The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme


Dunning Memorial, Swanbister, Orphir


Squadron Commander Edwin Harris Dunning of the Royal Naval Air Service was decorated with the DSC in 1916 for bombing enemy territory and engaging German planes. His squadron was chosen to experiment in Scapa Flow with the concept of landing an aircraft on a moving ship. He achieved this on 2 August 1917, when he landed a Sopwith Pup on the deck of HMS Furious whilst underway in Scapa Flow. He repeated the feat five days later, but on the third attempt an updraught caught the wing and tipped the aircraft into the sea. Dunning was knocked unconscious and drowned before he could be rescued. His captain wrote, "I shall never cease to admire and regret him. He was so keen and full of enthusiasm and such an excellent capable fellow in every way." He is buried near his family home in Essex. 
The memorial stone marker at Swanbister was erected in 1992, the 75th anniversary of Dunning's remarkable achievement. 
Copyright 2011 Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme