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Thread: 1653 Conversion Unit, RAF Burn, July-Sept 1942

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    Default 1653 Conversion Unit, RAF Burn, July-Sept 1942

    Greetings, all,

    Undigitized as of yet at The National Archives is:

    Reference: AIR 29/612
    Description: 1653 Conversion Unit. Formed at Polebrook (UK) in January 1942. Moved to Burn (UK) in June 1942 and Chedburgh (UK) in November 1943.
    Note: with appendices.

    I have a request in with TNA for a quote on digitizing only the sections covering July, August, and September 1942, but in the meantime I thought I'd ask: Does anyone happen to have access to any of these records? It's a long shot, I know...but one never knows without asking!

    MOST IMPORTANT of all are records covering 5 August 1942, when Liberator AL588 lost its tail unit during a fighter affiliation exercise and crashed, killing the entire crew. A 2009 RAF Commands Forum thread on this was entitled "Liberator AL588, 1653 HCU loss, 5 Aug 1942". I am only now picking up again on this loss and am curious to learn what AIR 29/612 has to offer.

    I'm in the US, nowhere near Kew.

    Thanks,

    Matt

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    Hi Matt, I have them, somewhere!
    Unless someone else turns them up I’ll let you know tomorrow, when I find them.

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    Too good to be true, pete102!! There's a new BMW in it for you... Thanks, and I'll wait patiently for more.

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    A new model would be nice and that’s no lie, but I’d much rather have a 1602 ti.


    PM sent.

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    Pete,

    A model. Let me start looking...and I'm very, veeeeery slowwwww...unless I win the lottery, and then you'll see that 1602 ti. (Share the wealth!)

    To all, Pete sent me exactly the ORB excerpts I was looking for. And it answered a couple of key questions in my investigation. But here are excerpts from three ORBs that Pete sent (1653 CU, RAF Station Marston Moor, and RAF Station Marston Moor Sick Quarters). Very nice info for my needs! Thanks, Pete. The excerpts:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Operations Record Book, Form 540, 1653 Conversion Unit

    Place: Burn.
    Date: 5.8.42.
    Time: [blank]
    Summary of Events: “A” FLIGHT. AL 588 was used for two details of Fighter Affiliation. The second detail (Sgt. Williams & crew), which took off at 16.30 hours, crashed in the neighbourhood of Marston Moor. In this unfortunate accident, all members of the crew lost their lives and the aircraft was a total loss.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Operations Record Book, Form 540, RAF Marston Moor.

    Place: [blank]
    Date: 5-8-42
    Time: [blank]
    Summary of Events: A Liberator ll No. AL 588 of 1653 C.U. from Burn No. 1 Group crashed mile East of aerodrome at 1715 hours, fire tender, crash tender and ambulance sent out, crew of 10 all killed. Starboard half of tail plane complete with fin and rudder became detached at approximately 2000 feet, aircraft had been engaged in evasive action with Spitfire. Front portion of aircraft burnt.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    From Operations Record Book, Form 540, Station Sick Quarters, Marston Moor, UK

    Place: Outskirts of Tockwith
    Date: 5.8.42.
    Time: 17.15.
    Summary of Events: Liberator aircraft of No. 1653 UNIT while taking erasive [sic] action from Spitfire, half of tail unit torn off. Machine crashed out of control bursting into flames on impact. Four bodies were recovered quite easily from wreckage, but the recovery of the further six bodies was hampered by fire and heavy wreckage. Five were recovered after the fire had been mostly brought under control and a Coles crane was brought into use, but the recovery of the last one had to be abandoned until next day owing to darkness. Bodies were brought to S.S.Q. and prepared for coffins.

    Place: Outskirts of Tockwith.
    Date: 6.8.42.
    Time: 09.30.
    Summary of Events: Last body of the crew of ten in Liberator aircraft recovered with the help of crane; all had most severe multiple injuries.

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