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Submerged Sunderland

Old 11th Jul 2004, 18:29
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Submerged Sunderland

Hello, have just been informed by the dear wife that there was a programme on Channel 4? about the wreck of a Sunderland.
Anyone see it?Did it concern the alleged wreck in the North West?
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Old 11th Jul 2004, 19:02
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Yep Channel 4 Sunday 11th July 1725hrs.

Where a Sunderland had been located in Pembroke Dock from WW2. A Pegasus engine was retrieved complete with a three bladed prop attached, one further prop and engine is still attached to the port wing.
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Old 11th Jul 2004, 23:06
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Usual load of hype. Made a big fuss about it being one of four possibles but seeing as it was in the mooring area and one of the four sank at moorings during a storm I wasn't too surprised when they decided that that was the one. Got all excited about it being a Mk 1 and the earliest Sunderland still in existence. Rotting away in salt water doesn't rate as being in existence to me. They plan to conserve and display a well rotted Bristol Radial when there are probably several presentable ones lying about and they would like to recover and restore the airframe. Can't see why when they couldn't retain the fully serviceable flying example in this country.

Mike W
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Old 12th Jul 2004, 06:57
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" Made a big fuss about it being one of four possibles but seeing as it was in the mooring area and one of the four sank at moorings during a storm I wasn't too surprised when they decided that that was the one"

My immediate reaction was props intact, then accident at mooring was the pretty obvious conclusion, still it made for a reasonably good programme.
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Old 12th Jul 2004, 20:00
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Thanks for the replies.I can remember seeing the one at Calshott,or was this a Sandringham?
Also got in the cockpit of the Southampton museum aircraft.
Very impressive and a very nice man to explain things to me.
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Old 12th Jul 2004, 22:50
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Isn't there also a Sunderland, fairly intact but minus engines, on the bed of Lake Windermere?
 
Old 13th Jul 2004, 08:29
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The programme mentioned that there where only 3 Sunderlands in existence.

from memory

1 in Florida (Kermit Week's)
1 in Hendon
1 at Southampton
1 at Duxford.

Are these all Sunderlands, or are some of them Sandringhams?

Are there any still in existence in Australia or New Zealand?

What was a 'Solent' by the way
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Old 13th Jul 2004, 10:27
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The recent discovery of a Sunderland exposed by a storm at Pembroke Dock is not the first.

During the Christmas, New Year period 1954-5 a severe gale which blew down an avenue of ancient oak trees also brought to the surface a long-lost Sunderland MkIII.

The appearance of one wing and float raised high initially was regarded as an over-night sinking, but closer examination revealed it to have been a Mk III which had sunk at its moorings during WWII, and been forgotten.

This aircraft was beached, but very rapidly ‘reduced to produce’ and departed in BR wagons, probably to reappear as pots and pans.

In “MOTAT” in Auckland there is on display in the Keith Park Memorial Airfield a collection of airframes which include a Lancaster, a Solent Mk IV, and a Sunderland GR Mk V.
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Old 13th Jul 2004, 12:19
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I think that those at Southampton and Polk City are indeed Sandringhams - they flew with Antilles Air Boats untill the late 70s: but isn't a Sandringham a civillianised Sunderland?

There is also a Short Solent in a museum at Oakland Airport.
Click here...
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Old 13th Jul 2004, 20:47
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Smartman, yes that is the one i thought the programme was about.I have seen suggestion the Lake Windemere photos are a fake.
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Old 21st Nov 2005, 07:04
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Sunderland Riddle

Understand that stores such as mines and depth charges were carried in the hull.

What was the mechanism which sent the stores to the wing hard points from which they could be dropped in a hurry - eg soon after sighting a U Boat.?

And a big accolade for anyone who can describe how the Sunderlands were reconfigured/rebalanced with the fitting of a heavy gun turret down the back end.
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Old 21st Nov 2005, 07:23
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how the Sunderlands were reconfigured/rebalanced with the fitting of a heavy gun turret down the back end
Stick a similar turret up the front end.
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Old 21st Nov 2005, 07:33
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Milt: I am not certain but I believe the Sunderland had rails running flush with the underside of the wing extending into the fuselage.

Weapons were manually winched onto the racks which ran in these rails, and then they were run out clear of the fuselage into position ready for dropping.

I have a friend who flew in them and will check with him in a couple of days.
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Old 21st Nov 2005, 09:12
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I believe that the one in Southampton spent most of it's life as a Sandringham, but is painted as a Sunderland.

G
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Old 21st Nov 2005, 12:10
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Henry

Your description is correct

JF
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Old 21st Nov 2005, 16:43
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Seem to recall an article in After the Battle about the RAF water aerodrome on Lough Erne NI, where it said at least one sank there. Bearing in mind an intact Wildcat or similar was found in Lough Neagh a few years back, it just might be in better condition.
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Old 22nd Nov 2005, 08:21
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Milt: I have spoken to my friend and here are a few more details that may be of interest.

The centre section cabin was known as the bomb room, it filled the fuselage at its widest point..
There were doors on each side which opened to allow the weapon racks on each rail to be run in or out.

The racks were run out, the arming barge would position under the wing, and the bombs/depthcharges were winched up to the racks.
The loaded racks were then run into the bomb room ( by electrical powered winch) and the doors were closed.

When a drop was imminent the pilot would press a button to open the side doors, then another one to run the weapons out to position under the wings.
No extra weapons were carried internally, so no reloads when those on the racks had been dropped.

There was another method used sometimes when they were bombing during the Malayan emergency.

The bomb room would be loaded with boxes of small anti-personnel bombs of about 25lb size.
When they reached their designated area of jungle the side doors were opened and the crew would throw these bombs out as fast as they could. It sounds rather unorthodox but far more entertaining than pressing a release button.
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Old 22nd Nov 2005, 08:21
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The Wildcat (Martlet?) came from Lough Beg just south of Crumlin. Lower Lough Erne in County Fermanagh had many Sunderlands and Catalinas sunk/scuttled there. An attempt to raise a Catalina in the middle ninties was abandoned. The airframes are full of silt and therefore very heavy!
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Old 22nd Nov 2005, 09:19
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henry crun

Much appreciate hearing a good description of how ingenuity solved a difficult problem.

Hope there is a movie somewhere of the gubbinry doing its thing.
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Old 22nd Nov 2005, 12:06
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There is the hulk of a Sunderland in Sullom Voe, Shetlands. Apparently it came back from a patrol full of holes and was taxiied up onto the launching ramp before it sank. The old girl was stripped of everything useful and towed out into "deep" water to sink. The upper surface of the wings were just visible at the equinox low tides when I was there in the early Eighties.

arthur h I showed the supposed picture of the Windemere Sunderland to a chap who reads sonar images for a living and he reckoned it was "suspect" with conflicting shadows and too high a level of detail.
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