Ronald John Fyfe
Saro Lerwick S36
This page is
dedicated to my Great Uncle. Roy did not make it through the Second World War. He
went missing in Saro S36 Lerwick L7263 WQ-L, on 22 February 1941, flying out of Stranraer
He was 29 years old.
A year earlier, the
then Flt Sgt Fyfe, had an encounter with the Kriegsmarine on 20th of June 1940
in Lerwick L7260.He made an inconclusive attack on the source of torpedo trails.
Earlier he had flown
in the first Consolidated PBY-4 Catalina P9630 to Invergordon
early trials from the M.A.E.E Sea plane base at Felixstowe, Suffolk, England, where he was also
Officer, Ronald John
209 Squadron Crests (Crown copyright)
I have now found a
report in the book, CLIPPED WINGS by Ian & Ralph Ormes.
February 6th 1941
The 6th was a busy day
for the escorting aircraft - 43 in all took part in the watching of no less than
On the following day a
search for the survivors of the Calafatis was laid on but bad weather prevented
the mission. The Calafatis was on a voyage from Philadelphia for Glasgow with a
cargo of steel, was sunk by German aircraft on February 4th. 18 died, 13
The record continues
with routine searches by single aircraft from Stranraer but takes a more
poignant turn when the search is for a missing Lerwick WQ-L,
in. The aircraft
was believed to have gone missing in the Sound of Mull and apart from sister
aircraft, a Sunderland from Oban joined in. On the 22nd the search intensified
and spread to Minches, Firth of Clyde and
Jura. Three Hudson's and a
Whitley and a Stranraer (from Lough Erne) joined in. A tug had earlier reported
a flare and hopes had risen. On the following day the search was resumed with
square searches of the likely areas, again with no result. One Lerwick laid on
for the task had to return after eight minutes with engine trouble, doubtless
thankful not to have to be looked for in its turn.
WQ-L was finally
presumed missing from its escort duty that started the 21st February, on which day nine
convoys had been shepherded by a total of 29 aircraft.
Possible position of
crash site 5340N 1240W
MISSING MEN FROM L7263 WQ-L
F/O Anderson Peter Thomas 84833 Age 25 Panel No 29
Wing Commander Bainbridge
John Edmond 05139 Age 35 Panel No 28 RAF
F/O Cragg Edmund
Franklin 78670 Age ? Panel No 30 RAF
CPL Davis William
Charles 570228 Age 20 Panel No 55 RAF
FLT Sergeant Daniell Michael
Charles 761087 Age ? Panel
No 74 RAF Volunteer Reserve
FLT Sergeant Dingle Ronald Leslie 754495 Age 26 Panel No 36 RAF
P/O Fyfe Ronald John
(Roy) 44549 Age 29 Panel No 32 RAF
Sergeant Lewis Thomas Owen
970474 Age 20 Panel No 47
RAF Volunteer Reserve
Sergeant McDonald Jame McIntosh 621572 Age ? Panel No 47
Albert Edwards 911664 Age 24 Panel No 56 RAF Volunteer Reserve
Sergeant Taylor Alan
Robert 982555 Age
? Panel No 53 RAF Volunteer Reserve
Sergeant Tilley William
Ernest 51647 Age
? Panel No 53 RAF
F/O Turner Richard Patrick 74697 Age
22 Panel No 30 RAF Volunteer Reserve
Unknown Man, at the moment (14th Man ? )
Lerwick S.36 History
as "the flying pig"
November 1938 the
first three Saro S36 Lerwicks L7248, L7249, L7250 were assigned as
prototypes. In June 1939 four Lerwicks entered service trials with No 240
sqdn at RAF Calshot
In December 1939 they entered There first operational service, With No 209 Sqdn (code letters WQ) at Oban
Scotland. The Lerwick still had many unresolved stability problems on the water and in the air. Modifications done did
not bring enough improvement, unable to maintain height on one engine, nor could
it maintain a constant heading as the controls could not counter torque when
only a single engine running on full throttle. The aircraft was considered unacceptable.
