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Thread: Wellington bomber incident - 1941

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    Default Wellington bomber incident - 1941

    During my research of the old Birdlip Radio Station history, I found reference to three new Wellingtons being delivered to the Middle East in November 1941, when one had to ditch in the Med' near Pantalleria Island, with six crew. It was attacked by six Fiat CR.42 Falco's. Birdlip answered their distress call and the remainder of the formation landed at Malta.
    Does anyone have more details on any of the aircraft/crew involved? Sorry, but I don't have more specific dates.
    Thanks,
    Colin

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    Possibly Z8989, 15th Nov 41, according to Bomber Losses ME, Gunby and Temple. Took off from Gibraltar
    r for Luqua, attacked by CR42's, ditched 40km SW of Pantellaria. Crew rescued 6hrs later.
    Sgt J.P. Barlow RCAF.
    Sgt Leonard.
    Sgt C.C. Duncum, RNZAF.
    Sgt Welch.
    Sgt B.H. Cameron, RCAF.
    Sgt P. Potter, RCAF.

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    Many thanks Alan -appreciate your prompt and helpful response.
    regards,
    Colin

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    I had a first hand account, though brief, of this ditching from the front gunner, Sgt Cameron RCAF. He writes: Off the island of Pantelleria we were attacked by six CR42s. We were three wimpys, flying low so they could not get under us. We hit one of them, and when he took off to his base trailing smoke, they all left. We had been hit on our starboard motor, which also caught fire. Also my turret was hit, and as a result was useless. I got shrapnel in my left hand and arm. We were loaded with mail and freight for Malta. The plane gradually lost height, as we were flyng on one motor. We landed on the water, and everyone got to the dinghy safely. This was about 5 pm.

    After the plane sank, packages of money (English, Italian, French etc) that we had been issued, came floating to the surface. Dick Leonard (RAF, Australian) removed his uniform and swam arund and picked up the money (should have had a camera). He turned the money in, but found out later that guys were selling it on the black market in Valetta.

    I can add that the crew, originally from 9 Squadron, joined 40 Squadron on Malta, and completed their tou. Preston Barlow RCA was killed during a second tour of operations.

    David

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    Hi David,

    Your "Dick Leonard" (RAF, Australian). Would he be - 911651 Sgt Richard H. LEONARD MiD RAF?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 12th October 2015 at 05:13.

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    Hi David,
    Very many thanks for this additional background information.
    it always amazes me how much data comes to light when you start a research project!
    thanks again,
    Colin

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    Col,

    I assume so.

    Glad to assist, Colin.

    David

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