Sunderland W6010 

Allerton Farm, Cromarty













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: An RCAF Short Sunderland seaplane or  flying boat similar to the type featured on this page.



a short sunderland flying boat of the rcaf taking off


Photo: Pre 1949.






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Short Sunderland W6010



The Short Sunderland was derived from the C Class 'Empire' flying boats used by Imperial Airways1 in the 1930's.


Capable of carrying a crew of ten, the first Sunderlands Mk.I's were assigned to 230 Squadron at Singapore. When war broke out in 1939, three squadrons of Coastal Command had been equipped with the heavily-armed Sunderlands. These Sunderlands were used extensively over the Atlantic in the war against the U-boats, and also as search and rescue aircraft for seamen and downed aircrew.


The Mk.II version of the Sunderland was equipped with four Bristol Pegasus XVIII supercharged engines and improved turret arrangments. The Mk.III introduced in 1941 had a more streamlined hull to improve take-off. The Mark III is the type featured on this page.


Other version of the Sunderland up to Mk.V were introduced. This version had four Pratt and Whitney R1830-90 Twin Wasp engines.






1 Imperial Airways (IA). Imperial Airways was formed in April 1924 from the merger of The Instone Air Line, Daimler Airway, Handley Page Transport, and British Marine Air Navigation. Imperial Airways was the 'State' or 'National' airline until, in November 1939, it was absorbed by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).






Aircraft Accident Details


RAF Short Sunderland W6010 of 4 OTU was on a practice flight in very poor visibility. While flying low, however, the aircraft struck some high tension power lines which sliced off part of a main wing. The Sunderland then crashed to the ground and skidded for some distance before hitting Allerton farmhouse.


Fuel from the aircraft caused a fire in which two of the occupants of the farmhouse suffered severe burns. One of these, 15-year-old Hugh Watson, died of his injuries.






Aircraft Crew Survivors


All on board survived this incident (with injuries). However, their names are not known.






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: John Flemming looking toward the hill where the Sunderland hit the top of the hill and slid down to Allerton farmhouse.


john flemming looking toward crash site.


Photo: © 2014 Douglas Gordon



BELOW: Allerton farmhouse ruin. This is all that remains of the farm today. (Compare with Archive Photo at link below.)


allerton farmhouse ruin.


Photo: © 2014 Douglas Gordon






ARCHIVE PHOTO: Click here for a photo of the Sunderland aircraft and Allerton Farm taken at the time of the accident.







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Crash Date / Site



Accident Date / Time:
28 Jul 1944 / c. 02.00


Accident Site:

Allerton Farm


Nearest roads: A832 or B9163, then by unclassified road.


Region: Highland (Ross and Cromarty)


Nearest towns or villages:

Cromarty (E).


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Present Condition: No remaining wreckage.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: W6010


Operator: RAF (4 OTU)


Operating Station: RAF Alness (Otherwise known as RAF Invergordon or RAF Cromarty).


Station Location: Alness, Ross and Cromarty.


Current Station Status: Disused and derilict.




Related Links


RAF and Related Links


4 (Coastal) OTU (See here.)


RAF Alness (See also here.)  


Other Links

Short Sunderland at

Short Sunderland at vector

Short Sunderland at Wikipedia

Short Sunderland involved in Berlin Air Lift (YouTube / Newsreel video (4 minutes))




Hill Walking Links


(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)

WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)

Walking Scotland's Mountains



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