One of the unsung heroes of World
War II, the Supermarine Walrus
amphibian was a private venture development
of the 1922 Seagull I, and
indeed first flew as the Seagull V on 21
June 1933. A production order by the
Australian government prompted evaluation
by the Royal Navy's No. 702
Catapult Flight, which in turn led to an
initial contract for 12 Walrus Mk I aircraft
being placed by the Air Ministry
in 1935, Following further trials, during
which a Walrus was catapulted fullyloaded
from HMS Nelson, production
orders for 204 aircraft with the 474kW Pegasus II M2 radial were
placed, and the little flying-boat entered
Fleet Air Arm service in 1936.
Early in World War II Walrus amphibians
were serving aboard battleships
and cruisers of the Royal Navy all over
the world as components of No. 700
Squadron, as well as with Nos 701, 711,
712 and 714 Squadrons, their principal
duties being over-the-horizon search
for enemy shipping; they were also
employed for gunnery spotting, antisubmarine
and convoy protection
duties. A Walrus was even catapulted
from the cruiser HMS Dorsetshire to
bomb a target in Italian Somaliland on
18 November 1940.
Undoubtedly the work for which the
Walrus (affectionately known as the
Shagbat) will be best remembered
was air/sea rescue, serving in this role
with Nos 269, 275, 276, 277, 278, 281 and
282 Squadrons at stations in the United
Kingdom, and with Nos 283, 284, 292
and 294 Squadrons in the Middle East.
Called out in any weather, day or night,
Walrus air/sea rescue aircraft frequently
alighted in enemy coastal waters
to pick up ditched Allied airmen
from their dinghies, sometimes putting
down in minefields where rescue launches
could not venture. With their curious
pusher engine nacelle located between
the wings (and angled off centre),
the sight of a Walrus to a shotdown
airman meant the difference between
rescue and years in a prison
camp. The Walrus was slowly replaced
in service from 1944 onwards
by the tractor Mercury-powered Sea
Otter from the same stable, although
No. 624 Squadron was re-formed at Grottaglie in Italy in December that
year with Walrus aircraft for minespotting
duties. A total of 740 Walrus
aircraft was built, production of the
Walrus Mk I with metal-clad hull being
terminated at Supermarine after 287
had been completed; thereafter production
was switched to Saunders-Roe
who built 453 Walrus Mk II aircraft with
wooden hulls before finally ending in
|A three-view drawing (592 x 892)|
| MODEL||"Walrus" Mk I|
| ENGINE||1 x Bristol Pegasus VI, 559kW|
| Take-off weight||3266 kg||7200 lb|
| Empty weight||2223 kg||4901 lb|
| Wingspan||13.97 m||46 ft 10 in|
| Length||11.35 m||37 ft 3 in|
| Height||4.65 m||15 ft 3 in|
| Wing area||56.67 m2||609.99 sq ft|
| Max. speed||217 km/h||135 mph|
| Ceiling||5210 m||17100 ft|
| Range||966 km||600 miles|
| ARMAMENT||2-3 7.7mm machine-guns, 272kg of bombs|
I have a single prop off a walrus for sale and know we're it's mart is. If anyone is interested please email
My father flew one of these as part of RAF Coastal Command when based in the middle east and Italy (where he was apparently reprimanded for landing one on the Grand Canal in Venice without permission). Great tales of flying in reverse relative to the ground when pointed into high headwinds. I wish I asked more questions.
|Bob Bateman, 11.01.2013|
I have the wheels from a Walrus, both have the large hub-cap that is rivited to the rim, they were bought by a farmer friend between the wars to attach to his horse drawn cart. The wheels are on the axle that was used for the cart, does anyone have any idea how the wheels would be parted from the axle? The fittings in the hub look original as though they are still attached to the Walrus stub axle.
|John Clarke, 25.10.2012|
I have an original signed oil painting of a Walrus over the sea, preparing to to rescue a stricken crew. If anyone is interested in purchasing this from me. please contact by email and I will provide a photograph. It is framed and measure approximately 19" x 15"
|Marty O'CALLAGHAN, 10.09.2012|
In a local hotel there is a single propeller mounted on its wall. It is purported to be from a Walrus aircraft. I am therefore after any sketches, dimensions of said aircraft. I would like to chase down any history that I can obtain about this prop to give to the landlord. The hotel is located in Pyrmont/Ultimo, Sydney. Any information is muchly appreciated.
|Bryan Nichoson, 05.07.2012|
Has anyone any info on the aircraft operated by 269 & 282 sqdns from Davidstowe moor in 1944..
|Peter Robinson, 05.06.2012|
Hi - do you kniow of an aircraft (Walrus I think) with the no 071 painted on the front side?
Would appreciate any help please.
Cheers Peter No9SQN Association. I'm the VP for Western Australia.
|Wally Wyatt, 01.05.2012|
I flew in a Walrus from Gravesend airfield in 1944 or 45,as
an ATC cadet passenger. Typhoons were in service from the airfield at that time.
|christine thompson, 18.01.2012|
I was talking recently to a guy who lives on a tugboat in the Adur river estuary at shoreham-by-sea. He asked if I knew anything about the Walrus flying-boat, and whether any were stationed in or near Shoreham - he had heard rumours. Can anyone help please? Both he and the local museum would love to know!
|Peter Cheshire, 24.07.2011|
I am trying to find details of the Walrus serving on HMS Exeter after her refit. Does anyone one have painting and markings details please ?
|John V C Fisher, 29.05.2011|
I remember in the war a Walrus crashed on a piece of spare ground at the north end of Preston New Road Southport Lancashire, I believe the pilot was O K. It wasn't badly smashed and was taken away in a "Qeen Mary" trailer
|John Gornall, 15.05.2011|
During the war A Walrus would fly over Whitchurch,Shropshire at 11 am. dayly heading towards Chester. Any One know why?
|Dan Cowan, 14.09.2010|
Walrus had flaps. I'm not sure if they were only used during the wing-folding process or not. I don't think they were used the way flaps are normally used. I'm trying to find out!
|Marcin Gotter, 05.09.2010|
Angular and unwieldy, but it's got its charm
i have just bought an airfix kit of this aircraft, and i have been in the one at hendon
|vince fazio, 08.11.2009|
I have published a book on the four surviving Seagull V/Walrus aircraft. Many colour pics of the reconstruction of HD 874 at Point Cook as well as a potted history of all the RAAF units are included.
Available from Drawquick Printing, Marayong NSW Price will be advised.
|Michael Chick, 28.10.2009|
I am trying to get hold of a couple of really good photos of the Walrus. Can anyone help? Michael Chick
Were can I buy a flying model of this airplane?
|Chris Emms, 17.11.2008|
I recently found an alloy plate on the beach at Bembridge Isle of Wight which bears the data: Type - WALRUS, Serial number - S2/5796. I think that this is the chassis plate from a flying boat but I can not trace the chassis number for its history, Can you help?
|walter moll, 02.11.2007|
I am the chairman of the Friends of the SAAF Musuem and we have in our possesion of the props of the mentioned aircraft. It would be appreciated if you have details of the hub...
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?