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Thread: Looking for details of 10 OTU Whitley 14 March 1941

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    Default Looking for details of 10 OTU Whitley 14 March 1941

    Evening all,
    Whitley P5087 from 10 OTU was lost in the Irish Sea 14 March 1941 I am looking for the crew and aircraft code (ZG?) please. I appreciate that 10 OTU ORB and others supply very sparse details. Appreciate any informations.
    Tony K

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    Default 10 OTU Whitley 14 /3/41

    Hi From Chorleys vol 7 OTU'S
    Whitley v P5087 ,10 OTU ,TRAINING ,
    T/O ,1045,Abingdon, on a navigation exercise,,-Base-Worcester -Strumble head-Bardsey Island-Jurby- Gt Ormes's Head-Ludlow -Base, lost without trace,but likely came down in Irish Sea, all are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, P/O Bridson ,was a New zealander Serving RAF, On a short servICE Commission ,He had gained his DFC During a tour of Operations with 10 SQD

    CREW WERE
    1/ P/O A Bridson DFC
    2/ P/O GB Chapman.
    3/ Sgt FH Baldwin.
    4/ Sgt DC Craig.
    5/ Sgt J Orr.
    6/ Sgt WJ Savage .

    sorry no code given , hope this helps phill jones
    Last edited by phill jones; 25th January 2012 at 20:16. Reason: typo

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    My thanks Phil and my apologies! Now I know that I am losing it. I have Chorley's OTU losses and totally forgot that i had it. Sorry for wasting the forum's time and space, am now on my way to the corner for a long spell! Maybe somebody would keep an eye out for me later?
    regards
    Tony K

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    Tony, you can probably come out of the corner now, you only need to be there for one minute for each year of your age, so if you are 30, then 30 minutes etc

    ;-)
    Linzee

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    Linzee, you are very kind, wish I was only 30........I have just come out of the corner.........there all night!
    Tony K

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    hello
    Can I add a request for information regarding 10 OTU based at RAF St Eval in 1943.
    Sergeant Walter Idris Ettle # 923169 was killed on 20th June 1943 when Whitley LA814 piloted by F/S Harry Martin was lost.
    Flying officer Gordon William Frederick Button #133770 was killed on 18th July 1943 when Whitley LA880 was lost.
    Both of these men are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
    I would be grateful for any information regarding the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

    many thanks

    Anne

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    Hello Annie,

    The following information comes from RAF Bomber Command Losses Volume 7 by W R Chorley:

    20 June 1942 10 OTU Det Whitley V LA814 ??-L Op: AS Patrol. Took off 1145 St Eval and set a course that would take them to the Bay of Biscay. Here they came upon a U-boat and in the engagement that ensued the Whitley was shot down, in flames, All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. It is indicated that they were able to send a brief wireless transmission, at 1640, 'GXBF 2829'.
    F/S H Martin
    F/O C M Bingham RCAF
    Sgt W I Ettle
    Sgt R W Warhurst
    F/O A B C Durnell RCAF
    P/O F W E Tomlins

    18 July 1942 10 OTU Det Whitley V LA880 ??-R Op AS Patrol. Took off 0603 St Eval for a Bay of Biscay patrol. Lost without trace. All are commemorated on Runnymede Memorial.
    F/O G C Hamilton
    F/O J D S Goldring
    F/O G W F Button
    Sgt F Mills
    F/O S Lees
    Sgt J A J Jarman

    Hope that helps,
    Linzee

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    Hello Anne

    I have just seen Linzee's post appear at the bottom as I was typing mine in. Your up late Linzee? How are you? Glad to see you are still at it, with the research!

    To avoid duplication, I've deleted some of my post.

    Whitley LA814 20th June 1943

    Two of the crew were Royal Canadian Air Force:-
    F/O Clifford Marvin Bingham J/22033 (son of Lt. Col. Wm John Bingham) &
    F/O Archibald Bertram Charles Durnell J/14745.

    The four letters and four figures are likely their co-ordinates in code (if they were still using the similar 4 letter/4 number coded sequences, as they did in 1940).

