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Thread: Do 17 shot down by Lysander of Special Duties Flight 2 Sept 40

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    Default Do 17 shot down by Lysander of Special Duties Flight 2 Sept 40

    Hi,

    Larry Donnely’s The Other Few includes a claim for a destroyed Do 17 on the 2nd September 1940 by a Westland Lysander of the Special Flight at Christchurch. The Do 17 crashed into the sea.

    I found no combat report from this date on the National Archives site. The only combat report for any “Special Duties Flight” was from 12 May 1940. According to http://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/airfields/xch.html the Special Duties Flight at Christchuch were involved in radar experiments and had a number of different aircraft types including 3 Hurricanes for defence.

    First of all I am interested in the names of the crewmembers but any other information about the combat is appreciated.

    Regards,
    Peter

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    I have probably found the pilot in in Aces High, Vol 2 by Christopher Shores but it needs to be confirmed.

    Aces High has the following information about Group Captain Patrick Edward Meagher, RAF No.34072:“It is believed that he then served with Special Duties Flight at Christchurch, Sussex, during summer 1940, claiming one victory with this unit.”
    The victory was one destroyed Do 215 on the 2 September 1940.

    Peter

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    If you Google Christchurch Special duties flight it comes up with several leads especially hampshireairfields.co.uk and winkton.net.

    Seems that Hurricane I L1562 was involved and not a Lysander, perhaps more believable. This belonged to the Special Duties Flight Defence Flight, and flown by SDF pilots.
    As well as Meagher s Do 215 , L1562 shot down a Ju 88 on the 19th Sept with a different pilot, but was damaged and subsequently replaced.
    Note that the one source says Meacher at one point, who was another Battle of Britain pilot but not I believe connected to this.
    regards Peter
    Last edited by PeterColwill; 7th April 2015 at 16:05.

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    Peter,
    Thanks for the reply. I had a look at hampshireairfields.co.uk but I was focusing on the Lysanders and may have missed any information about claims by Hurricane pilots.

    Maybe I should I have expected that this claim by a Lysander crew was to good to be true but I did not.
    I did find another thread on this Forum with information about the claim on the 19 September.

    Regards,
    Peter

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    Hello Peter

    A Lysander victory claims was made in May 1940, may be more, I seem to remember the name of pilot DOIG, but absolutely not sure. I also remember some Lysander pilot/crew which attacked Dornier Do-17s over St Omer, and were unfortunately shot down by the return fire.

    But in the scope of your research, you're likely to have victory claims made flying Hurricanes rather than Lysanders.

    Joss

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    Hello Joss,

    Thanks for the reply. I have seen some victory claims by Lysander crews during the Battle of France but the claim from the 2 September is the only one from the Battle of Britain I have seen even if it seems to be incorrect. The Army Co-operation squadrons did fly anti invasion patrols during the BoB but these seems to have been without any encounters with enemy aircraft as there are no Combat reports from this period.

    Regards,
    Peter

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    Hello Peter

    I have the August and 1-7th September 1940 pages from the "Special Duty Flight, CHRISTCHURCH." p/copied some years ago, which states:-

    "CHRISTCHURCH 2.9.40." "1130." "Air Raid warning sounded. Hurricane L. 1562 took off - Pilot 34072 Squadron Leader P.E. MEAGHER - observed Dornier 215 out at sea, made contact and shot down enemy aircraft into sea about 10 miles S.W. of NEEDLES."

    There were some more encounters by the Flight with GAF a/c recorded later in September.

    15 August 1940
    The reason for my interest with RAF CHRISTCHURCH was that not only were the AACU [No. 2 AACU Gosport] using their Aerodrome facilities, but an incident was reputed to have occurred 15th August 1940 in the area, I managed to find a file some years ago at the PRO, Kew, but the folio listed on the Minute Sheet relating to the 15th August 1940 was missing.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 19th April 2015 at 14:29.

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    Hello Mark,

    Thanks for the information. Were any other aircraft type than Hurricane involved in these encounters?

    Peter

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