At 03:00hrs 6 June 1956 an RAF Sunderland flying boat with a surgical team lead by Squadron Leader Agnes R D Bartels M.B., B.S., F.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., RAF on board left Singapore in answer to an emergency call for urgent medical assistance from RFA Fort Charlotte.

Sunderland_Flyingboat

 

 

At 03:00hrs 6 June 1956 an RAF Sunderland flying boat with a surgical team lead by Squadron Leader Agnes R D Bartels M.B., B.S., F.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., RAF on board left Singapore in answer to an emergency call for urgent medical assistance from RFA Fort Charlotte.

Sunderland_Flyingboat

 

Sunderland Flying Boat 

 

The Master of the Fort Charlotte – Captain Herbert W Flint RFA – had collapsed, seriously ill, with a ruptured appendix when the ship was some 400 miles from Singapore in the Karimata Strait. The Karimata Strait connects the South China Sea and the Java Sea, between the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

 

Fort_Charlotte

RFA Fort Charlotte

 

On arrival of the Flying Boat the surgical team were quickly onboard and the surgeon operated on Captain Flint. After the operation a signal back to Singapore reported the Master’s life had been saved. 

RFA Fort Charlotte sailed to Singapore arriving at midnight on 1 July 1956 when Captain Flint was discharged ashore to hospital on a stretcher.

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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