After only a few months of operational service the Lerwick was superseded by the
Catalina PBY_5 in April 1941, Just as the last aircraft was delivered May 1941.
by Henry Knowler of Saunders Roe, twenty one aircraft were
built in total, with the sequential serial numbers L7248 Through L7268. The
Lerwick had an all metal hull with anodically-treated metal covering. In side
the Lerwick had a work bench and vice, a lavatory, facilities for cooking and
fresh water tanks. Large lockers, fitted with padded tops and used as sleeping
berths, are employed as additional stowage compartments for the numerous items
of equipment. The control cabin and wardroom can be heated by air fed through
ducts from the rear of the engine oil coolers. Accommodation for a first and
second pilot, and for members of the crew acting as navigator, observer,
engineer and wireless operator, is provided in an enclosed cabin which forms an
upper deck of the hull forward of the main plane leading edge. Entrance to this
cabin is gained through the roof of the wardroom, with the aid of a ladder,
after entering the door on the starboard side of the hull. A door on the port
side of the hull facilitates entry by members of the crew to the galley, from
which compartment access to the wardroom may be gained after passing along the
hull through the main aft-cabin and the mid stowage compartment.
The pilot and co-pilot in tandem, as well as the flight engineer the rear. It
had three power operated Frazer-Nash gun turrets. The bow FN7 housing a .303in
(7.7mm) Vickers K gun, note some later service aircraft had doubled nose guns
fitted. A retractable dorsal FN8 mounting twin.303in (7.7mm)
Browning guns and the FN4A tail turret four Browning. The bow turret could be
retracted backwards to assist mooring up, similar to the Sunderland.
The bomb load consisted of either four 500lb (226kg), eight 250lb (113kg) bombs
or four depth charges, were carried in two streamlined nacelles behind the engines. Bomb
aiming was carried out from a position low in extreme bow, a glass screen being
provided behind a sliding hatch. However due to restricted vision sighting was
often carried out from the cockpit on low level approaches.
The Lerwick was powered by two 1.375hp (1,025kW) Bristol Hercules II
,14-cylinder sleeve-valve radial engines, driving three-blade de Havilland
constant speed propellers. These were the world's most powerful aero engines at
first Lerwick had Hercules HE.1M engines but from L7252 Hercules MK.IIs were
fitted. The final eight had Hercules IVs.
inside of a MK1 Lerwick Galley, wardroom, aft cabin etc
that I have added colour with Paint Shop Pro.
flair rack, Emergency carrier pigeon, and Lerwick galley.
The pilot and co-pilot sat in tandem
that I have added colour with Paint Shop Pro.
63ft 7 ins
80ft 10 ins
weight 28,400 lb
takeoff weight 33,200 lb
2 x Bristol Hercules II radial 1,375 hp
Any items in gray I am
unsure about at the moment
L7248 Prototype was the first Lerwick built. The 1st image shows a very early
version with none stepped float. The 2nd was taken at M.A.E.E Felixstowe,
note old style tail and no rear turret again. The 5th image looks the same
as the 2nd image in the L7249 images below but note, it has a dark top to the tail. In the
7th image you can see
L7248 still with no tail gun. Crashed 21/10/41.The last image is L7248 moored at
Felixstowe M.A.E.E. in 1939.
L7249 In The air, 1st and
2nd image show the dark top of the modified and taller tail .In the 6th image
you can see the dorsal turret retracted clearly.
I am unable to see what
this Lerwick is. A big image when opened.
L7250 WQ-U Prototype three. Note the backgrounds of the
1st and 2nd images, one
of them seems to have
had the houses removed, could this be the work of the Ministry of Defense?
Here we can see the streamlined nacelles behind the engines.
With the bomb
L7252 Sent to Pembroke for trails never got to 209 Sqdn ,
note the pilots entry "Test of Dinghy" in the log
2/10/39 (Not delivered)
Joined 209 on 30/11/39
Joined 209 on 1/1/40
11/1/40, retuned 13/7/40
Allocated to 209 10/2/41, but sent top Pembroke for trails.
L7253 WQ-G Joined 209 on 20/02/40.
Joined 209 on 4/5/40.
L7255 WQ-A Joined 209 on 2/12/39, returned 8/6/40,Stranraer 13/11/40.
may be H
Joined 209 on 26/12/39,or
20/1/39, returned 15/5/40,Stranraer 3/3/41.
L7257 WQ-F Joined 209 on 17/1/40, Oban 13/7/40, 10/4/41, 13/9/41.
L7258 WQ-R Joined 209 on 20/3/40, Stranraer 4/11/40.
may be O
Joined 209 on 2/4/40, returned 22/2/41,Stranraer 4/5/41
L7260 WQ-P Joined 209 on 31/5/40, Stranraer 15/2/41. Hercules II engines.
Joined 209 on 16/6/40
Joined 209 on 1/7/40, Stranraer 21-23/10/40, 23/12/40.
