Ross & Cromarty War Memorials

ALNESS - Sunderlands

Take-off - as in the video 'Last Sunderland Flying' below in Nav Bar

A Sunderland and normal crew of eleven which are described below in a Note

Photograph Left - Sunderland cockpit.

Photograph Right - Looking for U-boats.

Photograph Left - Sunderland navigator.

Photograph Right - Sunderland radio operator.

Photograph Left - Photographer recording a vessel for study, especially if ??.

Photograph Right - Where the front gunner would be. Is that a "rigger" we see. See Note below.

Photograph Left - A bomb bay - fuze setting (note aircraft number).

Photograph Right - Loading depth charges.

Photograph Left - Side blister gunners - probably twin guns.

Photograph Right - Rear guns - bank of 4.

Photograph Left - The Air Mechanics, or are they now 'Technicians'?.

Photograph Right - A spacious, well-equiprd galley.

Photograph Left - Lovely picture of a Catalina in flight.

Photograph Right - One of the two beds in the aircraft.

Photograph Left - Wheels had to be fitted to get it on land for 'hull' maintenance.

Photograph Right - The nose of a Sunderland being hauled through a Belfast street.

Some Notes on the Sunderland
The Sunderland was manufactured by Short Brothers of Belfast. They have a long, and colourful history in aircraft manufacturing, dating back to the 19th Century as can be seen and read here. They are credited with being the world's first ??aircraft manufacturer. As usual, Wikipedia provide an excellent account of Short Brothers, too - see below.

The Sunderland is a remarkable aircraft. Designed for the RAF, it first appeared in 1937/38 and went through various phases of change, but, basically, was as follows;

Specification of the Sunderland GR Mk.V
Four 1200hp (895kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90B engines
Wing span 34.38m, length 26.00m, height 10.52m, wing area 156.72m2.
Empty weight 16738kg, maximum take-off weight 29484kg.
Maximum speed 343km/h, ceiling 5455m.
Range 4330km with 757kg bombs.
Armament: ten .303 (7.7mm) guns, two 0.50 (12.7mm) guns,
and up to 2250kg of bombs and depth charges.

The Spec says twelve guns but it could be fourteen. The 0.303inch guage was the same as Army rifles, Brens and Lewis guns, etc. This considerable armament gave it the nick-name 'Porcupine'. It is said that the appearance of a Sunderland would rapidly clear the gun-deck of a U-boat. Another story of how capable it was is shown in a tale of it being attacked by six German Junker 88s. It shot down two and severly damaged a third. The remainder must have said "Suck this" (in German) and promptly departed!

Credited with destroying 26 U-boats, as enumerated here, it is customary to say that twice as many were damaged. The other major role of the Sunderland was reconnaisance and intelligence gathering at which it was also very good, as the pictures show. A lot more can be found in the references below, including one good video.

wiki on Sunderland
The last Sunderland flying
wiki on Short Brothers
Grace's Guide

Photograph Right - WAAFS uploading kit for a mission.

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