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Catalina I  AH546 [Royal Air Force Aircraft Serial and Image Database] RAFCommands.com

 Catalina I  AH546



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Bismarck sighting[QUOTE=Resmoroh;54584]A number of Googled sites disagree! From http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq118-1.htm It was not until 1010 on 26 May [1941] that British luck changed. A British Catalina aircraft of No. 209 Squadron [Castle Archdale], piloted by US Navy observer Ensign Leonard B. Smith, USNR (US Naval Reserve), spotted Bismarck at a range of about eight miles. While Ensign Smith flew the aircraft and evaded accurate German antiaircraft fire, his British copilot radioed a report of the enemy warship's location. See also http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/65/a4358865.shtml and http://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/history/bisdiscovered.html The plot thickens!! Who was in the left-hand seat up the Front Office? Also (and this is a minor neutrality point), from Lough Erne (in N Ireland) the shortest route to the N Atlantic was across c. 5 miles of Irish (Eire) territory! Every time an RAF Catalina transgressed did the Irish Govt send 'stiff note' of complaint - and the UK Foreign Office send a voluminous apology!! And everybody got on with what they had been doing before??!!! And what, one might ask, was Lt L B Smith, USNR, doing in a belligerent a/c a few months before his Boss had included the USA in WW2 subsequent to Pearl Harbour (7 Dec 41)?!!! The Kreigsmarine could have called an international foul!, and demanded a replay! HTH Peter Davies[/QUOTE] An old posting that, hopefully, somebody is still follow. FYI, the source provided above does not have the correct details on the American naval pilot in the aircraft - the internet is wrong - oh my God! Ensign Smith was regular navy (USN), not a reserve officer (USNR) and "B" is his complete middle name. There were several other USN aviators flying in aircraft that were hunting for Bismarck. As mention below, all were part of the USN technical team instructing the RAF Coastal Command flight crews in proper operations with the new planes. The group consisted of seventeen (17) men, all of whom were regular navy. The others that flew operational sorties patrols during the hunt included: Lt. George Ervin Hughes, USNA32 [Catalina AH547: DA-H/210 Squadron, F/O Southwell] Lt. Robert John Costley Maulsby, USNA32 [Catalina AH531: DA-A/210 Squadron, F/Lt Aikman, DFC] Ens. Joseph Lee Hall, USN [Catalina W8416: DA-O/210 Squadron, P/O Powell] Ens. Leonard B Smith, USN [Catalina AH545: WQ-Z/209 Squadron, F/O Briggs] Ens. Carl Ward Rinehart, USN [Catalina W8416: DA-O/210 Squadron, F/Lt Hatfield - (VLR, endurance 32 hrs)] Lt. Johnson USN [Catalina AH546: BN-M/240 Squadron, P/O H. Godden - I need to look up Johnson's details and verify the rank is correct.] Of course, the RAF had no rank of Ensign, and as regular officers they were universally referred to "Lieutenants" and written up as such in the ORBs. Correct ranks and complete names come from USN records. Mark E. Horan ....Read More.CharlesRollinsWare on 14th March 2012 11:17:19


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