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Wellies in the CBI?


bettymoo
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Hi Gents,

I'm looking for any Information regarding squadrons, numbers, etc of wellingtons that operated in the CBI. It was only recently that I stumbled across a picture of a burnt out wellington based somewhere in North east india. I was unaware that any even came to this part of the world. 

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Off the top of me head…. No’s 99, 215 & 358 Squadrons operated Wellington Mk.X’s in the CBI theatre. 

As Steve says, the Revell reissue of the classic Matchbox kit has decals for a 99 Squadron machine. 

Cheers.. Dave 

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My well thumbed copy of Bowyer’s ‘Bombing Colours’ mentions this - 

 

No. 99 - HZ720 / X - in use 2.44

No. 215 - HE957 / V

No. 358 - HF134 / TA-C - Wellingtons coded 

 

HTH.. Dave 

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In February 1943 India reported Wellingtons on strength to be 47 Ic, 14 Ic torpedo, 11 VIII torpedo
In June 1944, India (SEAAC) reports on strength 30 Ic, 17 Ic torpedo, 12 III, 8 VIII torpedo, 77 X, 4 XI, 25 XIII, 3 XV, 1 XVI.


Looking at some OOB for allied airpower in India from 1942 to 1944, numbers 8, 99, 203, 215, 244, 621 squadrons with Wellingtons, with 8, 203 and 621 being General Reconnaissance.  There may be others.

 

Apart from transfers from the Middle East or aircraft that moved with their units Britain reports exporting 245 Wellingtons to India/SEAAC May 1943 to July 1944 and 59 to East Africa August to December 1943.

Edited by Geoffrey Sinclair
As noted by Ewen, corrected 224 to 244 squadron.
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4 hours ago, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

In February 1943 India reported Wellingtons on strength to be 47 Ic, 14 Ic torpedo, 11 VIII torpedo
In June 1944, India (SEAAC) reports on strength 30 Ic, 17 Ic torpedo, 12 III, 8 VIII torpedo, 77 X, 4 XI, 25 XIII, 3 XV, 1 XVI.


Looking at some OOB for allied airpower in India from 1942 to 1944, numbers 8, 99, 203, 215, 224, 621 squadrons with Wellingtons, with 8, 203 and 621 being General Reconnaissance.  There may be others.

 

Apart from transfers from the Middle East or aircraft that moved with their units Britain reports exporting 245 Wellingtons to India/SEAAC May 1943 to July 1944 and 59 to East Africa August to December 1943.

Where are you pulling this data from 😮? I don't suppose you could help me out with some serial numbers  and other identifying features , I want to do any wellie biii that served in India. 

8 hours ago, Finn said:

Any idea what's nestled in the starboard section of the bomb bay? 

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My sources indicate that the following squadrons operated Wellingtons in the Indian Ocean Area in WW2.

 

Bomber squadrons

99 left UK for India Feb 1942 and reassembled there in June. Operated Wellington Ic,III,X,XI until Sept 1944 then converted to Liberators

215 left UK for India Feb/Mar 1942 and reassembled in India in April. Fulfilled various roles until Mar 1943 incl supply dropping, coastal patrols and airborne forces training then switched to bombing. Operated Wellington Ic & X until Aug 1944 when it converted to Liberators.

 

 

 

General Recconaissance

36 Reformed in India Oct 1942 until moved to Algeria in June 1943 due to lack of submarine activity in the Indian Ocean at that time. Wellington Ic & VIII.

203 moved from Med Nov 1943 and settled at Santa Cruz, Karachi. Wellington XIII until conversion to Liberators in Oct 1944.

 

Also:-

8 Khormaksar, Aden from pre-war. Wellington XIII from Dec 1943 until disbanded on 1 May 1945. Note on 15 May 1945 200 squadron with Liberators operating in India was renumbered as 8 squadron.

621 formed at Port Reitz, Kenya on 12 Sept 1943 and operated from a number of bases in East Africa before settling at Khormaksar in Dec 1943 until Nov 1945. Wellington XIII & XIV.

244 Acquired Wellington XIII while at Sharjah (in what is now Dubai) in Feb 1944 before moving to Masirah (an island in the Arabian Sea off Oman) in March. Remained there until disbanded on 1 May 1945.

 

These last 3 squadrons were under the command of HQ British Forces Aden.

 

Re the comments above:-

@Rabbit Leader The information I have from Halley "Squadrons of the RAF and Commonwealth 1918-1988" and elsewhere is that 358 never operated Wellingtons. It formed at Kolar, India on 8 Nov 1944 out of 1673 Heavy Conversion Unit and only operated Liberators. The code TA was only applied to aircraft of 4(C)OTU and a US Army artillery unit both in Britain.

