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Blenheim Mk I in the Battle of Britain Period - Any Non-Fighter Variants?


Mike N
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I recently couldn't resist purchasing the 1/48 Airfix Blenheim Mk I (original boxing) and was wondering if any frontline squadrons were still operating this version in a non-fighter role during the Battle of Britain period. I already have a Classic Airframes Mk IF on the BoB shelf, so was hoping to add a bomber variant alongside. However, all the references I can find suggest only the Mk IV variant was in use as a bomber in the UK by this time. Can anyone show that this was not the case?

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

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MkI bombers were very much in use in the Med and North Africa, but I’m not at all certain they were in use with UK-based squadrons. Some may well have been around for training or other purposes.

 

I hope someone that knows will be able to answer categorically.

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Some UK based Blenheim Mk I aircraft in Battle of Britain period. 236 is Coastal Command and is front-line. Most Mk i aircraft in UK were in OTU by that stage.

L1278 236 Sqn DBR in landing accident 1.7.40

L6652 5 OTU Hit wall DBR 22.7.40

L1119 236 Sqn Force landed 27.7.40 but repaired

L6733 5 OTU  Crashed DBR 25.8.40 

 

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Hi

     Only thing that crossed my mind

as in frontline and bomber in BOB era

     may be 771 sqn FAA

 

there was there a Mk1 PR a/c 

 

 

 

        cheers

           jerry 

    

Edited by brewerjerry
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Would suggest to get on this matter a little bit different. Take a broader timeframe and reduce it afterward. Therefore, you get a better insight.

In the first days of war daylight raids were undertaken at low level over the sea and then to Germany.

At the 1000 bomber raid there were also Blenheim’s on the list.

In between this two timelines there are quite some sorties flown. As far as I remember from my Airlife books read some years ago.

All raids, as I recollect, were brisk. You had to fly low level, without autopilot of course, and this needed a lot of concentration. Many pilots did not return due to lack of skills or engine failure. Just some losses by the enemy.

If you ever had the chance to sit in a cockpit of such an early bomber or fighter, it is fearsome. The sheet metal is just 1mm and does protect you only from the wind. It is narrow, cramped and the big windows all over are reflecting the sun above and the glossy sea at the return flight, when you are tired, frozen and tired from AA fire. Maybe your aircraft is ill stricken already and you start to pray endless.

Keep all this in mind, and you will find a good approach to your model.

About the Wellington, there is a wonderful book from Airlife also!

Happy modelling

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2 hours ago, dov said:

At the 1000 bomber raid there were also Blenheim’s on the list.

If you mean Operation Millenium against Köln, not according to this list

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Cologne_in_World_War_II#First_1,000_bomber_raid

And if there had been, they would not have been Mk I aircraft.

 

When did the night fighter Mk1 variants start to be used? I presume it was after the official end of the BoB?

Pretty much at the height of the battle. More information than you need here...........

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/64591-blenheim-if-night-fighters-2018-model-bq-w/

 

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13 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

Some UK based Blenheim Mk I aircraft in Battle of Britain period. 236 is Coastal Command and is front-line. Most Mk i aircraft in UK were in OTU by that stage.

L1278 236 Sqn DBR in landing accident 1.7.40

L1119 236 Sqn Force landed 27.7.40 but repaired

 

Ah, good suggestion, Ed!  The ORB (apparently) makes no mention of L1278's prang, but I can tell you that L1119 was individual letter 'C', and was flying operational sorties on 1 July (while the squadron was "attached" to Fighter Command- I imagine flying night patrols; they returned to Coastal Command on the 4th), and throughout the month... well, at least to the 27th (which was an op).  On 14 July the Summary says, "Coastal Command told the CO that the Squadron would be expanded to three flights and would be re-equipped with Blenheim IVs..."  [8 Mk.IVs arrive on 19th, another 8 on 28th]

 

Oh, whoops- the only problem is that I think these are IFs- the ORB has some comments about pursuing enemy aircraft and firing long bursts.

 

As for Bomber squadrons, while I can't say for certain, I think any Mk.Is still on hand with operational squadrons [in the UK] would be "trainers" (some were equipped with dual control) or kept for non-operational use.

 

bob

Edited by gingerbob
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My Dad lives at RAAFA Merriwa in the retirement village on Sir Hughie Edwards Drive in Western Australia. 

Hughie won a Victoria Cross during the BoB by leading a raid on Bremen in bomber variant Blenheims 

https://www.awm.gov.au/visit/exhibitions/fiftyaustralians/17

Perhaps that may be a worthwhile subject? 

G

 

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Thanks for all the replies, folks. Sounds like my best hope is finding info on 236 Sqn, although Google unfortunately hasn't brought up anything pointing towards non-fighter versions.

 

I virtually attended a seminar hosted by the RAF Museum at Hendon yesterday on the role of Bomber and Coastal Command in the Battle of Britain. Although interesting, it did not delve into much detail of the types used.

 

Maybe mine will have to be another fighter version after all...

 

Mike 

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