-draft from Sumburgh Head, and on one engine could not regain flying
speed. So the aircraft was ditched straight ahead in West Voe.
All the crew members received injuries, and one drowned.
F/O L.W.Jenner, F/L C.R.Hyde RAAF, F/O D.Temple, F/Sgt A.H.Dixon RCAF,
F/Sgt E.Roberts and WO H.C.Moffett.
|22/11/1944||Mosquito IV||DZ642||H/627 Sqn||Woodhall Spa|
was ‘Marker 3’, of three Mossies from 627 Sqn which were to mark
the target at the Trondheim U-boat pens for the Lancasters of 5 Group.
flew from Woodhall Spa to Lossiemouth, where their fuel tanks were to
be topped up. For some reason the bowser failed to pay a visit
to H-How, and when they took-off the pilot did not notice he had not
of the flight to Trondheim one of the Lancasters had the transmit button
down on the intercom, broadcasting the name of the target to the Germans.
So it came as no surprise to find the target hidden under a smoke screen.
So there was nothing for it but to turn around and go back home.
3 was by now very short of fuel, and headed for Shetland with the intention
of landing at Scatsta. Its radio was faulty, so the other two
Mosquitos accompanied it to relay messages. Contact was made with
the ASR/MCU at Lerwick, who gave the Shetland weather as 10/10ths cloud
at 1,000ft, with patches down to 800ft. Lerwick also gave H-How
a course which would bring it within sight of the Sandra Light at Sumburgh.
As soon as H/627 was within radio range of Sumburgh the other two Mosquitos
had to leave as they had only enough fuel to get them to Peterhead.
As they flew south they heard Sumburgh warning Marker 3 of high ground
along its route, but these messages were not acknowledged.
reception between the Mosquito and Sumburgh were very bad. The
last message received from the Mossie was that it had completed its
first leg and was now turning 230 degrees. Then nothing!
not until 06/12/44 that three men driving sheep came across the crashed
Mosquito on Royl Field Hill. These men were George Mann of Uphouse,
Laurence Malcolmson of Culbingarth and Adam Adamson of Brind.
had not caught fire in the crash, and when it was examined the fuel
tanks were found to be empty. But we will never know if it had
run out of fuel or had been trying to fly below the cloud and crashed
into the hill.
still remains of the Mosquito, including the engines, on Royl Field
at 4/391284. But I wonder what happened to the airframe?
Normally wooden constructed aircraft are not burnt at the site.
And at Mosquito crash sites you usually get a area of burnt ground,
and millions of brass screws – but neither here. Who would go
to the trouble of carrying it miles across country, or burying on site,
when all you need is a match!
F/L John Alexander Reid (Pilot), buried Winchester; and F/O Wesley Douglas
Irwin RCAF (Nav), buried Manor Park, London.