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Vengeance I AP113 [Royal Air Force Aircraft Serial and Image Database]

 Vengeance I AP113

c/n: Mk.I More information in:

Aircraft Accident / Loss Entry

Date of Crash  06 May 43 Aircraft Name  Vengeance Serial Number  AP113
Unit  84 Sqdn Operating Airfield  Ratmalana Country  Ceylon
Aircrew details F Sgt C E PAPPS
Details 1943: May 6th Vultee-Vengeance (84 Squadron) crashed in lake at Ratmalana minus prop (eventually found near sickbay) pilot swam ashore! While in circuit area PAPPS lost his airscrew. He attmpeted to land at the drome but findign teh distance too great decided against stretching his glide and force landed in teh swanp to the east of th elanding strip. aircraft was written off but fortunately pilot and gunner sustained only slgith facial cuts and bruises. This was the first Vengeance to be force landed succesfully with the under carraige retracted and proves that it can be done provided sufficent landing space is available.
Source ORB

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Historical research on wooden bombsSteve, At least the first three on the list were used operationally. The AHB publication AP1134 "The Second World War 1939-1945: Meteorology" describes the code names for the forecasts issued. For the first on your list the forecasts were codemamed 'Papyrus': Forecasts of the drift of no-lift balloons at specified heights, and of weather, cloud and icing conditions affecting balloons, were sent from November 1941 to the Balloon Units which destributed propoganda leaflets, and occasionally to those experimenting with no-lift balloons across the British Isles. For the second, the phosphorous pellets, forecasts were codenamed 'Cliquot': Forecasts were supplied to Bomber Command and B Ops 1 in connection with a project to set fire to the forests of Germany by means of oncendiary weapons. They involved estimates of past weather, including rainfall, and future weather and winds. They began in July 1940 and discontinued in October 1941. Carrying on from that, the devices were known as 'Razzles' and 'Deckers', and there are several references to them in publications: 1. 'From Hull Hell and Halifax' (Chris Blanchett) 2. 'The Bomber Command War Diaries' (Middlebrook & Evritt) 3. 'The Whitley Boys' (G L Donnelly) 4. There are also references to them in German publications When they came to my attention, they were only peripheral to my particular line of research, so I'm not fully up to speed, but I believe the last time these were used was on 16-17 Oct 1940. I can't find the reference at the moment but I believe 'Razzles' were dropped on forests and 'Deckers' on crops (the intention being to burn them and reduce food supply). The incendiaries were probably more dangerous to the crews and aircraft than those on the ground, as they tended to get caught in the tail section on being released, setting the aircraft on fire. I can't find any special forecast issued for the mobile bombs, though the 'Papyrus' forecasts might suit, but I have read about them in some reference book, in fact I'm not sure they haven't been discussed on this forum previously. Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 6th May 2008 01:14:36
Central Flying Control, HQ Bomber CommandDuring 1942 a Central Flying Control (CFC) was established at HQ Bomber Command, its main function being 'the diversion of aircraft which could not return to their own base' (AP 1134). One of the CFC's main considerations was the weather (hence my interest), and I'm trying to determine the month the CFC was established. It was after December 1941 and before May 1942 - I could get away with 'early 1942', but if possible would like to be more precise. AP1134 is a little vague about this, and although I've identified a number of NA files that would provide the answer, it's not sensible to travel 100 miles for this one bit of information. Just wondering if anyone has any idea from their own researches. TIA Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 21st September 2008 09:05:59