L7263 WQ-L Joined 209 on 8/9/40, Stranraer 12/12/40.
L7264 WQ-N Joined 209 on 8/9/40, Stranraer 26/11/40.
L7265 WQ-? may be Q
Joined 209 on 5/12/40.
Joined 209 on 3/4/41
L7267 WQ-S may be L
Joined 209 on 29/3/41
This is a fantastic
image from Aeroplane Monthly, Lerwick L7252 in production with an other un-marked. also a big image.
No 209 Sqdn 1939 over Oban. The second image is the same but much bigger.
Just to prove WQ-F is L7257 check forth image here. The fifth image I have added
colour with Paint Shop Pro.
L7257 here with
new serial No TA-R RCAF 422 Sqdn,Sunk at its moorings,November 11th 1941.
L7257 TA-R RCAF 422 Sqdn. On a transport after recovery, what a very interesting
image. Note code and serial. So we can see from this that this Lerwick went from
an F to an R.
WQ-Q No 209 Sqdn
L7266 In flight, so
they say ?
Unable to see what the 1st Lerwick this is, would love to know what the code
Another unknown 209
Sqn Lerwick, note the Nacelle bomb doors are open, although the starboard outer
seem partially hung-up.
In action on 25/3/40 against a submarine. bombs dropped by (F/Lt. Bennett)
In action on 20/6/40 against a submarine,by (F/Sgt.Fyfe)
L7262 WQ-P In action on 4/7/40 Escorting S.S."EASTERN PRINCE" (F/Lt Denis.Spotswood)
L7256 WQ-V In action on 4/7/40 Escorting a cruiser and two sloops.
L7262 WQ-P & L7260 WQ-'?'
In action on 5/7/40 Escorting "LUARENTIA".
L7256 WQ-V In action on 8/7/40 Escorting a cruiser HMS GLASGOW.
L7256 WQ-V In action on 9/7/40 Escorting a cruiser HMS NORFOLK.
L7262 WQ-P In action on 20/7/40 searching for Dutch Naval Focker T.VIII2 OF No320
L7262 WQ-P In action on 26/7/40 South of St Govan's Head searching for Focker T-8W that
had ditched and was found in tow behind the trawler King Edward.
L7258 WQ-R In action on 10/1/41 searching for survivors of "BASSANO",
L7264 WQ-N In action on 12/1/41 on escort duty with convoy HG49 U-boat
sighted on surface 0114 hours 300 yards on port bow, position QXJJ 1258 225 dgr
10. boat completely on surface then dived continued hunting till 0610 hours.
L7263 WQ-L In action escorting convoy OB271. met at 1955 hours consisting of 4
DR, 2 EV, 25 MV.Remaind with convoy till 0038 (F/Lt Pain, P/O Fyfe, P/O Cragg).
L7264 WQ-N In action search for SS"ALMEDA STAR" torpedoed at position
HGUJ 1620.(F/Lt Wyllie,P/O Bunting,P/O Jennings).1012 hours met 2 DR (H30 and
H84) at 1108 hours met stationary tug, at 1218 hours met tug "SALVONIA".
At 1334 received signal return immediately to Oban.
In action on 19/1/41 patrol spotted a submarine position JFZR 2243 295dg.(FL/t
Pain, P/O Nixon,P/O Van Bergen) crew 8.
L7263 WQ-L In action on 24/1/41 escorting convoy HG50.(F/Lt. Fox , P/O Fyfe).7
L7263 WQ-L In action on 28/1/41 escorting convoy SC19.(F/Lt. Fox, P/O Fyfe, P/O
Cragg) 7 crew.
L7264 WQ-N In action on 6/2/41 on escort duty with convoy SC20, investigate
oil streak, drop two depth charges and two 100 lb A/S bombs, against possible
submarine. (F/Lt.Wyllie, P/O Bunting, P/O Ryan). 7 crew.
L7266 WQ-Y In action on 4/2/41 searching for "BARON RENFREW"
found ship under tow by two tugs and escorts.6 crew.
