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Thread: Douglas Boston in service in late 1940?

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    Default Douglas Boston in service in late 1940?

    I have recently been sent a set of photographs from the family of F/O Donald Stewart who flew with 615 Squadron at the end of the Battle of Britain, right up to his death on February 15th 1941.

    One of the photographs has 11 of the pilots, plus two ground crew, gathered round Hurricane KW-S. Of those 11, I have identified S/Ldr Joseph Kayll, F/O Petrus Hugo, F/O Antony Eyre, and F/O Stewart. However, creeping into shot in the background is a Douglas Boston or Havoc, with the cockpit area under a tarpaulin. No squadron codes are visible. Plus in the group shot, one of the pilots looks like P/O Leslie Landels, giving a timeframe of October - November 1940.

    Now, is this timeframe possible? I know we took over some of the airframes destined for the French and Belgians after the fall of Europe, and the first Boston squadron, 88, didn't officially have them until February 1941.

    Any ideas?

    Regards

    Andy

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    Hi Andy,

    Yes that's possible as the first Bostons arrived during summer 40, the very first ones having diverted on sea to the British ports while sailing to French Morocco where they were assembled. They were on two types, Boston Mk.I and Mk.II but all the latter not yet delivered in the USA were later converted in Havoc II.

    By the way, the Belgian Bostons are an urban legend, there is no contract between the Belgians and Douglas, the mistake is coming from the movement cards (AMF78) of the first batch of 16 DB-7s which had arrived in the British ports, on which this inscription is written probably in haste and without verification of any kind. Otherwise all the remaining French DB-7s, and DB-71 on order were handed over to the British.

    HTH
    Phil

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    I understand that in 1940 Northolt was still home of some research units like AFDU, and therefore presence of Boston could be not surprising. Otherwise, it may have been brought for presentation to authorities, Northolt being quite close to the city.

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    Phil and Franek,

    Very many thanks for confirming those details. I'm happy I have a photo taken late October/early November now, and the question of the Boston is cleared up too!

    Your input has been very much appreciated.

    Kind Regards

    Andy

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