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Thread: 169640 P/O Walter Gabbott DFM 635 Sqn

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    Default 169640 P/O Walter Gabbott DFM 635 Sqn

    Hi, this officer was a Flight Engineer in 635 Squadron and was killed in action on 14 Feb 1945 during a raid to Chemmnitz. According to the rear gunner (F/Sgt John Thomas McQuillan DFM), who was the sole survivor of the crew, the Lancaster was attacked by a ME262 and shot down. The experianced crew were on there 49th Op - does anyone have any information on the pilot who shot them down, or any info on W gabbott, who gained his DFM with 10 sqn? Any help appreicated,

    regards and thanks, Rick

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    Gabbott Walter (1540486) Sgt. 10 Sq.
    L.G. 15/6/1943 Sorties 26, Flying Hours 162. Flight Engineer. Air 2/8955

    'posted to 10 Sq. in October 1942 and after completing 26 successful sorties comprising 162 operational hours has today been recommended for screening and posting to instructional duties.' Tavernder DFM

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    Hi, I am still trying to identify the pilot who shot Lancaster PB287 "T" of 635 Sqn down, any ideas?
    Cheers,
    Rick
    Last edited by Ravrick; 21st July 2010 at 11:54.

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    Hi,
    I managed a few years ago to contact the rear gunner (only survivor) J T McQuillian DFM who stated that the lancaster was shot down by " a fast plane with no propellors" - possibly an ME262 jet fighter, can anybody help confirm this?

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Rick, check PMs.

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    Hi Rick,

    The online list of additions and amendments for the Bomber Command Losses by
    Mr Chorley has in the Vol 6, 1945 listing for PB287;

    On the return flight they fell victim to Hptm Kurt-Heinz Weigel of 4./NJG6 flying a JU88G-6 at 21:37.

    Regards,
    Wayne.

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    Thanks wayne, much appreicated,

    Rick

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    Default Lancaster PB287

    Hi Rick,

    the Lancaster crashed near Gefell, which is north of Hof in Germany. The crash occurred along the third homeward leg from Chemnitz.

    The German pilot, Hptm. Kurt-Heinz Weigel, of IV./NJG6, made a claim at 21.37 hours for a Lancaster shot down in the area between Plauen-Eger.


    Returning 6 Group crews reported seeing an aircraft shot down in the vincinity at 21.36 hours: "U/I A/C hit by horizontal tracer four miles to starboard, catch fire and explode on ground. No chutes seen."

    It seems highly likely from plotting the events of this night that Lancaster PB287 was indeed shot down by Hptm. Weigel.

    With regards to the Me262 claim, the reality was that there were no hordes of Me262s or Me163s roaming the night skies and wading into the bomber streams. The multitude of RAF crew reports concerning jets at night, stemming back to October 1944, appear to have been the result of witnessing visual signal and navigational aids fired from the ground, possible testing of experimental ground-to-air missles, and a self-fulfilling prophecy created within RAF Bomber Command. RAF bomber crews were told from late-1944 onwards about a potential jet threat and this led to crews reporting phenomena seen at night that they could not explain being rationalised as jets. Needless to say, there were many air combat claims against jets at night between October 1944 and April 1945, and no one such claim was officially confirmed by RAF Bomber Command HQ because BC Intelligence was aware that there was no evidence of jets operating in the numbers as reported by RAF crews.

    The Me262 was operated at night by Kommando Welter (which became 10./NJG11) from December 1944 to the end of the war. They were tasked with intercepting Mosquitoes raiding Berlin (the Me262 only had about one hour's endurance for much of the late war period) and on one documented occasion, intercepting Mosquitoes raiding Hannover. The majority of these jets were radarless and had to operate by visual means over Berlin in co-operation with searchlights or using any natural illumination to actually make any targets visible. A radar-equipped two-seater ME262 did enter operational service from very late March 1945, but in very limited numbers. Any attempts by this type of aircraft to intercept aircraft other than Mosquitoes would not have been made prior to April 1945, and even then, there probably would have been no more than 3-4 occasions when this would have been attempted. Oblt. Kurt Welter, the commander of the Staffel, is reputed to have shot down two four-engined aircraft at night using a Me262, but like much to do with this man, it is difficult to know if this has any basis of fact or if it is simply an idle boast. Also, there is no evidence that the Me163 attempted night combat - period, and one only has to look at the operational parameters of this aircraft to realise that any such attempt would have been suicidal and pointless.

    Cheers

    Rod

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