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Thread: British Heinkels

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    Default British Heinkels

    Does anyone know if there are any official records regarding 69 Squadron at Malta using Heinkel 115s for special operations? I know the story but cannot find any official records. National Archives put me onto the Department of Culture Media and Sport, it referred me to MoD, MoD referred me to the RAF, the RAF referred me to HM naval records, Portsmouth, that referred me to the National Archives AIR 27/610. This reference section covers several reports without indication that the information I am seeking is in them. A trip from Liverpool to Kew London may be needed and prove fruitless. So I wonder if any members of the forum know if the Heinkel 115 files for Malta are in the public domain, or are still secret!?
    robin bird

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    Hello Robin,
    To save you a trip you could always employ the services of a researcher to copy files, I have used Lee Richards / Arcre but if you think file will be large maybe get a quote for starters.

    Ian

    (https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...37132246,d.d24 )

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    thanks Ian but as I am not sure if the Heinkel stuff is in Kew archives. The subject Heinkel is not flagged up among the AIR files and Kew redirected my inquiry to Department of Culture Media. While researching the subject of the Heinkels from Norway, to Helensburgh to Malta no reference has quoted the official files as a source.. I will wait a while for any feedback before going to London. I do suspect the Heinkel (Malta) files are still classified. The MAEE (RAF Helensburgh) files on the Heinkel 115s are at Kew.

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    A few thoughts...

    Brian Cull has well established links with Maltese researchers and has published a number of books specifically about air operations from Malta and these include "Marylands over Malta" which is mostly about 69 Sqn and includes links to Adrian Warburton's "exploits". I believe Warburton has also written books about his exploits and time in 69 Sqn. Brian visits this board a great deal and I am sure he would respond to a personal mail.

    AIR27/610 is digitized so if you could narrow down the date(s) it might be worth purchasing two or three pdfs at 3.45 a shot.

    If you are talking about floatplanes might they have been flown by FAA pilots...who perhaps had experience on Swordfish? Have you tried the FAA Museum?

    You have not said why you think any records might be "still classified"? As I recall there was quite a big jamboree at Kew quite a few years ago when all the SOE files were made available to the public.

    Steve
    Last edited by SteveBrooking; 3rd November 2016 at 17:50. Reason: irremovable digit

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    Hello Robin
    Looking at Air Britain book on serials BA100 to BZ999 on p.118 it makes reference to four He.115 ex Royal Norwegian Navy being assigned serials BV184 to BV187 and states that one of them, serial unknown, was lost on 22Sep’41 whilst operating out of Kalafrana, Malta.

    With that information I’ve managed to find this website Malta War Diary http://www.maltagc70.com/ which if you scroll down to 22Sep’41, lists the crew lost and that at the time they were operating from there. Looks like most were Free French with at least one member of the FAA on attachment from a naval air station HMS Grebe in Egypt.

    There is an ORB for RAF Kalafrana under AIR 28/409, though not digitised but maybe someone can look up for you.

    Hopefully this is new information for you, unless of course it is this website that has led to you being passed round a lot of governmental organisations!

    All best
    Pierre

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    Pierre, thank you for your response and suggestions. I have studied the story of the Heinkel 115s from Norway in detail, inspired by the fact that my late father flew in one. At Helensburgh I was in contact with a woman whose mother put the Norwegian pilots up, a Norwegian whose father serviced the Heinkels at Helensburgh and a man who sat in one as a child and remembered the drone of the engines as the first of them landed on the Gareloch. I have a first hand account about the Heinkels by Col A.F. Olsen and stuff written by Offerdahl, who flew the Heinkels in question to Malta. I have read Iverach's book and other books on the subject. I have spoken to Frederick Galea in Malta, an expert on the subject and also corresponded with the Malta Aviation Museum. I have studied the MAEE reports on the Heinkels. I have photographs of those killed and details of the undercover ops carried out by the Heinkels. As a result it is not information that I lack other than getting my hands on the official RAF/Government files. Sources have told me they too think these files are still classified, or 'lost.' I will go to Kew again but I am not optimistic. I have made explicit requests to the Government Departments mentioned without success. Thanks again for your reply. If I am successful I will let you know.
    Last edited by robin bird; 4th November 2016 at 10:00.

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    Hi

    Have you listened to http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80016949 as this mentions the Malta Heinkels and the shooting down of one.

    HTH

    GreenBean

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    GreenBean, thank you. There is stuff out there on the Heinkels re Malta but nothing I can find in an official period document HM Government. I do go down to Kew to study the MAEE files and next time I will devote the day studying AIR!!! If the Heinkels flew in German markings and picked up agents,maybe that is why the documents are still not in the public domain.
    Last edited by robin bird; 4th November 2016 at 00:02.

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