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Short Sunderland DD848, Mount Brandon, Kerry, August 1943

On the 22th August 1943, less than a month after the tragic crash of the British Overseas Airways Corporation Sunderland flying boat, G-AGES, another Sunderland flying boat crashed into the same piece of sloping ground on Slieveglass, next to Mount Brandon on the Dingle Peninsula, in Kerry. This second crash involved a front line Royal Air Force Sunderland flying boat from 201 Squadron based at Pembroke Dock in Wales.

The aircraft carried a crew of eleven men of which eight were killed in the crash. And while the crash of the civilian Sunderland G-AGES a month before made the headlines all over Ireland, the UK and further afield, the eleven military personnel on Sunderland DD848 would receive no attention save for the lonely death notices published by family and friends. With the eight men being from England it might have been expected that they would have been returned to their families for burial, however today, one can find that six, F/Lt Grossey, F/Lt Griffin, F/O Wilkinson, F/Sgt Coster, F/Sgt Pickford and Sgt Tilt are actually buried in adjacent graves in the Church of Ireland graveyard in Irvinestown, Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

The British Air Ministry crash record card held by RAF museum in Hendon provides the RAF findings on the crash. While the handwriting on the report is difficult to read, the RAF concluded that the aircraft was flying to the south east of its intended track in darkness with low cloud.

Given that the crash occurred in neutral Ireland and the aircraft was completely destroyed, there was no investigation as people might understand nowadays. There were however three survivors, Sgt's. Mclean, Applegate and Davies.


F/Lt Charles Seymour GROSSEY 45199, 1st Pilot, Captain, From Kidlington, Oxford. His mother lived in St Pancreas, London during the war so the connnection to Kidlington is unclear since his wife's family also were from London. His brother Raymond was missing in Action since 1939 flying with the RAF. Their parents were Charles and Louise Grossey. - Seeking photo of C S Grossey


F/Lt Arthur Charles GRIFFIN 62311, 2nd Pilot


F/O Guy Nelson WILKINSON 51121, 3rd Pilot


F/Sgt Norman Baron PICKFORD 657043, Navigator - Maythorne, 90 Holmfield Road, Leicester and formerly off 'Broadholme', Manor Rd, Leicester. - Son of Edith and James Pickford. 
Seeking photo


Sgt George William DAVIES 952226, Flight Engineer - Seeking photo

F/Sgt John Robert COSTER 1259732, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

F/Sgt William MCLEAN 996639 DFM, Air Gunner - Seeking photo. Came from Harbottle, Morpeth, Northumberland. He survived the crash.

Sgt John Sidney APPLEGATE 647007, Flight Mechanic Engines/Air Gunner - Seeking photo

Sgt George Frederick Walter TILT 1338702, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner - Seeking photo

F/Sgt Joseph William BURTON 1287499, Wireless Operator Mechanic/Air Gunner - of Essendonbury Cottage, Essendon Hill, Hatfield

F/Sgt Walter Noel PITTS 749904, Flight Mechanic Airframe/Air Gunner.

Compiled by Dennis Burke, 2015, Dublin and Sligo. If you have information on any of the people listed above, please do contact me at dp_burke@yahoo.com