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Thread: Flt Lt Desmond Palmer Perrin RNZAF, KIFA 10 September 1944

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    Default Flt Lt Desmond Palmer Perrin RNZAF, KIFA 10 September 1944

    Hello,

    On 10 September 1944, Flt Lt Desmond Palmer Perrin RNZAF, DFC, of 198 Sqn RAF was taking off from Merville B.53 airfield (to be confirmed) for a rocket projectile attack on a strong point at Le Havre when a tyre of his Typhoon burst. The aircraft turned over and caught fire and Perrin was killed. He is buried in the Le Treport Military Cemetary, France.

    I would like to know the serial of the Typhoon Perrin was flying and to have confirmation of the airfield he was taking off from. I have found a source saying that 198 Sqn moved to Merville on the 11th, the day after the accident. Before they were at Baromesnil, a more practical place to operate against Le Havre.

    Thanks in advance

    Laurent
    Last edited by Laurent Rizzotti; 18th September 2012 at 14:29.

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    Hi Laurent,
    The Typhoon and Tempest History: Typhoon MP116, TP-T, a tyre burst during taking off, B.35 Baromesnil.
    11 Sept to B.53 Merville.
    Regards Mojmir

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    Thanks Mojmir for the quick answer.

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    Hello,

    From the Squadron ORB, I confirm this accident occured at B35. Perrin was the leader of a formation of 4 Typhoon who took off at 1910 hours to attack a strong point at Le Havre.

    The funeral took place on the 11th. The pilots had already gone to B53 Merville that morning, and the C.O. S/L Ezzano remained to attend the funeral of Perrin, and only after that rejoined the Squadron at Merville.

    If the accident had occured at Merville, he would have been buried either at Merville, or in nearby Calonne-sur-la-Lys (like Stan Barnes of the same Squadron, 2 October 1944), or at least in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Hence the reason why he's buried in Le Tréport.

    Joss

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    Thanks to you too, Joss, the additional details are much appreciated.

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    Laurent,

    From my 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Two: Fates 1943-1998)' :

    Sun 10 Sep 1944
    ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY AIR FORCE

    Range firing - air to ground
    60 Operational Training Unit, RAF (High Ercall, Shropshire - 9 Group, Air Defence of Great Britain)
    Mosquito FB.VI HJ816 - made a normal diving approach over the Banks Range, NE of Southport, but suddenly it became steeper. Attempted to pull out but hit the ground, the starboard wing folding back just before impact. The two crew were buried on the 14th at Chester, Cheshire. Investigators thought that the pilot’s attention may have been momentarily diverted in dealing with a gun firing mechanism problem.
    Pilot: NZ413911 Fg Off Guy Merson TEMPLER, RNZAF - Age 22. 1563hrs (52 on Mosquito)
    Navigator: NZ4211007 Fg Off Derek Allan ATTWOOD, RNZAF - Age 20. 225hrs.

    Rocket projectile attack on a strong point at Le Havre, France
    198 Squadron, RAF (B35 [Godelmesnil], France - 123 Wing, 84 Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force)
    Typhoon IB MP116/T - began to take off at 1910 leading three others, bounced and burst a tyre on the uneven Sommerfeld track, overturned and caught fire. The sortie was abandoned and the pilot’s funeral took place the following day at Le Tréport. A large number of local inhabitants filled the church, while the French Resistance provided a Guard of Honour and a firing party. A grieving Squadron diarist noted that for Perrin, who had joined the unit only seven days earlier, it was ‘after a distinguished flying career, a very sad finish for such a good pilot.’
    Pilot: NZ404404 Flt Lt Desmond Palmer PERRIN, DFC, RNZAF - Age 25. 950hrs solo (400 on Typhoon)
    Perrin’s total number of ops is unknown, but he had previously completed a long tour with 1 Sqn, RAF.


    And from Vol Three (Biographies & Appendices):

    PERRIN, Flight Lieutenant Desmond Palmer, DFC.
    NZ404404; b Wgtn 27 Nov 18; Marist Bros HS, In'gill (1st XI/XV & Tennis Team); clerk - Port Craig Timber Co, In'gill. RNZAF Levin/GTS as Airman Pilot u/t 24 Nov 40, 1EFTS 27 Dec 40, emb for Canada 27 Feb 41, att RCAF 16 Mar 41, 6SFTS 20 Mar 41, Pilots Badge & Sgt 9 Jun 41, 1 M Depôt 14 Jun 41, att RAF & emb for UK 20 Jun 41, 3PRC 1 Jul 41, 52OTU (Hurricane) 14 Jul 41, 1 Sqn (Hurricane, Typhoon) 4 Sep 41, inj in mid-air coll with a Sqn member (killed) on op/baled out 22 Nov 41, Comm 5 Jan 42, 3TEU (Typhoon) 8 Apr 44, 84GSU (Typhoon) 28 Aug 44, 198 Sqn (Typhoon) 3 Sep 44, kao 10 Sep 44. Le Treport Military Cemetery - I.P.1, Seine Maritime, France. Son of Alfred Charles Robert & Margaret Theresa Perrin (née Blewman), In'gill; h of Anna Margarette M'Beth Perrin (née Cleland), Coatbridge, Lan., Scotland. Note: credited with 1 e/a dest. [OHT1, BSD & phot. TWN 5.1.44 & 1.11.44].

