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Thread: Avenger Squadrons in Kent around August and September 1944 ?

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    Default Avenger Squadrons in Kent around August and September 1944 ?

    Hello,

    This is more a FAA question, so apologies in advance if this is slightly out of the usual frame of the board. I'm not very well documented on FAA units, ops and losses.

    I'm trying to find out details about Grumann Avenger Squadrons based in Kent in the summer of 1944. I've only found that No. 855 NAS was based at RAF Hawkinge (confirmed as "HMS Daedalus ?"). I've found that they lost JZ490 on the 4th of September, pilot Lt D.C. Scott being buried in the Netherlands after his body was washed out on the shore. Lt C.H. Jeffrey and Petty Officer G.A. Stephenson have no known grave.

    Was there another Avenger unit around, flying over the Channel and the North Sea at that time ? Late August, early Septembrer 1944, covering the ports of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais and Dunkirk ?

    TIA

    Joss

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    Not HMS Daedalus, Joss, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNAS_Lee-on-Solent_(HMS_Daedalus). So far as I'm aware Hawkinge was always RAF, see http://www.rafweb.org/Stations/Stations-H.htm#Hawkinge .

    Brian

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    Hello Brian

    I was not sure about Hawkinge = HMS Daedalus. I saw on the net a picture of Scott's grave, with this inscribed on it.

    No FAA unit record on the webpage, even as a detachment. The crew of JZ490 might have stopped at Hawkinge to refuel ? I've seen a mention of 855 NAS linked to No. 157 Wing, a unit which I've studied last year. Will only be able to access my copy of the ORB when back home...

    Thanks for your help

    Joss

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    854 and 855 Sqns operated Avengers from Hawkinge in June/July 1944 under RAF Coastal Command for anti-shipping patrols. As a matter of interest, Avenger JZ560 left Hawarden on 9 June for ferrying to Hawkinge and disappeared en route with its ATA pilot.

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    Hi

    quote form 855 sqn page linked below.

    "In May 1944 the squadron was attached to No 157 Wing RAF Coastal Command at Hawkinge and subsequently Thorney Island for duties in the English Channel leading up to D-Day activities in Normandy. After the Invasion Forces were consolidated in France the services of the squadron were no longer needed and it disbanded in October 1944"

    http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/squadrons/855.html


    some extra info

    155 wing at manston with 848 sqn avengers and 816 sqn swordfish
    157 wing at hawkinge with 854 and 855 sqn's avengers

    from british naval aviation 1917-1990 by r.sturtivant


    cheers
    Jerry
    Last edited by brewerjerry; 3rd February 2012 at 15:34.

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    Hi Joss,

    848 squadron based at Thorney Island were definately carrying out Armed Recconaissance/ A/S Patrols and Rover operations to Ostend in late August 1944, in fact I have a logbook which details some of these ops.

    Russ

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    hello

    Thanks Dave Jerry and Russ for your answers.

    Russ, do you have references specific to Boulogne sur Mer or Calais, in late August or early september 1944 ? Can you share some basic details from this log-book ?

    Thanks in advance

    Joss

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    Hi Joss,

    if you want to PM me your email address I can forward you scans of the relevant pages.

    Cheers
    Russ

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    Hello

    Russ, PM sent.

    Back home, I can check No. 157 Wing ORB, which records on 8th August : "854 and 855 Squadrons ordered to Thorney Island." The Wing was at Hawkinge until then, moved that day to Swingfield and received an Albacore and a Swordfish Squadrons instead of the two Avenger units.

    Avengers are mentioned in the ORB of No. 143 Squadron for the night of 1/2 September 1944. They may have been based further west at Thorney Island, rather than in Kent, as I initially thought.

    Thanks for your help

    Joss

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    Joss,

    If you've not seen it the following link might be of interest:

    http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/Squadrons/RAF_CoastalCommand_FAA_Groups.html

    Looks pretty comprehensive.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 4th February 2012 at 14:52.

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