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Thread: 437 Sqn code serial tie ups

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    Default 437 Sqn code serial tie ups

    Gents!
    I have been asked for serials of 435 Sqn Dakotas NO, ME, MO, MF, MH, and MZ. Any help on this? Sources appreciated. Also, why so strange two letter codes? Was it a kind of Wing/Group identification?
    TIA
    PS There is a typo in the title, but I am not sure how to correct it.
    Last edited by Franek Grabowski; 12th August 2013 at 16:37.

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    Default RCAF Dakotas

    G'day Franek

    The following codes were used by the squadron while in England from August, 1945 to March, 1946.

    Source: No. 435 (T) Squadron ORB's. RG 24 Reel No. C,12-311

    ODM*F KN436 and KN413

    ODM*H KN451

    ODM*Z KN511

    ODM*E KN665

    ODM*O KG559 and KG580

    Is it possible that NO is really NQ?, If so, that would have been s/n KN277 and coded ODN*Q from No. 436 (T) Squadron.


    Cheers...Chris

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    Thanks!
    I will check NO plane.
    Do you know approximate date of KN436 replacement? Also, do you have by any chance code for KG397?
    What was the markings system? Was 'OD' Wing code, then Sqn code, then aircraft code?

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    These were also radio call signs.
    O - Transport Command
    D - Dakota
    M - 436 Sq
    fourth letter - individual aircraft
    N - 271 Sq

    This system allowed for the original squadron letters to be carried on the fuselage with the individual code. 271 Sq was YS, 436 does not appear to have had one.

    The system began on September 8th 1945, modified in 1947 by the addition of the prefix M, and lasted until 1955.

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    From notes I made years ago from 435 and 436 ORBs and diaries:

    "ODN*Q" was also carried briefly by KG659, with 436 Squadron.

    KN436 "ODM*F" was badly damaged in a landing overshoot at Oslo on 8 October 1945, I think it was never repaired. KN413 "ODM*F" crashed and was definately destroyed on 18 December 1945.

    The ODN coding was used by several other 436 Squadron Dakotas, including FZ665 (ODN*X) and FZ678 (ODN*K) and probably others. 436 Squadron was formed in India, and did not use a two letter squadron code there. They started using the new system described by Graham after returning to the UK in September 1945.
    Last edited by Bill Walker; 13th August 2013 at 20:10. Reason: added last para

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    Default RCAF Dakotas

    G'day Graham

    No. 426 'Thunderbird' (T) Squadron used OLW

    No. 435 'Chinthe' (T) Squadron also used ODM

    No. 436 'Elephant' (T) Squadron used ODN

    No. 437 'Husky' (T) Squadron used ODO

    The letter 'F' was also used to denote the aircraft type Dakota: i.e. s/n KN427 and coded OFM*C from No. 435 (T) Squadron

    Letters to denote aircraft types used were:

    A- Avro Anson

    D and F - Douglas Dakota

    K - Avro Lancaster

    L - Consolidated Liberator

    Q- Short Sunderland

    R - Short Stirling

    S - Douglas Skymaster

    X - Vickers Warwick

    Y - Avro York

    Z - Miiscellaneous civilian aircraft types

    Cheers...Chris
    Last edited by Dakota; 13th August 2013 at 20:34. Reason: supplamental gen

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    My comments were taken from Combat Codes, which does have the other squadron-codes link-up except that 435 Sq is quoted as OFC, and ODN as 271 Sq. Some of the confusion may come from aircraft allocated to one unit and transferred, or at least operated by, another; but I suggest that you pass your information to Andrew Thomas who is always searching for this kind of detail.

    Other aircraft types in this period were H = Halifax, J = Hudson. K = Lancastrian. Z is quoted as Seaford. In the 50s the code letters were used or reused for later types.

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    Thanks guys, now it is getting more clear for me. Not sure though, what is the prefix M introduced in 1947 per Graham's post. Also, why there were two letters for Dakota? Did the number of Dakota Squadrons exceed the number of letters?
    Finally, my question was not noted I think. Does anyone know, what was the code letter for KG397 of 435 Sqn?

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    The M converted 4-figure codes to 5-figure codes. No reason is given in Combat Codes.

    There were 45 allocations of codes to Dakota units. Some units had more than one code: the same code was sometimes given to more than one unit. These were not just squadrons: two codes were given to BOAC and others to Conversion Units and even Flights.

    No idea about KG397.

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    Sorry Franek, I should have mentioned that KG397 is discussed in detail in the 435 Squadron diary, particularly its fatal crash on 13 February 1946, but no mention of the individual code letter.

    Further to what Graham mentioned, there are several references in the 435 and 436 Squadron records of aircraft being used by crews of either squadron, without changing code markings.

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