L7266 WQ-Y In action
22/2/41 This is the report about the search for L7263 WQ-L that has now gone
missing. The aircraft
at 0214 to search for WQ-L /209.Searched until 0940 hours L/209 not found. From
0330 until dawn letter of the day flashed on the upward and downward
identification lights at approximately half minute intervals. At 0940 hours
Naval tug signalled to V/S "Any news of missing twin engine flying
boat". Naval tug to aircraft "Saw flair position 5310 North 1240 West
2000 hours". At 0950 hours aircraft signalled to EVA (K07) "Any news
of missing flying boat" EV to aircraft "Regret, no". Signalled to
base at 1000 hours and 1100 hours. Set course for base at1135 hours continuing
search coastwise via North of Ireland. Force landing in position JFZR 24101 at
1232 hours owing to airlock in petrol feed. Signalled to base "WHS-JFZR
2401 underway Loch Foyle send power boat to tow". Airborne at Loch Foyle at
1328 hours. Signalled base. Landed at base at 1403 hours. Weather- cloudy. Cloud
s/10 cu and st cu. Visibility 4 miles at 1500 feet. Cloud 270dg 15 knots. sea
slight. Occasional sleet showers.(F/Lt Pain, P/O Nixon,7 crew
In action the next day 23/2/41 Airborne at 0815 hours to search for L/209
sighted convoy of 14 MV in position on JFZR 2357 280dg at 0843 hours. Sighted
large portion of steamer floating keel uppermost about 12 feet protruding above
surface in position MFUJ 5401 at 1125 hours and at 1155 hours sighted part of
raft floating awash, nothing on it in position QXBM 0840. L/209 not seen. Set course
for base at 1722 hours. Landed at base at 1756 hours.
Weather fine. Cloud 2/10. CU. Visibility over 30 miles at 4000 feet. wind 080dg
7 knots sea calm.(F/Lt Pain, P/O Nixon,) 7 Crew.
In action 26/2/41 escort convoy OB290 position JFYH 0625 240dg. Sighted
SS"SOLFERINO" on fire also "KYRIAKOULA" and "HELMORE
HELP" both being abandond 2DR and 1MV picking up survivors. All collected.
Circled "KYRIAKOUKA" and "HELMORE HELP". again both had bad list
to port. "SOLFERINO" not present, presumed sunk.
Lerwick Three plane Formation flypast in Felixstowe for the local "Warship
Week" 16/5/1942. Possibly including L7267,L7250
operations were flown during September and October 1940
August and September 1942 fifteen Lerwick sorties escorting North Russian
convoys were flown.
are facts I am unsure about
Crashes, hit a hill
side Faslane. Seven killed one of them a civilian tech. A calibration flight
L7249 01/9/39 Sunk.
at Felixstowe, during take off, a camera hatch was left open. Some records say it
sank at pierside mooring due improperly secured hatch. Salvaged and used statically till
L7250 WQ-U 14/8/41
Became TA-U with No4 OTU. 2/2/42 Damaged at Invergordon. 2/2/42 M.A.E.E.
Felixstowe. 18/8/42 Became DG-U
with 422 Sqdn Withdrawn at Pembroke Dock 19/10/42.
First Lerwick to
receive Hercules II engines.
21/11/40 Sank at moorings during
a gale Loch Ryan, Stranraer. Entrance hatches and front turret apparently not
properly secured allowing water to pour in.SOC 29/11/42.
24/3/41 Damaged after forced open sea landing, sank
Bristol channel. The Captain/First Pilot that day was S/L Banks and Eddie E Briggs as 2nd
Pilot. Ditching position "170 St Goven 10".All crew safe. Struck off
26/3/41 Cat E.
Here is the story of the last flight of L7252.
The work being carried during these flights was with the Flying Boat Blind
Approach System (FBBA) which was a development of the Blind Approach Beacon
System (BABS) used for Land based aircraft.
Since BABS was not available for flying boats the development unit was given
the task of working out a flying boat blind approach system (FFBA). This system
used the VHF direction finding for obtaining alignment for landing. Two Lorenz
beam beacons were used as ILS to provide inner and outer markers. Practices on
this system took place on 28 Feb 1941.
It was whilst testing carrying out the final tests for this system on 24 March
1941 that flying boat (Lerwick 7252) was forced to ditch in the open sea. This
was because the system was not adequate to cope with bad weather which
prevailed on the day.
It ditched in the Bristol Channel at 1405 on 24th March, as it was coming to
rest it hit hard against a swell and the starboard engine came adrift from its
top two mountings, pivoted on the bottom two, and the propeller, still turning,
cut a hole in the hull.
