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Thread: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

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    Default FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    Hello to all,

    I'm looking forward to have more informations about this FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I serial L5524 from 150 squadron coded JN-


    Crew :
    P/O Alfred GULLEY pilot
    LAC Donald L. PHILLIPS radio
    Sgt J. H. BERRY observer


    shot down by Me-109s and aircraft crashed in Aigleville, south of Evreux, Department of Eure, Normandy. Both BERRY and PHILLIPS managed to evade capture but the pilot was killed in action. I'm seeking any info about the two airmen who managed to evade capture like their E&E reports. I would like also to see pictures about those men and if any member have a pic about the wreckage it would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Best regards
    Loc

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    I note that the remains of Battle L5524 are visible to the right in the strip of photos depicting Hudson AM548:

    https://www.ebay.de/itm/n22-Frankrei...r/363253391179

    Also note that the names in the AIR81 Casualty File Description in the database for L5524 are mostly different from those stated by the person posting and that there are two 'Berry's in the PoW listing, one apparently incomplete.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 11th January 2021 at 07:25. Reason: Note re database entry added

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    The Fairey Battle in the Battle of France is right at the edge of my refs and knowledge, however,

    TNA AIR 81 entry for L5524 confirms its date and crew lost 13 Jun
    AIR 81/1127
    Sergeant R C Beale, Sergeant H J F Tutt and Corporal D B Carter: report of deaths;
    Battle L5524 crashed at Merey, France, 13 June 1940
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ls/r/C14502939
    And correctly reflected in the db here
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...hp?qname=L5524

    CWGC confirms P/O Gulley lies alone in Aigleville, died 14 Jun
    Clearly the OP is mistaken in a/craft id and another needs to be found

    Turned to Halley RAF Aircraft L1000-N9999 to find a near match in Battle L5437 -
    Leadin to TNA AIR 81 search confirmation of loss 14 June and a/crew details as follows
    AIR 81/892
    Sergeant H Berry and Leading Aircraftman D L Phillips: prisoners of war.
    Pilot Officer A R Gulley: report of death;
    Battle L5437 failed to return from an operational flight, 14 June 1940
    With aircraft identification plates
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C14502594
    And correctly reflected in the db L5437 entry here
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...p?qname=L5437+

    Would appear the db L5524 entry here needs some grooming
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...hp?qname=L5524

    PoW Search on
    Donald Leslie D L PHILLIPS (545177) may prove more fruitful with addn of service no
    Sgt H Berry needs more work to tie down.

    Interestingly, the 150 Sqn Operations Record Book records both aircraft were lost on the same 13 Jun op, but transposes the aircraft numbers: under this tempo, a not at all unusual error in recording & perhaps the source of the OPs confusion. The id of Sgt H Berry is no clearer, however. See Record of Events Form 541 preview
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8389364
    The Summary of events Form 540 confirms the crew in the same v brief terms (this time omitting the Aircraft no).
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C15623716
    The ops tempo, though well known of course, is notable.

    Sadly, the fruitful Berry clan has so many scions that AIR 78/14/4 gave far too many H or JH Berry entries for easy solution of full name &/or inits + service no
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C15623716

    PoW Q'uaires etc are beyond me....someone else may find a simple solution that way?

    There is however this re evasion (Phillips, MM) & escape (Berry, MiD), the OPs main focus
    "type: Fairey Battle 1
    serial number: L5524 (sic L5437), JN-?
    operation: Vernon
    lost: 13/06/1940
    Pilot Officer (Pilot) Alfred R. Gulley, RAF 33385, 150 Sqdn., age 21, 14/06/1940, Aigleville Churchyard, F
    Sgt Berry PoW
    LAC D.L.Phillips PoW (Evd)
    Airborne 1005 from Houssay to attack roads around Vernon/Poix. Shot down by Me109s at Aigleville (Eure), 20 km ESE of Evreux, France. The two survivors were captured, but LAC Phillips evaded and eventually reached England, via Gibraltar. He was decorated with the Military Medal. Sgt Berry escaped from captivity and escaped via Spain. MiD."
    From http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/150_squadron.html which in the 13 Jun entry also records the L5524 crew (as L5437) .

    Maton Honour Those Mentioned might firmly id Sgt Berry MiD.

    Addnl:
    Berry is Observer Sgt Harold Berry 514724
    from Aircrew Remembered with images of the crash site and addnl info on the crew members.
    The images show the serial as...L5524! this vs the apparent record of a/craft id plate for L5437, above, is a confusion to be resolved.
    See http://www.aircrewremembered.com/gul...d-richard.html

    Bon chance with this puzzle, M Le Marchand.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 11th January 2021 at 08:51.
    Toujours propos

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Don Clark For This Useful Post:

    robstitt (11th January 2021)

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    Hi Don:

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I sent a heads-up and link to Aircrew Remembered and will post their reply.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 11th January 2021 at 19:02.

