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WWII Sunderland flying-boat Raised From Seabed

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WWII Sunderland flying-boat Raised From Seabed

Unread postby KlausNW » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:22 pm

Monster sea-plane dragged from the deep: WWII Sunderland flying-boat raised from seabed 65ft below waves with the help of the very last pilot to fly her

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523196/WWII-Sunderland-flying-boat-raised-seabed-65ft-waves.html#ixzz2nOMEzsnE
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Now, 73 years since it sank in 1940, naval historians are on the cusp of finally piecing the unique vessel back together in a project worth half a million pounds.

A deep sea diver accidentally discovered the wreckage after seeing a lobster-pot had become snagged on something below the waves 13 years ago.

The diver followed the rope down to the seabed and came across the world’s only surviving Mark I Sunderland flying-boat.

Experts identified the craft as Sunderland T9044 of No 210 Squadron, RAF....

To confirm the identity, they tracked down the bomber's last pilot: 93-year-old Wing Commander Derek Martin OBE.

Martin was aged 20 in 1940, training young aircrews, when he flew the Sunderland out of Pembroke Dock, in West Wales, the day before it sank.

He said: 'I flew it on a routine flight around the dock and then moored it up.

'There was a gale during the night and it must have been holed by some floating debris and down it went.

'In the morning it wasn’t there. Well, it was at the bottom of the sea.'

Sunderland flying-boats flew out of Pembroke Dock during the Battle of the Atlantic - when they were used to attack German U-boats sinking vital supply ships.


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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523196/WWII-Sunderland-flying-boat-raised-seabed-65ft-waves.html#ixzz2nOMEzsnE
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Re: WWII Sunderland flying-boat Raised From Seabed

Unread postby CFII » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:12 pm

Great story, huge job. The flying boats on both sides were underrated by postwar Monday-morning quarterbacks and many others whose eyes were glazed over by the high speed spectacles of the dogfights by fighter pilots.

Without looking it up again, I believe because of their stealthiness and 24 hour endurance, the Catalina Black Cats flying boats alone were responsible for destroying more enemy tonnage than all fighter planes combined....
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Re: WWII Sunderland flying-boat Raised From Seabed

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:24 pm

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Re: WWII Sunderland flying-boat Raised From Seabed

Unread postby KlausNW » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:15 pm

Bid to raise WWII flying boat from Pembroke Dock seabed

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-35869965

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A heritage group is calling for the public's help to raise a unique World War II seaplane from the estuary seabed in Pembroke Dock.

The Mark 1 Sunderland sank in a violent storm in 1940 but was rediscovered by divers in 2006.

Parts of the aircraft are already on display in a museum.

Now the Sunderland Trust has launched a crowdfunding campaign to salvage the remainder of the wreck.

It hopes to raise £50k to pay for a new underwater survey to be carried out so the boat can go on public display as the main exhibit in the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, which tells the story of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Trust chair Gareth Mills told the BBC: "The divers have worked continuously for the last 10 years but the last survey on the T9044 in the dockyard was done six years ago.

"If we are going to realise the dream of lifting the Sunderland in one we need to have an updated survey done to ensure that we can do that safely."

The heritage centre has also announced it will be running a new flight experience from April where visitors can sit in a reconstructed Sunderland cockpit and take a simulated flight around Pembrokeshire. The replica has been created by a group of volunteers.

The Sunderland Flying Boats were an iconic World War II aircraft, and at one time 99 of them were stationed at the former RAF station in Pembroke Dock.

It was the largest wartime station for the Sunderland flying boats, which sought out and attacked U-boats.

The T9044 sank without casualties on its moorings in 1940 but was only discovered under 60ft (18.3m) of water by divers after a lobster pot became entangled on it, nearly 70 years later.

The heritage centre opened two years ago and rare artefacts on show there include a Bristol Pegasus engine complete with propeller and a restored tail gun, which is the only one in existence.
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Re: WWII Sunderland flying-boat Raised From Seabed

Unread postby Rajay » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:43 am

Don't get me wrong, I think that it's absolutely fantastic that it has become some kind of priority to recover this rare aircraft, but I have a problem with two little things. The author of the first news story said "and came across the world’s only surviving Mark I Sunderland flying-boat."

One, if it sank to the bottom of the harbor, it is hardly a "surviving" aircraft and two, if it sank at the dock in the harbor in only 65 feet of water during the storm in 1940, why was it so hard to find and why was everyone so surprised when it actually was found? :fishing:

For goodness sake, the bloody thing was more than 85 ft long, had a span of almost 113 ft, and most importantly, was almost 33 ft high! So, if it sank in 65 ft of water, then unless it broke up, the top of the fin was only 32 feet down from the surface...
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Re: WWII Sunderland flying-boat Raised From Seabed

Unread postby Stevesbrother » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:04 pm

Hahahahahaha. Thanks RAJAY
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Re: WWII Sunderland flying-boat Raised From Seabed

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:17 pm

I remember when Kermit Weeks got his running and flew it across the pond to Oshkosh and parked it out in the lake by the town dock. They had 2 pontoon boats shuttling folks back and forth between the dock and the flyingboat. We went later in the day when there were only a few people there. When we got off of the boat and climbed in to the hold of the Sunderland we starting exploring the inside. When we got to the top deck one of the guys who we thought worked there climbed up a ladder to a hatch on the roof of the cabin and opened it and climbed out onto the top of the wing, so we followed. We walked from wingtip to wingtip thinking this is great and couldn't believe they would let us do this. I have a picture somewhere of me sitting on top of one of the engine nacelles. As the pontoon boat came around the back of the airboat the guy driving the boat yelled " get your F in ass off of that F in wing. Turns out that the guy we followed was just a left over from the last boat ride.

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