The boat sank in 25 minutes. The crew took to the dinghy, and shortly after
this, the weather being still very bad, heard the engines of what sounded like
a German bomber flying from East to West. Nothing more was heard until after
dark at about 8pm when the Captain of the flying boat, Sqdn Ldr Banks, heard
engines and the 2 star cartridge was fired off but the sound of the engines
After the event it was discovered that the the Captian of the RAF launch based
at Tenby had seen the distress signal, but had returned to Tenby for more fuel.
The weather was still bad on the morning of the 25th but eventually the crew
were fortunate to enough to see 3 ships on the horizon. Their last pyrotechnic
signal was fired and the ships went past and started to disappear, however one
of the ships eventually turned round and came back to pick them up.
The three ships were Exeter and two destroyers escroting her northwards for
repair after the Battle of the River Plate. The Exeter saw the signal and
informed the other two ships that "the submarine on port bow is
friendly". Fortunately for the crew the Captain of one of the destroyers,
Lt Cdr Jonas of HMS Jackal has served in submarines and said he had never seen
a signal like that, and asked permission to investigate.The crew was picked up
at 1235 hrs on 25 March after 22 1/2 hys in the dinghy. They returned to dry at
Plymouth the same day.
L7253 WQ-G 20/2/40. Crash, stalled off Lismore Island
5M West of Oban in
poor visibility. The aircraft stalls and bounced several times on the water, a wing tip breaks off and so the starboard
float is lost, keeled over capsizes,(this seems to happen often) water pours in
through open windows.The pilot Flt Sgt Corby drowns, his body is recovered but
three crew lost,two of the crew did survive. The aircraft is salvaged and used as a training
airframe and sinks later in a gale at Wing Bay.
16/10/41 Accident, struck rock taxing .Helensburg Bay Marine Training,24/7/42
to Wig Bay and used as an instructional airframe but sank in a gale. Then moved to No63 MU, Scrapped. 10/12/42
WQ-A 06/12/40 Sank at moorings in Stanraer during a gale, one wingtip float
breaks off, flying boat capsizes. Struck off
WQ-H 4/5/41 Became
TA-V with No4 OTU.30/8/41 Became TA-Y with No4 OTU. 23/7/42 Became DG-V
with 422 Sqdn.
Struck off 3/12/42.Lots of code changes here.
L7257 WQ-F 30/4/41.
with No4 OTU. Sunk at moorings during a gale at Cromarty Firth
Invergordon. Retrieved by
56 maintenance unit. See images above.
L7258 WQ-R 11/11/41,
DG-R with 422 Sqdn. Struck off
4/2/42 Scrapped 14/10/42.
20/10/41 orStruck off 29/11/42.
WQ-P? 7/1/41. ?
with No4 OTU. 23/7/42 Became DG-P with 422 Sqdn. ??/??/??
Crash two crew missing. Scrapped 3/12/42.
29/6/40 Accident, Flg Off Pain returns from an shipping escort mission due to
severe weather. The starboard float collapse as he taxied crosswind to the
rapidly sank in 30 minutes in Ardentrive Bay. The airframe is beached four days
later and a salvage operation starts, but L7261 never flies again. Struck off
L7262 WQ-P Crash, wing dropped on take off
07/1/41 Stranraer.(F/Lt.Spotswood, Sgt Briggs, P/O Windeler) two crew drowned
Sgt Evans and AC1 Middlebrook.Crew 7,visabilty good,light wind from E.N.E.
22/2/41 Crash, Missing
flying out of Stranraer on escort
duty. the aircraft
in Said to be
crew of 12 onboard ? inc,
P/O Ronald John Fyfe,44549 age 29 and Cpl
William Charles Davis, 570228 age 20. I was told by my late father, they had
a crew of
onboard at the time, but I have also read in other reports that it had
when it went missing? That's a lot more than the said normal crew of nine, that
was then reduced to six to save weight. Note also on board at the time Wing Commander John Edmond Bainbridge. Wing
Commander Mac Dermontt appointed a few days later.
Struck off 1/3/41.
L7264 WQ-N 16/5/41
Became TA-N with No4 OTU. 1/8/42 Became DG-N with 422. Had a forced landing.
Scrapped 3/12/42 at No63 MU Wig Bay.
Became TA-Q with No4
Crash, stalled when
landing at Invergordon. Pilot Flg Off Armstrong, with the unit No4 (C) OTU. The port wing
dropped and the port float hit first. The aircraft recovered and flew on, left
wing low. A further landing attempt near the North Trots, was disastrous. Several of
the crew were then injured. Struck off 31/12/41 With 199.15
flying hours logged.