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    Hello,
    Thank you very much Don & Robert,
    there was a mistake on ORB with the serial, Gulley was the pilot of L5524
    Regards

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    If so, this raises the question of where the casualty names in AIR 81/1127 came from. From an incorrect ORB...?

    Loc: Can you please confirm your source for Gulley being the pilot of L5524?

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 11th January 2021 at 19:12. Reason: Various edits

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    These events are quite confusing enough and more mistakes easily made.

    The source links provided in my lengthy post #3 above
    show

    a) AIR 81 records
    Gulley & co in L5437, noting "With aircraft identification plates",
    Beale & co in L5524
    b) The Operations Record book 13 Jun entry transposes the a/craft serials
    as Gulley & co in L5524, Beale & co in L5437.

    Look at the originals, please.
    Somewhere here there is a problem.
    Of errors in original records, the ORB is the most likely.

    If it werent for the string of photos on the Aircrew Remembered page, showing L5524.

    As the AR source of these, perhaps Loic might be able to say something more about them, and why he's so confident that this is Gulley's aircraft, not Beale's.
    Two crashed aircraft that day...these photos too may also be confused/transposed as to the right crew...
    Last edited by Don Clark; 12th January 2021 at 06:20.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    Hello Don and Robert,
    I'm sure that L5524 was crashed at Aigleville as I do have a lot of pictures about the wreckage including the clear serial L5524, and there is at the cemetery the grave of Gulley, the only casualty of the crash. And I'm living close to the crash site which is clearly identified.
    About the fate of L5437, the crash is situated at Merey where there are the graves of the crew (3 killed)
    To resume : Aigleville : a Battle's crash : one killed, one grave, serial's L5524 clearly visible on several pictures
    Merey : a Battle's crash : 3 killed, three graves
    Sincerely
    Loc

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    Thanks, Loic.

    So, this feedback suggests, deep breath...

    The ORB entries are correct re crewing of L5524 (Gulley, Phillips and Berry) and L5437 (Beale, Tutt and Carter)
    The Aircrew Remembered aircraft/crew tie-up for L5524 is correct
    The AIR 81 records for the two crews have been transposed between the two aircraft and therefore...
    The casualties for L5524 in the Commands database should only be Gulley
    The POW for L5524 in the Commands database should only be John H Berry (514724) according to Aircrew Remembered. Cyril John Berry does not apply - if so, where does he belong? Service number quoted: 640368
    The casualties for L5437 in the Commands database should be the Beale crew of three. There should be no POW entries.
    Not clear what Halley says re the aircraft/crew tie-ups.

    How am I doing?

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 12th January 2021 at 21:07. Reason: Added C J Berry service number

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    Default Re: FAIREY BATTLE Mk.I - L5524 - 150 Sqn - shot down 13 june 1940

    Doing well, Rob.

    None of Halley's RAF Aircraft serials series ever give more than bare details of a/c serial, units, briefest fate summary (not aircrew.)

    What The Battle File records, cannot say. Never had it. But if it's like The K File, just a more detailed listing of units by date to final fate ("x killed" but no aircrew ids)

    So beyond the bare serial hint noted above, Halley RAF Aircraft L1000-N9999 is of no help re a/craft v aircrew .

    The fate for both a/c:
    "Missing from attack on troop columns near Poix"
    but with contradictory dates:
    L5437 13 Jun
    L5524 22 May

    Clearly there's some problem with the various source records: even I know the difficulties the RAF Squadrons in France faced in a very hard intense period of heavy loss.

    Whether reviews of the TNA AIR 81 casualty files contents would help understand why this aircraft v aircrew confusion arose, cannot say.
    Others will know more but this sort of error in TNA Casualty Files strikes me as quite unusual and worth one of us making a brief note of in the TNA Discovery catalogue entries. Rob?

    The little bits of wandering in the dbs here are a much smaller matter.

    In all good faith and with all good will, checking this case would have been vastly easier had Loic thought to say more about his existing work:
    at least a link or summary remark about his material on Aircrew Remembered.

    Should add, several posters lately, not just new members, have also posted their requests in only the barest terms, when they have some background or refs that - had they been included - would have been helpful at the least and at the worst, avoided duplication of effort.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 12th January 2021 at 22:06.
    Toujours propos

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