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Thread: Sunderland lost in Arctic circa July 1942??

  1. #11
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    Hi Brian

    Not saying it's impossible, but a "mis-identified Catailina" seems a difficult option to me. Even if 'ice-encased' the Catalina is very different from a Sunderland isn't it. Apart from the obvious 2 engines instead of 4, there's the wing mounted on a pylon above the fuselage and the high tailplane for a start. Then there's the braced wingtip floats, the lack of a raised tail turret and the fact that the Cat is more than 20 ft shorter than a Sunderland.

    Could they possibly have mis-identified all of that? ...Must've gone to the "Tabloid Newspaper School of Aircraft Recognition" if they did!

    ... Call me old and cynical, but I can't see that how that could've happened.

    : )

    Ian
    Last edited by ianh; 31st October 2016 at 14:35.

  2. #12
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    Too many assumptions, Brian. The location of the loss is comes from the German report, which immediately rules out the idea the Sunderland was chased northward for many miles. It is also known that the visibility was good in the search area (http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads...08-1941.21913/) which, taken with the fact that sunset at 63 N on 21 August 1941 was about 2200 hours (DBST), conditions would have been pretty good for the search aircraft to sight a floating Sunderland. Having looked at the weather charts the wind in the vicinity was such that the Sunderland would not have drifted far had it landed. You've also overlooked the fact that weather conditions in the Norwegian Sea are horrendous at times, causing ships considerable problems let alone a lightweight like a Sunderland.

    I think you can rule out Catalina AH535 as it was apparently shot down about 200 miles west of Trondheim (http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...6-5-42-210-Sqd)


    I'm always suspicious of anecdotal stories originating from unspecified sources.

    Brian

  3. #13
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    Hello,

    From Lyffe's earlier post which included a map ref "PI.Q 34 65/16 West.
    I do not know, but 65/16 if are lat/long followed by "West" would place the a/c to the south of Jan Mayen Island and north of Cape Langanaes, Iceland,
    From what I have read about PQ17 it would have been in the Jan Mayen Island area on or about the 3rd of July 42.
    So if sea currents were right and she did not sink then possibly the a/c may have drifted north and got "trapped" in the ice.
    The Map in "Article Airmen" page 49 shows the ice edge as of May42 as being south of Jan Mayen Island.
    So the a/c may then have drifted south when the ice started to break up .

    Just another perhaps to throw into the melting pot.

    Alex

  4. #14
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    Alex,

    Pl.Q.34 65/16 West is not a position given in latitude/longitude, but a grid position given in Luftwaffe/Maritime code. I managed to work out the 16 West referred to a large area extending from 59 to 64 N, and 00 to 10 W (see http://www.gyges.dk/JMN%20stor%20v20.pdf). The other letters/numbers provide a more exact location. I am indebted to Rainer Kolbicz of uboat.net and the 12 O'clock High forums for completing the decode for me - see #11 of http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showth...t=46436&page=2.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 31st October 2016 at 16:59.

  5. #15
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    The source would be valuable: I find it difficult to believe that some official report would not have been made of such an event. Does it not appear in any other account of PQ17? It is perhaps worth commenting that ice is heavy. Lighter than seawater, yes, but when laden down on top of an aircraft, the aircraft would not float at anywhere near its usual height above the surface and may not even appear recognisable.

  6. #16
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    Hi Graham

    I'm afraid that I cannot offer more than the quote from the book. Perhaps I'll see if I can contact the author.

    Incidentally, Ltn z.S. Kampf was not the pilot of the Do18, but was the observer and aircraft commander. He was killed in a flying accident on 21 February 1942 aboard a BV138 of 3./KuFlGr.406.

    Cheers
    Brian

  7. #17
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    Prompted by #24 of http://www.worldnavalships.com/forum...ad.php?t=10818, which tells of 210 Sqn (Catalinas) supporting PQ17, I've accessed the ORBs for June and July. Neither PQ17, nor any other convoy for that matter, is referred to in the ORB, but from 1 to 18 July a detachment from 210 Squadron was based at Lake Lahkta (approx 59 50 N, 30 09 E) or Grasnaya near Murmansk. Apart from having the odd confrontation with German aircraft no Catalinas were lost during June or July.

    Brian

  8. #18
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    Brian

    I'll throw this into the mix. Richard Woodman's Arctic Convoys 1941-1945 (which I was glancing through in a second-hand bookshop this afternoon) records PQ17 being attacked by nine HE 115s in the 2nd, one of which was shot down. It must have landed safely as one of the formation landed beside it to rescue the crew. I fully appreciate a He 115 does not look anything like a Sunderland, but as the Sunderland and Catalina have effectively been ruled out of the equation, this seems to fit other elements of Edward's account, viz an abandoned seaplane drifting through/near the convoy.

    Woodman's version, published in 2007, makes no reference to the incident described by Edwards (2002)

    Alternatively ....

    Woodman also describes a Walrus being launched from HMS London during the afternoon of 3 July, although nothing untoward happened to this aircraft. Again, I fully appreciate the Walrus looks nothing like a Sunderland, but one can but wonder if whoever recounted the story in the first place thought all seaplanes were Sunderlands?

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 1st November 2016 at 17:40.

  9. #19
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    Hi Brian

    Thanks for keeping this discussion alive - after all that's the beauty of the Forum!

    Yes, I see your point. I was aware of the He115 incident and that of the Walrus .......!

    My thoughts had turned to the possibility that it may have been a German or Soviet aircraft? And not necessarily a seaplane.

    Intriguing!

    Brian

  10. #20
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    Hi guys

    Seemingly no longer relevant, but I do note that the first Allied convoy to Russia (Dervish) sailed from Iceland on 21 August 1941! If I didn't know better, I would have 'assumed' that W3982 was part of the a/s patrol for the convoy! Especially as I thought 3./KuFlGr.406 was at Banak!

    And, of course, if Alex is correct with his 'assumption' regarding the co-ordinates, then everything would seem to fit accordingly!

    Cheers
    Brian

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