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Catalina Memorial

A remote memorial on Fluga Moss at the head of Aris Dale in the S of the island of Yell (Shetland), the Catalina Memorial commemorates the crash of a Catalina Flying Boat on 19th January 1942 and the loss of seven of its crew. The 2.7-m (9-foot) high steel Celtic cross was erected by the local community in 1991. The aeroplane had been on a mission to bomb the German battleship Tirpitz as it relocated from Germany to Norway, but faced with very poor weather conditions and the loss of an engine the Catalina's pilot decided to try to land at Sullom Voe in Shetland. The crew had not been able to contact the base at Sullom Voe to ensure the landing strip was illuminated and the Catalina circled for several hours before crashing into the Hill of Arisdale. Although the co-pilot escaped and was able to rescue two of the crew, Flight Lieutenant H. Goolden, Pilot Officer L.S. Schell, Sergeant D.R. Breakspear, Sergeant E. Henowy, Sergeant S. Irvine, Sergeant A. Pitcher and Sergeant L. Rowe lost their lives and were buried at the kirkyard in Hamnavoe. One of the Catalina's propeller blades was mounted outside the Old Haa Museum in Burravoe.


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