ON 14 JANUARY 1946


An RAF Sunderland flying boat of 209 Squadron RAF flew under the Sydney Harbour bridge on 14 January 1946.  The Sunderland had just arrived in Sydney after a flight from Hong Kong via Darwin.

William Finlay of Boyle Street, Balgowah, was on the bridge and he said:-

    "The flying-boat came right down, and I thought it was going to fly straight into the bridge. By skilful handling, the pilot took the huge aircraft right under the bridge then lifted it into the air again as he continued his flight down the harbour to alight at Rose Bay."

Flying under the Sydney Harbour Bridge was prohibited by the Civil Aviation Department regulations.

An article in the Bowen Independent newspaper of Friday 25 January 1946 gives more information on this incident. It stated that on Monday 14 January 1946, British Royal Air Force pilot, Flying Officer H. George, flew a Sunderland Flying Boat under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He told the Civil Aviation Officer, Mr. W.D. Stow, that he had done it on the spur of the moment. He said there was no shipping under the bridge and all was clear. He claimed that he did not know that flying under the bridge was illegal.

Mr. Stow stated that an order to not fly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge should be included in the Standing Orders for all Air Force Stations. Mr. Stow submitted a report on Flying Officer George's action to the Civil Aviation Department.



I'd like to thank Roy Boughton, who was a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner on the Sunderland, for his assistance with this web page.


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This page first produced 17 June 2013

This page last updated 05 March 2017