|Liberator serial BZ978||My source is the recent Air Britain "The Liberator in RAF and Commonwealth Service" by James Oughton, John Hamblin and Andrew Thomas. It gives a complete (as far as is known) individual history of all such aircraft. A must-buy for all B-24 enthusiasts. I only needed to look at a few pages.... but some queries just light up the curiosity. However, I repeat that it does specifically state that the sequence of MCns did not always align with the serials.
B.VIs would not wear Coastal Command camouflage - those were GR Mk.VIs.
If the photo was taken in the Azores, that was not BZ989, because she was delivered via Prestwick.
BZ988 Dorval - Sydney 22.12.43, Sydney - Gander 25.12.43, Gander - Lagens 27.12.43 via Azores (isn't Lagens the capital of the Azores?),Lagens - Rabat Sale 28.12.43.
BZ990, dld Dorval 28.11.43; via Azores, arr Karachi 12.12.43
BZ992 ditto, arr Karachi 17.12.43
BZ993 dld Dorval 2.12.43, Via Azores to ME arr Cairo 12.5.44
BZ996 via Prestwick
BZ997 dld Dorval 1.12.43, via Lagens, arr Karachi 16.12.43
BZ998 via Prestwick
Others in the same period via Lagens: EV812, 815 28.11.43; 813 16.12; 814 1.12; 817 5.12 and so on.
Alex: does EW126 fit in this sequence? EW229 was 30-245, EW157 was 30-186, EW113 was 30-142, KG920 was 30-334, 922 was 336, 923 was 337, 924 was 338. 967 was 358, KH166 was 410, 283 was 477, That's all I can find.
Later B Mk.VIs were in the 43-xxx sequence, and they were definitely not linked to serials. Sequential RAF serials from KL481 are 43 -60,35,48,39,33,51..... That these were Lend-Lease aircraft may be relevant.
Annoyingly, it seems that all the OD-painted aircraft seem to have retained the 30-xxx number in service, there are some tantalising photos with MCns partially visible, or just unclear. ....Read More.||Graham Boak on 1st July 2008 04:56:01|
|POWs held in Thailand - 1944/45||Hi, Geoff,
Can you provide any details on names, dates of Liberator losses, Lib serial numbers, or the like? I might have a tiny bit of info, if any of your info pertains to 159 Sqn Liberator BZ992 or 355 Sqn Liberator EV940, both downed over Siam on 6 October 1944. Men from these aircraft were captured, held in Bangkok, and survived.
Sorry...haven't had time to delve too deeply into my files.
Matt ....Read More.||Matt Poole on 21st September 2019 11:32:04|
|POWs held in Thailand - 1944/45||Hi, Geoff,
Hmm...doofus did something wrong (that's ME) and failed to post the reply I'd written earlier this evening.
I'll send you an email with some attachments, not that any of it will have great value to you, but I was in touch with Dave Bruce's younger brother (21! years younger) back in 2009, and he sent me some nice telegrams and such. Nothing enlightening about the name of the POW camp/school, but good stuff anyway.
Also, in quickly reviewing some materials for you, I see that another RAF Liberator, EW174 of 358 Sqn, went down in Thailand on 29 May 1945, and some men ended up in Bangkok. I have at least two memoirs -- Harry Smith and Bill Pugh. The Pugh one even mentions Dave Bruce. Yes, it was late in the war, but there were dangers galore for the men who survived the downing of their Lib.
Researcher Robert Quirk (who I recently posted has dementia now) sent me Dave Bruce's affidavit about his experiences which makes for good reading. I can send this to you, if you don't have it. Never mind...here it is for anyone interested to read:
Post-war affidavit of David Bruce, BZ992 navigator
(received from his brother Doug via Robert Quirk in Canada)
1. I am Ex-F/L CAN.J12276 David McDonald Bruce, permanently residing at 445-3rd St. Kenora, Ontario. I am presently employed by John Kron & Son, at Kenora.
2. I was born on October 25, 1912, at Oldmeldrum, Aberdeen, Scotland. I enlisted in the R.C.A.F. on March 4, 1941, and was discharged at No. 5 Release Centre, Winnipeg, on January 8, 1946.
3. On October 6, 1944, I was attached to No. 159 Squadron, RAF Group 231, operating from Digri, Bengal. We were flying Liberators. At 0001 hours that date we took off to do a low level attack on railways in Northern Siam. The crew as composed of myself as navigator and bomb aimer; Warrant Officer Barr as first pilot (RNZAF); Flying Officer Hocking, RAAF, as mid-upper gunner; Sergeant Derrick, RAF, as wireless operator; Sergeant Rutter, RAF, as flight engineer; Sergeant Kernohan, RAF, as rear gunner [listed as ball gunner in 159 records]; Sergeant Richards [error, should be Kenneth Prichard, per 159 Sqn records and CWGC database], RAF, second pilot and two other members of the crew whose names I cannot presently recall. [Sgt John Ratcliffe and Sgt Patrick Hogan.]
4. At approximately 0615 hours ground fire from the defence of Ban Dara Bridge [near Ban Dara town, which is located at 17° 22' 25” N, 100° 04' 36” E] ignited our aircraft and the skipper gained height to about 800 feet and five of us were able to bale out and landed safely. The other four members either died in the aircraft or in the resultant crash.
5. The five of us who landed safely were Barr, Hocking, Derrick, Rutter and myself. On landing I immediately hid my parachute in the bush and made my way away from the crashed aircraft. However, within approximately 2 1/2 hours the villagers had tracked me down and I was taken prisoner by native S ....Read More.||Matt Poole on 23rd September 2019 11:24:04|