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Thread: Operation BEAGLE 23 August 1942?

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    Default Operation BEAGLE 23 August 1942?

    On page 3 of the Appendix of http://home.earthlink.net/~tom.mccrary/Down_and_Out_in_Belgium-1945.pdf, there's a photo of a group of Belgium patriots who alledgedly transmitted weather observations to the UK from the autumn of 1942 until the country was liberated early in 1945. The text of the article contains no reference to the photo or the reason for its inclusion in the appendix, which is odd in itself, but as the German met code had been broken at the beginning of the war there was no reason for agents to supply weather observations in this way.

    The codename of the operation (alledgedly RAF) was BEAGLE, but I've been unable to find any reference to this in the NA catalogue. Is it possible someone has come across it during their researches, or if either 161 or 138 Squadrons flew an operation to Belgium on 23 August 1942?

    Alternatively has one of our Belgian contributors heard this story.

    Brian

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    Default Ops Beagle

    Hello Brian

    On 23 August 1942 5 radios were secretly parachuted into the Rienne area to transmit meteo reports to the RAF.
    This service functioned without interruption from 1942 till the Liberation and broadcasted no less then 1297
    messages.

    Best regards
    Rene

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    Default

    Hello,

    From Ken Merrick's, Flights of the Forgotten:

    August (1942), produced an almost total concentration on French DZs with just a few to Belgium and a single Norwegian operation. Several pilots had now reached the point where they were given their own crews as the work expanded. W/O Walker from No.138 squadron had flown his first run as captain as July slipped into August. The heavy round of operations began on 23/24 August but weather conditions were not good. F/O Wilkins* and P/O Newport-Tinley** attempted two Belgian drops but both failed because of the weather.

    * J/6026 P/O (Pilot) Richard Pennington WILKIN RCAF (later DFC,MC[Czech],MiD). + 19/20-9-1943 No.138 Sqn. Halifax V DG252 - BCL4/323.
    ** 108998 P/O (Pilot) Gervase Francis Benton NEWPORT-TINLEY RAFVR (later DFC). + 22/23-12-1942 No.138 Sqn. Halifax II W7775 - BCL3/285.

    See:
    Flights of the Forgotten:Special Duties Operations in World War Two.
    Merrick,K A.
    London:Arms & Armour,1989.
    p.61

    Seems odd that the Ops (if we are talking about the same event), are described as a failure !

    Freddie Clark's, Agents by Moonlight, might have more.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 11th February 2013 at 01:38.

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    Default

    Col

    Many thanks; that seems to identify the squadron for me, so I'll access the 138 Sqn ORB for August for details.

    Rene

    My thanks to you as well. Could you give me the source for your reply please? The wording seems identical to that found in the reference I quoted at the start of the thread - unfortunately the source was not quoted there either.

    What I find difficult to follow is the logic of partisians risking their lives unnecessarily by transmitting irregular weather observations. The observations would have been of little or no value; German WT met transmissions were routinely intercepted several times a day, so the Germans were unwittingly providing the information themselves.

    Brian

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    Col,

    The 138 ORB is not the best maintained (entries out of date sequence), but as you've advised there were two unsuccessful operations the night of 23/24 August 1942. However, Wilkins went to France; only Newport-Tinley went to Belgium, but no details given.

    Should anyone have need of it I now have the 138 Sqn ORB for 25 Aug 1941 until 29-30 June 1944.

    My thanks again

    Brian

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    Default

    From the 161 Squadron ORB P/O Boothby flew Bealgle/Busker/Bijou on 23 Aug 42.

    From his Debrief it says that they dropped 3 packages into Occupied France - coordinates 49. 34 04.52, which would put it relative close to the Belgian border.

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    Default Operation Beagle

    Hello Brian

    It comes from an article written by CAPT USAAF W. Buddwentz 487 Bom group
    "Down and out in Belgium 1945"
    It is there that I found the info, there is also a photo of the operators.

    Rienne is located near the town of Gedinne and it is not so far from
    the frenchy border.

    Best regards
    Rene

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    Default

    Perhaps this?

    ADM 179/235 Operation "Beagle": requests for Fighter protection 1942

    Next time I am there I will have a look.

    Regards,
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    Default

    Firstly my thanks to everyone:

    Bob

    That's very useful - Google Earth shows the area nicely.

    Rene

    That was my source as well at the start of the thread.

    Bruce

    Thanks for the offer but it was a Navy op and not applicable.

    Brian

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