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Thread: First Mk 11 Sunderland where was it built?

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    Default First Mk 11 Sunderland where was it built?

    I understand the first Mk 11 W3976 was a Mk 1 converted? If so, where was it built and does anyone know the pilot's name when it crashed in November 1941 in Rhu Narrows?

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    Robin

    According to this it was a Shorts-built Sunderland: http://www.aviastar.org/gallery/sunderland.html

    "Meanwhile production and development continued at Shorts' Rochester factory although Sunderlands were ordered only in comparatively small batches. A second production line was set up by Blackburns and Denny Brothers at Dumbarton on the Clyde. A total of 75 Sunderland I's were built by Shorts and a further 15 by Blackburns when an improvement in performance was made by replacing the Pegasus XXIIs with Pegasus XVIIIs with two-speed superchargers. At the same time a two-gun Botha-type F.N.7 turret replaced the two open K-gun mountings and the F.N.13 tail turrets with 500 rounds per gun were replaced by the F.N.4a which carried 1,000 r.p.g. The resulting aircraft was the Sunderland II. 23 of these were built by Shorts, commencing with W3976 and five by Blackburns (W6000-W6004)."

    W3976 was built at Rochester, the first of W3976 to W3998, Blackburn built W6000 to W6004, and Shorts also built later Mk.IIs at Belfast (W6050 to W6064).

    See:

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...0W3976&f=false

    Regards

    Simon

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    thank you Simon. Also does anyone know name of pilot killed when W3976 crashed in November 41? I have the name of the one survivor and crew killed but not that of the plot.

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    Robin,

    Is what you need here in the RAF CWGC Search database?

    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?uniq=W3976

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 11th February 2020 at 16:43.

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    The full crew were
    F/O Harold HOBLEY AFC 43170 RAF
    Cpl Geoffrey Edward HANSORD 550407 RAF
    LAC Hubert John EDWARDS 620264 RAF
    LAC Robert McNeil CAMERON 1017508 RAF(VR)
    AC1 Daniel McKay MCKEEKIN 1101295 RAF(VR)
    AC1 David Ogle WALLACE 959157 RAF(VR)
    AC1 Raymond Edgar George COCKBURN 921003 RAF(VR)
    AC2 Joseph Andrew MORRIS 1099270 RAF(VR)
    Mr Vincent Norman DRAKE OBE Assistant II 959157 RAF

    Chris

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    thank you everyone for the feedback. Always suspected there was a full crew aboard. I will pass the information onto Vincent Drake's daughter. Vincent was a friend of my late father Bob Bird at Helensburgh. Dad wrote in his diary at the time that there was controversy as the MD did not remove clothing when one body was found the following January. Wonder what that was all about? Thanks again

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    Before I pass information on there is a hiccup regarding Hobley as the pilot. My files, including flying logs a RAF Helensburgh have Hobley flying at Helensburgh up to May 1943. His flights included Walrus L2179 during May 42, Sunderland K4774 in July 42, Roc floatplane on July 28, 42, Sunderland T99042 in October 42. In Walrus W2782 he was then on a photographic flight. On February 4 44 he flew Sunderland ML 735 on a fuel consumption test.He was commended for his time as a test pilot with MAEE and retired from the RAF in 1954, died in the 1960s. These flying log entries are 100 per cent reliable. Hobley's listed test flights were witnessed by Engineering Officer Peter Knight. So, I wonder if the controversy over the pilot was not Hobley but someone else being the pilot? A mystery indeed.

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    I'm intrigued by cozzy711's post (#5) which records Drake as being a civilian (ie Mr Vincent Drake OBE (Assistant II) but then describing him as being in the RAF with a service number. Robert's link (#4) seems to confirm the civilian status. 'Assistant II' is certainly not an RAF rank. No doubt there's a simple answer.

    The AIR 81 Casualty file records the pilot (Hobley) survived (#4), as does #5, so perhaps your information about him being killed is mistaken.

    Brian

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    Formatting error, Brian.

    Look at the service number attached to AC1 David Ogle WALLACE.

    Hobley is not on CWGC.

    Vincent Norman Drake (16 February 1911 - 20 April 1979) is shown as "Technical Officer, Ministry of Aircraft Production, Royal Air Force Station."

    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...nt/65/data.pdf

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Is it unusual that there was only one person with a flight deck rank aboard a four-engined type?

    Robert

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