Aeroplane Monthly 1979-02
Personal album
A gaggle of “Walri”, probably from No 700 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, the headquarters unit which operated the type from January 1940 to March 1944. By April 1940 700 Squadron, based at RN Air station Hatston, were flying eight four-hour sorties per day around the Orkneys. Following the Norwegian campaign, the strength of 700 (Hatston) was established at eight Walrus for anti-submarine patrol. In August the strength was reduced to six aircraft when a new Flight was established at Sullom Voe, in the Shetlands. Just visible in this picture are the radar aerials on the outer interplane struts and protruding forward of the top wing root leading edges.
An anonymous Walrus takes off after being lowered from its parent ship off Hvalfjord, Iceland. The cruiser HMS Belfast, now a floating museum on the Thames not far from Aeroplane Monthly’s editorial offices, is seen in the middle distance.
Another nice shot of the 700 Squadron quintet, with their retracted undercarriages in plain view. Though the wheel was housed in the lower main-plane, it had no doors and its legs remained in the slipstream. All 12 of the unit’s aircraft were from ships’ flights, their service on the island bases being broken by spells embarked on ships in the Arctic and North Atlantic. 700 Squadron recorded its first U-boat attack on April 10, 1940, and the Sullom Voe unit was withdrawn in June 1941, when Coastal Command reached sufficient strength to carry out anti-submarine patrols unaided. Based at Twatt in its later life, 700 Squadron maintained its close-cover patrols of the Orkneys until March 24, 1944, when catapult flights were discontinued and the unit was disbanded.
A classic Charles E. Brown study of the prototype Walrus, the Seagull V bearing the “B conditions” marking N2, flying-off the deck of HMS Furious, probably during the 17 months of service trials which commenced from July 29, 1933, when it was delivered to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Felixstowe. The Seagull V first flew on June 21, 1933, from Southampton Water, and made its public debut five days later at the Society of British Aircraft Constructor’s Open Day at Hendon.
Grumman G-12A goose "W2H" of the Royal Naval Observer Training School at Piarco, off Trinidad in 1944. A number of these sturdy little amphibians served with this unit. First flown in 1937, the Goose was powered by a pair of 450 h.p. Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior radials, which gave it a maximum speed of 200 m.p.h. Also used for communications and air-sea rescue work, the Goose had range of 800 - 1,050 miles and was used by the RAF (No 24 Squadron), FAA and the Air Transport Auxiliary. A total of 62 served with the British Forces, 12 of which were supplied under Lend-Lease.