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Spitfire PR.IV AB131 [Royal Air Force Aircraft Serial and Image Database]

 Spitfire PR.IV AB131

PRIV 2326 HEA M45 FF.....[TRUNCATED] More information in: Spitfire Site

Prisoners of War for Spitfire PR.IV AB131

RankName, Number, Trade & DetailsDate CapturedUnitPOW NoCamp
C E Heggtveit (J/15379) Spitfire PR.IV AB131 1942-09-01521 SqdnStalag Luft L3 Sagan and Belaria

Related Posts in RAF Commands Forum

ThreadPost TextAuthor
RCAF POW DetailsDear All, As part of a totally different investigation I have been quietly working my way through the PoW files on the old forum. One entry caught my eye. J/15379 (rank unknown) C E Hegglveit, RCAF, is recorded as being PoW No 651 in L3 Sagan. He is recorded as being lost on 1 Sep 42 in AB131 of 521 Sqn. He is the only 521 Sqn PoW that I could see. So if he was taken PoW then the other crew members might well have been KIA (including the Met Observer). We don't have a Met death anywhere near this date. AB131 was a Spitfire PR 4 lost by 222 Sqn on 12 Apr 42 at St Trond. 521 Sqn did not form until 1 Aug 42. Can anyone explain or confirm the above? Rgds Peter Davies ....Read More.Resmoroh on 26th December 2007 12:22:57
RCAF POW DetailsHi Peter, I confirm 1st Sept 1942 in AB131, No.521 Sqn Took off for a practice Pampa sortie from base to the East coast of Ireland and return. This officer mistakenly set a reciprocal course on his compass and eventually forcelanded in enemy territory at the German night-fighter base of Sint-Truiden, Belgium. Took off for a training flight from RAF Bircham Newton at 10:25 hrs. Regards Ross ....Read More.Ross_McNeill on 26th December 2007 01:31:54
RCAF POW DetailsHi Peter If it is of any interest this from a Russian site,, shows a profile view of what is claimed to be AB131 converted to Luftwaffe use and markings. Regards Dick ....Read More.Dick on 26th December 2007 01:49:53
RCAF POW DetailsRoss/Dick, Many thanks for the unusual info on AB131. Tks yr help Rgds Peter Davies ....Read More.Resmoroh on 26th December 2007 02:07:57
RCAF POW DetailsGents the a/c depicted at Dick's link is a PR XI a/c EN685 which was lost 13/05/42. However I note that the index page refers to 'Unit AB131' but has the correct serial. DaveW ....Read More.davew on 27th December 2007 12:38:09
RCAF POW DetailsKen, If you contact her again could you ask if his logbook is still in existence please? Whilst it is unlikely that there will be any reference to his last sortie in AB131 (unless added after his repatriation), it should contain details as to whether Spitfires were being used for PAMPA sorties after June 1942 (which would confirm or refute 'Even the birds were walking'). If he had flown PAMPA sorties previously it brings into question the F1180 remark that this was a Practise PAMPA. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 28th December 2007 11:23:57
1401 Met Flight Spitfire AB131Gentlemen, Although Peter's thread introduced the link to AB131, I thought it best to start another thread as we seem to be getting away from his original query. My interest in AB131 continues and I've requested copies of the 521 Sqn ORB for the period covering its loss. In the meantime, however, does anyone have a copy of the June 1996 Flypast? I understand it included either an article specifically about the incident or an article that made a reference to it (and also included a photo of the aircraft). As an aside, my search for information about AB131 led me to a story about a Spitfire Mk19 of 81 Sqn, reaching a true altitude of 51,550 ft during a meteorological ascent over Hong Kong on 5 Feb 1952. I've requested the relevant pages from the 81 Sqn ORB, but in the meantime can anyone offer advice about the veracity of the story? Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 30th December 2007 06:05:30
RCAF POW DetailsA lot of water has passed under the bridge since the last post on this thread, but I have just received copies of the relevant pages from the 521 Sqn ORB. Prior to being lost on 1 Sept 1942, Spitfire AB131 had flown operationally only once since 17 August; that was on a PAMPA sortie to Wilhelmshaven on 26th, the flight lasting from 1055 to 1500. So far as P/O Heggteveit is concerned, it seems as though he was a newcomer as there is no previous reference to him in the ORB before 1 September. The entry in the ORB on 1 September reads: '1025 (T/O) PRACTICE "PAMPA" by P/O C E HEGGTVEIT. Route intended was BASE-EAST COAST OF IRELAND and RETURN. But no trace of him was ever found over England or Ireland. At much later date heard that he was a Prisoner of War in Germany. Apparently flew reciprocal course - a case of RED not being on RED, but BLUE, and force landed in enemy territory or shot down when he broke cloud on descent over target.' I suspect the 'over target' was a slip of the typewriter. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 28th March 2008 01:29:50
RCAF POW DetailsI hope this isn't a silly question, but the ORB describes AB131 as a SpitfireVD. Does the VD indicate it is a Mark V - if so what does the 'D' mean? I'm afraid these things are beyond my ken, but this aircraft is described on the Luftwaffe Experten Message Board as a Mk PR. IV of 222 Sqn, and fitted with a Merlin 45 engine. It also describes it as having previously been with 1402 Met Flight. I simply want to correct the errors and need to be sure of all my facts. TIA Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 29th March 2008 04:01:40