WQ-D. 16/8/42 Became DG-Y
with 422. Scrapped 3/12/42.
or L. 29/3/41 I have read
this may have been L to replace L7263 that went missing. Last
operation with 209 Sqdn, 29/4/41. 4/6/42 Became TA-S with No4 OTU. 24/7/42
Became DG-S with 422 Sqdn, Crash landing 10/9/42,Lough
Erne at 12.35,on practice flight, duration 45 minutes. Bounced when hitting water. Pilot open up
throttle but port engine did not respond A/C skidded and tail was severed off. P/O L.Hore
and P/O S.Butler, 422 Sqdn.
The following comes from Mr R J Webster one of
"I was on the lower deck at the time , I can only tell you how it looked to
me. We made a bad landing and it appeared we hit the water with the tail, I was
thrown forward to the floor and when I got up we had a gaping hole at the rear
of the plane and about a hundred yards behind us the tail section complete was
sinking then it sank.
The main part of the plane floated and as it was not too far from the slipway
boats came out to pick us up, they put floatation bags under the wing and it was
towed to the slipway, dragged up and then was broken up and shipped away. No one
was really hurt and not all got wet".
with No4 OTU. 14/10/41
Crash,lost engine power stalled and dived into the sea 6 miles east-north-east
of Tarbat Ness on. Six crew lost 3 recoverd alive. With No.4 (c) OTU.
Cat."E" 21/11/41 struck off. And
another report said 9 killed 3 injured.
to sort out what code and serial went together is a mine field I have read so
many magazine Lerwick histories,books etc and the all seem to have mistakes some
even quote the same codes for four planes in one article.
Some could be type errors ie O or Q, I have seen L7259,L7262,L7265,L7268 all
written down as WQ-Q some one's wrong. It would seem that if an aircraft was
lost the code could be reused on a replacement aircraft.
many movements made, by the Lerwick family of twenty one aircraft
British aero and marine engineering company
L7248 at Saro 22/8/39 fitted with taller rudder and auxiliary tailplane.
L7250 at Saro 8/7/40
L7252 at Saro 29/7/40
L7254 at Saro 22/11/39 for mods,7/7/40
L7255 at Saro 4/7/40
L7256 at Saro 8/8/40
L7257 at Saro 8/5/40
L7258 at Saro 24/5/40
L7268 at Saro
at M.A.E.E Felixstowe x/x/38, 14/3/39 Performance criticisum reported.
L7249 at M.A.E.E Felixstowe 13/6/39, sank when here in accident.
L7250 at M.A.E.E Felixstowe 16/12/41, 26/5/42
L7251 at M.A.E.E Felixstowe 1939
L7252 at M.A.E.E Felixstowe 29/7/39.Trials with larger fin.
L7254 at M.A.E.E Felixstowe 13/2/40,8/6/41,25/5/42 Mooring trials.
L7259 at M.A.E.E
L7267 at M.A.E.E Felixstowe 14/2/42 to 10/5/42.
L7248 at M.A.E.E Helensburgh 29/4/40
L7258 at M.A.E.E Helensburgh 22/1/41
L7252 at M.A.E.E Helensburgh 28/4/40
at RAF Calshot 12/12/39, 13/6/40, 25/7/40
L7251 at RAF Calshot 23/9/39, 14/3/40
L7254 at RAF Calshot 24/4/40, 3/7/40, 7/10/40
L7255 at RAF Calshot 20/11/39, 26/6/40, 16/9/40
L7256 at RAF Calshot 28/3/40, 18/7/40, 22/1040, 4/5/41, 4/6/41, 24/9/41
L7257 at RAF Calshot 23/3/40, 22/5/40
L7258 at RAF Calshot 21/5/40, 6/6/40
L7259 at RAF Calshot 8/7/40, 18/7/40, 9/5/41, 19/8/41
L7260 at RAF Calshot 22/5/40, 18/7/40, Reserve 16/5/41
L7261 at RAF Calshot 1/6/40
L7262 at RAF Calshot 28/6/40
L7263 at RAF Calshot 19/8/40
L7264 at RAF Calshot 29/8/40
L7265 at RAF Calshot 14/10/40
L7267 at RAF Calshot 2/3/41, Reserve 16/5/41
(Coastal) Operation Training Unit Stranraer
Boat Training Squadron
IIIs, Stranraers, Catalinas and Lerwicks.
Was Then TA-U OTU 18/8/41.
