"PBM MARINER ON THE RAMP..." WW II Tip by Simonneeddy

WW II, Bermuda: 16 reviews and 16 photos

by Simonneeddy

Our first one of these JX101sank (on a training flight to Montreal) beside Darrell's Island on takeoff.The pilot was Wing Commander Ware our base commander An error by a mechanic who left a rear under tail section gunner hatch unbolted and when the ship went to full power for takeoff water surged in and another crew error the bulk head doors were open so the plane started to fill with water. I was on the crash boat and we started counting heads as the crew abandoned ship. I spotted a hand sticking out of the water and directed the boat to it. I dived in with all my clothes and shoes( wallet in pocket) to raise the persons head above water. We got him aboard and rushed to the U.S. Base hospital at the far end of Great Sound. He was the 'RAF COOK' going on leave. He had not inflated his life jacket and could not swim. He died as we could not revive him.
He was going on a well deserved leave.

The ship was salvaged with great damage and was written off.

Bermuda's war time decline ( no more tourists) and isolation proved an advantage for the RAF as the Belmont Manor on the shore of Warwick Parish opposite the base provided everything needed for accommodations plus offices for signals and control and space for a branch meteorological station.

The fact that there was a golf course, swimming pool and tennis courts provided made the periods of ' waiting for weather ' more palatable for the air crews. Another help was the fact that the British Government had established a regional censorship office in two of the biggest hotels in the Hamilton Area .This meant the arrival of many young ladies from the U.K. a fact that brightened the life of many Bermudians and of the ferry crews in the following years.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 15, 2002
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