Sunderland  DP197

Creag Riabhach, Lothbeg, Sutherland

 
     
 
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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 Mk. III / DP197

 


 

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.

 

 


 

Footnote:

 

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

 

Extract from Court of Inquiry Report

 

"...The aircraft was airborne at 23:16 hours on 14 August, 1944 on a properly authorised flight, to carry out a Radar Homing Exercise, on the Radar buoy near Dunbeath. The Duty Commander decided that as the weather had deterioarated and would not be good enough for the exercise, to recall the aircraft. The recall signal was received and acknowledged by the aircraft at 00:08 on 15th Aug. 1944.

 

"From a perusal of the track chart (Exhibit C. (not shown here)) it appears that landfall was made near Lybster and that a coast crawl was being made toward base in a South-Westerly direction. This is also borne out by the evidence of the 5th Witness. The aircraft was next seen to cross the coast in a North-Westerly direction (1st Witness) and fly on toward the hills where it crashed on high ground and caught fire at 00:30 hours on 15th August, 1944."

 

 

[RAF data above and crew names below were kindly provided by Alan Thomson.]



 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

 

All on board died in this accident. These were:

 

  • F/O Ronald Shaw Rowson (27) J/28380, Pilot (Capt.), RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 259, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • F/O Anton Nicholas Unser, J/29002, 2nd Pilot, RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 268, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • Flt Lt William Benedict Sargent (30), J/9318, Navigator, RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 260, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • P/O Thomas Benedick Wood (21), J/43271, W.op/Air Gnr., RCAF.

    (Buried, Sp. Mem., Section B, Grave 269, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • P/O Vernon Cleveland Stordy (23), J/43646, W.op/Air Gnr., RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 264, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • W/O Leroy Hart Ludington(29), R/133400, W.op/Air Gnr., RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 263, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • P/O Percy Alexander Whyte (26), C/43647, Flt Eng., RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 266, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • Sgt Reginald Cuffley Norton (26), 53423, Flt Mech Engines/Air Gnr., RAFVR.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 271, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • Sgt Walter Komer, R/269313, Air Gnr., RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 262, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • Sgt Donald Roy Trask (20), 798775, Air Gnr., RAFVR / NFL (i.e. Newfoundland).

    (Buried, Sp. Mem.Section B, Grave 270, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • Flt Lt Robert Lyall Mercer (27), J/6272, 1st Pilot, RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 265, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • P/O Roderick William Fulton(24), J/24683, Wop./Air Gnr., RCAF.

    (Buried, Sp. Mem. Section B, Grave 267, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • Flt Sgt Arthur Di Pisa (29), R/179456, Wop/Air Gnr., RCAF.

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 258, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)



  • Flt Sgt Nathan R Dlusy (23), R/179433, Wop./Air Gnr., RCAF.

    (Buried, Section C, Grave 198, Glasgow (Glenduffhill) Jewish Cemetery, Hallhill Road, Barlanark, Glasgow.)



  • W/O Ronald Edward Jackson (24), 408581, 10 Sqn RAAF (No. 37 Captains Course).

    (Buried, Section B, Grave 261, Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions (or Burial Ground), Ross and Cromarty.)


 

 

Please click on the hyperlinked names above for further details at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.


 

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

 

Memorial Photos

 

 

BELOW (next 4 photos) : The memorial plaque and poppy placed at the Sunderland crash site in 2015.

 

(next 4 photos) : The memorial plaque placed in 2015 at the Sunderland crash site.

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

 

 

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

 

 

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

 

 

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

 

 

Remaining Wreckage Photos

 

 

BELOW (next 4 photos) : Spars, cam assemblies, struts and other parts from the airframe of Short Sunderland DP197.

 

(next 4 photos) : Spars, cam assemblies, struts and other parts from the airframe of Short Sunderland DP197.

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

 

 

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

 

 

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 


 

 

 

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 

 


 

BELOW: Looking back toward the crash site and memorial (yellow arrows).

 

Looking back toward the crash site and memorial (yellow arrows).

 

Photo © 2015 Steven Spink

 

 


 

 

 

Other wreckage photos

 

 

BELOW: Approaching the Sunderland crash site at Creag Riabhach, Lothbeg, just West of the A9 road.

 

approaching the sunderland wreck at creag raibhach.

 

Photo © 2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: Some sections from Short Sunderland DP197.

 

some large sections of wreckage.

 

Photo © 2014 Alan Thomson

 


 

BELOW: Aluminium sections from the flying boat.

 

alumium sections from the flying boat.

 

Photo © 2014 Alan Thomson

 

 

 


 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Page last updated: 8 Nov 2015

 

(Memorial and more wreckage photos added.)

 


 

Accident Date: 15 Aug 1944

 

Accident Site:

Creag Riabhach

(Lothbeg / Glen Loth)

 

Nearest road: A9.

 

Region: Highland (Sutherland)

 

Nearest towns or villages:

Brora (S) or Helmsdale (NE).

 

OS Grid Ref. N/A

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Most wreckage removed in the 1970's, but some small pieces remain at the crash site.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: DP197

 

Operator: RAF (4 (Coastal) OTU)

 

Operating Station: RAF Alness (Otherwise known as, RAF Invergordon or 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 uboat.net

Short Sunderland at vector site.net

Short Sunderland at Wikipedia

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

 

 

 

Hill Walking Links

 

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

Walking Scotland's Mountains

 


 

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