|Number of Hurricanes ferried to Ceylon by Indomitable||Graham,
There seems to be little doubt that there were 10 Mark Iís. I can account for maybe seven of them:
-258 Sqnís ORB and other sources note that on 5 April it scrambled a flight of nine Mark IIís and a flight of five Mark Iís. The serial numbers of the latter were Z4247, Z4227, Z4372, Z4983 and, supposedly, Z7711, but Halley says the latter was a Blenheim IV.
-261 Sqnís CO, Sqn Ldr Lewis, was flying Z4961 when shot down. One source says this was a Mark 1, another says it was a IIA. If it was a IIA then itís the only one Iíve identified.
-the China Bay station commander flew 261 Sqnís Z4762 to a satellite field on 9 April. This was a Mark I.
As for why some of the 60 Hurricanes were Mk Iís, I agree with what you say about the drawbacks of including them along with the more numerous Mark IIís. From AIR 8/881, which has been kindly provided to me by ďTom from CornwallĒ very recently, from [I]Hurricanes Over the Sands[/I], and from the ORBs, it looks like 30 and 261 squadrons flew their Mark Is to No.108 M.U. before leaving Egypt and were given 36 Mark IIBís, flown overland from Takoradi, when they got to Port Sudan. However, on 17 February Portal told Tedder to get as many Hurricanes on Indomitable as would fit. Apparently there were only another 14 Mark IIís on hand, also flown in from Takoradi I think, so 10 Mark Iís from the Middle East were embarked, since 60 dismantled Hurricanes could be squeezed aboard the carrier. I expect that nothing but Mark IIís would have been sent if 60 of them could have been got to Port Sudan in time but apparently that was not possible. ....Read More.||Rob Stuart on 1st October 2013 10:13:56|
|Number of Hurricanes ferried to Ceylon by Indomitable||Air Britain (Halley) and Mason both have a production batch of Mk.IIAs Z4940 to Z4989. As for Z7711, miswritten serial numbers are only too common. Apparently Cork spent much of his time on Indomitable flying an unconverted Hurricane that spent a parallel time in the Western Desert - but at least that is a simple transposition. I can't find an easy option for your Z7711. Edit Z4111 is a possibility.
Need must when the devil drives, of course. At low level the Mk.I wouldn't be outclassed by a Mk.IIB - the lower power would be balanced by the lower weight and better agility Not enough so to cope with a Zero, however. A late enough Mk.I could also have the same propeller, reducing some of the spares problems. ....Read More.||Graham Boak on 2nd October 2013 04:39:36|
|Number of Hurricanes ferried to Ceylon by Indomitable||Graham and Peter, thanks very much for your responses. Iíve done some more checking and can add the following now:
Last weekend I paid the requisite £3.36 and downloaded a copy of the 258 Sqn ORB Form 540 for March-April Ď42. It says that on 1 April the unit had 10 x Mark II and 7 x Mark I, and that on 3 April it received a further Mark I. (Iím guessing that the latter aircraft might have been from 30 Sqn, since it had 24 Hurricanes on 29 March, lost one in an accident on 3 April and had only 22 on 5 April.) Since Z4961 was a IIA (thanks for confirming this), this means that on 5 April 258 Sqn had eight Mark Iís and 261 Sqn had one (Z4762), leaving just one unaccounted for.
ďZ4983Ē was a typo on my part. The 258 Sqn ORB actually reads ďZ4783Ē. Iím guessing that this was a Mk I converted to a Mk IIA.
I have a theory about ďZ7711Ē, which is that the serial number should read Z5661 in the ORB. According to Halley, Z5661 was ďShot down by A6Ms over Colombo, 5.4.42Ē. If this is true then Z5661 pretty much has to be the aircraft wrongly listed in the ORB as Z7711, since the serial numbers of the other 13 aircraft of 258 Sqn which scrambled are accounted for. Furthermore, the ORB lists P/O RN Neill RAAF as the pilot of ďZ7711Ē and he is known to have been shot down and killed. If Z5661 was a Mk I converted to Mk IIA this would support (but not prove) my theory, since I canít really see an unconverted Mk I being grouped with a flight of Mk IIís. Any other explanation would entail more than just one error, e.g., two errors in Halley: Z5661 was not shot down and Neill was flying an aircraft which is not noted as having been lost on 5 April
Last weekend I also downloaded (for another£3.36) the ORB for 30 Sqn for March-April 1942, AIR 27/344/29. Very much to my frustration, pages 1 and 2 of the Form 540 are missing, so the first entry is for 8 March. Page 2 may well have indicated how many aircraft 30 Sqn flew off Indomitable. (Insert expletive of your choice!)
Graham, which of Masonís books are you referring to?
Rob ....Read More.||Rob Stuart on 10th October 2013 05:32:03|
|Number of Hurricanes ferried to Ceylon by Indomitable||Graham, thanks for the info. Iíve added that book to my ďto buyĒ list now.
Drew, thanks for your post. I wasnít aware that 261 Sqn had Z5620 on its strength. Perhaps it was the aircraft which Bloody Shambles vol. 2 says was lost in an accident on 7 April or the one which WO Griffin damaged on 5 April by taxying into a ditch. I donít have a serial number for either of these. Ď227í would be BE227, flown on 9 April by Sgt Lockwood and shot down. Ď676í would be BG676, flown on 9 April by Sgt Bowie and also shot down. Does Sgt Pearceís log say what time he took off from Indomitable?
Col Bruggy, many thanks. Recording ĎV7711í in the ORB as ĎZ7711í would be a more likely error than the one I suggested in my last post. I donít have Halleyís volume which includes the V---- serials (and no longer have the one for the Z---- series which I had borrowed a while ago), but the website at [url]http://www.k5083.mistral.co.uk/APS.HTM[/url] gives V7711 as one of 1250 Mark Iís produced by Gloster starting in July 1940 Ė along with Z4227, Z4247, Z4372 and Z4783. This source says that only 29 of these Mark Iís were converted to Mark IIís. It also says that the converted aircraft were all re-serialled. If V7711 was one of the 29 converted aircraft and itís new serial number was Z5661 this would explain things, but [url]http://www.k5083.mistral.co.uk/APS.HTM[/url] implies that Z5649 - Z5693 were Mk. IIB Hurricanes built by Gloster.
Would anyone know if Z4783 and V7711 were converted to Mark IIís? It would be somewhat surprising if they werenít, since they were grouped with Z4247, Z4227 and Z4372, presumably due to having similar performance. ....Read More.||Rob Stuart on 14th October 2013 06:41:38|
|Number of Hurricanes ferried to Ceylon by Indomitable||Graham, thanks for your response. The info that V7711 was SOC 6.4.42, the day after the raid on Colombo, certainly makes it likely that the ORB entry for Z7711 should read V7711.
This still leaves the question of Z5661, which Halley says was operated only by 258 Sqn and was shot down on 5.4.42 but which is not listed in the ORB as having been flown against the Japanese. I note, however, that the ORB says that F/L Peacock-Edwards flew Z5461. Halley notes only that it was sent to the Far East and gives no clue as to its fate. If "Z5461" was mistakenly entered in the ORB instead of "Z5661", this would explain the discrepancy, but this is probably going to be very hard to confirm. ....Read More.||Rob Stuart on 16th October 2013 07:55:04|