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Vickers Wellesley L 2682

Vickers Wellesley L 2682
Author: Pierre BABIN (Guest)
Time Stamp:
12:32:46 Sunday, August 1, 2004
Post:
Hello,

Could somebody tell me which was the unit of the Wellesley L 2682 in 1939 and its model (MK I or MK II) ?

It did a forced landing on 26th of December 1939 in West of France, crew unharmed. Which was the identity of the crewmen (name, rank ...) ?

Thanks in advance

Pierre BABIN



RE: Vickers Wellesley L 2682
Author: Don Clark (Guest)
Time Stamp:
20:07:16 Sunday, August 1, 2004
Post:
Wellesley I, of the 2nd production batch and built by Vickers, Weybridge delivered between Feb and May 1938.

Air Britain's Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999 records sparse details as follows

L2682 Mkrs/RAE/77/148/ME SOC 21.8.40

that is:

Makers, Royal Aircraft Establishment, 77 Sqdn, 148 Sqdn, Middle East

77 Sqdn at Driffield converted from the Wellesley to the Whitley in Nov 38, according to Jefford, while 148 Sqdn at Stradishall converted from the Wellesley to the Heyford also in Nov 38.

Its possible that the aircraft was being ferried to the Middle East at the time of the forced landing, which is not recorded in "L1000-N9999".


Thanks to Don Clark
Author: Pierre BABIN (Guest)
Time Stamp:
22:21:16 Sunday, August 1, 2004
Post:
Thank you very much for your quick response to my question.

Could I contact you "off board" concerning this Wellesley ?

My e-mail: domi.pierre.babin.A T.wanadoo.fr

Merci

Pierre BABIN


Vickers Wellesley I L2682
Author: Don Clark (Guest)
Time Stamp:
08:46:28 Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Post:
You're welcome.

The entry in Air Britain "Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000-N9999" is all the direct information I have about L2682, I'm afraid.

The accident happened in Dec 39, while the Home Sqdns which had had the aircraft on charge had (according to Jefford "RAF Squadrons") by then converted to other aircraft.

With that, the Middle East notation, and the date the aircraft was finally struck off charge (Aug 1940), it seems possible that L2682 was repaired after the forced landing, to be ferried to the Middle East for service with one of the four Wellesley Squadrons stationed there-about 14, 45, 47 and 223 Sqdns.

Someone with access to the aircraft accident cards may be able to help further.


RE: To Don Clark
Author: Pierre BABIN (Guest)
Time Stamp:
09:32:16 Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Post:
Hello,

Thank you very much for your new answer. But I'm not a specialist of the RAF. Just 2 precisions about your answer ... if you want :

- What were the RAF "Home Sqdns" during WW II ? Sqdns based in UK, in contrast (for instance) whith Sqdns based overseas territories ? Or other ?

- The standard crew of a Wellesley was (I think) a pilot and an observer-radio ... but were there some types of Wellesley whose crew comprised 3 crewmen ? I found this precision in a French documentation concerning the Wellesleys, but never in a British documentation ...

My best regards

Merci beaucoup

Pierre BABIN



Further info
Author: Don Clark (Guest)
Time Stamp:
21:42:12 Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Post:
RAF "Home Sqdns" during WWII = Sqdns based in UK.

In 1938, RAF squadrons still operated multi-crew aircraft on the basis that the pilot was the only "permanent" aircrew: any other aircrew required were part-timers from the Other Ranks with appropriate qualifications (the air-gunner with his winged bullet for example), but nominated afresh for each sortie.

However, as more and more multi-seat aircraft were taken on charge, the "part-time" aircrew notion became untenable. Observers (navigation and bomb-aiming) and Wireless operator-Air Gunners came to be proper "trades", and the formation of regular crews came to be the norm. We'll leave "precise" dates out of the discussion.

The Wellesley was described from the outset as a two-seater (pilot and air gunner), reflected in the usual sources like British Bomber Since 1914/Lewis, Aircraft of the RAF Since 1918/Thetford, British Warplanes of WWII/March. The aircraft design, however, included a navigation cabin in the fuselage between the pilot's and the gunner's cockpits.

Air Britain's K File, however, records the Wellesley as having a crew of three. Losses are also recorded in rather more detail than was possble in the L-N book. It is quuite clear that in 1938, for example, 148 Squadron in the UK were operating their aircraft with 3 crew.

A more telling example: K7740, of 36 Maintennace Unit in Jan 1940, was lost in bad weather off the Vendee (Pointe de l'Aiguillon) 4 Apr 1940 on a delivery flight to the Middle East: the crew of three all lost.

For the Wellesley Squadrons in the Middle East, indications are that the aircraft were operated with 3 crew (Pilot, Observer, Air Gunner) at least after the outbreak of war. Dust Clouds in the Middle East/Shores and other sources refer to 1940 & 1941 Wellesley losses as eg "all the crew", or "the pilot and his crew were all lost". This very strongly suggests three crew, though whether the ME Wellesley Squadrons were established from the outset to operate with 3 aircrew per aircraft is difficult to say without looking at detailed Squadron histories or the Operations Record Books/Form 514 Daily Summary.

Someone here may have access to more information about the Wellesley Squadrons at home and abroad, however, it seems very likely that L2682 was being ferried to the ME with a crew of three.


Finger trouble
Author: Don (Guest)
Time Stamp:
03:32:30 Friday, October 1, 2004
Post:
ORB Form 541 of course, not Form 514.

and an amplification - "The K File" records of losses on operations in the Middle East and East Africa also indicate "3 killed" in a number of instances.

Conclusion: in Sqdn use, the Wellesley apparently operated with a crew of 3 at home and overseas.

