Sub-Lieutenant Alan Albert Pollock was a pilot with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. Flying with 878 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm, his base in 1944 was HMS Landrail.
Pollock was the son of Albert Thomas Pollock and Gwendoline Alice Pollock. He grew up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.
Alan was educated at Alleynes School in Stevenage. He was Head Boy, chairman of the literary and debating societies and secretary of the scientific society. He also had an interest in drama and once played Father Christmas in a production of ‘A Christmas Carol’.
Alan was also a keen sportsman. He was captain of the school boxing team and also took part in swimming, cricket, and football. On finishing school, he passed the civil service exam, joining his friend Eric Stanley in working at Adastral House.
Alan Pollock's Navy Career
In August 1941, Alan Albert Pollock joined the Fleet Air Arm as a leading airman. He undertook pilot training in the USA and Canada.
He received his commission on 9th June 1942 and was posted to 762 Squadron at HMS Heron/RNAS Yeovilton. From there he undertook advanced training flying Sea Hurricanes.
He was transferred to 893 Squadron on 8th May 1943. Pollock was based on the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable / HMS Illustrious. He took part in the Salerno landings and carried out patrols over Sicily before being posted to Northern Ireland with 878 Squadron.
Stinson Reliant FK914 Crash
On 5th January 1944, Alan Pollock was piloting the Stinson Reliant FK914. He had taken off from RNAS Eglinton Airfield. Also on board were Sub-Lieutenant Alan Frederick Orchard and Sub-Lieutenant John Bernard Johnson.
In poor weather, the plane came down on the north-eastern side of Sawel Mountain in the Sperrins. All onboard died in the incident. The bodies of the three airmen were not recovered until 29th January because of deep snow in the area.
Sub-Lieutenant Pollock’s grave is in plot 8 of St. Canice’s Church of Ireland Churchyard in Faughanvale, Co. Londonderry.
Stinson Reliant FK914 crash on Sawel Mountain, Co. Londonderry
5th January 2016
On 5th January 1944, Stinson Reliant FK914 took off from RNAS Eglinton in Co. Londonderry before coming down on the north-eastern slope of Sawel Mountain.
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.