    Errol

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    Thanks Errol for the additional details

    The B35 field is called Godelmesnil or Baromesnil depending of sources (and in Shores TAF vol 2, the first is shown on the map and the second used in the text). I searched an explanation and finally found a website explaining it all:
    http://baromesnil.canalblog.com/archives/2011/08/13/21786748.html

    The airfield was situated in the commune of Baromesnil, but the closer inhabited place was the hamlet of Godelmesnil, on the nearby commune of St Rémy-Boscrocourt. The site above calls the airfield B35 Godelmesnil-Baromesnil, and this is probably the best solution :)

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    Default Desmond Perrin aircraft crash

    I have material relating to Perrin in my collection and have written a comprehensively researched resume of his life and service overseas.

    Des Perrin had formerly served for over two years with 1 Squadron flying Hurricanes and Typhoons. He was a noted
    train buster" and had shot down a Me210 soon after converting to Typhoons. He flew with night fighter ace Karel Kuttelwascher and British ace One Armed Mac MacLachlan. Perrin joined 198 Squadron 3 September 1944, flying out of Godelmesnil, France. He was Flight Lieutenant and was assigned to lead a flight of four aircraft on a ground attack. He was flying Typhoon 1B MP116/T. On take-off he lifted the Typhoon's tail off the wire mesh runway as normal, however the starboard tyre burst and the Typhoon flipped onto its back. The canopy was crushed as was the armoured plate behind Des Perrin's head. His neck was broken.

    A Court of Inquiry initially found "pilot error" as the reason for the crash. It was stated Perrin had lifted the tail too high, therefore exerting too much pressure on the tyres leading to tyre burst. His OC and Group Commander Des Scott were incensed at the findings, Scott stating that he and others had repeatedly told "the powers that be" that the tyres were too lightweight for use on uneven front-line airfields and that a number of pilots had needlessly lost their lives due to tyre burst. The eventual decision was overturned and it was stated that the tyres were at fault and all Typhoons were to be fitted with a more robust tyre type. This was actioned and tyre burst on Typhoons was no longer a problem.

    The original finding of the Court of Inquiry to blame the pilot was an all too common one. It was an easy "out" for incompetence further up the chain of command. Fortunately this decision was reversed and Perrin's exemplary war record remained unblemished. Little comfort to him, his wife or parents! His wife died in early 1945, the shock of his loss contributing to her death. He was an only son and both his parents were obviously devastated by his loss. I don't know if they ever knew of the needless waste of their son's life. They may only have known he was "killed on air operations". I hope this is helpful.

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    I was somewhat stunned to read that lifting the tail too high on take off could lead to excesssive pressure on the mainwheel tyres causing one to burst during the take off run. What sort of moron could come up with such arrant nonsense! Lifting the tail high or keeping it low would have no real effect on the amount of pressure being exerted on the tyres. Anyone with the most elementary knowledge of physics and/or geometry can see at a glance that holding a tail high or low on take off, or landing for that matter, has no such effect; all that holding the tail high would have would been to risk prop strike of the runway, which can be pretty serious itself of course. The only thing that can produce pressure on the mainwheel tyres of an aircraft on take off is the weight of the aircraft, which is progressively reduced as flying speed is attained and the wings take over the job of supporting the total load, allowing the aircraft to rise on its undercarriage and leading to lift off depending on the exact technique being employed by the pilot. Any tailwheel-type aircraft such as a Typhoon running on the runway in a more-or-less level attitude is in perfect balance as regards load distribution and aerodynamic forces, delicately poised and requiring only relatively light rear pressure on the controls (depending on the general characteristics of the type and its loading) to effect lift off. If the pilot should for some reason tend to 'rock' the aircraft during the take off run as he increased speed this could tend to momentarily increase the pressure on the tyres, but not to any great extent; I can see why Des Scott and others were "incensed" by the initial finding. The rather lightwight tyres, high operating weights and possibility of damaged runway matting provide plenty of opportunity for tyre burts without half-baked physics.
    David D

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    To the best of my knowledge the Court of Inquiry report has not been released.

    However, a UK researcher acting on my behalf when I was compiling Vol One of 'For Your Tomorrow' noted the following on Form 1180:

    Bounced on t/o, tyre burst, a/c turned over & burnt. Pilot held tail too high, full load (rockets), held a/c down too long. Crashed at B35, France. Comparatively bumpy surface of Summerfield tracking.

    Errol

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