Central Flying Control, HQ Bomber CommandWhat don't you know Amrit! Many thanks for the link, I will try and obtain the book through my library. My comment about early 1942 was based on AP1134 "A Central Flying Control organisation was formed at Command HQ early in 1942 ..... ", so I took that as gospel and think it still holds good. Reading your reference I wonder if there is a bit of a red herring in para 14 which refers to the 'creation' of a CFC in November 1941. The next para (15) starts "By February 1942, therefore, the necessary machinery for the orderly diversion of aircraft on a large scale was already in existence ............ . One further step was necessary, however, before the way was really clear for the flexible manoeuvering of the bomber force to alternative landing airfields." Taking the two paras, I suggest para 14 implies the intention to establish a CFC (ie Harris signs a document ordering this be done), whilst para 15 implies that although the machinery was in place by Feb 1942, but was not yet operational. Mmm, food for thought, but that would make the two references consistent. Incidentally Resmorah has suggested you should be made an Honoury Met Man! Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 21st September 2008 10:05:07
War-time Bombing WeatherRe item 8 - brain's just clicked into gear, although I don't think the following refers to 'firestorms'. One of the Air Ministry's pre-war War Plans was to burn German forests (on the assumption they could be used to hide supply and ammunition dumps) and cornfields), and to this end small incendiary devices known as 'Razzles' (for the forests) and 'Deckers' (for the crops) were devised (these are mentioned in the 'Bomber Command War Diaries). Razzles were small pellets of phoshorus inserted between pieces of celluloid, whilst Deckers were impregnated pieces of cloth. They were transported in water containers for release over the target areas. As they dried out they were supposed to burst into flame and start fires. Well, that was the idea. Unfortunately the little blighters had this nasty habit of getting caught in an aircraft's tail after release and more damage appears to have been done to the attackers rather than the targets. Amongst the units involved were 10 and 77 Sqns. There were a small number of operations using these devices between July and November 1940, but they were never a scuccess. Which brings me to the meteorology. AP1134 (The Second World War 1939-1945; Meteorology) includes the following when describing the work of the Central Forecast Office: 'Cliquot' forecasts; were supplied to Bomber Command and B. Ops. 1 in connection with a project to set fire to the forests of Germany by means of incendiary weapons. They involved estimates of past weather, including rainfall, and future weather and winds. They were begun in July 1940 and discontinued in October 1941. And before anyone says anything - it's true I promise you. However, there is no direct reference to humidity. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 28th January 2009 07:34:52
Sgt Harry Unsworth 1113118 Killed 18/5/42Al, Thank you for the heads-up about the medal groups. Unfortunately I think it's very unlikely that the MiD was awarded for the first PRATA sortie. Although the main body of the text of "Even the birds were walking" does not decribe the development of PRessure And Temperature Ascents (PRATA) very well, at the top of page 203 on Appendix 2 is a reference the first PRATA being flown at Aldergrove on 10 October 1941. (I'm relieved that ties in with my own research.) At the beginning of the war the only UK upper air data available to the Met Office were the twice daily ascents flown to 24000 ft by the Mildenhall (later 1401) Met Flight and Aldergove (later 1402) Met Flight using Gladiators. These were later supplemented by Hurricanes but even so the top of the climb was always 24000 ft. Despite a desperate need for data at higher levels (40000 ft) it was not until April 1941 that authority was given to increase the establishment of the Met Flights by two Spitfire IIs. However, because of a continuing shortage of the type the aircraft were slow in being delivered and, as I've said, the first ascent wasn't made until October 1941. In fact the model was unable to deliver the goods and very few PRATAs were flown until the following spring (AP1134 and personal research). If F/O George received his MiD whilst with, or soon after leaving 1402 Met Flight, it is distinctly possible it was rewarded in recognition of his ability whilst with the unit. All the Met Flights had remarkable records for flying in conditions that grounded others and many of the pilots had their service recognised in some way - quite often with an AFC. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 3rd June 2011 03:33:45
Form 'N'Just to confuse things even further I have picked up references to Forms A, B, C, D, F, G, M, Q, R and S in Kings Regulations. They are all in The Manual of Air Force Law AP113 and relate to Arrest and Custody (before Sentence), Disposal of prisoners etc. So Letter series forms vary from Command to Command and Branch to Branch. Regards Ross ....Read More.Ross_McNeill on 2nd November 2011 04:10:04
