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Thread: Air Ministry Communiques - Do a record of these exist anywhere?

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    Default Air Ministry Communiques - Do a record of these exist anywhere?

    Does anyone know if a record of Air Ministry Communique's exist anywhere ? They were the press releases of their time and may contain some info especially pre-war.

    An example

    August 17, 1939

    The Air Ministry issued last night the following communique:— The Air Ministry regrets to announce that No. 515485 Corporal John Prudhoe lost his life as a result of a collision in the air which occurred near Berwick-on- Tweed to-day between two aircraft from No. 2 Air Observation School. Acting Flight Lieutenant James Mail Bodman, who was uninjured, was the pilot of one of the aircraft, and Corporal Prudhoe was the only other occupant. Pilot Officer Patrick Chaloner Lindsay (sic), pilot of the other aircraft, was slightly injured, and the other occupants—No. 533543 Aircraftman William Fletcher and No. 532586 Aircraftman Alexander Armour —were uninjured.


    This is the collision between Seals K3579 and K4783 of 2 AOS (Air Observers School) at Beale, Berwick on Tweed on August 17, 1939 at around 1,500 feet

    Note: it is Patrick Chaloner Lindsey (K4783) not Lindsay #41036 who broke his leg (he had Fletcher and Armour as crew). Bodman (K3579) #39649, parachuted, Prudhoe attempted to but either did not have enough time or could not pull rip-cord (it was found un-opened). Lindsey broke his leg in subsequent forced landing as Armour did not have a parachute, Fletcher baled out.

    Flight of four aircraft from Scotland to Acklington, which was lead by Sqn Ldr. Horace James Leatham Hawkins #29107, in K3535 (who happened to have a passenger Dr. Laurence Vincent McNabb #70438 M.B., B.S of Amble, medical officer for Acklington Aerodrome with him). He attempted to land to provide aid but hit an obstruction and tipped up.

    The fourth aircraft flew to Acklington to raise the alarm (I believe it may have been piloted by P/O David Stewart Robertson #40141). News reports say "Pilot Officer Roberts" but can't find anyone with name at 2 AOS at time

    I think he may be this man: http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/...k40/n1485.html

    Lindsey's aircraft cut the tail of Bodmans during formation change. McNabb may have baled out to provide help (reports are unclear). Bodman and Fletcher are definitely on Caterpillar list for this date. McNabb would not qualify (even if he did bale out to help)


    Thanks

    Paul

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    Hi Paul,

    F1180 for K3535 says parachutes fitted but not used so this document refutes McNabb bale out.

    F1180 for K4783 states "crash landing, one passenger jumped previously ok, second passenger harness had come off (airman thrown on floor) on impact, this prompted crash landing"

    F1180 for K3579 says "abandoned pilot down OK, passenger jumped too late"

    So F1180 suggests that Armour had a parachute but his harness had been rendered u/s in the collision.

    On Communique - lots in the TNA on policy and actual including:

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...s?uri=C4091290

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...s?uri=C4082701

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...s?uri=C9836155

    Regards
    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 28th May 2014 at 09:10.
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    Paul

    I have found some of them in Flight Global but I don't know whether all of them were published; the one you quote is definitely in there.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchi...rwick-on-Tweed

    I am guessing you are looking for the originals, but can't help on that front.

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Ross

    Thanks for this, I now have chapter on verse for this incident (the detail of which was previously unclear) and understand it all. The ORB for 2 AOS was not very helpful :-(

    Now all I need to do is see if Air Ministry Communiques exist anywhere!

    Kind Regards

    Paul

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    Pete

    Yes looking for source of originals I suspect more were issued but only the newsworthy ones were printed in newspapers/magazines

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    Dear Paul
    Is there a chance DORIS at Hendon may have any in their archive? Also if you are looking for ones in response to a loss of life or aircraft, is there a possibility that relevant pages may be in the RAF AHB files that are currently being transferred to Kew. I know this is not the answer you are looking for but it may help.
    Best wishes
    James

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    James

    I will ask Doris (certainly none listed on Navigator except two from 1916./1917)

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    I have heard back from RAF Museum unfortunately while they have a collection of WW2 Communiques they do not have any intra-war ones

    BTW I know a series of books have been published of the WW1 ones (via http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com) these are

    1. Royal Flying Corps Communiques 1915-1916, edited by Christopher Cole. Tom Donovan Publishing (1969 & 1990).
    2. Royal Air Force Communiques 1918, edited by Christopher Cole. Tom Donovan Publishing (1969 & 1990).
    3. Royal Flying Corps Communiques 1917-1918, edited by Chaz Bowyer. Grub Street 1998.

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    However this looks interesting...

    COMMUNICATIONS: Bulletins, Communiques and Despatches (CODE A, 19/1): B.B.C. News Items relating to the R.A.F. ...

    Air Ministry and Ministry of Defence: Registered Files. COMMUNICATIONS: Bulletins, Communiques and Despatches (CODE A, 19/1): B.B.C. News Items relating to the R.A.F. (1929-1936).
    Collection: Records created or inherited by the Air Ministry, the Royal Air Force, and related bodies
    Date range:Dates unknown
    Reference:AIR 2/363
    Subjects:Armed Forces (General) | Air Force | Radio and television

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    Dear Paul
    As we all know in this research hobby, sometimes it is there, sometimes it is not, sometimes it is hiding somewhere else. Don't give up, you never know where it
    may be hiding.
    Best wishes
    James

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