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Thread: Hudson Mk3a FH385 AU-V

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    Default Hudson Mk3a FH385 AU-V

    Hello all

    I have enjoyed dabbling in some of the conversations in this forum for some time and feel I am long overdue for actually dipping a toe in the water and getting involved.
    I have spent some time trying to track down any snippet of information on Hudson FH385, 269 squadron which failed to return from an ASR sweep on September 2nd 1942 out of Kaldadarnes, Iceland. I have the crew details and squadron notes from the day and confess my interest is infact due to the passenger they had taken along with them. Eric Ravilious was an official war artist who had a short but highly distinguished career and those of you who have visited the Imperial war museum may be familiar with his work / if not a google search should not disappoint. Eric was my great uncle and died long before I was born however his daughter Anne was a close first cousin to my mother and remains very much in the family loop.

    I decided recently to build a model of the missing Hudson and have embarked on a rather autistic search for as much detail on the aircraft as I can muster. It was a MK111a which settles the basics however the squadron leader described the machine as the designated ASR aircraft which got me wondering if it might have carried one of the early airborne lifeboats. Other unconfirmed details include radome y/n, likely interior layout and armament. Any expertise or indeed memories would be greatly appreciated / a photo of the aircraft ( which actually served with 500 squadron before 269 I understand ) would be the projects holy grail if such a thing exists.

    many thanks

    ITATA

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    ITATA
    That would be a Hudson IIIA rather than 111A, but I guess you already knew that as you also had the Arabic number form!
    The astrodome was fitted to all Hudsons at the factory; it was one of two alternate configurations fitted in the roof of the main cabin and carried on a hinged frame, one with hinge line on port side above cabin windows, other likewise on starboard side. One (either) hinged panel could be clipped in the "stowed" position back against the cabin wall, well out of the way, with the other swung up into the roof thus forming a complete watertight roof assembly. One panel was a a mere smooth "blank", the other included the astrodome. I presume the idea for this option was to give a smoother "cruising" configuration with slightly lower fuel consumption; the other provided the astrodome to give increased visibility, either for actually obtaining astro shots against stars, horizons, moon, etc, for navigation calculations, or as a handy viewing platform in case of attack by enemy aircraft, at which point the observer would occupy this space and direct the defence, acting as a link between the gunners and the captain. The latter, in all larger aircraft such as the Hudson, had no aft view at all and was therefore totally reliant on a running commentary from a "neutral" observer, as the gunners usually had to concentrate on a single attacking aircraft at a time and frequently were not in a good position to observe what the other aircraft (if there were any) were up to at the same time.
    I would also guess that a "designated" ASR aircraft would normally be equipped with Lindholme gear suitable for a Hudson's bombay, and therefore no depth charges, and possibly other specific-to-task equipment, and would be held on standby because of this of this configuration awaiting the call for a scramble. Naturally the designated ASR crew for the day would likewise be on standby in the ready room.
    David D

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    Many thanks David D

    Appears I was confusing my Heinkels with my Hudsons ! Information on the astrodome explains why the selection of photos I have of MarkIIIa's show different configurations in place and I am most grateful for your expertise. The use of Lindholme gear in the bombay makes my efforts to portray UA-V a great deal simpler than an airborne lifeboat arrangement which I think from a wikepedia entry did not actually see service with Hudson's until 1943 unless of course someone knows different. I had pinned a great deal of hope on gathering this kind of information from the forum and you have not disappointed.
    If you have ever come across any of Erics wartime artwork you will find Walrus amphibians feature in some paintings and it transpires that his desire to get up to Iceland was infact an interest in catching up with a Norwegian squadron who operated Northrop N-3PB floatplanes. His involvement with 269 squadron was no doubt down to a chance meeting on the weekend of his arrival in Reykjavic and his death testimony to the harsh conditions in which they operated.
    John M ( ITATA )

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