Spitfire P9550 - 1401 Met FlightThank you, Mark, and my apologies for not replying sooner. I've returned to AP1134 "The Second World War; 1939-1945: Meteorology", published by the AHB in 1954 and come up with the following. The Expansion and Re-equipment Policy Committee agreed on 4 October 1940 that three Met Flights should be established to make weather observations over maritime areas. Cadres of 1403, 1404 and 1405 Met Flights formed during March 1941, and commenced operations on 1 April. The need to make met reconnaissance flights over enemy territory was recognised as early as April 1938 by the RAF Meteorological Policy Committee, and from the summer of 1940 some met data was received from PRU pilots, although this was very much a secondary task for the pilot. A shortage of aircraft and suitably trained personnel meant that it was not until May 1941 that it was decided to act on the recommendations of the 'Inspector General' (I don't know who this identifies) to make provision for meteorological flights over Germany. In August 1941 the establishment of 1401 Met Flight was increased by two 'F' type Spitfires for this task, but this appears to have been a paper establishment as the Spitfires, or at least P9550, weren't received until early September. The terms of reference for the task were that a round trip into enemy territory should not exceed 1000 miles and it was to be flown at about 30000 ft. There was obviously some training to be undertaken for this new role, and the first PAMPA was not flown until 7 November - the ill-fated P9550. Because P9550 failed to return, PAMPA sorties were immediately suspended until a 'larger establishment and experienced personnel could be provides'. Bircham Newton - Magdeberg - Hawkinge is just under 1000 miles, so this first operation was rather testing the pilot's ability. That, together with the reference to 'experienced personnel' begins to suggest the pilot lacked the experience to remain on track for what was a long flight without nav aids. That would explain why, despite excellent visibility and little cloud over the Channel, he was so far west of Hawkinge, when the aircraft crashed. AP1134 gives an old style reference which is now AIR 2/4752. There is another reference to the one you quote Mark, AIR 14/62. Guess another visit to the NA is called for - if I can find the time. Incidentally, the pilot's body was recovered just west of Eastbourne on 3 December. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 17th March 2013 07:58:19
MF beaconsAccording to AP1136 the first medium frequency beacons were set up at the end of 1940. They were arranged in groups of three and for security reasons only one of each group would transmit at the same time. However "splasher" beacons were also medium frequency, but are not mentined in A)1136, which was supposed to be a history of aircraft radio devices during the war. I suspect the former were used to obtain fixes and the latter primarily for homing, and were more normal, but they might have been the same thing. Of course splashers were much used by the U.S. Eight Air Force. I would be very grateful if anyone can anyone provide me with any information on the difference between the two? Trevor (Skylark) ....Read More.skylark on 11th November 2013 09:30:10
51, 58, 77 and 102 Squadrons ORBs June 1940Some background, Mark. 1. The chart to which I referred, that for 0100 GMT on 12 June 1940, was based on the Met Office working chart in the Central Forecast Office (CFO) at Dunstable ([url][/url] ). It was part of a series of daily charts that extends back to the late 1860s (Daily Weather Reports or DWRs), a series that was intended for public consumption and often used by amateurs for personal research. The DWR map was a cleaned-up version of that used operationally, and usually provided a useful indication of the pressure distribution over much of the northern hemisphere - except in war there were large areas of the continent from which no data were received. However, it was of no operational importance. 2. The weather conditions experienced by the crews on 11-12 June (extensive cloud, thunderstorms and icing) extended from the north coast of France to and beyond the Alps. I think most meteorologists would agree it was unusual for such a large area to be affected, and would look for something to have acted as a trigger - a cyclonic circulation (low) or slack pressure pattern since these are the scenarios one would expect in such circumstances. In fact the weather map at 0100 GMT (approximately the mid-point of the operation when aircraft that had reached Italy began their returns) was the opposite - a ridge of high pressure which is often associated with shallow low cloud and only thin layers above. That's why I expressed surprise. 