 

@Geoffrey Sinclair I think you mean 244 squadron and not 224 squadron which never left Britain in WW2.

 

The only Wellington III I have a serial for is 99 squadron HD977 but no letter I'm afraid. Operated this model between Oct 1942 and Nov 1943.

Edited by EwenS
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The export data came from British archives files AIR 19/524, the strength data from AIR 20/1871.  The problem with the documents I have is they do not show transfers between theatres, just the direct exports.

 

Chester built 737 mark III between October 1941 and December 1942, Blackpool built 780 June 1941 to February 1943,  while direct exports of Wellingtons to India started in February 1943.

 

The squadron record books can be viewed on the British archives web site, admittedly through watermarks, they would be the best bet for serials and/or squadron letters.  According to Ewen and Jefford of the 7 squadrons listed by Ewen 8, 36, 99, 203, 215, 244 and 621 only 99 had Wellington III, and that was from April 1943 to August 1944, alongside Wellington X according to Jefford.

 

A quick look through the serial registers says HZ145, 180, 194 and 195 were exported direct to India in April/May 1943, plenty more were sent to the Middle East.

 

16 hours ago, EwenS said:

The only Wellington III I have a serial for is 99 squadron HD977 but no letter I'm afraid. Operated this model between Oct 1942 and Nov 1943.

I make HD977 a mark Ic, Taken on Charge 16 July 1942, Middle East 18 September 1942, Category E 8 January 1943, mark III serials have a gap between DF743 and HF609.

 

Edited by Geoffrey Sinclair
Name typo
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Philip Moyes' Bomber Squadrons of the RAF gives the following as examples of Wellingtons operated in SEAC:

 

99

 

Ic: DV678, DV875, HD950, HF900

III: DF678, HF737, HZ180

X: HE763 T, HE946 L, HF577 R, HZ138 J, HZ193 O, HZ553 G, HZ720 G, HZ946 F, HZ948 O, JA467 U, LN263 O, LN465 F, LN486 L, LN492 O, LN666 G.  Wellington X "Z" is illustrated (single letter code forward of roundel) and captioned as HZ950.

 

215

 

Makes no distinction between Wellingtons serving pre and post the move to India, therefore I have disregarded Ic s and listed only Mk.Xs.

 

HE302 R, HE642 G, HE791 T, HE797 B, HE957 V, HF576 Q, HZ423 O, LN268 H, LN276 F.  No illustration of SEAC example.

 

Similar data from JDR Rawlings' Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons:

 

36

 

Multiple serial/code correlations for Wellingtons given but none that can be correlated to the short period spent in India.

 

203

 

XIII: HZ589, HZ972, JA106, JA411 D, JA444 B, JA516 O, MF210 P, MF256 C, MF338 G, MF489 O, MP740 H.  No illustrations.

 

I haven't looked at the Aden- and Gulf-based squadrons.

