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Thread: Aircraft numbering.

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    Default Aircraft numbering.

    I have recently found my father's RAF wartime logbooks and have a problem (among many) with numbering of aircraft. His logbook says that on 30th April 1941 he was with 502 Sqdn he took off 0230 Limavady in Whitley T4238 on a search Pilot was F/O Waller. I looked up Whitley T4238 and a website 'lostbombers' says that Whitley T4238 was 'lost' 14th/15th November 1940 on a raid on Berlin with 77 Sqdn, this was five months before. Was the number a unique one to the plane or was it a 'batch number'. Any help welcome.

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    Default Aircraft numbering

    Hello,
    Only a suggestion but the a/c your Father reports could have been T4328.
    Others with 502 that could fit might be T4228;T4268;T4278.
    ref: Air Britain RAF Aircraft T1000 -V9999
    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 28th February 2011 at 05:13.

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    Hello,

    Inversion of digits is a common mistake, either in log-books or in Operations Record Books. Definitively not a "batch number". A cross-check with No. 502 Squadron's ORB (at The National Archives in Kew) could be interesting.


    Also, on a different subject, please have a look at

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?704-Board-Policy-on-Lostbombers-Information

    Joss

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    Hello Bill,

    does your fathers log book list the full crew on each flight or just his pilot?

    That night, April 30th one of the other squadron aircraft Z6553 crashed in Ireland.

    is there any mention in the log books of the following men:
    S/Ldr Brian George CORRY 90033
    P/O Geoffrey Markham HOWARD-JONES 42229
    Sgt Robert Gaskin EATON 946965
    Sgt BAILEY
    Sgt Reginald Clayton GRAHAM 653961 DIS

    In particular Bailey.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hi Bill

    To answer your original question from my own research on a Stirling Bomber:

    Yes the number you gave would have been unique to that aircraft, on the Stirling the equivalent number was written small by the tail plane. 'My' Stirling was N6012. All parts of the aircraft would have been stamped with something relating to that number.

    On the body of the aircraft, written large, was the squadron code and the aircrafts 'call sign', mine was MG-D. So he would have been from No.7 squadron and called up on the radio as D for Dog. When a plane was lost the call sign was assigned to another plane, so you can see photos of 5 or 6 different MG-D Stirlings.

    When an aircraft was repaired the number stayed with the fuselage, if the fuselage was lost - so was the serial number. So the wings for example could be from any other Stirling.

    That's what I have gathered so far - hopefully that's accurate!


    James
    Last edited by jamesinwnewcastle; 28th February 2011 at 22:08.

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    Sgt BAILEY ?

    29/30-4-1941
    No.502 Sqn
    Whitley V Z6553 YG-E
    Op: Anti-Submarine Sweep.
    Base: Limavady
    Take-off time: 19:38

    Suffered an engine failure at 00:01 hrs some 30 miles out. Lost height and then was abandoned and left to to crash at Benevenagh near Lough Nevin, Eire at 04:00 hrs.

    90033 S/L Brian George CORRY AAFRO - Safe
    42229 P/O Geoffrey Markham HOWARD-JONES RAF - Safe
    946965 Sgt Robert Gaskin EATON RAFVR - Safe
    810080 Sgt Gordon BANNER RAFVR - Safe
    653961 Sgt Reginald Clayton GRAHAM RAF - Safe.

    See: CCL1/94 & 119.

    Col.

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    I have information from S/L Corry's log book which mentions Bailey instead of Banner, there appears to be an error in the ORB, as gathered by Martin Gleeson.

    I'm work at present but I don't recall the CCL V1 having the full detail on the three Sgt's, it only gives surnames I think. We have been trying to get a scan of MR Howard-Jones log book.

    The quote from S/L Corry's log book is:

    "His entry for 29/4/41 shows :-
    Whitley No. E6553 : Pilot - Self : 2nd Pilot - P/O Howard-Jones:
    Other Crew - Sgt Graham, Sgt Bailey, Sgt Eaton.
    In the Duty/Remarks column, he has written in Red ink -- "ENGINE FAILURE AT 18 DEGREES WEST. BALED OUT AT 500FT. ALL SAFE".

    Further up page, however, "Sgt Banner" is included in the crew list, in the same aircraft, on 3/4/41, for an "A&E TEST". He also gets a mention on several earlier flights, all of which were "A&E Tests" and had a crew of 4 instead of the usual 3 (+ 1st and 2nd Pilots)."

    At a guess, Martin beleives Bailey was Brian Herbert Bailey who died in a Wellington crash later in the war.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hello,

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesinwnewcastle View Post
    Hi Bill
    Yes the number you gave would have been unique to that aircraft, on the Stirling the equivalent number was written small by the tail plane. 'My' Stirling was N6012. All parts of the aircraft would have been stamped with something relating to that number.
    James
    I'd like to have other opinions, but we recently made a small reconnaissance dig on the crash site of Stirling I N6034 in France (another 7 Squadron machine) and absolutly nowhere did we find any part stamped with the serial number. We did find parts with "SB", for "Short, Belfast" or either "Short Brothers", we had sequencies with "29" in it, or even "S29" (29 relating to the Stirling).

    This was only a reconnaissance, we knew perfectly that it was N6034 but we wanted to ascertain that the location given by the French witnesses was correct. So perhaps we didn't find any parts / pieces with the serial number because it was only a "surface" do.

    I'd be interested in other opinions about the serial number being stamped / painted on many parts / pieces of a Stirling.

    Joss

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    Hi,

    Would be interesting to get Ross' views on the presence of Banner aboard Z6553 on 29/30-4-1941. Eaton, Graham and Banner seemed to be a unit, as indicated in my earlier post.

    7-2-1941
    No.502 Sqn
    Whitley V T4223 YG-G
    Op: Escort Duty
    Base: Aldergrove
    Take-off time: 09:17

    Engine cut on an escort to convoy SC20 and the Whitley was ditched in position 55 30N 1055W, 120 miles W of Malin Head, Ireland. The crew were picked up by HMS "Harvester".

    90045 F/Lt Gordon HENDERSON AAF - Injured
    74352 F/O Richard William Gilbert HOLDSWORTH RAFVR - Injured
    946965 Sgt Robert Gaskin EATON RAFVR - Safe
    653961 Sgt Reginald Clayton GRAHAM RAF - Injured
    810080 Sgt Gordon BANNER RAFVR - Injured

    See: CCL1/94

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 1st March 2011 at 11:34.

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    Well Ross, unless I'm mistaken will have only seen the ORB as a source? whereas the pilot of the aircraft, who had just bailed out with them called him Bailey. I have CCL V1 and noted the other loss but also note the info from Corry's log book.

    I'll try to get the scan of Howard-Jones log book.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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