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Thread: Captain Robert Hugh Malcolm Sandeman - A.T.A.

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    Default Captain Robert Hugh Malcolm Sandeman - A.T.A.

    Hi all,

    I am seeking the circumstances of death of Robert Hugh Malcolm Sandeman, Captain in the Air Transport Auxiliary. He was born 18th June 1908 in Leicester and died 12th November 1942 age 34.

    I can find no related aircraft accident.

    Many thanks,

    Jim
    Jim Corbett

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    Pilot in command of Catalina FP209.

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Many thanks Ross. Do you have details of the crash and names of the other crew? A quick Google search shows one occupant as being P/O Stanley Fraser Fairbairn (RCAF) and that the incident occurred in the Straits of Canso.

    Jim
    Jim Corbett

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    From my For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Two: Fates 1915-1942) :

    Wed 11/Thu 12 Nov 1942
    Ferry Command

    Delivery flight from Bermuda to Britain
    Ferry Command, RAF (Dorval, Quebec)
    Catalina IB FP209/V - took off at 1206 captained by Capt R H M Sandeman, and on arriving at 0530 in the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia, crashed into the sea, catching fire near the CNR wharf at Pirate Harbour, Mulgrave. There were only two survivors from the six-man crew. Two civilians under contract to the Ferry Command, Capt Sandeman and a wireless operator, died in addition to an RCAF navigator and a New Zealand wireless operator. The latter two are commemorated on the Ottawa Memorial. An official accident summary states the above take off and crash times to be in GMT, resulting in a flight time of over 17 hours. The direct route is only 780 nautical miles, however, and this would normally be covered by a Catalina in about seven hours. Either one of the times is in error or the aircraft was diverted en route, possibly to carry out a search for a U-boat, or survivors from one of its victims.
    Wireless Op: NZ414862 Sgt Norman James CHENEY, RNZAF - Age 33. 42hrs.
    Cheney’s last known posting was 31 OTU, RAF, at Debert, Nova Scotia. It seems likely that he had been posted to Britain and crewing the delivery flight was his means of travelling there.


    Errol

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    Many thanks Errol,

    A little bit of doodling on the Internet and CWGC suggests as well as Sandeman, the following were also killed:

    FAIRBAIRN P/O Stanley Fraser From Calgary

    DE BRETIGNY, LIONEL DORIA (Radio Officer)

    CHENEY, NORMAN JAMES (Sgt) 414862
    Son of Bertram and Charlotte Letty Cheney, of Northampton, England.
    Jim Corbett

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    Jim,

    From Cheney's service record I have a copy of a report dated 13 Nov 42 that gives some details of the event. It includes the following re those on board:

    Captain Robert Hugh Malcolm Sandeman, Royal Air Force Ferry Command, civilian captain of the aircraft.

    Pilot Officer John Stuart Mowat, RAF, First Officer. P/O Mowat's officer's number has not yet been promulgated; his airman's number was 1550770.

    Pilot Officer Stanley Frasier Fairbairn, RCAF, Navigator. This Officer's commissioned number has not yet been promulgated; his airman's number was R103533.

    Mr. Devereux Lionel de Bretigny, Royal Air Force Ferry Command, civilian radio operator.

    NZ414862 Sergeant Cheney, Norman James, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Radio Operator.

    569399 Sergeant Salt, George Harold, R.A.F. - Flight Engineer.

    The accident occurred near land and Pilot Officer Mowat and Sergeant Salt were rescued, and taken to the Mulgrave Military Hospital, Nova Scotia. Pilot Officer Mowat is suffering from slight shock, laceration of the scalp and sprained left shoulder, condition not considered serious. Sergeant Salt is in a serious condition, suffering from shock, multiple lacerations, a compound fracture of the lower jaw and burns and has been placed ont he S.I. list. The bodies of the other occupants have so far not been recovered. . . .

    Errol

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    Many thanks once again Errol, much appreciated!

    Jim
    Jim Corbett

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