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The Catalina Crash

The 12th May 2024 marks the 80th Anniversary of the Catalina Crash on Vatersay.  The Catalina JX273 was flying a night operational flying exercise out of 302 FTU Base at Oban on 12th May 1944.  Whilst climbing out, the aircraft hit the rising ground in Vatersay between 600-700 ft.  Of the nine crew members, three were killed and six were injured.  One of the injured crewmen Flight Engineer Sgt Richard Whiting will be 100 years old on the 24th May 2024!  Sgt Whiting wishes to pass on his deepest thanks to all involved in the rescue for their thought and kindness all those years ago.  The people of Vatersay and Barra wish Sgt Whiting the happiest of birthdays – an amazing milestone!  Sgt Whiting is standing in the back row, second from the right.  A model of the Catalina was donated to the Heritage Centre by the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum and Don Valley Model Flying Club in memory of all the aircrew that lost their lives defending our country.  

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