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Thread: 101 Squadron Blenheim P6953

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    Default 101 Squadron Blenheim P6953

    Hello

    Does anyone have any information on the crash of Blenheim P6953 from 101 Squadron which crashed at Fairlight near Hastings returning from an op to Mannheim on 16 December 1940.

    Many thanks

    Dave

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    Hi Dave, if you did not have it already so Air Britain book for RAF serials stated:

    Ran out of fuel returning from Mannheim and abandoned over Failight, near Hastings, Sussex, 16.12.40.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default

    Hi Pavel

    Many thanks for that

    Regards

    Dave

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    Something a bit strange here. Chorley Bomber Command Losses 1939-1940 has P6953 crashing near Fair Light but says it burst into flames and all three crew, Sgt W.Skipworth, Sgt W.E.Need and Sgt D.Stephenson killed. A/C stated to have taken off from West Raynham at 21:08 on 16/12/40. From the same mission 101 Sqn A/C Z5801 is stated to have taken off at the same time (21:08) but to have run out of petrol and crashed near Plympton Devon with the crew bailing out and surviving. Air Britain agrees in respect of this second A/C.

    I've just checked out Sgt Skipworth and CWGC does have him being killed 16/12/40. I have also found a death matching his name and age registered in Hastings in December 1940 so I'm inclined to think that the info in BCL 39/40 is correct and Air Britain RAF serials is in error.

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    Default Re p6953

    Hi Dave
    can I please ask what your interest is in the crash of Blenheim P6953? The pilot was my uncle William Skipworth and can confirm he died at Fairlight in early hours of 17 December 1940
    Thanks
    Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by norfolkjohn View Post
    Something a bit strange here. Chorley Bomber Command Losses 1939-1940 has P6953 crashing near Fair Light but says it burst into flames and all three crew, Sgt W.Skipworth, Sgt W.E.Need and Sgt D.Stephenson killed. A/C stated to have taken off from West Raynham at 21:08 on 16/12/40. From the same mission 101 Sqn A/C Z5801 is stated to have taken off at the same time (21:08) but to have run out of petrol and crashed near Plympton Devon with the crew bailing out and surviving. Air Britain agrees in respect of this second A/C.

    I've just checked out Sgt Skipworth and CWGC does have him being killed 16/12/40. I have also found a death matching his name and age registered in Hastings in December 1940 so I'm inclined to think that the info in BCL 39/40 is correct and Air Britain RAF serials is in error.

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    Default Re: 101 Squadron Blenheim P6953

    Hello,
    I'm also trying to research this aircraft for a friend who is related to Sgt Need.
    Does anyone know how to find out what the letter markings would have been on the fuselage of the plane?
    I have ?roundel SR and P6953. It's the letter to the left of the roundel that I'm trying to find.
    Surely there must be some record somewhere of what letters were allocated to different aircraft?

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    Default Re: 101 Squadron Blenheim P6953

    Paul,
    Different squadrons recorded their aircraft in different ways in their ORBs. Some just recorded the serial, some just the code, and others both.
    Sadly for historians, the 101 Sqn ORB for Dec 1940 refers to the aircraft only by their serial.
    Andy

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    Default Re: 101 Squadron Blenheim P6953

    Thanks Andy.
    Doesn't this mean that the numbers and letters painted on the fuselage were rather pointless?
    I would have thought that someone somewhere must have a record of what was painted on which aircraft or is that too simple / organised?

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    Default Re: 101 Squadron Blenheim P6953

    In RAF Sqn Adj & Engineer offices c1940, no doubt bumf aplenty to record such detail.
    Pages by the million RAF wide - to be kept for the time needed.

    A/craft Serial no
    Id of each aircraft, applied per order contract at factory, until end of RAF service (abstruse exceptions apply)
    Not for id in the air: highly impractical.
    Incl gaps in sequence at mfr, a small hurdle for enemy intel re force assessment

    Squadron id letters
    Codes, if you like, id Sqn from Sqn.
    Visual ID in the air, eg on mixed ops/exercise, eg on arr off-base. Not for R/T, W/T in the air.
    Changes by time, theatre: a small hurdle for...etc etc

    A/craft letter
    Not a constant id but an a/craft's call-letter for some period on Sqn.
    A brief aid in air, visual and R/T & W/T comms on ops, on exercise.
    Might be also shown eg on the nose - a little convenience in ground handling.