3. The assessment of icing was largely subjective at the time and I'm not sure there was even any definition of icing states until after 1940 (see, for example, US paper at [url][/url]). It is probable that many instances of icing were overstated as there is no common base-line . The earliest British paper on paper I can find in the Met Office archives is dated 1940; I've requested a copy. That said there's no doubt that severe icing (a rapid and persistent accummulation of clear ice) was experienced by some aircraft on 11-12 June, which affected the Whitley's ability to fly and in some instances blocked the engine air intakes. As an altitude of a least 14000 ft was necessary to fly over the Alps, it is not surprising that several pilots aborted at 12000 ft before reaching this point - that's not intended as a criticism, in every instance ice blocking the engine air intakes was causing them to cut out resulting in insufficient power to reach a safe altitude. Despite this the ORBs show some aircraft reached 17000-18000 ft despite experiencing accumulations of ice. 4. As noted in 3 above little work appears to have been conducted into icing in the UK before the war, so it would be logical for there to be interest in the freezing level. However, the intensity of icing depends on other factors and those had yet to be explored. For what it's worth the most severe icing occurs in th ....Read More.Lyffe on 26th August 2014 06:31:28
Met Office Intelligence Presence at RAF Uxbridge - or not?Bruce, I think, in all fairness, that the file's title is misleading/ambiguous. [I]'Establishment[/I]' in Civil Service language often referred to the number of bodies a unit required to remain operationally viable. In March 1938 the establishment of the predecessor of MO 4 was 26, a number that included a Typist, Storeman, Porter and two Packers. The history of MO 4 is uncomplicated; in September 1939 it was based at the Met Office HQ in London and was responsible for Instruments and meeting the Army's requirements. During November 1939 the Army element was transferred to a new Branch (not Division), MO 5, and MO 4 '[I]Instruments'[/I] moved en bloc to Stonehouse in Gloucestershire where it remained for the remainder of the war (source AP1134). I'm 99% sure that BJ 5/189 deals with the staffing requirements (ie establishment) of the Branch during the war. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 10th April 2015 10:25:24
Met Man MBE Not On The LG?Sorry, Peter, you are in error. Meteorologists serving overseas were mobilised, if not with the outset of war, very soon after. I can't quote chapter and verse but the relatively large number who supported the BEF and AASF were all mobilised before crossing the Channel. The 1 April 1943 mobilisation was (from AP1134) [I]mainly because the closest possible liaison was needed between meteorological officers (ie forecasters) charged with briefing duties, and the aircrews and other service personnel whom they were briefing, especially for operational flights [/I]. Forster's MBE was very much a local award as his name appears just once in the Met Office library catalogue, for a 24-page paper on Gibraltar rainfall, published in 1942. I can think of many others who received no recognition for much greater deeds. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 26th June 2015 11:05:23
Met Man MBE Not On The LG?Brian, not so, You are correct in part, but you are in error for the most part. The Forum does not need to know the fine details of the nitty-gritty, so you and I will continue this discussion with you off-Forum! If/when we come to a conclusion then it can be posted - and the experts can pick it over, and decide who is/was right. AP1134 was not always right. The Met Office, and the RAF, chose to ignore some of the Laws Of War, and the various Geneva conventions/protocols, as it suited them! Not the first time this has happened. But, if some of the Queen's Enemies had captured me (in modern times) I could, technically, have been shot as a spy even though I was "in Her Majesty's uniform"! If you want proof of this then just go to the Byzantine discussions that resulted in the current RAFR legislation! Peter Davies ....Read More.Resmoroh on 26th June 2015 11:58:55
