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Thread: MU used by Polish 318 Fighter Recon Squadron in Italy?

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    Default MU used by Polish 318 Fighter Recon Squadron in Italy?

    Good day

    Would anyone know which MU (Maintenance Unit) the Polish 318 Fighter Recon Squadron used while operating in Italy.

    Chris....

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    ChrisW01
    Do you mean Maintenance Unit (MU) or Servicing Echcelon (SE)? I don't think MU's were ever tied directly to any particular squadron; rather they tended to specialise in engineering work on certain aircraft types, or even other types of equipment entirely, and also maintain reserves of same which could be delivered to any unit requiring them. Servicing Echelons, on the other hand, were tied to a particular squadron, and often started off as the original technical staff of that squadron in the first place, certainly by early 1942. The intention in fact was that the (flying) squadron remained fully mobile, with the ability to move quickly to advanced (or outlying, remote) airfields, where another SE would be waiting for them. This would leave its original SE at the airfileld ready to receive another squadron which operated the same aircraft type. However this intention did not always get carried into reality. I know that the SE for 486 Sqdn remained with its parent unit for all of its 3-year existence, but retained its separate identity. I am not certain how many of the original SE's remained with their parent squadrons in this way - perhaps other Board members can offer advice.
    David D

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    Hello David thanks for the info and reply.

    I was specifically referring to a Maintenance Unit (MU) that handled the major repairs and overhauls etc. I do realize that MU's were not assigned to specific squadrons but encompassed work on aircraft from all over an area of operation. As for Servicing Echelon (SE) it's the first time I've heard of the term, thank you! My interest is in the MU or MU's that 318 may have used for major repairs and overhauls etc. If someone knows the Servicing Echelon attached to 318 that would be of interest as well.

    Chris.......

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    Hopefully I won't seem too grumpy if I could suggest you tried to make your Q a bit more specific! You are asking people to write a brief history of RAF maintenance arrangements in the Mediterranean.

    318 Sqn were in North Africa initially Egypt and Libya then in mid-1944 moved to Italy and then all the way up through Italy with the advance of the frontline. MUs tended to move around a lot less that squadrons so if 318 were linked to an MU then the chances are that it was a different MU certainly between North Africa and Italy and most likely when they moved around in Italy. Which wing was 318 Sqn attached to? Up to mid-1944 the DAF Wings were each linked to a separate Repair and Salvage Unit (RSU) but in mid-1944 the RSUs were absorbed into the overall Wing command structure. RSUs carried out a wide range of repair activities.

    Steve

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    Appreciate your reply and candor Steve

    318 Squadron was part of No. 285 Reconnaissance Wing if that helps. As I mentioned earlier I do understand the function of MU's, unfortunately I can't give any more specific information than what I've asked hence the reason for posting my question on this forum. Would just like to know which MU 318 may have used, you got to start somewhere. With such a huge knowledge base on this forum I didn't think my question was unreasonable. It's also not the first time I've asked such a question. In the past I've received private emails from individuals who were more than happy to check a squadron journal etc or history and came up with a MU number where their aircraft were sent.

    Regards
    Chris........
    Last edited by ChrisW01; 14th July 2014 at 04:20.

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    Hello

    If you have compiled a list of Squadron's machines, using the Air-Britain registers, you might check the MUs mentioned for them, before they were posted to No. 318 Squadron. If the machines were in need of repairs, I think that a Repair & Servicing Unit is much more likely. They could be mentioned in the form 78 if you have them, but normally, not in the Air-Britain registers.

    Joss

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    Thanks Joss for the reply and mention of Repair & Servicing Unit (RSU) which as you say is more likely. Also I am not familiar with 'form 78' and 'Air-Britain registers' could you please elaborate? Is this something I could look up on the web? I get no hits for either on Google.

    Chris.......

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    Hello

    Air-Britain published a series of registers of aircraft used by the R.A.F., such as this volume : http://www.abebooks.fr/9780851301259...0851301258/plp

    Form 78 are the aircraft movement cards. http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research...t-records.aspx
    One example can be seen here : http://www.jp137.com/index.php?slab=...stry-documents

    Not available on the web I'm afraid. You can either purchase the books or maybe consult them in a Library and the form 78 can be consulted on microfilm at the RAF Museum Hendon, Department of Research & Information Service.

    Joss

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    You will find Air Britain here http://www.air-britain.com/ A book you might like to purchase from them is "RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912" by Ray Sturtivant which actually is on offer at the moment! It includes details and locations of all MUs and all RSUs.

    The RAF Museum will send you prints from the microfilm of the Form 78 if you send them the serials that interest you. However the advice from Joss about the detail to be found on F78 is broadly true for a/c operating in Britain but, from my experience, I don't think you will find the same level of detail on F78 for a/c operating in the Mediterranean but I can't speak with specific knowledge of Spitfires in the Med.

    I would suggest that you seek out information from the 285 Wing ORB at the National Archives. If you have not done so already go to http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/ enter "285 Wing" you get quite a lot of hits including the ORB in piece numbers AIR26/402, 403, 404, 405, 406. Quite a number of additional reports come up on the operations of the Wing. All these will be paper documents so it will not be cheap to get copies sent to Canada.

    I assume you know this site http://www.polishsquadronsremembered.com/ There is a great deal of material on there about 318Sqn.

    Steve

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    I am afraid F.78s will be of no help. Rough transcripts are available at a Spitfre website, and there is virtually no info on operational service of overseas aircraft.

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