Short Sunderland

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Short Sunderland

Post  The 16th Pilot on Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:12 am

The Short Sunderland was a British flying boat. It was introduced in 1938, and served until 1959. The Germans are reported to have nicknamed the Sunderland the Fliegendes Stachelschwein ("Flying Porcupine") due to its defensive firepower.
On one occasion, a Sunderland Mk III was on anti-submarine patrol, and also searching for a lost aircraft, when one of the crew spotted eight Ju 88s. Bombs and depth-charges were dumped, and the engines brought to full power.
Two Ju 88s made passes at the flying boat, one from each side, scoring hits and disabling one engine while the Sunderland went through wild "corkscrew" evasive manoeuvres. On the third pass, the dorsal turret gunner shot one down. Another Ju 88 disabled the tail turret, but the next one that made a pass was hit by both the dorsal and nose turrets and shot down. Another destroyed the Sunderland's radio gear, wounding most of the crew to varying degrees and mortally wounding one of the side gunners. A Ju 88 tried to attack from the rear, but the tail turret gunner had regained some control over the turret and shot it down. The surviving Ju 88s continued to attack, but the nose gunner damaged one of these, setting its engines on fire. Two more of the attackers were also hit and the final pair disengaged and departed, the only two to make it back to base.
The Sunderland had been heavily damaged. The crew threw everything they could overboard and nursed the aircraft back to the Cornish coast, where pilot Colin Walker managed to land and beach it at Praa Sands. The crew waded ashore, carrying their dead comrade, while the surf broke the Sunderland up. Walker received the Distinguished Service Order and several of the other crew members also received medals.
Sadly, flying another Sunderland, the same crew disappeared without trace over the Bay of Biscay two months later after reporting that they were under attack by six Ju 88s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Sunderland

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The 16th Pilot

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Flying Boat

Post  Navigator on Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:07 pm

I do like the look of these planes. (or rather a flying boat)

I am always amazed at how much damage the bigger type planes can endure and still fly. Shocked

I understand that the front turret is retractable so that someone can stand in that same spot when the "plane" is actually a "boat". I think this is a fascinating design. Smile

Many blessings!

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