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The Invergordon Archive

Rosskeen old church
The Invergordon Archive
Rosskeen old church

Funeral service at Rosskeen churchyard of the crewmen of a Short Sunderland flying boat, killed on the night of 15th August 1944. All but three of the crew were Canadians. There was one Australian and two British - all were based in Alness.
Picture added on 17 April 2004
My late father, Hamish Askew, was stationed at RAF Alness and the camp at Invergordon at some point later in the war. I recall him telling me of one Sunderland crash in which all the crew were killed, this occuring on the north east side of Invergordon at a point where the former BA smelter conveyor belt passed over the north railway line.
Added by Graeme Askew on 01 April 2005
In Wikipedia, under the entry for Invergordon Railway Station, they have a date of 26 November 1944, and all the (named) crew are Canadian - I prefer this version - the trees are in leaf so the funeral could not be November.
Added by Carol Lawrence on 18 June 2012
Carol, there were two accidents. The one in August was the result of flying into a hill NW from Dornoch. The funeral photo above.
The November one was the result of engine failure at take off and loss of propeller with a full load of fuel and ASW bombs. The fire burned for two or three days. That crew are all buried in the RCAF cemetery at Harrogate.
The graves at Rosskeen have been visited by relatives fairly recently as there were new looking maple leaf flags beside the Canadian headstones when I visited my Mam and Dad's grave.
Added by John Fraser on 21 June 2012
Thank you, John, I thought it must have been 2 separate incidents, but could not find conclusive info on 2 different ones, until now!
Is there any more info on the August one anywhere?
Added by Carol Lawrence on 21 June 2012
..."Any more info?" Not really. Mainly because there were such a huge number of accidents that happened during training, and the fight had to go on. Yes, you can probably find out the serial number of the aircraft and the bare factual details. But there's more to ask about.
How did guys carry on when you had breakfast with the members of that crew and next morning they weren't there? Hence the old joke about "can I have your egg at breakfast?" If you pondered it too long at the time, life would have become intolerable. It's why so many veterans refused to talk about it afterwards. It happened, it's over, forget it if you can. Many have what we now call PTSD but at that time was labelled "lack of moral fibre" and was severely punished.
We're better at it now but there are still people suffering badly from past conflicts.
Added by John Fraser on 22 June 2012
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