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WW2 Vickers Valentia data needed


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Hi,

As a result of some barter trade I recently received from BM Forum member the Contrail Valentia bits (many thanks!) which I intend to turn to model with some scratch work needed. From some time I was searching for such possibility and I was gathering data on Valentia in Net. I wanted to do machine used in WW2 in the Middle East or East Africa. So the most favorable will be the scheme for 1941 from Iraq, Syria or Iran campaigns as well as from 1940-41 in East Africa. Googling I have found some photos of camouflaged Valentias, the best three (I mean - my favourites) are below.

 

On first the SJ-B K2797 is seen in desert environment. I think that one came from SAAF archive posted recently as well. The lack of Fin Flash suggests, that photo was taken not later that in early 1940 (?). The squadron code "SJ" is a bit puzzling for me, since in Wiki list of RAF squadron codes I have found two formation having in history that code (96 Sq and 21 OTU - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_RAF_squadron_codes) but non fits to have Valentia on a desert in 1940. The dark color can suggest either ortho film (yellowish camo looks dark - I rather vote for this solution) or it is DK Green/Dk Earth an panchromatic film...

50735721036_781a3162d8_o.jpg

BTW the right next produced machine K2798 having SH-U (216 Sq)  codes crashed in Helipolis (Egipt) in 1940 (https://www.biblio.com/book/valentia-k2798-sh-u-216-sqn/d/266113242). On photos in given link also looks dark. 

 

 

On second one (SJ-H - so the same formation) the desert camo with light light (not alu) is seen, large Fin Flashes suggest end 1940 or 1941, It looks almost perfect for my choice, but the serial is not readable for me. Maybe someone has this photo in better quality or from some data can identify the serial of her? The blue on roundels look for me a pre-war light one (lighter than of fin). 

50735824997_58a5d042ab_b.jpg

 

Below one is maybe yet most puzzling, looks like having something painted below the cockpit (or the paint is damaged on large surface), the look of Fin Flash again suggests late 1940 or 1941. darker yellow  and red then blue suggests ortho film - but no other data. Maybe it was taken in India since the environment suggest some tries (?) on horizon?

50734981928_be6323a399_o.jpg

 

Any comments and help in finding an scheme from Iraq, Iran, Syria or East Africa campaigns will be appreciated.

Regards

J-W

 

 

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It is 70 Sq in the Middle East.  The dark appearance of both colours is typical of Dark Green and Dark Earth on ortho film - note that the red in the markings is darker than the blue.

 

For this early in the ME it would be Light Earth in any "desert" camouflage, and neither this nor Middle Stone appears as dark as this on ortho film because they have no red component: it is the red not yellow that makes orange-yellows appear dark on ortho film.

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Thank you. I did some next googling session and found that besides 216 and 70 also 244 and 31 Sq. uses Valentia there. Here I have found some suggestion on serials as for use in Iran operation http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?20325-Vickers-Valentia-31-Squadron-Iran-26-8-1941

 

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The mention of South African origin for one of the photographs means it may be one of the transferred aircraft, one web site claims 11 were transferred, the delivery logs mark 8

 

Sold to South Africa, 19 March 1940 K2801, K2802, K2804, K2805

Sold to South Africa K4631

South Africa 8 September 1940, K2796, K2800, K8851

 

and it looks like they were given SAAF serials,

https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19400802-0

 

For more photographs.

https://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php?topic=45611.0

http://johnguguhewitson.yolasite.com/film-screen-shots.php

 

If you have access to JSTOR.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/26276175?seq=1

 

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Thank you. 

That one looks nice (as having desert camo). Is it black from beneath?  I do not see any traces suggestin presence of  characters (squadron codes) the serial is visble but need work to read out

VALENTIAIRAQ.jpg

 

Meanwhile I have found the 31 Sq machine JR-8231, but it is in alu dope

http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries/var/resizes/SEAC/Mike-Medland/Victoria-III-J8231.jpg?m=1521387967

 

And that one (looks like time of Munich crises) has interesting two tone scheme

tn_Vickers-Valentia-70-300x163.jpg

 

 

Cheers

J-W

 

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Hi

 

How is the model coming on?

 

Have you seen this site - http://www.70squadron.roselake.co.uk/walkerjohngeorge.htm.

It has your first photo, together with other photos of the same plane and other Valentia photos. Also, it confirms it is 70 Squadron stationed in Iraq.

Also, photos appear on ebay from time to time. At the moment, there is a photo of a 216 Sqn Valentia in Iraq. It is a standard press photo which also appears in Dust Clouds in the Middle East, but the photo on ebay is much clearer than the one in the book. Unfortunately it is only of the centre section so no serial number is visible, but it is clearly dated to May 1941.

 

Paul

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Graham and Paul, thnak you :). I have not started the Valentia yet, I am gathering infos tho get "critical mass" to start model... :)

Indeed the first comes from that archive, but I stored this photo some time ago and  lost more info... This high demarcation line has roundel B on sides, therefore it recalls me Munich crises period.  The black bottom is expected to bombers, like in case of Wellesley or Wimpy from Africa, 1940. I have found somwhere that they were used in WW2 as night bombers in Africa...