RCAF POW DetailsGentlemen, I can catagorically state that the upper wind conditions had no bearing on the loss of AB131. I have the wind data for the day in question in front of me, and the 30000 ft wind overhead Bircham Newton at take-off, was of the order of 240 deg 15 mph, increasing towards N Ireland to 250 deg 25 mph. The 521 Squadron ORB states quite clearly that the pilot had set a reciprocal compass course on leaving Bircham Newton - as this would have resulted in the aicraft flying into the sun, rather than with the sun behind it, one can only wonder at the pilot's ability - or state of mind. So far as jetstreams are concerned the maximum wind speeds in their cores rarely exceed 200-250 mph, and then only between autumn and spring, never summer. A more 'normal' range would be 140-170 mph. The heights at which such speeds occur is normally between 30000 ft and 39000 ft. The Spitfires used for PAMPA sorties were much modified, being stripped of all extraneous weight (such as armament) and relied on speed and height for defence. I don't know at what speed they flew operationally (perhaps someone with knowledge of PRU operations could help) but I'd guess in the region of 350 mph - based on either: or Thus the only scenario I can imagine that would have resulted in the Spitfire ending up landing in Belgium, having set course for N Ireland would be a very strong jet, in excess of 200 mph from about 290-300 degrees. The existence of very high winds aloft were known for many years before WW2, although it was not until aircraft started operating above 20000 ft routinely, was their practical import appreciated. Perhaps the instance that really brought it home was the raid on Berlin on 24-25 March 1944, when a bomber stream was torn apart by an exceptionally strong jet, and some 72 aircraft failed to return. I'm unsure as to when forecasts of jetstreams were first incorporated into British forecasts, but I think it was probably the late 1950s with the introduction of the V-force when RAF aircraft began flying routinely above 30000 ft, but I can certainly remember them in the mid-1960s. Norman, I'm a bit worried about Morrow's description of the flight on 27 November 1944. There was certainly a N'ly jet at 30000 ft all the way from Watton to Lands End between 0600 and 1200 GMT, but nothing excessive - max winds in the core of about 150 mph (130 knots). If the flight was made in daylight and the crew reached Lands End as scheduled, Morrow, as navigator, must have noted the wind speeds in his log. Logic tells me he should have used those winds, rather than those forecast, for the return leg, so why does he act surprised that he ended up over France - the aircraft was flying in exactly the same airstream for the return as outward leg. Why didn't these same strong winds push the aircraft off-course into Normandy? If anything the ....Read More.Lyffe on 21st December 2008 06:21:55
RAF pow numbersColin, Can't be of much help - but if you should ever get any info on J/15379 Plt Off (Fg Off - promoted in captivity!!) Carlyle Edgar Heggtveit, RCAF, at Stalag Luft 3/L3 Sagan/Beleria, PoW Number 651, then I would be grateful for the 'heads-up'. This is the Spitfire AB131 problem, landed at St Trond on 1 Sep 42, pilot. He was repatriated Sep/Oct 44 on the Swedish SS Gripsholm. There's a lot of folk not answering questions - and, moreover, not saying why they won't answer! Rgds Peter Davies ....Read More.Resmoroh on 5th January 2009 12:45:52
Lancaster ME631, 207 Sqn 26-7 April, 1944Dave, Interesting point you make about the fact that "They" won't tell, or release, SIB files because we both know there were such and - indeed - may still be such files locked, presumably, in the same box as the files for HMT Lancastria. It would, probably, have been easier to access such files in the immediate aftermath of WW2 when the Germans were still 'The Baddies'. But now in the interests - I suspect - of European harmony you've more chance of clearing a herd of pigs for a stream take-off. Ditto with the Canadian Govt. I can't even get them to reply to my questions about Plt Off Heggveit and Spitfire AB131. I suspect that their attitude is that if they ignore it for long enough they hope it will go away. Obfuscation on the part of national Govts is an art form - been there in the past, helped in it - but, eventually, the truth (or the nearest approximation thereto) will out. I may not be around to see it. But some of you may be. Keep at it! HTH Peter Davies ....Read More.Resmoroh on 24th January 2009 11:43:02
152 (Hyderabad) Sqn PilotsCarlyle Edgar Heggtveit was with 247 Sq in 1941, 1401 Flight in 1942 and 521 Sq from July 1942 until September 1st when he was PoW (Landed by mistake on German airfield St. Trond in Belgium in Spitfire AB131). /John ....Read More.JohnE on 28th January 2009 05:27:30
Allied Air Forces PoWs in EuropeHenk, Yup! The Spitfire was AB131. Same L3 number as Kingwell. Ross, I take your point(s). My padded cell number is known to International Red Cross!! Tks (both) for your help Yrs Aye Peter Davies ....Read More.Resmoroh on 1st July 2009 12:40:44
1401 Met Flight Spitfire AB131I appreciate this thread's been dormant for two years, but the search to uncover the mystery of AB131 has continued. Briefly Spitfire AB131 of 521 Squadron took-off from Bicham Newton on a practice PAMPA (high level meteorological reconnaissance sortie) to the east coast of Northern Ireland - and disappeared. Very much later the pilot was reported as being made a PoW after landing at St Trond in Belgium. Some useful leads, including photographs, have been found, but the time that AB131 landed at St Trond remains elusive. Could anyone point to a possible source for the equivalent of the St Trond ORB - if such a thing exists - as its hoped this will contain a record of what must have been an unusual occurrence. TIA Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 13th February 2010 04:49:52

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