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Thread: Sunderland W3997 of 201 squadron - Crash?

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    Default Sunderland W3997 of 201 squadron - Crash?

    Hi All,

    I am looking into the 'crash' of Sunderland W3997 of which there appears to be conflicting evidence. On googling W3997, one website has the a/c as crashed on 6th February 1942 off Donegal while another has the a/c as 'Delivered 02/42. Served with 10 Sqn under RAF control. Back to RAF 07/42' and no crash mentioned.

    I believe the first account to be in error but can anyone confirm the correct report.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Russ

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    Russ,

    According to the relevant Air-Britain serials volume:

    201/10 RAAF/201/4 OTU
    Crashed in sea 17m E of Lossiemouth, 12.10.43; cause not known.

    Errol

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    Thanks Errol!

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    Hi Gents

    12/10/43
    W3997
    No. 4 OTU

    Coded R

    F/O G F Booth
    S/Lt J Jenson
    Sgt Andreassen
    Sgt R Svendsen
    Sgt E Knudzen
    Q/M L W Rustad
    Sgt E Blomgrem(n?)
    Q/M L Bjerche
    Sgt A Borgen
    Sgt A Malmoe
    Sgt O J Stendtvedt
    F/S G B M McCarthy
    AC1 W Ritchie
    AC2 J Marshall
    S/Lt J Kjellstrup

    Crashed into the North Sea 17 miles east of Lossiemouth, Morayshire.
    Cause unknown.

    4 miles north of Portsoy

    Between Banff and Kinloss, 5 bodies at Portsoy, 1 at Redhythe

    PORTSOY, BANFFSHIRE.
    On the night of the 12th of October, 1943, a Sunderland flying boat was reported missing between Banff and Kinloss. The sea was calm, with a light southerly wind. A rescue launch put out from Buckie at 10.34. The Buckie life-boat was not called out. About 8.30 the following morning the small fishing boat White Wings, with a crew of two, one a man of eighty-four, picked up the dead bodies of five airmen about 200 yards north of Portsoy harbour. This was seen by the coastguard, who sent out the boat Nellie, but she found nothing. Shortly after noon a third boat -the Ivy - brought in one more body, which she had picked up at 11.30 that morning, off Redhythe. - Rewards, £8 and 4s. for fuel used."
    (Source: RNLI Lists of Services 1939-46)

    According to B. Hafsten's/NFF's list of Air Force casualties,Svendsen was a navigator onboard Sunderland Mk. II,W3997,Callsign "R".
    The plane belonged officially to 330 Sqn,but was operated on this flight on behalf of No. 4 OTU.It crashed in the sea 27 km. east of Lossiemouth due to an explosion onboard.
    Co-pilot was Sgt. Einar Andreassen,Flight Engineer was Kvartermester Leif Venneck Bjercke,WOP/AG Sgt. Edvin Bernhard Blomgren,Air Gunner Kvartermester Asbjørn Borgen,Pilot 2/Lt. Jacob Cedolf Jenssen,Passenger 2/Lt. Johan W. H. Kjelstrup,WOP/AG Kvartermester Ragnar Kjell Knutzen,Gunner Kvartermester Henry B. Malmøe,WOP/AG Kvartermester Leif Dag Rustad,Gunner Kvartermester Olav Johannes Stentvedt.

    The 201 Sqn aircraft was W3977

    Regards
    Ross
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    310 ORB has the following about Norgwegians - RAF personnel not mentioned


    F/O G F Booth
    #624 S/Lt J Jensen Captain
    #5564 Sgt E Andreassen 2nd Pilot
    #5457 Sgt R Svensen Navigator
    #5642 Q/M R Knutsen WO/AG - Q/M -Quarter Master ?
    #1459 Q/M L Rustad WO/AG
    #2088 Sgt E Blomgren WO/AG
    #469 Q/M L Bjercke Flight Engineer
    #438 Sgt A Borgen A/G
    # 361 Sgt A Malmoe A/G
    #5207 Sgt O Stendtvedt A/G
    F/S G B M McCarthy
    AC1 W Ritchie
    AC2 J Marshall
    S/Lt J Kjellstrup - Passenger (other entries in ORB has his name spelt S/Lt J Kjelstrup) - he was a Navigator

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    Motherlode for some names


    http://www.travelmart.no/flyfabrikken/personell_little_norway.pdf

    For instance

    Edwin Bernhard Blomgren
    Johan Widing Heiberg Kjelstrup
    Ragnar Kjell Knutzen - ORB incorrect
    Henry Bernhard Malmøe
    Olav Johannes Stenstvedt NOT Stendtvedt
    Leif Wenner Bjercke

    Amongst others!
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 16th October 2008 at 13:10.

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    Thanks Ross and Paul,

    I think you have conclusively answered my question.

    Russ

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    Default Sunderland W3997

    633399 AC2 J Marshall RAFVR was a cook and 1118932 AC1 W Ritchie RAFVR was a Main Battle Cook.

    F1180 Accident Card gives location as 4 mls N of Portsoy, 'Cause obscure'. 4(C)OTU ORB says 17 mls E of Lossiemouth and 19 OTU Kinloss ORB says 345degrees (T) 4 mls Buckie.

    Keith

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    Russ,
    On my visit to 201 Squadron museum, Guernsey, last Sunday I noticed a photo on display with the caption
    “Sunderland Mk.II W3997 ZM-S beached at Castle Archdale, March 1942. The result of damage sustained by “friendly fire” from a convoy. GMS001 1284”
    This would tie in with your original query.
    Cheers
    Richard

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    Thanks Richard and Keith,

    I am sure I have seen some pictures of a beached Sunderland, but there was no caption as the the a/c identity, or at least it wasn't W3997. This must have been earlier battle damage and the Sunderland was repaired, returning to squadron service prior to its final demise on 12 October 1943. It certainly ties in with what I have.

    Cheers,
    Russ

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