Paul, you mean that one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203146080695 ? It is SH-Y (or X?) . Nice take and ideed said to be from 1941

 

BTW - I think that given code like X or Y, A, N... should be the same for earlier times when machine is in Aluminum and later, when is in camo. Do you think so?

regards

J-W

 

 

 

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I have found that I have some materials in a Polish book on SEAC (Militaria vol. 117) , I forgotten that at all! There is a scheme for Valentia K6402, butthis is from 31 Squadron from India.  No code letters. Desert camo with alu bottom. Photo for EE-J of 31 sq looks like overall alu. 

Regards

J-W

 

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SJ.X was K4630.  Prewar DU.L K1311

For 216 Sq, prewar VT-D K3612  wartime SH.U K2798  Photo (above) taken at Helwan Egypt in 1940.  I agree about the period of the codes but repainting was not considered vital.

For 31 Sq prewar ZA-P KR2340  (R implies a rebuild)  Wartime EE.J K4634 

244 squadron was allocated VM prewar but has no known use then or later.

 

All the above from Combat Codes.  There may be more links in The K File, but that's for another time.

 

EDIT  KR2340 was rebuilt from a Victoria.  There were some 54 others but not all seem to have been reserialled.  Or at least recorded as such.  The Victoria/Valencia has a rather involved development history for an apparently fairly standardised type.  (Not to say boring... No such thing as a boring aircraft, honest.  Not when you look at them closely.)

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If you are looking at Indian ones, in Scale Aircraft Modelling February 1994, there is a photo of K3163, 31 Sqn ,formerly 216 Sqn. It is described as being in dark earth and light sand with aluminium undersides. No code letters. The text says that other Valentias in the squadron remained aluminium overall.

 

Paul

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2 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Chris, many thanks but only few of them are available on line.  That one from Egypt looks particulary intereting with black undersides

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205208838

 

Regards

J-W

 

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1 hour ago, JWM said:

Chris, many thanks but only few of them are available on line.  That one from Egypt looks particulary intereting with black undersides

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205208838

 

Regards

J-W

 

 

Is it black or just in shadow of the bright sunlight?

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.230555806.3468816

 

 

Chris

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57 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

Is it black or just in shadow of the bright sunlight?

It is black, - the whole fuselage of visible right side of airplane is already in shadow. sun comes from behind viewer but from right side of picture . So the bottom is very dark - must be black as should be for bomber in these days. Valentia like Bombay  - initially was bomber them moved to transport functions AFAIK.

 

Regards

J-W

 

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I have just completed one as K4633 with the front gun station and marked it as SH A in grey lettering from 216 Squadron Heliopolis  April 1940. I can’t remember exactly where I got references from now,  but I went for standard desert markings with aluminium underneath, rather than black which I hadn’t picked upon and  aquite extensive bomb load I will try and post a picture on here under new builds I’d my IT skills are up to it 

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Let us not forget the 25 August 1940 memo from Air HQ Middle East unearthed by Nick Millman, which summarised the camouflage schemes in use as Midstone and Dark Brown (sic) for sides and upper surfaces of Gladiator, Gauntlet and Valentia, while bombers, Hurricane and Blenheim fighters were in TLS with black (bombers) and black/white (fighters) under surfaces in the process of being repainted Light (Middle East) Blue (sic).

 

I know it makes choices even more complicated, but hey, it's all good fun.... 

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20 hours ago, dogsbody said:

there any other reference to Valentias with black undersides?

 

 

 

Chris

Maybe that one? VALENTIAIRAQ.jpg

 

Just for comparison of how the bottom of wing can look like when black -  the Wimpy

5300-biggin-hill-1962.jpg

 

 

Searchin for further photos I have found that described as Valentia K2344 and dated for June 1940. Looks like bottom half of fuselage is yellow? I think the photo is taken in UK

https://www.agefotostock.com/age/en/Stock-Images/Rights-Managed/MEV-11355599

Regards

J-W

 

 

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12 hours ago, JWM said:

 

 

 

Searchin for further photos I have found that described as Valentia K2344 and dated for June 1940. Looks like bottom half of fuselage is yellow? I think the photo is taken in UK

https://www.agefotostock.com/age/en/Stock-Images/Rights-Managed/MEV-11355599

Regards

J-W

 

 

 

It would be according to regulations for a training aircraft, the demarcation line on the fuselage was lowered only in December 1940

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The Valentia was strengthened to allow a greater payload.   This is probably why it was given a new name rather than just being a new Mark of Victoria (to avoid the risk of overloading a Victoria).  This wouldn't show externally, but might point to a stronger undercarriage being needed.  Otherwise engines, yes.

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The undercarriage is clearly different, as the Valentia had a tailwheel instead of a skid. It's quite hard find clear pics of the underneath in great resolution but according to the BAe heritage website the main gear had an additional bracing strut in lieu of wire bracing on the Victoria

Edited by Work In Progress
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