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BPF 894Sq Seafire LF III lost Aug 15, 1945 - where to find serial number and plane code?

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I am trying to determine the serial number and possibly plane code of a 894 Squadron Seafire piloted by Sub-Lt Fred Hockley lost near Tokyo Bay Aug 15, 1945. I have Morgan & Shacklady's big book of Spitfires but am at a loss finding this particular aircraft.


Any other resources on-line or in print that might possibly help?


Many thanks,

Donald Anderson

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I don't think that serial or code is known. It is listed as unknown in Sturtivant and is not recorded in Indefatigable's Report on Operations off Japan, which I have a copy of. Indefatigable's Reports, unlike some other BPF carriers' Reports, are not very informative with respect to aircraft identities.


Hockley bailed out and was captured and executed the same day. So I imagine, given this, that if the identity of his aircraft could be found from the available primary sources, it would have been by now.  

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I can identify a number of Seafires I think were on operations that day but not the one you are looking for.


NN584 1??/S SL Kay

PR296 1??/S 2 claims

PR263 1??/S SL Gorvin

LR866 121/S SL Lowden

NN212 112/S SL Murphy


it should be noted that in pictures of the time Indefatigable's Seafires had the S over the 1?? on the tail and had slipper tanks.  Implacable's Seafires famously had ex P40 90 Gallon aux tanks and their number was on the fuselage either side of the BPF roundel.  


Sorry i cant give you any more info but one thing - don't limit your search to just 894 but include 887 as fighters in 47 NFW seems to have been shared across squadrons..


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Thank you all for the responses.  I searched through Spitfire production link JackG posted and found an intersting entry for NN284 at http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p082.html



NN284    Seafire III        West    M55    RNDA 31-7-44 Tested RNARY Coimbatore 25-1-45 894S Indefatigable ('153/S') 3-45 to 8-45 Taxied into by NN323 Cat LX 31-3-45 (S/L IG Hepworth) A6M dest E of Formosa shared '143/S' (S/L F Hockley) '137/S' (S/L JC Taylor) and '136/S' (S/L KD Gall) 1715 8-5-45 (S/L AW Bradley)


Not sure of the provenance of these comments on the production page but it would appear that S/L F Hockley was in 143/S on Aug 5, 1945. Of course this doesn't mean he was in 143/S ten days later.  Probably never know I presume. 


Thanks again,

Donald Anderson

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This information is from the Combat Reports relating to 5th August (which I have a copies of).  As you say, you can't infer from this that 143/S was Hockley's usual aircraft or that he was flying it on 15th. However, I note that in Sturtivant the individual aircraft history for NN284 ends on 5th August. If the aircraft survived the war there is usually an entry listing details of transfer to another squadron or a note indicating it was SOC. The lack of history post 5th August is consistent with what you'd expect if Hockley was flying NN284 on the 15th and it was lost.  Perhaps best to think of it as not ruling  NN284 out as a candidate for the aircraft he was flying when he was killed.





Edited by iang

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