L7256 Was Then TA-V OTU
L7257 Was Then
L7258 Was Then
have become R after L7257 sunk.
L7259 Was Then
L7260 Was Then
TA-? OTU 4/6/41.
L7262 Was Then TA-P
L7264 Was Then
L7266 Was Then
L7267 Was Then TA-S OTU 4/6/41. Detached
to Felixstowe between February and May 1942
L7268 Was Then
or Q OTU on 5/5/41
TA-S RCAF 422 Sqdn.
Some of the
Lerwicks, served with 422 Sqdn RCAF (Canadian) to allow some training while
Catalina's. This was only for a short time.
at Pembroke Dock 8/9/1940,19/10/42 withdrawn
L7251 at Pembroke 30/7/40
L7252 at Pembroke Dock 21/11/40,14/2/41 (209Sqdn trials)
L7254 at Pembroke Dock 12/10/40
L7255 at Pembroke Dock 18/9/40
L7256 at Pembroke Dock 17/7/40, 26/11/40, 22/8/42
L7257 at Pembroke Dock
L7258 at Pembroke Dock 20/7/40
L7259 at Pembroke Dock 16/7/40
L7260 at Pembroke Dock 17/7/40, 22/8/42
L7262 at Pembroke Dock 19/7/40
L7265 at Pembroke Dock 26/11/40 store
422 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force, formed April 2nd
or July 1st 1942 at
Lough Erne, as a
flying boat unit. Lerwicks transferred from 4 OTU (c) to 422 Sqdn in July 1942.
Was DG-U 422 Sqdn 18/8/42.
L7256 Was DG-V 422 Sqdn 23/7/42.
L7258 Was DG-R 422 Sqdn 23/7/42.
L7259 Was DG-Q
422 Sqdn 23/7/42.
L7260 Was DG-P 422 Sqdn 23/7/42.
L7264 Was DG-N 422 Sqdn 1/8/42, 23/8/42.
L7266 Was DG-Y 422 Sqdn 16/8/42.
L7267 Was DG-S 422 Sqdn 24/7/42. Crash landing 10/9/42,Lough Erne. P/O
L.C.Hore P/O S.W.Butler.
an when ????
Plymouth Sound Devon England
Seaplane Station and Flying boat base
L7260 at RAF Mount Batten 23/8/42 till ?/9/42
with carrying out much of the modification work to the newly arrived seaplanes
Flying Boat Maintenance Base
at Scottish Aviation Greenock 10/12/40.
at Scottish Aviation Greenock 19/11/40 on charge of No43 Group.
L7254 at Scottish Aviation Greenock 3/11/41,26/11/40.
L7256 at Scottish Aviation Greenock Returned for scraping. 26/10/42 Reduced to produce.
L7257 at Scottish Aviation Greenock 23/7/41.
L7258 at Scottish Aviation Greenock 14/5/41, 7/11/41,had a forced landing here 13/1/42, Returned
on 14/19/42,for scraping.
L7260 at Scottish Aviation Greenock 3/12/42 Overhaul 25/10/41 to 22/3/42, Returned
on 20/19/42,for scraping. Reduced to produce.
L7262 at Scottish Aviation Greenock 27/1/41 and declared Cat."B" 28/5/41.
L7264 at Scottish Aviation Greenock 3/6/41, Returned
on 22/19/42,for scraping.
L7266 at Scottish Aviation Greenock 22/1/41, 19/5/41, 20/11/42, 3/12/42 Reduced to produce.
RAF Wig Bay
Kirkcolm and Greenock
at Wig Bay No63 MU, 24/7/42 Became 3300m at MTS.
L7264 at Wig Bay No63 MU, 3/12/42 Reduced to produce.
Some of the changes made to the Lerwick S.36
In tests to improve things had Auxiliary fins fitted, an immediate
improvement was noted. Then the fins were removed and the height of rudder
increased. Later the taller rudder and fins were fitted together, rolling was
removed and yawing reduced.They were later removed.
L7248 Here again at Saunders Roe, with the extra tailplane finlets and the modified
taller top, to the tail fin.
The first and second version of float.
L7248 At some time had a twin tail unit fitted similar the
L7248 Here we
can see an odd bump on the port bow side.
First flight with Hercules II engines 21/9/40.
On this aircraft a taller rudder and enlarged fin was fitted. Direction control
proved to be adequate and there was only a slight rolling tendency. This
improvement was used on the later Lerwicks.
