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Have the colors and codes ever been determined for only Blackburn Roc to get a confirmed shoot down?


bjohns5

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The one and only confirmed aerial victory reported for the Blackburn Roc occurred on 28 May 1940 when a Roc from 806 Naval Air Squadron piloted by Midshipman A. G. Day, along with two Skuas, intercepted five Junkers Ju 88s attacking a convoy off Ostend in Belgium. The Roc flew underneath the Ju 88s and as the Skuas attacked from above, Day's gunner fired his Brownings into one Ju 88’s belly. It was reported missing later and confirmed as a kill.

 

Has anyone ever determined the paint scheme and markings Day's aircraft carried on that mission?

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I've a copy of the Operational  Records Book for 806 Squadron while at Detling.  The combat with five Ju88s on 29 May was with Skuas/Roc  806:C, Q, M.  The Roc is not identified, but the usual practice in mixed Skua/Roc squadrons was for the Roc flight to be coded as the 4th flight (P, Q, R), so I'm pretty confident that  Day/Newton would have been in Q. The separate Admiralty Report on the action, lists them as being part of Yellow section, which is not inconsistent with Q being the Roc. What I have been unable to find is Day/Newton's Combat Report for 29 May.  I have the Combat Reports for 806  Skua operations attacking Bergen in the middle of May and these give all the serials for Blue and Red section Skuas, so if the Combat Report for 29 May can be located, it will almost certainly record the serial. Rocs weren't used in the Bergen attacks because of their more limited range.

 

I have photographs of 806:6F and 806:6C while at Detling. 806:6Q would almost certainly have been marked in the same way.  The camouflage was S1E with high straight demarcation. Codes were 6x arranged vertically over a narrow 3/4 height fin flash. The fin flash consisted of narrow blue and red sections with a wider white section (about 1.5x the blue or red sections). There was a small Sky-Grey gap between the rudder post and the fin flash and a small triangle of Sky-Grey rudder visible in front of the red section and above the top of  the flash.  The codes look to have been narrowly outlined in white. This code arrangement is different from the common photos of 806 Roc coded L6R vertically on the fin with no flash, and from the codes applied to 806 when they joined Illustrious (single letters on the fuselage).  I think the arrangement I describe is unique to the period at Detling, after fin flash and yellow concentric to the fuselage roundel was mandated. 

 

HTH

 

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Thank you very much. That's more than I expected to learn. Is there a record anywhere of the serials of the Rocs that were issued to 806 NAS? Even if I don't know the specific serial of Day's a/c I'll be happy as long I use a serial it could have been.

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2 hours ago, bjohns5 said:

Thank you very much. That's more than I expected to learn. Is there a record anywhere of the serials of the Rocs that were issued to 806 NAS? Even if I don't know the specific serial of Day's a/c I'll be happy as long I use a serial it could have been.

possible 806 Rocs May 1940:

 

L3065 4/40

L3075:L6R 

L3103 2/40 (under repair 5/40)

L3105:L6R

L3106 4/40

L3118 4-5/40 (coded O later with 759 Sq)

L3154 3/40 (coded W at some point)

L3156 3-5/40 (though recorded with 806 before 29/5).

 

I may have missed others. Several of these only have recorded service history with 806 before 5/40, though that doesn't mean they definitely were not with 806 in late May. Two were coded R, so probably not those. If I was guessing from  this list, I'd go with L3118.  

 

 

 

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