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Thread: 4(C) OTU - Sunderland ML738 - 3-1-1945

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    Default 4(C) OTU - Sunderland ML738 - 3-1-1945

    Hello,

    Seeking further information on the following accident:

    3-1-1945
    No.4(C) OTU
    Sunderland III ML738

    Crashed/sank on take-off, Alness.

    Crew (Alpha order):

    185304 P/O (Flt. Engr.) John Theodore ESHELBY RAFVR +
    1197225 F/Sgt (Flt. Engr.) William Horace JOHNS RAFVR +
    75709 F/Lt (Instr.) Francis Noel JOHNSTON DFC RAFVR +
    AUS416005 F/O (Instr.) Paul Gotthelf PFEIFFER RAAF - Died of Injuries
    - ? - LAC ( - ? - ) J SCOTT - Injured
    AUS410797 F/Lt (Instr.) Robert Lance WEBSTER RAAF - Slightly Injured
    179681 F/O (Flying Instr.) Joseph ZITA +

    Confirmation, corrections and additions to the above appreciated.

    TIA,

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 14th March 2010 at 11:28.

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    Default

    Hello Col

    Nothing much here on ML738 apart from the bare facts that it crashed/sank on take-off Alness, Cromarty Forth 3.1.45.

    461 Sqn RAAF ORB661 for 11Jun44 ML755 has F/Sgt J T Eshelby 1382067.

    He is pictured with Flt Lt Dudley Marrows crew in AWM photos SUK11471 and SUK11472 taken in Sept-43.
    Their Sunderland EK578 had been shot down by six JU88s on 16Sep43 but they were all uninjured and rescued the next day.

    I have photos of Johnny Johnston DFC taken at Freetown in Feb-44.

    I have a very poor photocopy of an undated photo of F/Sgt (later P/O) Paul Pfeiffer.
    He was on Sunderland DV968 on 2Aug43 when it helped sink U-106.

    A410797 Flt Sgt R L Webster of St Kilda, Vic also appears in the AWM photos mentioned above.

    Not much to add, Im afraid, and I would also appreciate more info.

    Cheers
    Richard

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    Default

    Hello Richard,

    Apart from the photo of Johnston DFC, and the undated photo of Pfeiffer, I was aware of most of the other mentions.

    179681 F/O Joseph Zita was recorded in Flight, May 10, 1945. pp.517-18, Cas. Comm. No.503 as, Missing Believed Killed on Active Service. This was updated in Flight, December 6, 1945. pp.619-20, Cas. Comm. No.553 to, Now Reported Killed on Active Service, so his body must have been recovered in the interim.

    I suspect the 4(C) OTU ORB must be lacking in detail, as well.

    Appreciate your contribution. I'll keep on digging, something might turn up!

    Regards,

    Col.

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    Default Sunderland ML738, 3 Jan 1945

    The F1180 Accident Card reads 'sank after bad take-off, Alness. The 4(C)OTU ORB says it (a/c coded 'BK') crashed near Dalmore Pier, 13:15; take-off had been at 10:45 in snow showers.
    As regards the names, I have 1048217 LAC E Scott RAAF (photographer), slight injuries.

    Keith

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    Hello Keith,

    Thanks for the additional information on ML738.

    There is an LAC J Scott (under Royal Air Force), mentioned as "Wounded or Injured on Active Service", in Flight. May 10, 1945. p.518.

    The only additional information I have is from the Coastal Command Accident Report for 4(C) OTU - January 1945:

    "The second accident occurred when a very experienced Captain took his aircraft off in a very steep climb, apparently using 2/3 flap. The aircraft climbed to about 200 feet and then appeared to stall dropping first one wing and then the other, and finally slid into the water. There is insufficient evidence to find the real cause of the accident."

    The CC Reports do not quote serials.

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/ItemDetail.asp?M=0&B=477581

    See: p.79 of 127.

    (Alan kindly supplied a copy of this document, which I already was aware of.).

    Keith, you quote "BK", (from the 4(C) OTU ORB), as being in the air for over 2 hours. ML738, reportedly crashed on take-off! The only other 4(C) OTU incident/accident I know of in January 1945, was, W6009 "DD", crashed Dornoch Range 14-1-1945.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 28th March 2010 at 22:54.

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    Default Sunderland ML738, 3 Jan 1945

    Clearly a case of different information in the two sources. Certainly my notes of the 4(C) OTU refer to 'BK', with the serial coming from other sources, verified by the F.1180. The ORB doesn't mention a fatality on 10 May 1945 but that, of course, doesn't mean it didn't happen. Incidentally, the ORB refers to the loss of 'BD' on 14 January 1945, rather than 'DD'.

    Keith

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    Default Zita

    I'm new here, so late with this small contribution.
    Joseph Zita was buried at Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool and his CWGC stone has his initial, name, rank and 'Flying Instructor', but no other details. Photo available if needed. Thanks for the first name, not found elsewhere.
    Daggers
    Last edited by daggers; 3rd November 2010 at 17:10.

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    Default

    have you looked at the CWGC database, they have the mens names in full (in most cases).

    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2411531
    http://www.cwgc.org/debt_of_honour.asp?menuid=14
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Dennis
    Thanks for that. My original note was made after seeing the headstone, when I entered Zita with only his initial, and then should have added the 'Joseph' when reading the CWGC entry.
    I have now tidied things up.
    I look forward to finding more useful material here.
    D

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    Hi

    A bit late but the following confirms casualties - http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads....18267/page-52

    Malcolm

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