The Stinson Reliant AT-19 was a product of America built for the British during World War Two. 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 USAAF and US 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.
Stinson Reliant crashes in The Sperrins
The plane belonged to Eglinton Station Flight and the men were from 878 Squadron. The three men served at HMS Landrail.
Stinson Reliant FK914 took off from Royal Navy Air Station Eglinton on 5th January 1944. In bad weather, the plane struck the north-east of Sawel Mountain in the Sperrins in Co. Londonderry.
With the bad weather came deep snow drifts in the mountains. Because of this, bodies from the accident were not recovered for several weeks on 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 Churchyard, Faughanvale, Co. Londonderry.
Alan Albert Pollock
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
Sub-Lieutenant Alan Frederick Orchard was a pilot. He served with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve flying with 878 Squadron from Co. Londonderry airfields.
John Bernard Johnson
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.