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The following is read from hand written documents that were microfilmed then scanned.  Any other India Wellingtons noticed on the page while looking up the list of serials are included Med = Mediterranean, ACSEA = Air Command South East Asia.  Some of the early dates indicate not all direct exports to India were recorded as such.  Also aircraft that moved overseas as parts of units were not officially exported (which is the main reason the serials were checked)
Squadron, Mark, Serial, RAF Serial Register information.
99, Ic, DV678, No record of export, Cat E 26 Jun 43, DV620, 660, 670 India mid June 1942
99, Ic, DV875, India 11 October 1942
99, Ic, HD950, Middle East 18 September 1942, HD961 India 14 February 1943, HD973, 975 India 26 and 25 October 1942.
99, Ic, HF900, Middle East 29? Oct 42
99, III, DF678, India 27 March 1943
99, III, HF737, Middle East 14 Mar 43, Also HF797, HF851
99, III, HZ180, India 30 Apr 43
99, X, HE763 T, Med? Air Cmd 5 May 43
99, X, HE946 L, India 26 Jul 43, Also 947, 948
99, X, HF577 R, India 16 Aug 43, Also HF649
99, X, HZ138 J, Middle East, 1 Apr 43, India HZ126, 132, 141, 145, 194, 195
99, X, HZ193 O, Middle East 31 March 1943, Also HZ242, 266?, 302
99, X, HZ553 G, India 10 Aug 43, Also HZ540, 543
99, X, HZ720 G, Med Air Cmd 12 Jul 43, India HXZ14
99, X, HZ946 F, India 7 Sep 43, Also HZ944, 945, 947, 949
99, X, HZ948 O, Med Air Cmd 25 Nov 43
99, X, JA467 U, ACSEA 27 Jan 44
99, X, LN263 O, India 13 Aug 43, Also LN264, 275, 277, 279
99, X, LN465 F, India 28 Oct 43, Also LN463, 464, 468?, 483,491
99, X, LN486 L, India 24 Oct 43
99, X, LN492 O, India 30 Nov 43, Also LN503
99, X, LN666 G, India 20 Jan? 44, Also LN664
203, XIII, HZ589, Med Air Cmd 22 Aug 43
203, XIII, HZ972, 7? Y?.F.C. Med Air Cmd, 14 Nov? 43?
203, XIII, JA106, 7? Y?.F.C. Med Air Cmd, 29 Sep 43?, India JA266, ACSEA JA380
203, XIII, JA411 D, ACSEA 23 Mar 44
203, XIII, JA444 B, ACSEA 6 Feb 44
203, XIII, JA516 O, India 16 Jan 44, Also JA515, 519,
203, XIII, MF210 P, ACSEA 7 Apr 44
203, XIII, MF256 C, ACSEA 14 Apr 44, Also MF290
203, XIII, MF338 G, ACSEA 28 Apr 44, Also MF336, 342
203, XIII, MF489 O, Invalid Serial, ACSEA MF405, 406, 463, 480, 496, 574,
203, XIII, MP740 H., No record of export, PSOC 31 May 1947
215, X, HE302 R, No record of export, Cat E 22 Sep 43
215, X, HE642 G, Med? Air Cmd 5 May 43, Also to India HE641, 650, 651, 661, 663, 665 to 7
215, X, HE791 T, India 28 May 43, Also to India HE706, 709, 714, 790
215, X, HE797 B, India 5 Jun 43
215, X, HE957 V, India, no date, also 958?, 959, 960
215, X, HF576 Q, India 13 Aug 43, Also HF520 to 522, 532, 538, 578, 581
215, X, HZ423 O, India 4 Aug 43, Also HZ400, 401, 422
215, X, LN268H, India 13 Aug 43
215, X, LN276 F, India 13 Aug 43, Also LN320, 321, 328, 330, 331, 369, 381, 382

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On 11/17/2021 at 10:25 AM, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

The following is read from hand written documents that were microfilmed then scanned.  Any other India Wellingtons noticed on the page while looking up the list of serials are included Med = Mediterranean, ACSEA = Air Command South East Asia.  Some of the early dates indicate not all direct exports to India were recorded as such.  Also aircraft that moved overseas as parts of units were not officially exported (which is the main reason the serials were checked)
Squadron, Mark, Serial, RAF Serial Register information.
99, Ic, DV678, No record of export, Cat E 26 Jun 43, DV620, 660, 670 India mid June 1942
99, Ic, DV875, India 11 October 1942
99, Ic, HD950, Middle East 18 September 1942, HD961 India 14 February 1943, HD973, 975 India 26 and 25 October 1942.
99, Ic, HF900, Middle East 29? Oct 42
99, III, DF678, India 27 March 1943
99, III, HF737, Middle East 14 Mar 43, Also HF797, HF851
99, III, HZ180, India 30 Apr 43
99, X, HE763 T, Med? Air Cmd 5 May 43
99, X, HE946 L, India 26 Jul 43, Also 947, 948
99, X, HF577 R, India 16 Aug 43, Also HF649
99, X, HZ138 J, Middle East, 1 Apr 43, India HZ126, 132, 141, 145, 194, 195
99, X, HZ193 O, Middle East 31 March 1943, Also HZ242, 266?, 302
99, X, HZ553 G, India 10 Aug 43, Also HZ540, 543
99, X, HZ720 G, Med Air Cmd 12 Jul 43, India HXZ14
99, X, HZ946 F, India 7 Sep 43, Also HZ944, 945, 947, 949
99, X, HZ948 O, Med Air Cmd 25 Nov 43
99, X, JA467 U, ACSEA 27 Jan 44
99, X, LN263 O, India 13 Aug 43, Also LN264, 275, 277, 279
99, X, LN465 F, India 28 Oct 43, Also LN463, 464, 468?, 483,491
99, X, LN486 L, India 24 Oct 43
99, X, LN492 O, India 30 Nov 43, Also LN503
99, X, LN666 G, India 20 Jan? 44, Also LN664
203, XIII, HZ589, Med Air Cmd 22 Aug 43
203, XIII, HZ972, 7? Y?.F.C. Med Air Cmd, 14 Nov? 43?
203, XIII, JA106, 7? Y?.F.C. Med Air Cmd, 29 Sep 43?, India JA266, ACSEA JA380
203, XIII, JA411 D, ACSEA 23 Mar 44
203, XIII, JA444 B, ACSEA 6 Feb 44
203, XIII, JA516 O, India 16 Jan 44, Also JA515, 519,
203, XIII, MF210 P, ACSEA 7 Apr 44
203, XIII, MF256 C, ACSEA 14 Apr 44, Also MF290
203, XIII, MF338 G, ACSEA 28 Apr 44, Also MF336, 342
203, XIII, MF489 O, Invalid Serial, ACSEA MF405, 406, 463, 480, 496, 574,
203, XIII, MP740 H., No record of export, PSOC 31 May 1947
215, X, HE302 R, No record of export, Cat E 22 Sep 43
215, X, HE642 G, Med? Air Cmd 5 May 43, Also to India HE641, 650, 651, 661, 663, 665 to 7
215, X, HE791 T, India 28 May 43, Also to India HE706, 709, 714, 790
215, X, HE797 B, India 5 Jun 43
215, X, HE957 V, India, no date, also 958?, 959, 960
215, X, HF576 Q, India 13 Aug 43, Also HF520 to 522, 532, 538, 578, 581
215, X, HZ423 O, India 4 Aug 43, Also HZ400, 401, 422
215, X, LN268H, India 13 Aug 43
215, X, LN276 F, India 13 Aug 43, Also LN320, 321, 328, 330, 331, 369, 381, 382

