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Thread: Saturday 15 July 1939 Short Singapore Isle of Wight paddle-steamer Collision

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    Default Saturday 15 July 1939 Short Singapore Isle of Wight paddle-steamer Collision

    I found this on Sussex History Forum

    Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 15 July 1939

    FLYING BOAT CRASHES INTO HOLIDAY STEAMER. WING TORN FROM R.A.F. MACHINE. Pilot and Crew Escape. PASSENGERS SHOWERED WITH METAL. Island Trippers Get a Thrill. HOLIDAYMAKERS, going by sea to the Isle of Wight and Southsea, including a large number of children, had a miraculous escape on board the Red Funnel paddle-steamer, Gracie Fields, when a Short Singapore flying boat from Calshot R.A.F. Station crashed into her at 9.45 a.m. to-day. The right wing of the flying boat was shattered and the machine plunged into the sea, but the pilot officer and crew escaped injury. The bow of the Gracie Fields was damaged and her foremast was snapped. Passengers on board the steamer were showered with pieces of metal from the damaged flying boat. An eye-witness described the happening as follows:

    "The Gracie Fields was bound from Southampton to Hyde and was struck on her port bow by the right wing of the R.A.F. machine, which was apparently attempting to take off from Southampton Water, and failed to clear the bows of the paddle vessel. The entire right wing of the flying-boat was shattered, and the machine was swung almost round by the force of the impact. It fell into the sea alongside the steamer. Fortunately the aircraft did not capsize and there was no loss of life."


    There is a picture of the Short Singapore coded 'B' but no visible Serial number

    From the clues can it be identified?

    Thanks Paul

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    Hello,

    No.240 Sqn Short Singapore III K8566. Hit mast of steamer on take-off. Calshot 15.7.1939 and DBR.

    Col.

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    Col

    QED
    Thanks

    I couldn't find it because I had K8566 recorded against 1938 !!

    Paul

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    Paul, Hi,

    This is an interesting one!!

    One assumes ‘Hyde’ is a typo for ’Ryde’?

    At 0700 Calshot reported SE’ly Force 5, good Vis, Cloudy.
    At 1300 Calshot reported SSE Force 4, good Vis, Cloudy with showers.

    The Southampton appears to have taxied out from Calshot behind the “Gracie Fields” and crossed her track at right-angles. The Southampton then must have turned SE (into the wind) and attempted to take off, on a roughly parallel track, but to the north of the ship's track. This can only account for the Southampton’s right wing striking the vessel. The two would have been on closing tracks, with the Southampton overtaking the Gracie Fields, and assuming it would clear her adequately. The CoI would make interesting reading – as would any Court Martial proceedings (and/or Loss of Seniority for the Skipper – or the Duty Pilot!!).

    HTH

    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 12th January 2015 at 12:48.
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Punishment was not as thunderous as you would expect Peter.

    The aircraft was from the Flying Boat Conversion flight of No.240 Sqn. P/O D S M Burrell had 3 hours on type but 284 solo on other types.

    It was classed as error of judgement in allowing the aircraft to swing on take off. He then continued the run and attempted to clear the steamer by hopping over.

    Nearly got away with it but collected the mast.

    The C of I classed him as inexperienced in waterbourne aircraft and had him removed from the course as "will not make efficient flying boat pilot".

    You commented on what happened to him a few months later

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...nis-SM-Burrell

    Regards
    Ross
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