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Thread: 'Forward Base' for RAF Scorton (Jan-Mar 1942)?

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    Default 'Forward Base' for RAF Scorton (Jan-Mar 1942)?

    No. 122 (Bombay) Squadron operated from RAF Scorton during early 1942 before moving to Hornchurch in April (soon after to become the first Spitfire squadron to operate out of North Africa).

    The squadron was in a building phase for overseas operations, carrying out a lot of practice flying and accepting key staff for a fully operational independent squadron (servicing echelon, intelligence officer etc).

    All the practice flying was carried out from RAF Scorton (termed 'Home Base' in the F541). However, a daily relief run by a Section was made to a 'Forward Base' to relieve an existing Section from where many scrambles were launched.

    'Forward Base' was approximately 10-15 minutes flying from 'Home Base' according to 'time up/down' entries in the F541. Does anyone know what/where 'Forward Base' was?

    Regards

    Adrian
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    Adrian,
    122 flew convoy patrols from their forward base at Thornaby.
    B.

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    Thanks Bill,

    That actually answers two questions - firstly Thornaby as 'Forward Base', secondly that the convoy patrols were flown from there as well. The ORB was less than clear as to whether the convoy patrols were flown from Thornaby ('Forward Base') or Scorton ('Home Base'), but it was clear that scrambles were from Thornaby.

    Adrian
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    Adrian,
    Quite interesting, this one. Scorton, 122's home base came under the control of Ballon Command and was apparently used for storage whereas Thornaby was a Coastal Command station under 18 Group. I suspect that the Squadron may have been at Scorton because there wasn't room for them at Thornaby. Also, of course, the forward base would have been more able to oversee the convoy patrols and interceptions, if any. Certainly these patrols were flown from Scorton as well as Thornaby, but obviously, the latter was better placed for "scrambles".
    I imagine the pilots of 122 would not have been too put out on being sent to Thornaby for the day. I expect that station would have had better facilities than the "Temporary" ones at Scorton.
    Regards,
    Bill.

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    Bill,

    Thanks for the additional information.

    As it turns out, the RAF Thornaby connection isn't of direct interest in tracing my grandfather's service history. Even with numerous operational hours under his belt (mainly convoy patrols and the like - no contacts) when he arrived at No. 122 Squadron, he was never part of the Flight that went forward for the day to RAF Thornaby in the couple of months he was there - but he wasn't alone in that.

    Regards

    Adrian
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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