Stinson Reliant FK914 crash at Sawel Mountain, Co. Londonderry

On 5th January 1944, Stinson Reliant FK914 took off from R.N.A.S. Eglinton, Co. Londonderry before coming down on the north-east slopes of Sawel Mountain.

The Stinson Reliant AT-19 was a product of America built for the British during the Second World War. It was the last model to feature the distinctive Gullwing design that dated back to 1936.

This military version of what started as a commercial plane served with the U.S.A.A.F. and U.S. Navy before the war. By the time America entered the conflict in 1941, commercial production had ceased. Five hundred more were produced for the Royal Navy between 1942-1943. These were a modified, more powerful plane designated UC-19.

An American Stinson Reliant

Imperial War Museum Photo: A 19269 (Part of the Admiralty Official Collection). An American Stinson Reliant. This plane was used by the Fleet Air Arm for training observers at Lee-on-Solent Fleet Air Arm Station. Photo taken by Lieutenant EA Zimmerman - Royal Navy Official Photographer.

Stinson Reliant crashes in The Sperrins

Alan Albert Pollock, Alan Frederick Orchard, and John Bernard Johnson died as a result of the crash of Stinson Reliant FK914 in Northern Ireland. All 3 served at H.M.S. Landrail, Argyll and Bute, Scotland with Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm 878 Squadron.

Stinson Reliant FK914 took off from Royal Navy Air Station Eglinton, Co. Londonderry on 5th January 1944. In bad weather, the plane struck the north-east of Sawel Mountain in The Sperrin Mountains.

Bad weather brought deep snowdrifts to the mountains. Because of this, bodies from the accident were not recovered for several weeks until 29th January 1944.

Sub-Lieutenant Alan Albert Pollock, Sub-Lieutenant Alan Frederick Orchard, and Sub-Lieutenant John Bernard Johnson’s graves are in St. Canice’s Church of Ireland, Faughanvale, Co. Londonderry.

Alan Albert Pollock

Alan Albert Pollock

Sub Lieutenant

Sub-Lieutenant Alan Albert Pollock was a pilot with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. Flying of 878 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm when he was killed in NI.

Alan Frederick Orchard

Alan Frederick Orchard

Sub Lieutenant

Sub-Lieutenant Alan Frederick Orchard was a pilot. He served with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve flying with 878 Squadron from Co. Londonderry airfields.

An American Stinson Reliant

John Bernard Johnson

Sub Lieutenant

Sub-Lieutenant John Bernard Johnson served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. By 1944 he was based at HMS Landrail with 878 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm.