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Thread: Loss of Beaufort L.9808 in Friendly Fire Incident.

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    Default Loss of Beaufort L.9808 in Friendly Fire Incident.

    I am researching R.A.F. Chivenor, and the Coastal Operational Training Units. I have visited the National Archives at Kew on several occasions, and copied large chunks from AIR 28/154, the ORB for R.A.F. Chivenor. However, I did not managed to photograph all the pages and have a few gaps. One such gap is the loss of Beaufort L.9808, which was apparently lost in a friendly fire incident with Hurricanes from No. 504 Squadron at Exeter. Is anyone in a position to confirm the details as below, and confirm whether or not there was a fourth member of aircrew on board, who either I have missed or survived the incident.

    17 June 1941 – Bristol Beaufort Mk. I – L.9809

    On 17 June 1941, Bristol Beaufort Mk. I L.9809 was engaged on a training exercise, flown by Sgt R. E. GALE. Hurricanes from No. 504 Squadron, based at R.A.F. Exeter, attacked the Beaufort over east Devon, in an apparent case of mistaken identification. The Beaufort was hit, and crashed at Shute, near Axminster in Devon. All three aircrew were killed instantly.

    918112 Sgt R. E. GALE Pilot & Captain Killed.
    R/54197 Sgt J. S. WARREN Observer Killed.
    988366 Sgt B. R. HARRINGTON WOp/AG Killed.

    GALE[1] Reginald Edwin 22 17/06/41 Sergeant Pilot R.A.F.V.R. 918112 Nottingham Southern Cem Sec Q. 26. Grave 85.
    WARREN[2] James Snedden 28 17/06/41 Sergeant Observer R.C.A.F. R/54197 Exeter Higher Cemetery Sec. Z.K. Grave 42.
    HARRINGTON[3] Bryan Russell 21 17/06/41 Sergeant WOp/AG R.A.F.V.R. 988366 Exeter Higher Cemetery Sec. Z.K. Grave 11



    [1] Son of Edwin Benjamin and Ethel GALE, of West Bridgford, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.

    [2] Son of William James and Isobel WARREN; husband of Ordelia Giles WARREN.

    [3] Son of John and Kathleen HARRINGTON; stepson of James CARROLL, of Calcutta, India.
    Last edited by RobPalmer598; 9th February 2016 at 20:58.

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    4 onboard - 3 killed 1 injured when Hurricane P3614 attacked.

    Beaufort was flying with incomplete change of undersurface colours which gave suggestion of cross on wing underside.

    Gale was not wearing a flying helmet which prevented rapid radio contact and gunner had to leave turret to inform him that colours of the day had not been fired immediately on challenge.

    Having noted all that, the C of I still found that the Hurricane pilot was to blame for not sufficiently investigating before opening fire.

    All detail is from the Form 1180.

    No.3 OTU ORB lists injured man as Sgt T Smith, 996850.

    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 9th February 2016 at 21:32.
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    Ross,

    Many, many thanks. I have to visit Hendon again to go through the Forms 1180 for the relevant aircraft. Although I love living in Barnstaple in North Devon, I just wish Hendon and Kew were closer. Thanks again.

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    Ross McNeill what might you have on L9808? Pilot Herbert Nettleton, 5 OTU (C). Have found 3 sources of where the accident might have been, 1 says 4 miles South of Chivenor, 1 says 4 miles South West of Barnstaple (these would be about the same place) but another says Exford Somerset, probably 20 miles East
    Last edited by Graham Moore; 10th February 2016 at 11:46.

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    And Ross if looking, L9961 4.11.41 Clem Weidenfeller, I am trying to find extra information 5 OTU(C) Chivenor. I am in touch with the son of the pilot's cousin, and its his 100th birthday on the 27th Feb. Crash is recorded as being in my home village
    Last edited by Graham Moore; 10th February 2016 at 11:53.

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