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Thread: 26 April 1944 - Coltishall Beaufighters mission

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    Default 26 April 1944 - Coltishall Beaufighters mission

    Hello all,
    Mustangs of No 19 squadron on this date escorted (Close Escort) 30 Beaufighters from Coltishall to attack ships off the Frisian islands. I would like to ask you for help with identification of Beaufighters units involved on this mission. In No 19 squadron ORB is also mentioned one missing Beaufighter from this mission.
    TIA
    Milan

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    Hi,

    The Langham based Beaufighters of 455 and 489 squadrons were often escorted by fighters from Coltishall and on the date in question 10 aircraft from 489 Sqn and 2 from 455 Sqn were on an anti-shipping mission off the Dutch coast but the escort was provided by Spitfires from 611 Sqn. In view of this I think it is probable that 19 Sqn were escorting aircraft from North Coates (236, 254 or 143 Squadrons). The Strubby Wing had not been formed in April 44 and I think it unlikely that Beaufighters from any of the other Coastal Command units based in the UK on the date in question would have been operating off Holland due to their geographical locations (but I could be wrong).

    Hope this may be of some help.

    J

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    I have some info of an Coastal op on 26 April but I have not been able to confirm that it is the same op that 19Sqn record. This describes 8 cannon Beaux 143Sqn, 9 Beaux from 236Sqn (8 with RP) and 6 Torbeaux from 254Sqn escorted by 24 Spitfires from 611 and 64Sqn no mention of Mustangs but they may have flown top cover rather than close escort...?

    You need someone with the Coastal Command OPSUM.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by norfolkjohn View Post
    Hi,

    The Langham based Beaufighters of 455 and 489 squadrons were often escorted by fighters from Coltishall and on the date in question 10 aircraft from 489 Sqn and 2 from 455 Sqn were on an anti-shipping mission off the Dutch coast but the escort was provided by Spitfires from 611 Sqn. In view of this I think it is probable that 19 Sqn were escorting aircraft from North Coates (236, 254 or 143 Squadrons). The Strubby Wing had not been formed in April 44 and I think it unlikely that Beaufighters from any of the other Coastal Command units based in the UK on the date in question would have been operating off Holland due to their geographical locations (but I could be wrong).

    Hope this may be of some help.

    J
    Hello John,

    thank you for your reply. You are right that Langham Beau´s were not on this mission because time of both missions is different (455 squadron Beau´s took off at 12:10 resp 12:13 and Mustangs took off at 17:45) and escort was provided by 611 squadron Spitfires. The Strubby Wing is also out of game.

    Milan

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBrooking View Post
    I have some info of an Coastal op on 26 April but I have not been able to confirm that it is the same op that 19Sqn record. This describes 8 cannon Beaux 143Sqn, 9 Beaux from 236Sqn (8 with RP) and 6 Torbeaux from 254Sqn escorted by 24 Spitfires from 611 and 64Sqn no mention of Mustangs but they may have flown top cover rather than close escort...?

    You need someone with the Coastal Command OPSUM.

    Steve
    Hi Steve,

    do you know the time (from cca 18:00 to 22:00) of mission flew by North Coates Beau´s on this date? Another way to try identify those Beaufighters is search for Beaufighter loss on that date and try to find Beaufighter units which were successfully attacked enemy ships on this date and area. Every source from 19 squadron documents mentioned they role as Close escort ...

    Finally you are right I need someone with CC OPSUM

    thank you

    Milan

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    Hi Milan

    My info comes from the AHB Narrative "RAF in the Maritime War Vol IV" AIR41/48. There is no mention of time the Beaufighter that was lost is recorded as V/254.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBrooking View Post
    Hi Milan

    My info comes from the AHB Narrative "RAF in the Maritime War Vol IV" AIR41/48. There is no mention of time the Beaufighter that was lost is recorded as V/254.

    Steve
    Hi Steve,

    many thanks for your reply. It looks like that you could be right with idea of Top Cover escort to Beaus from Mustangs of 19 squadron. Identity of Beau wing, most probably it was North Coates Strike Wing, but it is still not confirmed ... Hopefully CC expert will able to identify Beaufighter units or whole Wing which was involved on this mission.

    Milan

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    North Coates wing.

    Operation "Coastal Roadstead" - 143, 236, 254 Squadrons

    Force of 24 Beaufighters
    J, S, M, V, N, D, C, E, P/143 armed with cannon
    J, H, D, P, F, M, V, Y, L/236 armed with cannon and R.P.
    N, X, Z, U, V, O/254 armed with cannon and torpedo.

    V/254 missing - six aircraft damaged by flak

    Ross
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    Hi Ross,

    many thanks for your excellent reply, things are much more clear now.

    thanks again

    Milan

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    Hi Ross & all,

    Concerning to No 254 squadron loss of that day. Crew of Bristol Beaufighter TF Mk.X QM-V (JM395) pilot F/O Arnold Sinclair Kelshall (133424) and Nav/Wop P/O Frank James Mortimer (173153) became POW after that mission.
    My question is: Were they rescued from the North Sea or crash landed on Ameland Island?

    Milan

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