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stevecombeboy

Vickers Wellington X 3170

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Hello, all ! Not been on here for a while but I'm hoping someone can help. The above aircraft, a mark 1c, crashed on Wittlesey Mere 15-12-1941, all the crew being killed, including Sgt B. L. Grove-Palmer, aged just 20. He was my half-brother and I only found out about him a few days ago. The Welly was on a night training flight as part 11 OTU ( code KJ- ) What I am trying to find is the individual aircraft letter if indeed it carried one at all !  Any ideas, please ? If I can produce an accurate replica it would be a fitting tribute to some very brave men.

Many thanks, everybody.

Steve

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The only code combination given in Air Britain's Flying Training and Support Units for an 11 OTU Wellington is KJ-A/DV778.  The unit was formed with 52 Wellingtons, and so used codes KJ, OP and TX.  At some stage it seems that the early part of the alphabet was used with KJ- for the units support aircraft rather than the Wellingtons.  

 

Good luck, but this kind of link is rare for training units.  You may be able to get more from the unit's records at the National Archives.

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Many thanks, both of you! mhaselden - that's a good idea, I'll try to move it ! Graham - you've kindly helped me before and once again I'm impressed with your knowledge, but I was rather expecting the sort of answer you gave !

Thanks again, folks.

Steve

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Moved to WWII as requested :)

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KJ-A/DV778 was a Wellington Mk1C that was brought down near Juist Island on a raid to Bremen 26/6/42. My Great Uncle was the wireless operator on it. 

 

Researching this, there doesn't appear to be a lot of information for 11 OTU. I found there are some very knowledgeable people on the RAF command forum. If you're still looking for info, you might find something there. 

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Grubbing about in the usual sources, I have found:

KJ-A L4381

-L R3212

-H LP430

-E Z8808

 

OP-R L4227

-J N2750

-K LP978

-P JA129

 

TX-E R1661

-V LP707

If you want to visit Kew, these files are a good start:

AIR29/642 & 644. AIR50/475.

Be prepared for disappointment though. You may find lots of weather reports and sports teams results but I have never found a comprehensive breakdown by Flight, serials, codes and aircraft mark. Such information was not considered to be worthy of note, alas. You might truffle some combinations though, especially if the machines were involved in ops. Your machine was X3120, a 1c. All the crew are buried in Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth Cemetery except for the rear gunner, Sgt. PN Lister, who is buried at Arnold Cemetery ( I presume the Arnold referred to is the northern suburb of Nottingham).

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54 minutes ago, Ossington said:

 

Think I have been grubbing about in the same sources.  Is L4227 perhaps a mistype for L4224?

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Could be. But it's printed as Wellington I OP:R - L4227  in Bowyers/Rawlings "Squadron Codes 1937-56" p.80.

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Think this was a rare slip-up by St Michael and St John.  Alan Lake's Flying Units of the RAF has OP-R as L4224.  The Air Britain serial book has L4224 serving with 11 OTU but not L4227.

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Just looked on here and saw your replies - thanks everybody! I haven't done any further research yet on my half-brother's death but it's still on the back burner. Any further contributions gratefully received. Ossington - you say my aircraft was X3120 but my info from CWGC certainly gives X3170 - I wonder if this is the same sort of slip-up mentioned above? Anyway - thanks again everybody.

Steve.

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Posted (edited)

No, think you and CWGC are right.  The Air Britain serial register records X3170 as a Wellington Ic which served only with 11 OTU and "flew into ground near Upwood, 15.12.41."  X3120, also a Ic, served only with 61 Sq and was lost 3.6.41 during a raid on Duesseldorf.

Edited by Seahawk
Date corrected to accord with the source i was quoting and Selwyn's link.

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1 hour ago, Seahawk said:

No, think you and CWGC are right.  The Air Britain serial register records X3170 as a Wellington Ic which served only with 11 OTU and "flew into ground near Upwood, 12.12.41."  X3120, also a Ic, served only with 61 Sq and was lost 3.6.41 during a raid on Duesseldorf.

Does this help?

 

http://aircrewremembered.com/sanderson-albert-leonard.html

 

Selwyn

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Thanks for that, Seahawk - it confirms what I thought. Selwyn - I already have their (very useful) information, but thanks anyway. I'd love to go to the grave site but its a heck of a long way! Maybe one day....

Thanks, everybody.  Steve

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