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Flyingboats N.9025 and K.5910 in 1939

Flyingboats N.9025 and K.5910 in 1939
Author: Magne (Guest)
Time Stamp:
20:27:11 19 September 2003
Post:
Friends,

thse two flew patrols off Western Norway in early November 1939, supporting the Royal Navy in a sweep up the coast. But where did they belong? Which squadrons would they have belonged to?

best wishes

Magne


RE: Flyingboats N.9025 and K.5910 in 1939
Author: Ian Brown (Guest)
Time Stamp:
21:47:24 19 September 2003
Post:
Magne,

I'm afraid I can't answer your question directly, but I can identify the two types of aircraft with those serial numbers, which may help others pin them down for you.

N9025 was a Short Sunderland Mk I.

K5910 was a Saro London Mk I, converted to a Mk II.

Owen Thetford's 'Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918' indicates that only three UK squadrons operated the London: Nos 201, 204 and 240.

I hope this is helpful.


RE: Flyingboats N9025 and K5910 in 1939
Author: Don Clark (Guest)
Time Stamp:
21:52:36 19 September 2003
Post:
K5910 is the serial of a Saro A.27 London Mark I later converted to Mark II. Originally delivered to 204 Squadron in Jan 1937 and based at Mount Batten. Having been converted to Mark II by the Squadron, it was transferred to 240 Squadron 26 Sep 1939 as BN-L. Later used by BOAC and by 4 OTU, K5910 was at Felixstowe for dismantling from Aug 42 and struck off charge from Sep 42.

240 Squadron had reformed at Calshot in March 1937. From Jul 39 they were re-equipping with Londons (as well as unlamented Lerwicks). August 39 saw them at Invergordon (and a detachment at Falmouth). They are recorded as moving to Sullom Voe in the Shetland Is 4 Nov 1939.

N9025 is the serial of a Short S25 Sunderland Mark I, one of a batch of 18 delivered to the RAF from mid-Feb 1939. This aircraft saw service firstly with 228 Squadron, then 210 Squadron, then returning to 228 Squadron. Lost over the Mediterranean, 6 Aug 1940.

228 Squadron had re-formed in 1936 at Pembroke Dock in the south west of Wales. They too had spent time at Invergordon but were back at Pembroke Dock from 10 Sep 1939, remaining there until transfer to the Middle East in Jun 1940.


Sources
Author: Don (Guest)
Time Stamp:
21:55:42 19 September 2003
Post:
RAF Squadrons/Jefford

British Military Aircraft Serials/Robertson

The K File - RAF of the 1930s/Halley - Air Britain

RAF Aircraft L1000-N999/Halley - Air Britain



N9025...
Author: Don (Guest)
Time Stamp:
21:02:23 20 September 2003
Post:
The RAF Aircraft L1000-N9999 entries are rather brief, with no details of Sqdn dates. However, this entry is for one of a batch of 18 Sunderlands delivered between March and October 1939.

The delivery date range suggests that the aircraft was operating with 228 Sqdn at the time of the Norway sortie.

However, 210 Squadron was also very much on the scene at the period you mention. On 23 October 1939, they moved to Invergordon, returning to Pembroke Dock shortly after (6 Nov 1939), only to be posted once more to Invergordon with a detachment at Sullom Voe by 24 November.

If you can be more precise about the date of the Norway sortie, someone here may be able to check the Operations Record Book for of each of 228 and 210 Sqdns, to see what they were up to on that date.


RE: N9025...
Author: Magne (Guest)
Time Stamp:
19:02:39 21 September 2003
Post:
Friends,

I am really very impressed with the amount of detail you seem to have to hand! I am more used to working with naval information which seems to be far more sparse! Although this particular report from HMS Glasgow is not bad.

At midday on 2 November 1939 - HMS Glasgow had a "communication from Flying Boat K.5910" indicating that he had spotted a small group of ships off Bremanger in Western Norway.

Within an hour and a half later - just as HMS Glasgow was about to fly off his own aircraft, he "spotted a second flying boat N.9025".

I am really intrigued now as to what you can come up with next!

best wishes

Magne



RE: N9025...
Author: Don Clark (Guest)
Time Stamp:
09:57:51 23 September 2003
Post:
"Someone here may be able to help"...what am I saying??? Ross, this is your bag!

Magne, Ross's Coastal Command page

http://www.rafcommands.currantbun.com/Coastal/indexC.html

has a more detailed list for Sqdn movements than the usual published sources that I used. See the 210 details, eg.

As for the day in question, Ross is also working on a Coastal Command war diary. When he sees your queries, he may be able to assist with working out if N9025 was with 210 Sqdn or 228 Sqdn for the events you describe.



RE: N9025...
Author: Ross_McNeill
Time Stamp:
10:34:03 23 September 2003
Post:
Hi Don,

I'll have a look at my microfilm copies for the relevant ORBs when I get back home at the weekend.

Regards

Ross


RE: N9025...
Author: Magne (Guest)
Time Stamp:
18:57:58 25 September 2003
Post:
Friends,

All I can say is Thanks! Look foward to see what more you guys can come up with.This was quite an interesting operation where Mountbatten was involved. He did not really keep HMS Glasgow informed of what he was up to - but the RAF did. Mountbatten lost a man in a fit of pique when he messed up....

regards

Magne


RE: N9025...
Author: Ross_McNeill
Time Stamp:
07:16:17 30 September 2003
Post:
Hi Magne,

I've only just realised that you are interested in the City of Flint incident.

