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Last updated: 14 April 2021
Status:
Date:Wednesday 25 November 1942
Time:15:30
Type:Short Sunderland Mk III
Operator:Royal Air Force - RAF
Registration: DV972
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:60 km (37.5 mls) off St. Annes Head, Haverfordwest [Bristol Channel] (   United Kingdom)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:?
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
On a practice bombing run, having dropped a depth charge into a suspected minefield off Trevose Head, Cornwall, the force of the explosion caused Short Sunderland Mk.III DV972 to ditch. The starboard float, aileron and elevator were smashed and numerous holes punched into the hull and wings. The Sunderland was ditched into the Bristol Channel in position 210 degrees, 37 miles off St. Annes Head, Haverfordwest, near Dale, Pembrokleshire, and began to sink rapidly at 15:30 hrs. The crew abandoned the aircraft in dinghies before it sank five minutes later. The 9 crew were rescued by an air-sea rescue force comprising another seaplane - Supermarine Walrus L2230 of 764 Squadron, RN FAA. However, this aircraft was also was left to sink after its crew landed in the minefield to rescue the crew of Sunderland DV972. The overloaded Walrus was unable to take off but waited until an ASR Pinnace launch from Padstow, Cornwall, arrived and transferred the airmen safely.

Sources:
» Halley, J J, 1985, Royal Air Force Aircraft DA100 to DZ999, p.82
» ggat.org.uk
» coflein.gov.uk
» royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk
» https://www.pastscape.org.uk/
» ww2talk.com/


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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