View Full Version : Short Sunderland Flying Boats

John (Gary) Cooper
13th Aug 2002, 21:52
Any webfooters out there, especially those who served at RAF Seletar 205/209 Squadrons, would be good to hear from you, a reunion is scheduled in October 2002.

18th Aug 2002, 21:07
I know a chap near here who flew Sunderlands (and Lancasters before that), but he's not in the best of health.

He's flown with me a couple of times; it was on one of those trips that he told me all about his Sunderland experiences.

Any details I should give him? Any contact info? Can go to [email protected] or [email protected].

21st Aug 2002, 15:43

Just been having a look, at your very full and comprehensive albums on webshots. Damn, there's some nostalgia right there :)

Just out of idle interest, whilst you were at El Adem, did the dump still contain WW2 aircraft? I think they were Italian?

Anything else you fell over on your travels in that part of the world would be of great interest....

Also, in response to your other queries, you could try Ross McNeill over at www.rafcommands.com . Coastal Command is his specialist subject, and there is a forum, with some incredibly knowledgeable people too!

Best regards


John (Gary) Cooper
21st Aug 2002, 20:12
El Adem WW2, the only thing I remember Italian was the Cemetery, however there were very many relics of German origin, I recall a chap by the name of 'Hans' who regularly entered a booby trapped compound to get out half-tracks and VW type 'Jeeps', the German hospital between Tobruk and El Adem sat almost buried in an escarpment, this too was booby trapped, no one entered that though, rumour had it that through a ward window wires were threaded through blanket packs. I do recall heading towards the Transmitters on the third escarpment seeing part of a Lysander Wing and Propeller, plus the outline of a base of sorts, imagine British/Commonwealth due to the white washing of the stones marking out the road network!.

Thanks also for the comments, I will certainly check out that site


22nd Aug 2002, 01:47
my dad flew sunderlands out of pembroke dock and mountbatten from 40 to 45. he became the youngest wing commander of ten squadron raaf. i have many pages and audio tapes he wrote of his times away fighting.

after the war he kept flying the old boats around the pacific for ansett and in the early seventies took the last two of these aircraft to st thomas in the us virgin islands. they were operated by charlie blair, maureen o'hara and my dad throughout the carribean islands and did a few atlantic crossings one of these was documented and is a great adventure story.

the last of our sandringham variants is in the aerospace mueum in southhampton, still in ansett coulours. uder one wing is the supermarine that won the schneider cup for britain and under the other is a spitfire. it is a great museum.

the last flying sunderland was sold to kermit weeks and resides at the fantasy of flight hangar in florida.

i will be posting many flying boat pictures from their beginnings to today on my web site if you are interested. contact me through prune. :)

22nd Aug 2002, 02:39
Charlie Blair used to own a fishing and hunting club in this neck of the woods. The main chalet was at Mingan on an old WWII USAAF base, where he kept two Norseman on floats. There were two outlying clubs, one at Musquarro Lake for trout and landlocked salmon, and another at Mabille Lake for trout fishing and woodland caribou hunting in the fall. He'd come to Mingan in a Mallard, and from there use the Norseman to get around. I flew the occasional charter for him with a Beaver if one of their aircraft were unavailable. One of my uncles was the head guide at the Musquarro camp, and his wife was the cook.

22nd Aug 2002, 03:49
charlie also flew his mustang across the north pole and later he repeated the flight in an f100 supersabre. he left the airforce and flew 707's for pan am.

legend has it that when he was flying for pan am out of jfk in his later years no one was to speak to charlie if he was on his way to the aircraft because he might forget where he was going and go home.

he was killed in a grumman (engine failure) landing at st thomas harbour usvi. i flew with him in 69 70 in a pby, i was the flight steward.

we had a lot of fun way back then, we had goose, mallard, widgeon, sandringham, sunderland and a 185 on floats, 23 in total. my mother ran operations for antilles air boats, a great little airline.

bring back the good days.


27th Aug 2002, 16:40
my Grandpa flew Sunderlands and he was also in 233 Coastal Command. He is one of the lucky few to be a surviving member of the Gold Fish Club (surviving a ditch into the sea)

John (Gary) Cooper
26th Sep 2002, 15:48
Last call for any GROUND CREW ex 205/209 Squadron RAF Seletar 1956-1959, the last flying boat squadron in the RAF, some 25 of us guys are having an informal get together at Duxford very shortly. The Sunderland will be opened up for our visit and we will be greeted by an ex Sunderland skipper, so for those that haven't been in touch this is your last chance.