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ArtickWarspite

Vickers Wellington MKIC & BoB Hurricanes

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Hi everyone,

 

With the upcoming expected arrival of the new Airfix 1/72 Wellington, I'm wanting to undertake a building project that focuses on a particular Wellington.

The plane in question was the Wellington that my Great Uncle W.H Flower disappeared in over the north sea on 26/6/42.

 

Vickers Wellington MKIC KJ-A (Serial # DV778)

11 OTU 

Base- Steeple Morden 1942

 

Does anyone have or know of a photo of this particular plane? Or maybe even the crews that flew it? I hope there is at least one photo of this plane floating around somewhere.. or even any information.

 

Secondly, I'm currently making a BoB diorama and I'm looking for images of a couple of 249sqn Hurricanes; 

 

Hurricane GN-H (V6683) P. Burton

Hurricane GN-L (P5206)* J.R.B Meaker. 

*There's also a source that he flew Hurricane P3934

 

If anybody can point me in the right direction in getting images or more information, that would be greatly appreciated.

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Ok so I've been doing a little more research, and it would appear there is some squiggly reports as to what plane F/O James Reginald Bryan Meaker was flying during the Battle of Britain, though there are more sources stating he flew Hurricane 1 P3834 on the day he was killed. (27/9/40). Other sources (though not nearly as numerous) suggested he flew Hurricane P3934 and P5206 (GN-L). 

So unless there is confirmed information out there which states otherwise, then we'll run with P3834. But the next question is what the Hurricane's code was for that airframe. It'll be GN- ????? I can't seem to find this anywhere. Does anyone know?

 

It would also appear that I could be at a dead end with more information on the Wellington too. Does anyone know anything about where I can go for more information?

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On the odd occasion you'll find that the ORB for a squadron lists the individual aircraft code as well as the serial usually in the Records of Events section but it's not really the norm. Best thing you can do is visit the National Archives online where you can download the ORB for 249 for the months in question. After that it becomes a touch more difficult as you may need the actual officer's logbook to confirm the individual aircraft code and even then sometimes pilot's only used the serial.

 

Best of luck,

 

Tim

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13 hours ago, Smithy said:

On the odd occasion you'll find that the ORB for a squadron lists the individual aircraft code as well as the serial usually in the Records of Events section but it's not really the norm. Best thing you can do is visit the National Archives online where you can download the ORB for 249 for the months in question. After that it becomes a touch more difficult as you may need the actual officer's logbook to confirm the individual aircraft code and even then sometimes pilot's only used the serial.

 

Best of luck,

 

Tim

Thanks Tim,

 

Your advice was very helpful. I managed to get my hands on the Operations Record Book for 249 squadron for September 1940, and while it didn't carry the codes for the Hurricanes, it gave each pilot in the squadron and the plane/planes they flew on any given day. 

 

So for the two pilots I'm researching, in the month of September alone, each one flew 7 different Hurricanes, but each pilot had a plane they flew more than others. So for Percy Burton it was Hurricane V6683 GN-H and for James Meaker it was P5206 GN-L. WHile Burton was killed flying V6683, Meaker was in fact flying two Hurricanes the day he was killed. V6635 which he'd been flying on the morning of 27 September (and the few days previously), and P3834 which is the one he went down in. 

I can't find any of the codes for any of these other air frames;

 

P3384

V6610

V7313

V6566

P3615

V6534

V6559

V6635

 

Another interesting point on the Operations Record Book, was the blank spaces in certain areas where there was no serial number assigned to a couple of pilots. Would this just be the confusion of combat or administration errors?

At any rate, I'm happy with the information I've gathered on these Battle of Britain pilots. Now I just need to dig much deeper about information on the Wellington. The National Archives were not very useful with this one...

 

Thanks again for your help!

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Pleased it helped. One other thing I should add is if you can track down the logbook of a fellow member of the same flight then you can often assign individual code letters to serial numbers from the ORB as members of the same flight often shared aircraft - as you've seen from the 249 ORB. One of my relatives logbooks is missing but I was able to determine the the codes of the aircraft he flew by this method. But it is dependent on tracking down the logbooks of other flight members.

 

In terms of the anomalies in ORBs it can be a number of things but at the height of the Battle of Britain frontline squadrons in 11 Group were exceedingly busy with flights and pilots flying multiple scrambles and patrols so it's hardly surprising that the ORB would contain errors and omissions.

 

 

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On 10/13/2017 at 8:08 PM, Smithy said:

In terms of the anomalies in ORBs it can be a number of things but at the height of the Battle of Britain frontline squadrons in 11 Group were exceedingly busy with flights and pilots flying multiple scrambles and patrols so it's hardly surprising that the ORB would contain errors and omissions.

Yeah that's what I would have thought too, but it's the same 2 or 3 pilots over a period of a couple of days where there's no serial number entered, when everyone else's was. Not too sure what to make of it unless it was the pilots responsibility to ensure it was filled out and they never did?

