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Thread: Loss of Hurricane Z4356

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    Default Loss of Hurricane Z4356

    This aircraft was lost in North Africa in 1941. Does anyone know exact date, unit and pilot?
    Thanks

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    Hi Franek
    According to Air Britain Z-Serials this a/c was S.O.C on Malta on 1.7.42. there is no Sqn indicated and Air Britain do not normally give any indication of casualties.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Thanks. So lost in Sicily. No markings on the aircraft, so the Squadron cannot be determined I am afraid.

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    Default Z4356

    Hi Franek

    I doubt it was lost in Sicily - probably destroyed/damaged during a bombing raid on Malta before being allocated to a squadron.

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Hi Franek
    Brian could have a point. The Air Britain Serials normally give the Units that used the a/c but in this case it simply says Malta
    Regards
    Dick

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    I am afraid that Brian has no point, unless some tidal wave brought the destroyed aircraft to Sicily (or North Africa), so it could have been photographed and shown in Italian press!

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    Hi Franek
    You didn't tell us about the photo! It does raise the possibility that Air Britain have the date wrong it could have been '41. With no markings and with Air Britain reporting the unit as simply Malta it could be one lost on delivery,a new a/c and not one re-allocated from another Sqn whose markings it would have carried until Malta changed them. Most, if not all, Malta's fighters were delivered off Aircraft Carriers or flown in from N Africa having been sent across Africa to the Sudan and Egypt via Takoradi. Several were lost en-route and could have been washed up on a coastline.An example is Operation White where 12 Hurricanes were flown off the carrier Argus in Nov'40,but due to faulty weather forecasting and poor navigation 6 of them were lost together with an escorting Skua which itself came down at Punta Palo on Sicily although no trace of the Hurricanes was ever found. It is before your date but it illustrates the possibilities. The details of this come from "Malta-the Hurricane Years" by Shores, Cull and Malizia
    Regards
    Dick

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    Default Z4356

    You cheeky chappie, Franek, trying to catch us out this way!! That's a double vodka when we meet!!

    What is the date of the Italian newspaper to which you refer?

    Regarding Hurricane operations from Malta in mid 1942, an ad hoc small Hurricane fighter-bomber unit was formed by W/Cdr Stan Turner for operations against Sicily, which comprised mainly repaired Hurricanes left over from earlier in the year. One of these was Z2825, but this crashed on an air test on 23 July. Another was BN408. Three redundant FAA pilots then took over the Hurricanes and operated for a short period, flying BG770, Z4941, Z2691 and BE110.

    On 23 July, seven Hurricanes were destroyed/damaged during an air raid - Z3172, 3453, 5149, BE428,563,BG719 and 794; three more suffered the same fate three days later, BD702, BG787 and BN118.

    Z3574 was believed to have been the AOC's personal aircraft coded OK-2.

    I note that Z3456 was lost on 21 October 1941 off Sicily and the pilot killed, possibly into the sea.

    Perhaps, if the photo was taken in North Africa, Z4356 never reached Malta

    None of the above, however, answers your query - how did Z4356 end up in Sicily or North Africa!

    How about posting the picture for all of us to see? And some idea of date would help. Over to you

    Cheers
    Brian

    PS: Just been looking at my ME files and note that the Hurricanes of 238 and 260 Squadron flew via Malta to ME in June 1941; these included Z4353; Z4337 was with 33 Squadon in July 1941; while Z4355, 4373, 4378 and 4379 were with 94 Squadron in September 1941; I have a note that Z4856 (typo for 4356?) was also with 94 Squadron at this time. I am aware that batches of Hurricanes were not necessarily allocated to squadrons in consecutive order, but ...........!
    Last edited by brian; 5th June 2008 at 10:15.

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    Default Z4356

    The mystery deepens!!

    On page 112 of HURRICANES over MALTA I have written regarding the ferry flight to Malta of 238/260 Squadrons Hurricanes from the decks of carriers Victorious and Ark Royal on 14 June 1941:

    "As the remainder reached Malta, one (Z4356) overshot the runway on arrival and hit a wall, although Sgt Robert Wilson was unhurt."

    So, was this aircraft repaired or written-off? Should the Air-Britain entry SOC 7/42, read SOC 7/41? But then how did it arrive in Sicily/North Africa as claimed by Franek? Presumably it was repaired and joined its unit in North Africa, only to be lost at some later stage for it to be captured/photographed by the Italians?

    I am not really a serials bod, but it's fascinating trying to work out movements/fates of aircraft at times.

    Over to the experts.
    Cheers
    Brian

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    No mention of the photo as I did not find it necessary, having the serial clearly visible.
    Well, I have to ask the gent who provided me with the scan about the date and if I can show it in public. I presume all the fuss is caused by a typo somewhere. I have a similar problem with a BoB Hurricane.

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