MP’s Commons motion recalls lost aircraft

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Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil last week tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons to mark the 75th anniversary of the Catalina air crash on Vatersay.

The RAF plane crashed at Heisheaval Beag on Vatersay on the night of May 12, 1944, with the loss of three lives.

The plane took off from Oban for a training exercise with nine crew on board and was due to fly over the nearby point of Barra Head.

The wreckage of the plane remains scattered at the site and a memorial stands to those who died and survived the accident.

Mr MacNeil’s EDM is entitled ‘Remembering the Catalina 75th Anniversary’ and reads: ‘This House notes the 75th anniversary of the Catalina aircraft tragedy of 12 May 1944 which set off from Oban on a training exercise set for Barra Head but tragically crashed near the summit of Heisheaval Beag on the Island of Vatersay; remembers the bravery and sacrifice of the Catalina crews which hunted U-boats off the coast to save the lives of merchant seamen bringing food to nations under rations; marks the anniversary of the deaths of Flight Sergeant David Clyne, Sergeant Fred Basset and rigger Sergeant Patrick Hines; recalls the courage of the other six crew members on board who survived while sadly losing their colleagues; and also notes in civilian life Dennistoun-born Flight Sergeant David Clyne had a successful football career by playing for Queens Park FC and being twice capped at Scottish amateur level.’

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