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Thread: Blenheim L8863

  1. #1
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    Default Blenheim L8863

    Hello List,
    Can anyone solve the problem. I have a Blenheim 1V L8863 of 53 Squadron being shot down by ground fire on 26th May 1940. There are a number of sites which have L8863 of 18 Squadron being shot down on the 16th May 1940. Is this the same aircraft,as the first incident states that the aircraft was damaged, but was able to land.
    regards
    Mike

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    Hallo Mike,

    I don't have the answer but L8863 was not shot down or lost on May 16th. It was damaged this date according to Peter Cornwell's 'THE BATTLE OF FRANCE - THEN & NOW'. It seems to have been quickly repaired and transferred to 53 Squadron. The Air-Britain 'RAF AIRCRAFT L1000-N9999' shows only two units for L8863, first 18 Sqn. and then 53 Sqn.

    If you obtain a copy of the Form 78 Aircraft History Card for L8863 from the RAF Museum that should clarify the date it moved to 53 Squadron. If you could get to The National Archives at Kew you could check the Operational Record Books for the two units but that is likely to be less fruitful.

    Hopefully others might be able to solve this problem. I would certainly be interested to learn any result to your enquiries.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Default Blenheim L8863

    Hello Gents ,

    Perhaps this site can help you :

    http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/18_squadron.html

    Regards
    Alain12

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    Hello,

    On 16th May 1940, L8863 was damaged and the pilot received a bullet wound from which he eventually died. He was Sgt Alfred William Swinburne THOMAS, 562935 and is buried in Houchin.
    The damage on the Blenheim was fixed and she was taken over by No. 53 Squadron and was lost on the 26th, crashing in a wood near Bayenghem-les-Seninghem, where the crew is buried (BAILEY-EVANS-GILLMORE).

    I don't know the exact amount of damage, and I don't have the form 78, but I don't think the damage was severe. Bullet holes in the alloy revetment of the cockpit section, or perspex parts replaced. It's really unfortunate that Sgt THOMAS was so severely wounded.

    I'm also wondering whether the PZ letters of No. 53 Squadron had been painted on L8863 in lieu of WV, and if the individual letter was kept.

    Joss

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