Ground crew of 10 Squadron RAAF, Royal Air Force (RAF) Coastal Command, service a Short Sunderland sea plane at RAF Pembroke Dock, Wales, 1939.
The Short Sunderland flying boat was one of the best-known aircraft in Coastal Command. It was nicknamed the 'flying porcupine' because of the aircraft's 13 protective machine-guns that stuck out from the fuselage in all directions.
An inflight meal for the crew of a Sunderland flying boat of RAF Coastal Command, October 1940.
On 29 October 1940, a RAF Sunderland flying boat was forced into the Atlantic some 200 miles west of Ireland. Of the 13-man crew, nine were rescued by HMAS Australia
. In gathering darkness, the man seen on the keel of the upturned craft drifted away and was not saved.
The Goldfish Club patch given to Allied aircrew who were obliged to use their lifejackets and/or inflatable dinghies manufactured by P B Gow and Company.
The emergency equipment manufacturer, P B Gow, accompanied each patch with a laminated, waterproof certificate which gave details of the escape. This patch was issued to Pilot Officer Arthur Gerald Graham Richmond RAAF, attached to 230 Squadron RAF, a Sunderland Squadron based in the Middle East. His accompanying certificate stated:
This is to certify that F/O A G Richmond has qualified as a member of the Goldfish Club by escaping death by the use of his Emergency Dinghy on September 7, 1942.
Richmond was also awarded the George medal for his actions on 7 September. Although severely injured, he managed to save his wireless gunner and to supervise the recovery of three other crew members when their Sunderland – W3987 – crashed on take-off at Aboukir Bay in Egypt. After recovering from his injuries Richmond continued to serve with 230 Squadron until October 1943 when he was transferred to 461 Squadron at Pembroke Dock, Wales.