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Thread: Mitchell FW146

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    Default Mitchell FW146

    Via the internet I have obtained the following:

    Mitchell FW146 was reported missing during an operational mission on 19th February
    1944. Immediately after bombing, the starboard wing was seen to receive a direct hit
    from flak just outboard of the engine. The aircraft broke away from the formation, turned
    upside down and was last seen going down in an uncontrollable dive from a height of
    about 6000 feet. Five of the crew were killed and WO Cote returned safe to the UK.
    Crew:

    RAF Sqn Ldr Campbell,G DFC Captain (Pilot)
    RAF FO Farquhar D G, DFC (Navigator)
    RAF FO Halliday J L (Navigator)
    RAF FO Hodson, (Wireless Air Gunner)
    RAAF 421929 PO Osmond, W E (Wireless Air Gunner)
    RAF WO J F Cote, (Air Gunner)

    Shores and Thomas (Second Tactical Air Force, Vol.2) give the date as 19 November 1944 and give the cause of loss as "shot down by fighter."

    My own sources identify Cote as RCAF, confirm the date as 19 November 1944 but state the cause of loss as flak. My account states:

    "On 19 November 1944, while approaching the Venlo bridge at 15,000 feet, his aircraft took a direct flak hit which killed his three comrades and cut the fuselage in two. The after portion, with turret and Coté, plunged several thousand feet before it ceased spinning and settled into a prolonged flutter, rather like a leaf. The tail landed in an orchard and he staggered out, wounded but alive. He ended up a prisoner of war."

    I note that my source for the above is an article by L.F. Gray, “How Lucky Can You Get ?”, Sentinel Magazine, November-December 1967.

    Clearly I am wrong about the number of persons in the aircraft - but why would a Mitchell have a crew of six on this occasion ? And can the issue of cause - flak or fighters - be resolved ? I could order the relevant ORB pages, but somebody else may already have visited this matter/
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 3rd December 2012 at 16:17.

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    Hello,

    In No. 226 Squadron, FW146 had P as individual letter.

    I confirm the crew of 6 as per the Squadron ORB. No indication of belonging to the RAF or RCAF. W/O J.F.X.A. COTE as per "2nd TAF"

    This was the leader of the formation, hence the crew of 6. Checking the Squadron ORB, I see that S/L CAMPBELL frequently performed this duty in the fall of 1944. Always with a crew of 5 or 6, as did the other formation leaders, like the Squadron C.O.

    The ORB confirms Flak as the cause of loss.

    226 provided 6 Mitchells for this raid, led by S/L Campbell. They took off at 14:35 hours. They bombed at 15:30 hrs, which must be the time FW146 was hit by Flak, over the target, "between the port engine nacelle and the wingtip. The wing folded up and the aircraft went down. No parachute were ever seen." end of quote of the ORB form 541. 4 other planes were hit / damaged.

    So it was definitively Flak at Venlo, but either the port or starboard wing I can't tell...

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 3rd December 2012 at 19:19.

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    Hello,

    Your internet source for the information on Mitchell II FW146, is Alan Storr. Whilst Storr's work is laudable, it is replete with errors and best described as 'Unreliable'.

    http://www.awm.gov.au/catalogue/research_centre/pdf/rc09125z007_1.pdf

    see: p.181 of 308

    Here is another account:

    "November (1944), was a very bad month, the weather making all flying impossible for days on end. Operations were much reduced, but the bombing attacks, particularly of No.2 group, were still continued. On 19 November, in an assault on the bridge at Venlo in Holland, a Mitchell bomber was hit by flak and the tailplane and turret cut off. Inside it the rear gunner, Warrant Officer Cote, a French Canadian, 'fluttered down to earth like a leaf', and suffered no worse than a broken leg. He was made a prisoner of war."

    See:
    Royal Air Force 1939- 1945. Vol.III The Fight is Won.
    Saunders,Hilary St. J.
    London:H.M.S.O.,1954
    p.203

    Note the year of publication - we have moved on since then!

    l have W/O J. F. X. A. Cote RCAF, as R/82474.

    In 2ndTAF2/340, the abbreviation 'sdbf' indicates 'shot down by flak', not 'shot down by fighter' (see:p.198).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 3rd December 2012 at 19:25.

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    Many thanks for information and guiddance.

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  6. The Following User Says Thank You to davidmsims For This Useful Post:

    Jagan (11th November 2019)

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