 

At any rate, I've got all I need in regards to the BoB research I'm doing. Time to focus on researching the Wellington now...

 

General question; During the war, bomber command had bombers that had red letter coding on the planes, but they also had grey lettering too. Was the grey lettering early war or was the grey used by Operational Training Units (OTU's)? I've just seen Wellingtons with red letters and grey letters. Any help clearing that up would be a great help.

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9 hours ago, ArtickWarspite said:

Yeah that's what I would have thought too, but it's the same 2 or 3 pilots over a period of a couple of days where there's no serial number entered, when everyone else's was. Not too sure what to make of it unless it was the pilots responsibility to ensure it was filled out and they never did?

 

At any rate, I've got all I need in regards to the BoB research I'm doing. Time to focus on researching the Wellington now...

 

General question; During the war, bomber command had bombers that had red letter coding on the planes, but they also had grey lettering too. Was the grey lettering early war or was the grey used by Operational Training Units (OTU's)? I've just seen Wellingtons with red letters and grey letters. Any help clearing that up would be a great help.

 

Bomber Command is not really my thing but I'm fairly certain that the medium sea grey codes were an early war specification. The switch to dull red occurred sometime in 1942. I think dull red codes were also used by OTU units other than Fighter Command OTU units. No doubt someone will be able to be more specific.

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Thanks, I appreciate the reply. 

 

Yeah that makes sense, it's just all the photos I've seen while researching the Wellington in question had the grey letters. Presumably the Wellington wasn't in front line service much longer after the back end of 1942 (is this correct?), so therefore would it be reasonable to assume that there would be a lot more Wellingtons with grey coding than there were red?

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That's right, the Welly was superseded during 1943 in the night bombing campaign over occupied Europe but she actually stayed on in service in other theatres.

 

I had a quick poke around on the internet and found this for you, a 300 (Polish) Sqn Welly complete with dull red codes:

 

Z1387.jpg

 

BTW, I hadn't mentioned it but hello from another Kiwi, albeit on the other side of the world.

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Thanks, yes I've seen a few Wellingtons with the red markings, though I've seen far more with grey. I'm still researching my Great Uncle through numerous other channels, so hopefully some other puzzle pieces will surface. 

 

Ah right, I had noticed that the name Smithy doesn't appear overly Norwegian, ;p 

 

Cheers bro! :)

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8 hours ago, ArtickWarspite said:

Thanks, yes I've seen a few Wellingtons with the red markings, though I've seen far more with grey. I'm still researching my Great Uncle through numerous other channels, so hopefully some other puzzle pieces will surface. 

 

Ah right, I had noticed that the name Smithy doesn't appear overly Norwegian, ;p 

 

Cheers bro! :)

 

For researching your great uncle you could try both of these as well if you haven't already:

 

Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum

 

RAFCommands Forums

 

I've been using these for years and they are very useful. Many professional aviation historians are members and the depth of knowledge on both is immense.

 

If your great uncle was a Kiwi there will be an entry for him in Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow - Volume 1". Errol is a member over at the Wings Over NZ Aviation forum ( http://rnzaf.proboards.com/ ) and is wonderfully helpful so might be worthwhile posting something over there (it's also a superb forum for anything relating to NZ aviation)

 

Cheers!

 

Tim

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On 05/10/2017 at 04:08, ArtickWarspite said:

Secondly, I'm currently making a BoB diorama and I'm looking for images of a couple of 249sqn Hurricanes; 

 

Hurricane GN-H (V6683) P. Burton

Hurricane GN-L (P5206)* J.R.B Meaker. 

*There's also a source that he flew Hurricane P3934

 

If anybody can point me in the right direction in getting images or more information, that would be greatly appreciated.

 

you may find this thread of use for some general debate  on 249 Sq BoB markings

HTH

T

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9 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

For researching your great uncle you could try both of these as well if you haven't already:

 

Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum

 

RAFCommands Forums

 

I've been using these for years and they are very useful. Many professional aviation historians are members and the depth of knowledge on both is immense.

 

If your great uncle was a Kiwi there will be an entry for him in Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow - Volume 1". Errol is a member over at the Wings Over NZ Aviation forum ( http://rnzaf.proboards.com/ ) and is wonderfully helpful so might be worthwhile posting something over there (it's also a superb forum for anything relating to NZ aviation)

 

Cheers!

 

Tim

Thanks Tim,

 

I just so happened to join the RAF Command forums yesterday, and Errol has already replied with a whole wealth of information, a lot of which I didn't know including the list of the crew and where some of them are buried. 

 

The puzzle pieces are slowly coming together.. Now the next step is trying to find out what brought the plane down..

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2 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

 

you may find this thread of use for some general debate  on 249 Sq BoB markings

HTH

T

Thanks Troy,

 

This will no doubt prove useful.

I've had a read through this, and when I come to putting the decals on my ones, I'll read through it carefully again. 

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