    Returning from Mannheim, on three engines, diverted due weather after 4-5hrs in the air, tanks emptying, in the dark of night, on third final approach after two "go round" orders, with others in the circuit all clamouring to get down, which would you rather call?

    "Beanie Able must land"
    v
    "ZZ Squadron XY678 must land"

    Painting on Sqn letters and a/craft letters varied, as press of events, arrival, replacement and loss of a/craft dictate.
    A/craft may move from unit to unit - all change please - except serial.
    Sqn Letters+A/craft letters were the ordered aim, not the constant practice on Sqn.

    Ops Record Book in practice likewise: whatever KR&ACI para 2349 directed, variable in accuracy, detail (esp full a/craft ids), by Sqn, over time, due to style, application, pressure.
    Also variable in a/crew Log Books: a/craft serial or abbrev serial common, serial+letter less common, letter only not uncommon.

    There was a war on. Thousands of aircraft, millions of personnel: remarkable, commendable, how much RAF paperwork survives 80 years later.
    Holdings differ in RAAF, RCAF, RNZAF eg (beyond scope here).


    Sources incl:
    Sqn photos various.
    Sqn a/crew Log Books various
    Numerous Sqn Ops Record Books AIR 27 TNA
    Flintham & Thomas Combat Codes etc
    Tripp The Eighth Passenger
    etc

    Addnl re aircraft research from source

    Squadron Ops Record Books
    see TNA AIR 27 digitised, free access in COVID-time
    eg via TNA summary spreadsheet RAF Commands at
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...1X4/edit#gid=0
    ID letter possible

    A/craft records
    RAF Museum on those surviving
    https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/researc...t-records.aspx
    and see Research Enquiries
    https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/researc...enquiries.aspx
    (A/craft id letters unlikely, see examples online at
    https://www.lancasterbombers.net/)

    RAF Commands db summaries
    Forum page header search box or
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/)
    ID letter possible

    Flying Log Books
    see
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...261#post157261
    ID letter possible

    Best wishes with yr researches...
    Last edited by Don Clark; 22nd January 2021 at 02:10.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: 101 Squadron Blenheim P6953

    Sins of omission...

    Generally
    KR&ACI:The King’s Regulations and Air Council Instructions (Air Publication 958).
    Voluminous Air Ministry first & last word, standing RAF rules.
    Digitised: https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk...eryExact=False
    See also, eg Sqn Ops records http://www.211squadron.org/squadron_records.html

    AMOs: Air Ministry Orders.
    More immediate current RAF matters
    eg AMO A.154/39 on a/craft markings incl Appendix, Sqn "code letters", also AMO A.664/42

    SD: Secret Document eg SD110 on Sqn "code letters"

    Neither AMO nor SD specified order of Sqn letters v a/craft letter placement.
    Variation inevitable on application in the field - L or R of roundel (& apart from overall variation noted above)
    Now commonly written XY-A (but quite varied style, today).
    See also Tanner British Aviation Colours Of World War Two:The Official Camouflage, Colours And Markings Of RAF Aircraft, 1941-1945 (RAF Museum Series Volume 3)
    or, eg Markings http://www.211squadron.org/squadron_markings.html


    Blenheim IV 101 Sqn P6953
    Warner The Bristol Blenheim Edn 2 2005
    Mark IV losses night ops Oct-Dec 1940 Ch 16 App 2
    "16/17-12-1940 P6953 101 Sq: FTR; Crashed near Hastings on return from Mannheim and burst into flames, crew
    Sgt W. Skipworth, Sgt W. Need and Sgt D. Stephenson KIA"

    Other than lacking a/craft call-letter detail, good accounts 101 Sqn Operations Record Book AIR 27/801/13, 14
    Monthly Summary Form 540
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8436654
    Daily record Form 541
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8436655
    No entry in Appendices item AIR 27/805.
    Copy download of PDFs free as noted above, may interest family

    Form 1180 Accident Record (RAF Museum link above) may interest family.
    Copy on request, expect delay.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 23rd January 2021 at 04:23.
    Toujours propos

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