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 15th May 2012 at 23:15.

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    Hi Anne,
    Not the answer you are looking for but some backgroud info you might find interesting. I have done some limited research on 10 OTU Abingdon and 10 OTU Detachment St Eval as my uncle was stationed at both. I have the ORB's for St. Eval but only for May 1943 - they are quite detailed and very good quality so you may want to track them down for your dates. 10 OTU Detachment St. Eval was combat operational however coastal command - why it was called an OTU I have never really understood (possibly because of its temporary nature?).

    In case you didn't know 10 OTU Abingdon was a typical bomber command OTU where, upon graduation, crews would be assigned to an operational squadron (or an HCU if they needed to upgrade to one of the heavy bombers). During this time bomber command was loaning some squadrons and other crews to coastal command to shore up anti-sub (AS) patrols. 10 OTU St. Eval Detachment was a unit temporarily detached from bomber command and was managed by coastal command. Crews completing training at Abingdon got loaned to St. Eval for about 4 weeks to be very briefley trained in daytime anti-sub sweeps/dropping depth charges/baiting techniques etc - they were then expected to complete about 6 10hr patrols and then they were returned back to bomber command. Each AS patrol counted as a half op towards their bomber command tour of 30 ops. Make no mistake these patrols were grueling and dangerous. Weather often requiring flying at very low altitudes - not only were the subs well equiped to defend themselves on the surface but enemy fighters were patroling the skys as well. Often returned to fogged in airfields on low fuel.

    You will notice that Chorley lists a crew of six (a Whitley crew is five). The sixth, sometimes a different man for each patrol, was a newly trained pilot (just graduating from an AFU and destine for coastal command) but still in training yet to attend their own OTU. They were on these patrols to "learn the ropes" and spell off some of the flying duties especially if auto pilot "george" was not working. Also another set of eyes as sub contact was pretty much all visual.

    I looked on www.uboat.net for the 20 June 1943 combat but could not find it - suggest you email the webmaster with the Chorley info as he is quite responsive and has other resources.

    Kind of long winded but this info was very difficult to track down - it was only after I spoke to a pilot who went thru it did he clarify many questions I had from my Uncle's logbook and service history.

    Cheers
    Rodger
    Last edited by rmventuri; 16th May 2012 at 00:00.

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    Hello,

    Re: 20-6-1943 action.

    Two Whitleys from 10 OTU found a submarine on 20th June (1943), thought to be the Italian boat 'Barbarigo', commanded by Tenenti di vascello Umberto De Julio. The boat was outbound, heading across the Bay, in position 4528/0931 at 1637. The two aircraft, 'J' Pilot Officer Orr, and 'L' (LA814), Sergeant H Martin, came in from the north, Orr making the first sighting at ten miles. Orr dropped his D/Cs but they undershot. the only damage being inflicted being a severe strafing by the rear gunner.
    Martin followed moments later, as the boat slewed around 90 degrees, presenting her stern to the approaching bomber. Orr and his crew, as they turned to the right to begin a circle, could not make out any gunfire from the boat, but fire she did. Martin's Whitley went over the boat, releasing its D/Cs but these too fell short. As it began to climb slightly, smoke could be seen trailing from it and moments later it crashed into the sea, taking its six-man crew with it.
    Having survived the attacks, the submarine dived. The 'Barbarigo' had sailed from Bordeaux on 16 June for the Far East, but did not survive the cruise, being lost to unknown causes. There is no immediate suggestion that 10 OTU inflicted any damage, but one never knows; perhaps something had gone amiss which contributed to the boat's later loss.

    P/O H Martin - Pilot
    P/O C M Bingham
    Sgt W I Ettie
    Sgt R W Warhurst
    P/O A B C Durnell
    P/O F W Tomlins.

    See:
    U-Boat versus Aircraft:The Dramatic Story behind U-Boat Claims in Gun Action with Aircraft in World War II.
    Franks,Norman & Eric Zimmerman.
    London:Grub Street,1998.
    p.47

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 16th May 2012 at 00:33.

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