On this aircraft the angle of the wings to hull incidence was increased by +2 degrees and
larger air screws of 14' 6" were fitted, but found to be to close to the
sea in rough-water. and went back to 13' 6" air screws. The tail unit was
raised by 15". Unfortunately the aircraft still rolled and yawed, with the
roll worsening as speed increased.
Were fitted with Hercules 1V engines in place of the Hercules 11.
First flight with modified floats etc Sqd Ldr Winn and Flg Off Wyllie 16/8/40.
the 2/1/41 W/Cdr Bainbridge flew to Pembroke Dock to carry out tests on Lerwick
L7265 with Rotal Electric Airscrews. The weather was bright with visibility 20
the 8/1/41 Mr Eosworth of the Rotol Airscrew co.Ltd. Visited 209 Sqdn in
connection with trials to be carried out on a Lerwick L7265 fitted with a Rotol
Other bits and pieces
is a short tail from Airfix Magazine 1967 about the Lerwick, the account is by
encountered the Lerwick in the summer of 1941 at Invergordon when it was being
used by 4 OTU for observer training. 209 Sqn based at Oban flew Lerwicks and, as
far as I know their operations were confined to the Nort-West approaches. I
believe pilots found difficulty with the aircraft when taking-off with
full fuel and bombs loads, and I know they had some accidents. I flew the
aircraft later when, with no bombs and about half fuel load and a crew of eight,
it was quite tricky to get airborne in a straight line. This was due to the high
torque re-action with two Hercules engines on take-off being liable to case a
violent swing to starboard. Owing to the short waterline and the relatively
small fin and rudder, once a swing had started the only safe cure was to abandon
take-off and start again, as it was impossible to regain control.
Invergordon, on light loads, we found that using the starboard engine well in
advance of the port one, reasonable take-offs could be made, but even then I
managed on more than one occasion to get airborne purely on the starboard
engine. This of course, would not have been possible when fully loaded.
airborne the aircraft was delightful to fly, being as fast as a Spitfire at sea
level, at least on half loads. At Invergordon we were often "chased"
by Spitfires from Kinloss, and could hold our own as far as speed was concerned.
their failings, Lerwicks of 209 Sqn flew patrol of many hours duration over
convoys North-West of Scotland during 1940 and the early part of 1941. They were
withdrawn from operations at the end of April 1941.They then had another brief
period of service ahead of them, for 422 Sqn now flew them from Lough Erne for
training until October 1942.
is a link to a rare Contrail Vacform 1/72 scale model kit, of the Saro Lerwick
s36 WQ-F. L7257
Another Lerwick found
on internet WQ-F L7257.
And yet another Lerwick
WQ-F L7257. How about some of the others chaps ?
Here is another model,
I found this image at the RAF Hendon Museum site, at last WQ-Q. L7265
image this one but it is of WQ-Q L7265, but with different camouflage colours.
have found a Lerwick that was scratch built you can read about it here at the
French language forum. http://maquette72.free.fr/amis/GMazon/2010_114_saro/index_gilles_114_saro.php
The model is by Giles
Mazon. Scroll down the page and you will come to the start of the build.
World War II Recognition
Spotter Model, British Saro Lerwick . Produced by Cruver, made from Acetate,
9/1942, 10 1/2" long 13" wingspan,
Part of an
old U.S. Navy Bureau Of Aeronautics, Lerwick model plan.
more plans, large images.
wheel beaching gear
Saunders Roe adverts of the time.
drawing shows the streamlined nacelles behind the engines open and a bomb
Here we have an oil painting by Allan Forbes AGAvA. "Lugubrious
Lerwick" More paintings of other
aircraft can be found here.
http://www.gava.org.uk/ Try typing Lerwick in the search box.
grab. Found this Saro Lerwick within the Saro Shrimp video. In the fantastic
Seawings site, Go to References, then Video Gallery section, on page 7. See
links. Or click
here for Youtube link Saro
Shrimp. You should see the Lerwick three times.
are some old monochrome images, I have added some colour with PaintShop Pro.Image
2 is green and brown. Some say could be grey and green. Has any one an
original colour photo?
to Roy Fyfe story. One of my own
paintings. The Consolidated Catalina PBY_4 P9630, he flew in, this was the first to
enter Great Britain, flying over M.A.E.E RAF Felixstowe, England on
am still finding things out about the Lerwick's so things may change as I
discover new information or correct errors found. I have purchased a dvd from
the National Archive listing 209 operations when the Lerwick's were about. It is
a lot to look at.