Strathard Heritage Digital Archive





Seaplanes and Admirals at Loch Ard in the 1930s

By James Kennedy

In what was possibly 1930 there was much excitement with the arrival of two American seaplanes on Loch Ard. This was when Admiral Fanshawe was in residence at Dalveagh (which is now Forest Hills) at a time when there were several other admirals in the vicinity. In his book Local Past, Peter Joynson offers the following information:

“Dalveagh was occupied by the former Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Fanshawe. Admiral Hyde Parker and two other admirals were at Couligarten and Rear Admiral “Bim” Stirling was at Ledard.” [1]

In fact Yates Stirling Junior was an American Rear Admiral whose career spanned from several years before the Spanish-American War to the mid-1930s and it may be his presence that is the most likely explanation as to the arrival of the seaplanes.

 The seaplanes docked near the Glassert and according to Marjory Brown amongst those viewing were George McAlpine, (her grandfather) and Miss Thorpe – the housekeeper at the Glassert (Image 1)

Image 1 Seaplanes on Loch Ard 1930 with onlookers

The planes were Vought 02U-1 Corsairs which first came into service in 1927. They were attached to the USS Florida which was an American battleship built in 1909 and based in Rosyth during World War 1. The USS Florida was broken up in 1931. Perhaps she returned to Scotland on a farewell voyage in 1930?  She was in Germany in July 1930 as part of a Midshipman’s Training Cruise [2]. The Corsair’s most high profile “mission” was attempting to shoot down King Kong from the Empire State Building in the 1933 version of the movie.

Image 2 Seaplane on Loch Ard 1930

James Kennedy 30th December 2019

[1] Local Past compiled and self-published by Peter Joynson p210. 1996.
[2] Alan Cooper Loch Ard Local History Group personal research May 2018.