Oh my, that's a lot of data, thank you. Are there major external differences between the iii and x? I believe they had different variants of the same herc engine. 

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On 11/16/2021 at 8:12 PM, Seahawk said:

Philip Moyes' Bomber Squadrons of the RAF gives the following as examples of Wellingtons operated in SEAC:

 

99

 

Ic: DV678, DV875, HD950, HF900

III: DF678, HF737, HZ180

X: HE763 T, HE946 L, HF577 R, HZ138 J, HZ193 O, HZ553 G, HZ720 G, HZ946 F, HZ948 O, JA467 U, LN263 O, LN465 F, LN486 L, LN492 O, LN666 G.  Wellington X "Z" is illustrated (single letter code forward of roundel) and captioned as HZ950.

 

215

 

Makes no distinction between Wellingtons serving pre and post the move to India, therefore I have disregarded Ic s and listed only Mk.Xs.

 

HE302 R, HE642 G, HE791 T, HE797 B, HE957 V, HF576 Q, HZ423 O, LN268 H, LN276 F.  No illustration of SEAC example.

 

Similar data from JDR Rawlings' Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons:

 

36

 

Multiple serial/code correlations for Wellingtons given but none that can be correlated to the short period spent in India.

 

203

 

XIII: HZ589, HZ972, JA106, JA411 D, JA444 B, JA516 O, MF210 P, MF256 C, MF338 G, MF489 O, MP740 H.  No illustrations.

 

I haven't looked at the Aden- and Gulf-based squadrons.

Did the book happen to have any photographic references? I'd kill for a good picture showing all identifying markings 

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1 hour ago, bettymoo said:

Oh my, that's a lot of data, thank you. Are there major external differences between the iii and x? I believe they had different variants of the same herc engine. 

The Mk.X was basically a Mk.III with improved metallurgy.  I don't know of any major external differences, but I'm not a Wellington specialist.

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3 hours ago, bettymoo said:

Did the book happen to have any photographic references? I'd kill for a good picture showing all identifying markings 

Only the afore-mentioned photo of a 99 Sq Wellington, captioned as Mk.X HZ950 (and I think I can just read it as that), in normal night bomber colours with SEAC markings and code Z ahead of the roundel on the port side.  Spinners on props, nose turret present and armed.

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5 hours ago, Seahawk said:

Only the afore-mentioned photo of a 99 Sq Wellington, captioned as Mk.X HZ950 (and I think I can just read it as that), in normal night bomber colours with SEAC markings and code Z ahead of the roundel on the port side.  Spinners on props, nose turret present and armed.

Just to add that the rear turret only seems to have one pair of guns.  The uppersurface camouflage comes down to the top of the triangular window, the Z code is slightly in front of the window, just touching the upper camouflage at the top and appearing almost the full depth of the fuselage.  The fuselage roundel is quite large and somewhat "tucked into" the side of the window but not touching,  The serial appears to be Red.

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