It might be worth looking out for a copy of

VICKERS WELLESLEY VARIANTS NUMBER 256/N BARFIELD NORMAN

(PROFILE PUBLICATIONS, 1973).


To Don Clark (again)
Author: Pierre BABIN (Guest)
Time Stamp:
14:42:09 Friday, October 1, 2004
Post:
Hello Don,

Thank you very, very much for your new and fascinating information concerning the Wellesley Squadrons ... an information which "stimulated my appetite" (as we said in french) ! So, I take the liberty to question you again :

- where can I find a copy of "VICKERS WELLESLEY VARIANTS NUMBER 256/N BARFIELD NORMAN" ?

- the 77 and 148 Home Squadrons were converted from the Wellesley to the Whitley (or the Heyford) in Nov. 1938 ; so, is it correct to deduce of it, the "old" Wellesleys of these Squadrons (included, of course, the L 2682) were transferred to the Middle East Squadrons (14, 45, 47 and 223) from November 1939 ?

- in fact, I have a doubt concerning the code of the Wellesley I'm investigating : I think it was L 2682, but it could be K 8504 or K 8505 - the accident record card of "my" Wellesley forced landing, notes 3 possible registrations - So, if "K" is, too, a Wellesley serie, could you give me the same specifical information for the "posting" of these 2 other Wellesley ?

- I have a picture which shows 2 of the crewmen of the Wellesley crashed in my area on 26th of Dec.1939 ... what could be the best way to identify these 2 airmen ? I did several approaches some years ago (Air Historical Branch (RAF), Fly Past, etc ...) but unsuccessfully.

Thank you very much and ... sorry for these new questions !

All the best

Pierre Babin



Additional information
Author: Don Clark (Guest)
Time Stamp:
19:48:36 Friday, October 1, 2004
Post:
Hello Pierre.

1. Bookfinder

http://www.bookfinder.com/

or seek an Inter Library Loan (possibly for Air Britain publications also). Or see

Air Britain

http://www.air-britain.com/

2. Not neccessarily. Aircraft might be damaged beyond repair, be otherwise struck off charge (ie time expired), reduced to ground instructional airframe status and reserialled nnnnM, or retained elsewhere non-operationally.

4. K serials: also look here

http://www.rafcommands.com/kfile.html

5. Serials

Problems mulitply without a firm serial no. There were 97 Wellesleys in the K series:

K7556

K7713-K7791

K8520-K8536

and a further 80 in the L series

L2637-L2716

There was no Wellesley serialled K8504 or K8505

6. Airmen:

If their a/c and Sqdn can be firmly indentified, then contact the Sqdn Assn using BCAUR here

British and Commonwealth Air Unit Register

http://www.associations.rafinfo.org.uk/

The problem is that a ferry flight a/c and its crew might be going from a "pool" unit at home to a "pool" unit abroad: brief postings.

Strictly my field is a single Sqdn and its history in the ME and FE. Most of my reference material is concentrated on that. While I've been happy to help you on what was originall a small topic, I'll leave this one now, for others to assist with.

Good luck with it.


Thanks to you Don
Author: Pierre BABIN (Guest)
Time Stamp:
08:55:48 Monday, November 1, 2004
Post:
Hello Don,

Just to say to you I highly appreciated your information and your aviability. You were really helpful for me. You are a gentleman.

Merci beaucoup,

Pierre Babin


RE: Thanks to you Don
Author: Don Clark (Guest)
Time Stamp:
07:37:48 Wednesday, December 1, 2004
Post:
Pierre,

Glad the info was of interest - thanks for your kind words

ps just to be clear (though I'm sure you noticed) the reason for my focus on 77 and 148 Sqdns was that these were the only 2 recorded Sqdns that had had L2682 on charge at some point, though the L -N volume doesn't give dates.

All the best


RE: Vickers Wellesley L 2682
Author: Chris Charland (Guest)
Time Stamp:
18:19:02 Friday, October 1, 2004
Post:
Bonjour Pierre

I’m very sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I had major computer problems in November and lost all my files including e-mail correspondence. Could you please send me an e-mail so I can add your address to my database.

I came across a notation with regards to a Wellesley you may be interested in.

On the 29th of September, 1939, Vickers Wellesley s/n K7732 of No. 148 (B) Squadron, crashed at Kedington, near Stradishall as a result of the wing breaking at 100 - 200 feet following a dive through a rain cloud. The crew of three were killed. * That indicates to me at least, that the standard bomber crew was three at that time.

The Vickers Wellesley serial number range was: K7713 to K7791; K8520 to K8536; L2637 to L2716

Note: K8531 was sold to Egypt in February 1940.

R.A.F. Wellesleys took part in the Italian East African campaign as well as attacks against Italian targets in Italian Somalialand and Eritrea. They also carried out bombing raids in the North African desert.

Here is a list of squadrons that used the Vickers Wellesley

No. 7 (B) Squadron - ‘B’ Flight only - April 1937 to April 1938

No. 14 (B) Squadron - March 1938 to December 1940

No. 35 ‘Madras Presidency’ (B) Squadron - July 1937 to May 1938

No. 45 (B) Squadron - 25th of November, 1937 to June 1939

No. 47 (B) Squadron - June 1939 to March 1943 * Detachment at Kapoeta, Sudan

No.76 (B) Squadron - April 1937 to April 1939

No. 77 (B) Squadron - November 1937 to November 1938

No. 117 (T) Squadron - April 1941 to November 1941 *used as a communications aircraft

No. 148 (B) Squadron - June 1937 to November 1938

No. 207 (B) Squadron September 1937 to April 1938

No. 223 (B) Squadron - June 1938 to April 1941

No. 267 (T) Squadron - August 1941 to March 1942 * used as a communications aircraft

Cheers%85Chris