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Thread: Blenheims landed in Spain 1940-1941

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    Default Blenheims landed in Spain 1940-1941

    Hi, my name is Josep. I live near Barcelona. I'm really enjoying this forum full of opinions and knowledge.

    I am doing research on two events of RAF aircraft, occurred in the Catalan coast, south of Barcelona in 1940 and 1941.


    • One, it is documented that existed. Annex of a local newspaper clipping, dated December 4, 1940. Dated the event, on 2 December.



    I have not yet begun to study in the Spanish archives.
    In general, I found information that was an aircraft in flight delivery, which have been attacked by Italian aircrafts, as explained in the press cutting.
    I have conflicting references to the subject. I've read mentions that the Blenheim IV T 2114 from Thorney Island on delvery flight to Middle East 30 November 1940 crash Landed in the Ebro Delta (also mentioned David Gunby book p 33)
    The number of the aircraft seems to confirm that it would be a unit in transit.
    In some info also mentioned the names of pilots but there are also contradictions:
    a. Gordon Bennet - 745058
    b. SM Cashman (actually died on 2 August 1940 but Soesterberg - Germany)
    c. Edward Hannah 970492
    But, these pilots, are located in the 110 squadron.
    I searched in the National Archives, the books of operations, but I have not been able to focus the research on the delivery unit, which belonged the plane.


    • On 30 July 1941, there is another reference to a landing accident. A Blenheim, in a place next to the other, near the mouth of the Ebro River.

    Of this, no more references. Just mentioned, which belonged to 110 Sqn.
    I I believe that there is a confusion between the two events.
    Certainly, too, could be a flight delivery.

    I'll be very grateful if you can help me. At least with respect to the respective units of each aircraft.
    Thank you

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    Hi Josep, welcome aboard.
    As for TNA I would say one of those units would be taking part in this delivery:

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ults/r?_q=OADU

    Hopefully some other members would be able to provide you more detailed info.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hi Josep
    Firstly Sgt Cashman did not die on 2/8/40 but he was on board a Blenheim of 110 Sqn that crashed landed at Wattisham on return from an operation to Soesterberg. The a/c was damaged by anti aircraft fire and the pilot,Sgt Harris, was wounded. Nobody was killed in the incident which is recorded by W R Chorley in "Bomber Command Losses Vol 1"
    The other incident/Incidents? is recorded in "Blenheim" by Graham Warner who records it twice, each time slightly differently which may account for your information suggesting 2 separate incidents. In Appendix 3 covering losses en route to the Middle East to Dec 1940 he records that T2114 ran out of fuel on a ferry flight from Gibraltar and came down in the Ebro estuary, the crew survived but were interned and later released( Details of this may be in Spanish records of the time.) On the folowing page he shows a photo of the crashed a/c with the caption that it was shot down by MC200s(Italian fighters) and crashed off the Ebro estuary. It is quite possible that the Blenheim was only damaged by the MC200s but it was enough to produce fuel leakage. In both reports the crew survived and were interned.The date is given as 30/11/1940
    The unit involved is shown as OADF (Overseas Aircraft Delivery Flight) which I believe grew into OADU the U being Unit. They did not have a/c or crews of their own and used any qualified crews who were going to the Middle East to take any a/c that was also sent there, so it is quite possible that your men were from 110 Sqn, as Warner records the a/c as being and were all posted to the Middle East, flying the Blenheim was the way they travelled. This was a common way to get aircrew and a/c to the Mediterranean.
    The name S Cashman shows on the CWGC site as having gone missing in July 1941,with 38 Sqn, and his loss is recorded on the Alamain Memorial. The 110 Sqn crew may well have been posted to 38 Sqn or allocated to it once in the Middle East.
    The a/c number in fact has nothing to do with Transit. T2114 is the unique a/c serial number that was allocated when it came off the production line and remained with it until it was written off. Once finished with, it was never re-allocated.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Thanks for the welcome, Pavel, and for the information.
    I was reviewing some of OADU unsuccessful.
    I will continue looking at these links. So far, I've only found references after 1941.
    Greetings.

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    Many thanks Dick.
    In the message, I found some valuable clues for my research.
    For now I will check the book you mentioned, of G. Warner.
    Pilots and Hannah Bennett, listed as members of the 110 SQN. during the month of October in the ORB ..
    However, in November, does not mention at any time that the pilots of the accident on 30 November, had previously gone to England to pilot a delivery flight
    I guess the reference of the accident would be found in the ORB drive delivery.
    I hope to upload some information that may locate here.
    Many thanks for your explanation of the organization of the RAF.
    It is also curious that the number I'm looking for, is the only one without a definitive identification number ...


    Best Regards

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    Hi Josep
    I think that the crew of "your" Blenheim did not go to England to collect the aircraft. The three were probably already there as a complete crew ,Pilot, Navigator(called Observer at that early stage of the war) and w/op and were likely to have been on 110 Sqn, When the RAF ordered the delivery of an aircraft to the Middle East, they took one from 110 Sqn and also posted a crew to the Middle East who were then given to OADF to fly it out,staging via Gibraltar. This was a common practice for deliveries right through the war for both aircraft and aircrew as an alternative to going by sea. Graham Warner's book is very comprehensive and covers all Blenheims wherever they flew even in non-UK Air Forces, the fact that he reports the same aircraft twice suggests that his research did not allow him to be certain that it was only a single incident reported twice.He does give the same serial number to both the written entry and the photograph It sounds as though he had the same problem as you are having now!
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 26th March 2015 at 10:04.

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    The aircraft would need to be modified before going to the Middle East, with a tropical filter on the lower air intake and a larger inlet (and exhaust?) above the wing for the oil cooler. Plus whatever radio or other mods were required. It is not clear to me whether such aircraft were delivered to the squadron or the detached crews picked them up at the OADU.

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    Hi Graham
    From Warner's Blenheim the a/c had been on the strength of 110 Sqn before going to the Middle East. Is it feasible that it would have been sent un-modified, with any changes made when it reached it's final destination? It doesn't sound as if it was delivered to 110 Sqn to be sent on overseas but was a 110 Sqn a/c reallocated overseas as conditions required at the time. It could,of course, have been taken from 110 ,modified, and then sent to OADU.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Hi Dick, and Graham,
    Thank you again for your help.
    Your explanations are very useful for me to better understand this topic. The arguments seem very consistent and appear to coincide with the comparative study of the documents of the 110 SQN. That is, the crew was already a team prior to the flight, at least Bennett and G. E. Hannah, who had flown together on another date but in other planes (at least August, September and October of that year).
    The serial number T2114, is not operational at any time, a couple of months ago the accident (according to the ORB 110 SQN).
    Certainly, the plane does not seem to come from England. The accident, as mentioned, happens flying from Gibraltar, a path from south to north. But it would be logical path north, going towards the middle east?
    According to local media, the crew carried maps of England, France and Spain. Anyway, the press is not a particularly reliable source. Even less in 1940, totally distorted by the censorship of the Franco regime.
    I am anxious to make a visit to the Spanish archives, but I have to wait a few weeks.
    Very grateful to everyone.

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