Needle in a haystack; would appreciate adviceMods: Although this refers to a civilian death I hope you will allow it to remain as it is very close to RAF matters. Before WW2 the Malayan Meteorological Service came under the Malayan Survey Department. Included in the meteorological section of the Survey Department's WW2 Roll of Honour in Kuala Lumpar is one W Richards. I'm trying to determine when or where he died. He sailed from London for Singapore on the [I]SS Rajputana[/I] in July 1936; unfortunately the passenger list does not give his forename or age. He was one of five UK meteorologists working in Malaya - four forecasters and the officer in charge, Lt Cdr H B F Moorhead (who had been mobilised from the Reserve). During the Japanese invasion of Malaya all five were evacuated from Singapore, the four forecasters on 12 Feb 1942, and Moorhead on 17th. Moorhead became a POW, but [I]AP1134 The Second World War: Meteorology[/I], includes a reference to '[I]four officers of the Malayan Meteorological Service[/I]' arriving in Ceylon in early March. Three of these were subsequently mobilised in the RAFVR (Met Branch) in Ceylon: A Grimes (140773) as S/L and C A Awdry (140775) as F/L on 1/4/1943, followed by I G John ( 140774) as F/L on 1/12/43. Assuming Richards did reach Ceylon, it seems probable, but not definite, that he died between these two dates, otherwise he would have been mobilised at the same time as John. There is another twist in the story, but I prefer not to mention it as matters are complicated enough already. I've found a him in a group photograph published in the[I] Straits Times[/I] in November 1936, but no indication of his forename. Can anyone suggest how I might find details of his death, assuming it was in Ceylon between the two dates? I think it is likely the 'W' is Walter or William, the two most common names associated with 'Richards', but there is really nothing other than 'W Richards' that is definitely known about him. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 14th February 2016 10:00:19
Index Of RAF Form NumbersNot had much luck with AP113 for Forms- that's why I mentioned hit and miss with AHB/RAF Museum. Problem is that the AP113 document was subject to many reprints and extensive amendment. Publications traces are better than Forms. The normal repositories have not retained many of the reprints and certainly few that are representative of the pre war and wartime period. Most are cold war era where superseded Forms are no longer listed. For example i was trying to identify the F1179/1180/1181/1182 series. AHB showed a copy of AP113 which only referenced F1180 all other being omitted completely (not even marked as Superseded/Not Issued etc). Initially this was used to s ay that Form 1179/1181 and 1182 did not exist, but after providing copies of F1179 and F1182 obtained from AHB microfilm supplied to RAF Museum they went back to see if the forms could be found in early AP113. Final result was no trace found in AP113s but accepted that the forms had been in use for almost 10 years in Air Ministry/RAF daily use. Ross ....Read More.Ross_McNeill on 14th June 2016 07:00:50
Cpl Ford-Smith 1334634, a met person?Having put my foot in it once, Bill, I'd hesitate to say yea or nay, but I think I'm on safe ground in saying that in the UK a met unit served an airfield, not a specific squadron. I just wonder if, from your description, the flying schools were considered as airfields - hence meriting met staff along all the other ancillary staff. I will try and borrow a copy of AP1134 from the Met Office Library as that may well have the answer. ....Read More.Lyffe on 29th July 2016 05:46:04
Fg Offr Davies, F.G. 80303Could I ask where the reference to "[I]There may be a Southern Rhodesia connection[/I]" comes from? I've searched through AP1134 [I]"The Second World War 1939-1945: Meteorology"[/I] (basically the history of the Met Office during WW2) and can find no reference to Southern Rhodesia or a Southern Rhodesia Met Service. There was a British East Africa Met Service (BEAMS) which was particularly active during WW2, but this incorporated Northern Rhodesia, Uganda, Keyna, Tanganyika and Zanzibar. So far as I can gather met services for Southern Rhodesia were provided by the South African Air Force Met Service. This leaves me wondering if Davies was one of many Southern Rhodesians who made their way to the UK and volunteered to serve in the Armed Forces - in his case as aircrew. On failing to make the grade (medical?) he was transferred to the Met Branch, a not unusual occurrence; the P/O rank implies he would have been a forecaster. So far as I can determine SRAF had just two squadrons at the beginning of the war - No 1 Squadron SRAF (soon to become No 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron Royal Air Force) and a Communications Squadron (if [url][/url] is to be believed). Consequently I'd query Peter's comment about "[I]a very large number of SRAF Met Men were Cmd into the RAFVR(Met Branch)[/I]", on the grounds there was no requirement for a large number of Rhodesian meteorologists in 1941. I note that of Davies and three contemporaries commissioned as P/Os in 1941, three were still P/Os when demobilised in 1945. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 13th September 2016 04:19:13
