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bernard03

Liberator VI

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hello friends

I'm back after a year away from the world of models !

I have a question about Liberators VI of the 358 special duties Sqn SEAC based at Jessore India 

would anyone have it one or more pictures of the planes KH160 and KH392?

have these planes been modified for special operations? have they kept their ventral and dorsal turrets?

cordialement ( in french ,my english is always so bad )

Bernard  

 

 

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KH162 was 357 Sq coded W, named The Woodpecker after hitting trees on an SOE mission then gained its name and an emblem showing damaged trees and a pilot with an axe: it later served with 358 Sq.  Sorry, no photographs nor help with the fit.

 

It may be possible to track down other aircraft flown by these two units which may have been photographed and thus provide a guide to their external fit.

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I did find a photo of KH166 with full normal armament, but this was taken before its service with 357 Sq.  I've been looking in Air Britain's The Liberator in RAF and Commonwealth Service.

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Posted (edited)

According to Terence O'Brien (ex 357 sqn in India) in The Moonlight War, Special Duties Liberators were fitted with a slide for dropping parachutists. The slide was moved into place while the aircraft was in flight and it projected "well below the fuselage". It carried 6 people packed bobsleigh fashion and they all dropped close together. This must have replaced the ball turret because the bomb bay was still available for containers. no pics I'm afraid.

 

By mid 1945 most of the special duties Liberator missions were long range from India and Ceylon to drop zones in Eastern Burma, Malaya, French Indo China (modern day Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam) and Thailand. Drops largely took place at night. So I would expect that the mid upper turret may also have been removed to save weight.

 

You might be able to find some more information in the Forms 540 & 541 for these squadrons. They are available here:-

 

http://www.rquirk.com/seac.html

 

 

Edited by EwenS

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From the Form 540 appendices for 358 for 1945:-

 

Feb

During a non-flying period extending up to 19th the Squadron settled-in and carried out certain S.D. modifications such as removal of the Ball Turret and front guns.

 

April

2. During the month work was commenced to modify the aircraft for paratroop dropping. In all four aircraft were modified and the first "bod-dropping" operation was carried out on 26th April. Other work put in hand was the fitment of blister windows for pilot and co-pilot, removal of all armour plate and complete stripping of front turret. As an experiment the camouflage paint was removed from engine nacelles upper wing surface, bomb doors and wheel fairings on one aircraft to reduce drag.

 

There are also references to changing the radio fits and in particular fitting LORAN so watch out for extra aerials.

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