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Thread: 156 Sqn: Lancasters GT-R JA861 or EE178

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    Default 156 Sqn: Lancasters GT-R JA861 or EE178

    Hi everyone,
    I have been researching the sorties flown by the crew of F/Lt Athol Larry McGrath in 156 Sqn.
    During two operations on 8/9 July 1943 to Cologne and 12/13 July 1943 to Turin, according to ORB his crew flew on Lancaster III EE178. Contrary to those entries, the Log-Book of the M.U.Gunner from this crew allocates rather JA861 "R" to them for those sorties.
    So, what may be the correct serial numbers of their aircraft?
    Is is possible to check the other sorties in those operations on ORB and to sort out, where`s the mistake?

    Any assistance would be appreciated.
    Regards,
    Greg

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    Before going too deeply in to the issue, perhaps there are a couple of possible explanations.

    Have you confirmed that for the operations involved, the MU gunner was flying with that crew ie; is he listed in the Form 541?

    Could it be that EE178 was U/S and the crew took JA861 instead. The logbook might not have been made up immediately after each sortie and I doubt if too much attention was always paid to the precise aircraft being used.

    Do you have access to the logbooks of any other crew members and if so, what do they record?

    As a general point, there is considerable inconsistency in the standard of compilation of logbooks. Some show full, others partial, serial numbers and some show code letters only.

    One final check, were both aircraft listed available to 156 Sqn on the dates shown?

    Colin Cummings

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    Colin,
    Of course, you are totally right with your suggestion to check other available sources. Unfortunately I do not have copies of Log-Books other members of this crew.
    I know for sure that the gunner I`m referring to was listed in ORB as flying in those operations. I think that the only solution would be checking the ORB entries of all 156 Sqn sorties made on those nights. Unfrtunately I have only those ORB pages that concern F/Lt McGrath crew, so I have no possibility to check if both Lancasters were equally available on 8/9 and 12/13 July 1943. Perhaps any of our forum members would be willing to help with it.

    Regards,
    Greg

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    Greg,

    You can check the ORBs yourself through this site:

    http://www.156squadron.com/

    If you search for specific crew members in the Crew Database, you will eventually get to Missions Flown by the Sqn on a specific day/night. This includes links to images of the actual ORBs.

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Jonny,
    Many thanks for reminding me about this webpage.
    I have just checked it and indeed it indicates number EE178 GT-R as flown by my crew, so I think it`s the most likely option.

    Cheers,
    Greg

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