Address of HQ No 16 Group during WW2I'd be grateful if someone could provide the [U]address[/U] of HQ No 16 Group during WW2. I keep coming up with two locations; [I]AP1134: The Second World War; 1939-1945: Meteorology[/I] places it at Chatham, as does the Met Office War Postings List (promulgated 25.08.1939), but I have an article written by an HQ 16 Group met observer which gives the address as Gillingham. An archived RAF Commands thread from 2005 ([url][/url]) actually quotes both places in separate posts. Despite this I appreciate most publications quote Chatham. As the two towns practically merge I suspect it lay very close to the boundary between them, hence my request specifying the unit's address. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 27th March 2017 03:25:24
F/O EGH Stevenson: Location of HQ 295 Wing 1942-43Thank you, Dave. According to 295 (General Reconnaissance) Wing ORB, the unit was formed in March 1942, at which time Dakar was still under the control of the Vichy French, and would remain so until after Operation TORCH in November 1942 ([url][/url]). Other than that I've not had a much success in finding much about Dakar on the Internet (other than the disastrous battle of Dakar in September 1940), although I believe British forces were not established there until early 1943. According to AP1134 ([I]The Second World War 1939-1945: Meteorology[/I]) (an AHB publication), meteorological support for Dakar and Port Etienne was not provided until after February 1943. Which brings me to a variation of my original query - where was HQ 295 Wing based between March and December 1942? Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 13th December 2017 12:32:15
Bomber pilot flying to the place where AA shell exploded - myth or truth?Peter, Not sure proximity fuses/fuzes come into it. Based on WW1 met papers I'm 99% sure AA shells were fused/fuzed to detonate at predetermined altitudes. Gunners also had to take into account meteorological conditions such as wind speed and temperature. In the UK the necessary data were passed by Meteor messages. The crucial information was passed to each gun crew by the HQ unit responsible for the battery. This was standard practice for artillery units, be they firing horizontally on a ground target or vertically at a 'spot' at some predetermined altitude. (See also AP1134 Chapter 1 pp. 20-21). Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 19th February 2019 11:50:45
Spitfire P9550 - 1401 Met FlightWelcome Intboy15, and thank you for reminding me of this 5-years old thread. In the absence of any documents relating to the accident surfacing, together with a lack of an Operations Record Book for 1401 Met Flight, I'm afraid the cause has never been identified. However, your post prompted me to review what has been written so far in relation to the pilot's experience. [I]The London Gazette[/I] (LG) records that Wilson was actually a 2nd Lt in the Royal Artillery before being granted a commission as a Pilot Officer in the RAFVR on 28 September 1940. His next entry in the LG is a promotion to Flying Office the following September - he was killed 6 weeks later. Without access to his service record it is difficult to know exactly how much experience he had, especially in respect of long distance flights, but I suspect it was not very much - that might well be what AP1134 was referring to in my #17 ([I]PAMPA sorties were immediately suspended until a 'larger establishment and [U]experienced personnel[/U] could be provided[/I]' My own feeling is still that the aircraft ran out of fuel given the length of time it was airborne and its limited fuel capacity. Interestingly his headstone in Esher Cemetery and CWGC documents all give his rank as P/O, whereas the LG definitely has him as being F/O. As a matter of interest is there a Grammar School or equivalent in Esher? My thinking is that was probably his level of education and it may be that his name is recorded on the school's Roll of Honour, and may even have a photograph. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 17th March 2019 07:52:52

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