"In November, N9025, a Sunderland of 228 Squadron on reconnaissance off Norway, sighted the City of Flint which had been captured by the Deutschland and manned by a German prize crew. The German crew took the City of Flint into Bergen and surrendered before the Royal Navy reached them." (RAF Coastal Command Losses, Vol 1)

2/11/39

Sunderland N9025 (P/O L L Jones) found the United States Ship City of Flint in Norwegian territorial waters under the German flag. (AIR27/1412) No.228 ORB

2/11/39

Sunderland N9025

P/O LL Jones

P/O le Maistre

Normal crew

Duty: Search

Time Up: 11:40

Time Down: 18:20

Invergordon

Engaged on search for American ship City of Flint which had been captured by the Germans. Ship was located inside territorial waters off Norway.

(AIR27/1412) No.228 ORB

3/11/39

N9027 was ordered to proceed to the Norwegian coast to make the coast at 59N and thence coastwise to 61 30N. Object of search: - 1. U.S.S. "City of Flint" 2. Armed escort (Naval). It was not stated on the form whether the armed escort was Nazi or our own. The fjords were to be searched without undue violation of Norwegian neutrality. AX (sic) 0730 the aircraft proceeded on search but at 1000 hrs a signal was received to return to base. On arrival at base the aircraft refuelled to 2030 gallons and was ordered to proceed to Pembroke Dock.

(AIR27/1298) No.210 ORB

I'll have a look at the ORBs for No.201, No.209 and No.240 Sqn tonight.

Regards

Ross


RE: N9025...
Author: Magne (Guest)
Time Stamp:
18:17:28 30 September 2003
Post:
Friends,

this is really brilliant stuff! I am trying to piece together the story of this ship and what really happened along the Norwegian coast. Those two planes worked well with HMS Glasgow. Mountbatten had miscalculated. There was a very dramatic incident - at midnight - with no lights when Glasgow actually went into Norwegian waters and challenged the ship. Only a mine layer from the Norwegian navy then stopped a real shoot-out.

It belongs to the story that the Norwegian Foreign minister was 'very economical with the truth' about some of this....

I am really grateful for this - really.

all the best

Magne


City of Flint and No.240 Sqn
Author: Ross_McNeill
Time Stamp:
07:08:44 01 October 2003
Post:
Hi Magne,

This is the rest of the story from the Squadron ORBs. Morewill be in the Group ORB.

3/11/39

08:18

F/O Middleton K5912 and 3 aircraft of No.240 Sqn took off Dawn Patrol. Six neutral and one unknown vessels were sighted, also cruiser HMS Newcastle. Patrols returned at 14:40 - 14:50 hrs.

11:15

HMS Colombo and HMS Diomede anchored in Sullom Voe

15:30

HMS Newcastle and HMS Dragon anchored in Sullom Voe

(AIR27/1177) No.201 ORB

3/11/39

London II

K5912

Time up: 10:10

Time down: 16:20

Sullom Voe

F/O Middleton

P/O Lindsay

and 4 crew

Active operations, North Sea Patrol

(AIR27/1177) No.201 ORB

2/11/39

K5910

Time Up: 07:45

Time down: 15:40

Sullom Voe

F/L Thomas

P/O Porteous

and 4 crew

1 Finnish M.V. Canopus. 1 M.V., Kiel flying German flag, believed to be City of Flint. 2 British armed Merchant Vessels, names unknown, following Kiel. 2 British cruisers, Southampton Class.

(AIR27/1458) No.240 ORB

3/11/39

K5257

Time Up: 08:00

Time Down: 15:00

Sullom Voe

F/L Bailey

P/O Johnston

AVM Breese

and 3 crew

K5910

Time Up: 08:15

Time Down: 14:10

F/L Thomas

P/O Porteous

and 4 crew

These aircraft were employed on North Sea Patrol. The following ships were sighted:-

One Norwegian M.V. Petter. One Latvian M.V. Andreis Kalnins. One Greek M.V. Elisavet. One Panama M.V. Gunny. One American M.V. Scan States. One M.V. name and nationality unknown. One Italian M.V. Volta. One British Cruiser, Newcastle.

(AIR27/1458)

3rd November 1939

240 Sqn

London II

K9686

BN-K

Op: Recce

Base: Sullom Voe

T/o time: ?

F/Lt J MacL H Sinclair Mid

Sgt T E Page

AC1 J C Lewis

LAC A J Saffin

AC1 C Wilson

Cpl D D Kane

Failed to return from an operation to the Norwegian coast. AC1 Wilson rests in Stavne Cemetery, Trondheim, Norway while the rest of the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial to the Missing.

(RAF Coastal Command Losses, Volume 1 1939-41) HMS Newcastle and escorts set sail from Sullom and searched for this aircraft.

F/O J D Middleton was to survive force landing London K5912 some 80 miles from Shetland on the 14th Nov 1939 but was killed on the 9th July 1940 when Sunderland N6133 crashed 90 miles SW of Sumburgh Head.

Regards

Ross



RE: City of Flint and No.240 Sqn
Author: Magne (Guest)
Time Stamp:
19:14:35 01 October 2003
Post:
Ross,

this is really very interesting. The reference on 2/11/39 by K5910 to "2 British armed Merchant vessels" is very interesting. I have no previous reference to this.

By the third of November I think they may have been looking for the fast German liner Bremen, which they knew was about to make a run for it from Murmansk back to Germany.

The information from the 2nd is brilliant.

again, thank you very much for all this help.

best wishes

Magne