Thursday, May 12, 2016

From joy to despair on 28 March 1954

Can you see the plane in the picture? It is a Royal Norwegian Air Force Catalina about to drop mail for Hopen Radio meteorological station on Sunday 28 March 1954. My father took this picture. As far as I can remember from reading his diary they had been waiting for this mail drop for a long time. Bad weather had delayed the flight, and it would never return. The fact is that the plane crashed later on its round to Norwegian outposts in the Arctic. You can read more about the disaster in Wikipedia´s article called 1954 Bjørnøya Consolidated PBY Catalina crash. Eight people died and one survived.   

I found the picture in a photo album back in 2006 or so when I gave a presentation at my kids´ school. Parents were challenged to come to tell about the world outside school. My angle was weather forecasting, and I based my presentation around my father´s photos. If you are versed in Norwegian or just want to see more pictures from 1953-1954, then you can find my presentation here.    

It is hard to imagine how the joy of the arrival of mail was replaced with despair once the plane went missing. 

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