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Thread: Malta Hurricanes, Jan 1942

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    Default Malta Hurricanes, Jan 1942

    A chance remark by one of my mother's neighbours in 2007, revealed that he had flown Gladiator N5520 (Faith) on a meteorological sortie whilst stationed at Hal Far in Jan 1942. Although I copied the relevant page from his logbook I didn't fully appreciate the import of his story, and I've forgotten to which squadron he belonged. I'd like to flesh out what little I remember and hope I can do that using the other aircraft numbers on the logbook page to identify his squadron, then going to the ORB.

    I'd appreciate advice as to which squadron the following Hurricanes were allocated in January 1942:

    Z2815, Z5259, BD745, Edit BG792

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 17th June 2012 at 16:31. Reason: Wrong s/n

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    Hello,

    Most likely, No.185 Squadron:

    Monday 1 September (1941).

    The Gladiator which arrived from Kalafrana a few days ago, became servicable, and to the chagrin of the FAA (the previous owners) the RAF in the person of the CO put it through its paces. F/L Jefferies tried to emulate the CO but after a short time he (landed) arrived back at the aerodrome. (The Gladiator, was N5520, formerly of the Fighter Flight. The partly restored aircraft is now on display in Malta's National War Museum.)

    Wednesday 17 September (1941).

    1 scramble for Sgts Sutherland and Eastman and some practice flying.

    A chappie came down from the Met Office and gave the Met pilots a short lecture on what to do. Met flights will be done at dawn and they will start tomorrow.

    See:
    185:The Malta Squadron.
    Rogers,Anthony (ed.).
    Staplehurst:Spellmount,2005.
    pp.58 & 63

    There is sporadic mention of these Met flights over the next 4-5 months.

    Do you have a name? The book does list some of the pilots involved in these flights.

    No.185 Sqn, shared pilots/planes with No.605 Sqn at this time.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 17th June 2012 at 16:52.

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    Brilliant Col - 185 rings a definite bell. The name I have is Lillywhite, sorry no initial.

    I can now place Faith as being used as early as September 1941.

    Brian

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    Found this which backs up 185 squadron suggestion:

    OPERATIONS REPORTS: THURSDAY 18 DECEMBER 1941

    HAL FAR: Night 17th/18th. Four Swordfish 830 Squadron despatched on a shipping search, located a tanker 4-5000 tons with destroyer escort. Two hits claimed on tanker and an explosion followed by a subsequent fire was seen. Four Hurricanes 185 Squadron engaged three BR 20s forty miles south south west of Filfla. One enemy aircraft observed to be hit in wings and fuselage. One of own aircraft K hit in the tail. All aircraft landed safely.

    A wealth of information here: http://www.maltagc70.com/

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    The name confirms it. Lillywhite was a member of No.185 Sqn at the time.

    LILLYWHITE SGT From 242 Sqdn UK 30/6/41. Shared 2 E-Boats with 5 others 26/7/41. 1 SM 81 Des. (Long-range patrol) 20/10/41. F/Sgt 19/12/41. P/O WEF 25/2/42.

    p.139 - Same ref.

    Probably; 905245 Peter Henry LILLYWHITE (116827)

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 17th June 2012 at 17:27.

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    Thank you both Col and Pete; you've filled in most of what I was seeking. For the record Peter told me he made just two flights in N5520; I vaguely recall him telling me he was a spare bod at the time and his first flight was for familiarisation :

    20.01.1942 N5520 T/O 10.35 Landed 11.10. Practice flying. Most enjoyable kite.

    22.01.1942 N5520 T/P 08.25 Landed 09.40. Meteorological flight. Reached 27000 ft. Temperature -43F!!!

    I understand the names, Faith, Hope and Charity, only came into being after the war ( http://www.killifish.f9.co.uk/Malta%20WWII/Faith%20Hope%20&%20Charity.htm), but Peter obviously picked this up, as "Faith" has been added to the N5520 entries at a later date.

    Right, off to the ORB.

    Brian

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    Default Sgt Lillywhite

    Hello Brian,
    I was interested in your referance to Z2815 in the PH Lillywhite logbook. Z2815 was a MkII Hurricane presented by the town of Loughborough and was used by 185 and 605 sqn in Malta, It was coded GL-G.
    Could you please give any dates Sgt Lillywhite flew it, as I have found none in the 185/605 sqn ORB flown by him.
    Thank you,
    Roy

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    I've only the single page I'm afraid Roy, but he flew it for a 20 minutes air test on 8 Jan 1942; aircraft code UP-G.

    Edit
    Apologies, just re-read your post. He's given all the other Hurricanes he flew a squadron code of UP, but not Z2815 - I assumed it was UP.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 17th June 2012 at 19:10.

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    Some data from AB serial books

    Z2815 302/126/185/605 sqdn prob 185 sqdn at Jan 1942
    Z5259 185 sqdn at Jan 1942
    BD745 to Russia Sept 1941 !
    BG792 only used by 605 sqdn

    Ian

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    Thanks Ian. Guess it looks like AB is in error in respect of BD745.

    Lillywhite codes it as UP-E whilst BG792 carried UP-W - and I now see UP was 605 Squadron's code.

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