The extraordinary war/emergency story of one British made Irish flown Supermarine Walrus (L2301)…

Courtesy of Ciaran on Twitter… and the Fleet Air Arm museum in Yeovilton, Somerset... here’s the story of one aircraft which was delivered to the Irish Army Air Corps just prior to the outbreak of World War Two (or The Emergency as you Mexicans call it)…

1939 – built at Woolston, Southampton for the Fleet Air Arm to Specification 37/36, contract 5344422/36. Diverted prior to issue to Irish Army Air Corps
24/02/1939 – first flight wearing ‘B’ condition markings; Serial N18 applied
03/03/1939 – set off for Baldonnel, Dublin along with L2302 and L2303 still wearing ‘B’ markings, forced landed on water off Wexford coast, wings damaged, crew Lt Quinlan and Lt Higgins, put into Wexford and completed journey by road
09/01/1942 – four Irish nationals stole the aircraft and attempted to fly it to Cherbourg to join Luftwaffe, escorted into St Eval by RAF Spitfires, aircraft and its crew returned under guard to Ireland
1943 – noted wearing camouflage; Based at Rineanna (Shannon Airport) with 1 Sqdn IAAC on west coast patrols
02/08/1945 – sold to Aer Lingus
22/08/1945 – allocated EI-ACC, does not appear to have been used by Aer Lingus
1946 – up for sale
11/1946 – bought by Wing Cmdr RG Kellet for 615 (County of Surrey) Sqdn RAuxAF as a squadron hack for £150
12/12/1946 – registered as G-AIZG
03/1947 – Ferried Dublin to Biggin Hill via Croydon for customs by Flt/Lt FB Sowrey and Kellet, used for bathing parties along south coast by sqdn members
1948 – retired
1949 – noted on dump at Thame in Oxfordshire
1963 – recovered by Historic Aircraft Preservation Society, bought by two members (Snaddon and Fisher) for £5 and handed over to FAAM
01/1964 – to RNEC Arbroath for restoration
06/06/1966 – handed over to FAAM
06/12/1966 – arrived at FAAM

Thanks again Ciaran…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty