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Thread: Help searching for a specific aircraft 1941

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    Default Help searching for a specific aircraft 1941

    Dear all

    i saw a lot of expertise on this forum so I request your help.

    I am looking for a specific plane (probably a bomber) who flew on 27 November 1941. It was attacked and had to loose its bomb. It probably only had 1 big bom that was dropped.

    Anyone has a clue how to to find it? I orderrs several copies of the national archives, but no descriptions matched.

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    Hello and welcome to the forum. Do you have any more information, such as where did the bomb land and what time? You mention that it was attacked: what do you know about this?

    It will help a lot to share anything you know about the event.
    We look forward to hearing more.
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    Thanks for the reaction. Some more details:
    The flight was on 27 november 1941, in the evening, probably around 20.00. On it's way to Germany it was (supposedly) attacked. The plane tried to get out of the attack by diving and loosing it's bomb. Probably it was just one big bomb. The plane got away. The bomb hit Maastricht, the Netherlands. According to rumour, the pilot believed he was flying over Germany (only a few miles away) but later photo analyses showed it wa Maastricht.
    Last edited by Alvinvwu; 11th June 2015 at 07:01.

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    So far as it goes, this is going to be difficult. We believe that we are looking at operations on the night of 27/28 November 1941.

    On that night the BC War Diary (Middlebrook & Everitt) records an attack on Dusseldorf by 86 aircraft: 41 Wellingtons, 34 Hampdens, 6 Manchesters, 5 Stirlings. It also records that a Hampden and a Wellington were lost. The minor operations recorded are unlikely to feature because of where they were being conducted.

    Can you please tell us where you got the information you have so far. Is your information coming from somebody who was on the ground near where the bomb fell or is it a report from a member of RAF aircrew. What is the evidence for the attack against the aircraft and what evidence is there that the bomb was released because of the attack. I might be an error by the crew and all the aircraft quoted above were capable of carrying more than a single bomb.

    Colin Cummings

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    Hi Alvin and others,

    This matter is less difficult with the aid of primary sources.

    From The Night Bomb Raid Sheets:
    Maastricht (believed), Hampden 5 Group, 1 x 1,000 + 2 x 500 lbs, results unobserved

    From the Form E Summaries:
    B/83, 20.20 hrs, 12,000 ft, 1 x 1,000 + 2 x 500 lbs believed Maastricht, no results observed

    From the ORB 83 Squadron:
    Hampden AE237

    Sgt McKenzie
    Sgt Haines
    Sgt Metcalfe
    F/Sgt Dring

    Up: 16.41 hrs
    Down: 23.16 hrs

    Bombed town believed to be Maastricht. Haze prevented identification of the target.

    I suppose this was what you were looking/asking for?

    Regards,
    Hans

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    Hi Colin,

    The only "certain" fact is that there was a single large explosion in Maastricht at the 27th of november 1941 a little past 20.00 hours. At that time the airraid sirens went on. People got to their shelters but after a short time the "all clear" signal was given. Shortly after that there was one large explosion. There were multiple aircrafs in the sky according to eyewitnesses. Maastricht was occupied by the Germans at that time and on the route for planes to Germany. German as well ad Dutch police sealed the area and investigated it. Reports at that time say it was a bomb of some sort from a British bomber (although a German report would at that time never say it was a German bomb). But all in all, the most likely case is that it was from allied forces.
    I spoke to a Dutch guy who says he looked at the RAF reports back in the 79s. From this source comes the following: British bombers were trying a new sort of big bom (blockbuster? some bomb that wasa big enough so that only one could be carried). Above Maastricht it got attacked by a German nightfighter. To gain speed, the bomber dived and released it's bomb. It got away to England. Report of the crew said they thought to be over Germany when releasing the bomb. Only later, after analysing the pictures taken from the plane of the bombimpact, they disovered it was Maastricht they hit. 25 people lost their lives.

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    Hi Hans,

    thanks for the info. Seems to be pointing to the good direction. You know where to find the reports you mentioned? You have them in posession or shoould I consult the National Archives? And how difficult is it to get the picture taken from the plane with the analysis?

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    Hi Alvin,

    Most of the above mentioned story can't be backed up with the primary sources. The Interception and Tactic Reports don't list an entry about an aerial combat over Maastricht. The nearest was a combat over Eindhoven. Apart from that, Hampdens didn't carry 4,000 lbs bombs. I cannot check whether the Hampden carried a camera or not, however.

    So, I'm afraid only the exploded bomb in/near Maastricht is a fact, what happened in the air are just assumptions, or as you put it: rumours.


    All reports to which I referred originate from the Nation Archives, but only the Squadron ORB's are digitally accessible. If you like to know more of the matter, just drop a PM: hnautaATquicknetDOTnl. Replace AT and DOT for the obvious symbols.

    Regards,
    Hans

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    My father was on the 27 Nov 41 Dusseldorf raid. My own research on his operations appears to rule out any of the nine Hampdens from 144 Squadron. Their course from North Luffenham was virtually a straight line via Orford Ness on the English coast, crossing to Overflakkee - Tilburg - with Eindhoven on their starboard side (ME110 enemy fighter/s observed at 7,000ft and avoided) - flak and search lights crossing the Himmelbett Defences - Hohenbudberg - Dusseldorf (little flak and good weather conditions over the target, accurate positioning assisted by Rhine. Briefed on dummy town south of Dusseldorf, seen and ignored.) Return on reciprocal bearings. Problems began with poor weather on their return over England, Hampden AE440 crashed killing lower rear gunner. Previous and later operations with 144 Squadron to the Ruhr took him across to Ostend - Aachen and then with a course change to the Ruhr. This course overflies Maastricht, but not on this occasion. All Hampdens were carrying one - one thousand pound bomb and two 500lb wing bombs and probably magnesium flares, including photo flashes for camera. No mention of any special bombs being tested.

    An aircraft from 408 Squadron got hopelessly lost on this operation, with its last recorded position ditching 270 miles west of Brest into the Atlantic. Its navigator probably getting a positional bearing sent to the aircraft mixed up, interpreting it as a heading bearing which will have sent them 180 degrees in the wrong direction. They were returning and may have had injured crew and damaged aircraft.

    Much shortened account but a little background for you.

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    Dear Woodhead,
    thanks for the background information. As far as information now goes, it voul've been bomber from squadron 83. ORB's state they believed to have bombed Maastricht. Still looking further if there are any enemy fighters involved and what kind of cargo there was, bombwise.
    Good to see a story comes alive here really much!

    By the way, a newby question: what means "veg" dropped?

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