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Singapore Mk.III

Singapore Mk.III Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review June 2012 Title Singapore Mk.III
Author Phil Listemann Publisher Philedition
Published 2012 ISBN -
Format 34 pages, softbound MSRP (Euro) 12.95€


RAF flying boats never really excited me.  But the 16th installment in Phil H. Listemann’s privately printed “Allied Wings” series strangely snagged my attention.

Short SINGAPORE Mk.III sports 34 pithy pages, 12 handsome color profiles, and over 55 fascinating photos.  This compact compendium brilliantly distills the surprisingly widespread service of this astonishingly appealing aircraft.

Singapore III’s rendered yeoman service during the Abyssinian crisis and Spanish Civil War.  They dominated Britain’s Flying-Boats Training Squadron (FBTS) – eventually No.4 OTU – during 1940-41.  And with less than 40 Singapore III’s manufactured, at least 230 sorties flew from Aden, Singapore, and other far-flung Commonwealth outposts during early World War II.

In late 1941, No.205 Squadron in Singapore passed its last airworthy examples to No.5 Squadron RNZAF, which immediately dispatched recon flights supporting Force Z – HMS Prince of Wales, HMS Repulse, and their destroyer escorts.

With ill-fated Force Z’s demise, No.5 Squadron’s superannuated Singapore III’s moved to Fiji – and mounted anti-submarine, maritime reconnaissance, and SAR patrols until April 1943, when these cumbersome combatants saw final retirement.  Combat victories?  One Japanese submarine claimed sunk, 10 July 1942.

Author Listemann charts the terrific tale in his expert capsule history.  Contents also include a complete roster – by serial numbers with photos – of all SHORT Singapore III’s manufactured.  And coverage concludes with a “Roll of Honour” listing fatalities associated with the type.

File this outstanding abstract under “must have”.

Robustly recommended.

With thanks to Phil H. Listemann for the review copy.