Why write about Hugh Harold Hirst?

Why write about Hugh Harold Hirst if he was not with 23 Squadron and did not own this Irvin jacket?


Simple, Hugh Harold Hirst gave his life for his country.

He was with 240 Squadron and only a few people remember his sacrifice.


Iverach and Hirst in L/240 a Stranraer operating out of Lough Erne in March 1941. Hirst was to be killed in May 1941 when his Catalina crashed on the flarepath , he is one of the “missing”.

Well almost everyone.

His name was found on this Website. Hugh Harold Hirst was not alone who died aboard Catalinas. It’s worth visiting the Website to learn more.

240 Squadron was flying this type of plane before converting to Catalinas.



Hugh Harold Hirst died on a Consolidated Catalina like this one.


Consolidated Catalina Mk II of No. 240 Squadron RAF based at Stranraer in Scotland, March 1941. Catalina Mark II, AM269 ‘BN-K’, of No 240 Squadron RAF based at Stranraer, Ayrshire, moored on Loch Ryan.

Memorial Hirst

WWII commemoration stone: Overlooking lower Lough Erne is a war grave memorial to the crew of a Catalina flying boat aircraft which crashed near here in May 1941. The inscription reads – Catalina AH536 of 240 Squadron RAF, Killadeas crashed near Gay Island 7th May 1941. Fl/Lt P.C Thomas, F/O H.H. Hirst, P/O K.B. Fuller, P/O D.W. Hockey, Sgt. W. Peebles, Sgt. J.L. Elwell, Sgt. J.S. Hesk, Sgt. H.E. Wilson, LAC H.A. Cottam, LAC L.R. Holmes.

Source: http://www.docbrown.info/docspics/irishscenes/ispage48.htm


I wrote the person who has this Website.

He answered back…

Hello Pierre,

I am indeed very interested in your video about F/O. Hurst. The story of that crash is well documented. The reason for the crash was that the surface of Lough Erne was dead flat that morning. This made it difficult for a pilot to judge his height when landing. As a result of the crash when a flying boat was coming down in calm water speed boats were used to create an artificial wave. The same was done for planes taking off. Last year I published a book “Catalina’s and Sunderland’s on Lough Erne, Ireland in World War Two”. Giving a detailed account of the air bases on Lough Erne.

It is available from Amazon, but if you have any problem getting a copy I will send you one.

Best wishes and thanks from Joe.


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