Norway Remembers Sunderland Crew

24 Apr

The crew of a Pembroke Dock Sunderland have again been remembered in Norway – 75 years after the flying boat was shot down.

Ogwyn George, an RAF wireless operator from Mountain Ash, pictured on a Sunderland at Pembroke Dock.

Ogwyn George, an RAF wireless operator from Mountain Ash, pictured on a Sunderland at Pembroke Dock.

Sunderland L2167, of 210 Squadron, was sent on a reconnaissance over Oslo on April 9th, 1940, as the German invasion of the country began. When returning the Sunderland was attacked by fighter aircraft.

Incredibly, when the Sunderland blew up one crew member – Welshman Ogwyn George – survived a fall of 3,000ft without a parachute. Ogwyn was badly burnt and after medical treatment in Norway became a prisoner of war.

His crew colleagues – from Wales, Northern Ireland, England, Canada and Australia – are buried at the little village of Sylling, high in the mountains. Their graves are beautifully cared for by the local community.

On the 75th anniversary a special service was held at the graveside and an eyewitness to the tragedy, Gunnar Lindaas, later told the story to schoolchildren.

The story of L2167’s crew and their last mission is also told at Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre in a special display. This includes photographs of all ten crew members. The Centre, in the Royal Dockyard Chapel, is open daily.

The immaculately kept graves of the Sunderland crew are at Sylling Church.

The immaculately kept graves of the Sunderland crew are at Sylling Church.

Sunderland L2167 photographed before the war at Pembroke Dock.

Sunderland L2167 photographed before the war at Pembroke Dock.