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Post-WW2 Military and Naval Aviation Please use this forum to discuss Military and Naval Aviation after the Second World War.

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Old 16th December 2017, 16:56
Brian Brian is offline
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RN Sea Heron XR444 ditched 26 june 1972

Hi guys

I am aware that XR444 ditched in the Irish Sea and that all three crew and eight passengers were rescued by helicopter.

One of those on board was Lt-Cdr Colin Hearnshaw DSM. Was he the pilot?

Cheers
Brian
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Old 17th December 2017, 16:13
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: RN Sea Heron XR444 ditched 26 june 1972

Brian,

Here is what A-B's Fleet Air Arm Fixed-Wing Aircraft Since 1946/Sturtivant, Burrow & Howard (p.205), has to say:

DE HAVILLAND D.H.114 SEA HERON & HERON.

DE HAVILLAND D.H.114 SEA HERON C.1.

XR444.

Ditched in Irish Sea 15m NE of Wallasey after power loss on all four engines due to fuel starvation, Cat.ZZ 26.6.72.

(Lt HD Brown, L/C AG Janman, LEM(A) JB Gallagher & 8 passengers including Chief Wren J Maddocks & L/C C Hearnshaw, 2 of whom were slightly injured); Wreckage salvaged for examination to Gladstone Docks, Liverpool 30.6.72. SOC RN 6.7.72.

So, no. L/C Colin Hearnshaw DSM was not the pilot!

The following is also mentioned (p.300):

Unidentified Fairey Fireflies.

27.8.52. Mk.5 "WB655" ('283/O'), 825 Sqn "Ocean", off Korea, No.3 in section of four, RP attack on radar station in position XC752659 in Changyon/Sinchon area, intense and accurate small arms fire, radiator hit, coolant leak, wheels-up landing in shallow water off Cho-Do, Cat ZZ (Lt WL Jacob & Acmn C Hearnshaw OK).

Col.
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Old 17th December 2017, 16:39
twocee twocee is online now
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Re: RN Sea Heron XR444 ditched 26 june 1972

Ray's book does indeed say 15mi. NE of Wallasey, but I imagine that this an error for 15mi. NW. NE is dry land, once across the Mersey.
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Old 17th December 2017, 21:32
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: RN Sea Heron XR444 ditched 26 june 1972

Many thanks, Col and George

Much appreciated.

Incidentally, Colin Hearnshaw won his DSM in 1941 whilst a Fulmar TAG.

I've read elsewhere that he received a Bar to his DSM during the Korean War. Any confirmation of this?

Cheers
Brian
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Old 17th December 2017, 22:48
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: RN Sea Heron XR444 ditched 26 june 1972

Brian,

HMS "Formidable" - Fleet Carrier. Entered service in October 1940. Paid off in December 1945.

London Gazette 2 December 1941 - For air patrols in the Mediterranean.

HEARNSHAW, Colin FAA/FX 152244 - TALAirmn -DSM - Investiture: 24-4-1942.

Seedie's List of Fleet Air Arm Awards 1939-1969.
N.p.:Ripley Registers,1990.
p.33.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/6891

No mention of a BAR to DSM in Seedie's.

MiD - KBHL - 1-7-1941 - https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/3750 (see also pp.3745-6)

NB. I make no claim that the above is a complete list of Hearnshaw's awards & honours.

Col.

Last edited by Col Bruggy; 17th December 2017 at 23:58.
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Old 18th December 2017, 19:05
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: RN Sea Heron XR444 ditched 26 june 1972

Thanks again, Col

Much appreciated.

Brian
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Old 19th January 2018, 19:48
Lee Howard Lee Howard is offline
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Re: RN Sea Heron XR444 ditched 26 june 1972

Quote:
Originally Posted by twocee View Post
Ray's book does indeed say 15mi. NE of Wallasey, but I imagine that this an error for 15mi. NW. NE is dry land, once across the Mersey.
Good spot! I've amended the master version of the histories to read 'NW'...
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