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AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE, 1939-1945: SHORT S.26 'G' CLASS EMPIRE FLYING BOAT.

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Catalogue number
  • HU 1772
Part of
Subject period
Alternative Names
  • object category: Black and white
Category
photographs

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Object description

Short S.26, X8274, moored on the Medway at Rochester, Kent, before being flown to Blackburn Aircraft Ltd at Dumbarton for the installation of radar equipment. X8274, originally built as G-AFCJ "Golden Fleece" for Imperial Airways, was impressed and modified for RAF service before her launch at the Short Brothers Rochester works on 8 July 1940. Military modifications included the installation of two dorsal and one tail Boulton & Paul gun turrets, each mounting four Browning .303 machine guns, underwing racks for eight 500-lb bombs, armour plating for the crew positions, and stowage for floats and reconnaissance flares. After being equipped with ASV radar, X8274 became the first of three S.26s to join 'G' Flight - later No. 119 Squadron RAF - of Coastal Command at Bowmore on 24 December 1940. In June 1941, the S.26s were attached to No. 10 Squadron RAAF to undertake special long-range supply flights to Gibraltar and the Middle East and, on 20 June 1941, while outward bound for Gibraltar, X8274 ditched off Cape Finisterre after developing engine trouble, and foundered.

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