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Thread: Information needed concerning Hudsons of 608 Sqn. RAF

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    Default Information needed concerning Hudsons of 608 Sqn. RAF

    Hello,

    I am looking for information on the 608 Sqn RAF. My grandfather served as a WAG in B Flight, 608 Squadron between March and July 1944, before he was transfered to the 25 SAAF. While searching for infomation, I have been planning on building a model replica of one of his planes using the numbers in his log book. He flew in Hudsons during this time, and I have a few questions regarding the appearance of the aircraft.

    During this period what was the squadron code for the 608? and what colours were the letters?
    What colour scheme was used on the planes, the dark green/brown or the Coastal Command blue and grey?

    And does anyone have access to any photos of the 608 Hudsons? In the only photo I have of their plane, only the propeller and a bit of the nose is seen behind the crew.

    Of the 29 Ops with the 608, there are a couple planes he used multiple times, these are the planes I am most interested in. C-479, O-714, L-925, and R-669.

    In addition, I am looking for any information about the squadron (more detailed than Wikipedia) during their time in the Med, and particularly the crew.

    There is very little information on British squadrons easily available in Canada, and any information or a direction to look would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

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    Default Re 608

    Being a Thornaby lad, I have an extremely limited knowledge of 608, but that's primarily post War - My dad was the 608 ATCO then SATCO 1950 - 1953

    There is a book - The Kipper Patrol by Louise Wilkinson ISBN 978- 1-905809-45-5 available on Amazon, that has a couple of poor photo's of 608 Hudsons , only code I can read is ? T DL ?

    For interest, would one of your Dad;s A/c captain be an Ainsworth initial B, by chance I worked with Basil in the Gulf in the early '70's

    PZULBA - Out of Africa (Retired)

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    Thanks

    I will look up the book and see if I can get a hold of it here.
    The Sqn codes I have been able to find for wartime service is UL and 6T, but I am not sure when they switched. I am pretty sure from other research that they had UL at the beginning of the war (present on the Botha and Blenheims) and switched to 6T when the squadron went to the Med, but can't confirm this anywhere.

    For the wartime service members in Grandad's unit, I only know him (WO George H Blake RCAF) his other gunner WO Norm Britton RCAF, and the pilot F/O Peter Southgate RAF?. Their observer/bombadier is still unknown to us. We do know that the whole crew transfered together to the 25 SAAF after the 608 was disbanded in July 44, and that Blake and Britton survived the war. There was other gunners in other crews he was close with after the war who may have been in the same unit, named Columbus RCAF and Cooper RCAF, but they may have only trained together.
    Grandad died before I was born, so I was never able to ask certain questions, and my father's knowledge is limited in many details, but we are both striving to find out more.

    Thanks

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    There are photos (one each) of 608 Sq Botha and Hudson in Combat Codes, by Flintham and Thomas. The Hudson photo is of Mk.V UL.A AM571, dated to August 1941. The text states that 608 Sq was one of the least photographed units and there are no known photos of them with Blenheims. The book confirms the allocation of UL codes up to 1944, and 6T on the Mosquitos after that.

    However, Coastal Command abandoned the use of such unit codes, and according to Coastal Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF 608 Sq only carried individual codes when overseas. This book has quite a long list of code/serial tie-ups, but none appear to match the four you quote. If you send me a PM we can discuss this further?

    In 1944 the aircraft will (almost certainly) have been painted with Extra Dark Sea Grey on the pure plan surfaces, with White elsewhere. Some may have retained the earlier Temperate Sea Scheme of EDSG and Dark Slate Grey in the uppersurfaces, but it's a bit late for that really. A few Halifax did, but they're more difficult to repaint than Hudsons.

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    It seems from what you have written that you do not have a copy of the 608Sqn diary or "Operations Record Book" for the period your grandfather served. You can get that in .pdf form from the UK National Archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ You will see a link that enables you to search the NA catalogue "Discovery". The ORB document was completed in monthly sections and is in two parts listed on the catalogue as "Summary of Events" and "Record of Events". I would expect that the name of the observer/bombardier is recorded in the "Record of Events" pages.

    You will see that you can purchase copies of each of the two monthly records and download them to your computer but if you want a number of items then I would recommend that you contact the Archives and tell them the period you want and that you want the complete diary for that period. They will then send you the .pdfs saved to CD much more cheaply than buying the separate sections for download.

    If you go to the Imperial War Museum site and search "Collections" http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/ they seem to have quite a lot of material on 608Sqn including a photo album for F/Lt J E Garrett who was with the sqn in the Med which includes photos of a/c. They have three issues of a squadron newsletter "ULlabaloo" as well.

    It is always worth checking the RAF Museum http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/ to see if they have photos.

    Steve
    Last edited by SteveBrooking; 13th June 2013 at 17:49. Reason: additional info

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    Hello,

    The book "The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth 1918-1988" by James J. Halley, Air-Britain Publications, has a photo of a 608 Sqn Hudson Mk. V coded "O" (Probably AM739)

    I haven't got a copy of the ORB, but the Sqn moved to Gibraltar on 9. Nov-42, the ground echelons arriving by ship some time later. In the meantime, the planes were repainted with white undersurfaces and sides, retaining the Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey on top surfaces. The single code letter, behind the roundel, appears to be red.

    By the time your relative served on the Sqn, they were equipped with Hudson Mk. VI. These would most likely have single colour EDSG uppers.

    Stein

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