Fleet Air Arm acclaims courage of pioneer pilot
Friday 28 August 1992
Seventy-five years ago, Squadron Commander Edwin Dunning, 25, landed his aircraft, a Sopwith Pup, on the deck of the battlecruiser HMS Furious as the ship steamed at 26 knots in Scapa Flow, Orkney. As fellow officers grabbed the aircraft and held it down, sailors and pilots congratulated the young pilot on his courage. He had helped to pave the way for the modern aircraft carrier.
But five days later, those same sailors and pilots were mourning the death of Squadron Commander Dunning who had repeated the landing three times, but who failed on the fourth. His aircraft bounced on one wheel and went over the side; its pilot, who had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his earlier bravery in action, was knocked out, and drowned.
Yesterday, a replica of the Sopwith Pup stood in the Taverner's hangar of the Ark Royal at Portsmouth as its modern descendant, a Sea Harrier, landed on the carrier and was lowered to stand alongside.
Graham Mottram, curator of the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton, Somerset, said: 'Without his brilliance and ultimate sacrifice there would be no Ark Royal today.' Among those at yesterday's ceremony was Judith Janes of Knowle, West Midlands, the pioneer's great-niece.
The replica aircraft will be on display with its modern-day counterpart at the Navy Day in Portsmouth this weekend.
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Russia unveils plans for high speed railway and superhighway to connect Europe and America
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Summarises financial status by ...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...