Sunderland over
Far Eastern seas

An RAF flying boat Navigator's story
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Aviation Book Reviews: Sunderland over far-eastern seas






This is the first book to give a detailed, first-hand account of post-World War II RAF Short Sunderland operations in the Far East. The author was a navigator with 88 Squadron and later 205 Squadron, flying operations during the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency and many other operations. He was based at Seletar in Singapore, Kaitak in Hong Kong, Iwakuni near Hiroshima and various other operational bases throughout his two and a half year tour.

The Short Sunderland flying boat was a unique aircraft in that each crew was allotted an aircraft which became their floating and airborne home. The author describes the Sunderland's performance and flying boat operating techniques, including taking-off from and landing on the open sea. It includes a tour of the aircraft's interior and the equipment used by the ten-man crew, all well illustrated by photographs. The task of long distance navigation in the Far East during the early 1950s relied on the conventional methods of astro navigation and dead reckoning, a difficult task when crossing hundreds of miles of open ocean and encountering monsoon and tropical storm conditions.

Amongst the noteworthy events included is a return flight from Singapore to Hong Kong across 1,400 miles of ocean with a VIP passenger, his first operational flight as a 21 year old Pilot Officer navigator. He then undertakes an operation involving a return trip to Scotland which took three months. On moving to Kaitak the Sunderlands provided air cover for search and rescue operations, taking off and landing amongst the port's many small
and erratically steered shipping craft. He flew sixty-one missions in support of the United Nations forces fighting in and around Korea, enduring the threat of Chinese fighters over the Yellow Sea. In one operation an engine fire caused the crew to ditch in the Tsushima Strait with serious structural failure and they were rescued by
US Navy destroyer the USS De Haven.

This is a worthy record of some of the legendary Short Sunderland's final roles in the RAF.

Link:
Many thanks to Pen & Sword Aviation Books for the review copy, buy it here; www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
Rating:
Mainly remembered as an aircraft that operated during WW2, the Short Sunderland actually soldiered on until its retirement in 1959.
This book charts an RAF Navigator's career from RAF Calshot in 1950 to flying boat operations during the Korean War and Malayan Emergency.

The final part of the book includes detailed information on 1950's Navigation techniques, Sunderland operating and technical information and a tour of preserved Sunderland ML796. This takes the reader through every crew station with lots of information and colour photos.
Recommended!
Sunderland over far-eastern seas - An RAF flying boat Navigator's story
 
 
 
Sunderland over far-eastern seas - An RAF flying boat Navigator's story
- Pen & Sword books -
Title:
Sunderland over far-eastern seas - An RAF flying boat Navigator's story
Author:
Group Captain Derek Empson M.B.E.
ISBN:
9781848841635
Format:
Hardback, 272 x 165mm, 272 pages including colour and black & white photos
Publ. date:
April 2010
Sunderland over far-eastern seas - An RAF flying boat Navigator's story
- Pen & Sword books -
Aviation Book Reviews at www.controltowers.co.uk © robert truman May 2010
Sunderland over far-eastern seas - An RAF flying boat Navigator's story - Pen & Sword books -Sunderland over far-eastern seas - An RAF flying boat Navigator's story - Pen & Sword books -Sunderland over far-eastern seas - An RAF flying boat Navigator's story - Pen & Sword books -