Wartime seaplanes return to Fermanagh base
The historic Battle of the Atlantic is to be dramatically recalled by the return of seaplanes to the Northern Ireland base they used in the Second World War.
The lakes of Fermanagh provided a watery runway for the flying boats and served as the perfect launch pad for their vital role in the Atlantic campaign. Pilots were allowed to secretly breach the Irish Republic's war-time neutrality by skirting across Co Donegal as they flew into action.
The Fermanagh Seaplane Festival is to attract various types of seaplanes from around Europe, but significantly the show will, for the first time, include one of the famous Catalina flying boats that used the Lough Erne base during the war years.
Organisers are in contact with one of the original flying team who operated at the site but are now appealing for other surviving crew members to get in touch and take part in the event.
Ted Jones (88), originally from Nailsworth, Gloucester, but who has lived in Clontarf, north Dublin, for most of his life, said he is looking forward to flying along the so-called 'Donegal Corridor' in a Catalina once again.
"This has never been done before and it would be absolutely wonderful to do it again after all this time. At my age it really would be a special moment," said the war-time pilot.
The festival runs from September 23-25.