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Thread: RAF Blenheims proposed ferry flight to Malta 18 June 1940

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    Default RAF Blenheims proposed ferry flight to Malta 18 June 1940

    Hi guys

    I'm seeking the identities of the crews who were aboard the following aircraft:

    L9300 (V.T.L. Wood, pilot) first name unknown
    L9316 (R.T.M. Saunders, pilot) first name unknown
    L9319 (B. Walker, pilot) first name unknown
    L9320 (E.S.T. Cole, pilot)
    L9334 (S.J. Millen, pilot)
    L9335 (F.W. Cook, pilot) first name unknown

    Any help appreciated.
    Thanks
    Brian
    Last edited by brian; 25th March 2017 at 17:40.

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    Hi Brian,

    This flight has long interested me, since I first read about it in 'MALTA: THE HURRICANE YEARS 1940-1941'.

    Most I can identify using the online Air Force Lists.
    363829 W.O. Frank William Cook
    72802 F/L Edwin Stuart Travis Cole
    41047 P/O Samuel James Millen
    70702 F/O Bernard Walker
    39921 F/O Victor Thomas Lawrence Wood.

    R.T.M. Saunders I cannot trace, mainly because he was a Sergeant at the time. Do you have a service number for him ? Are his initials correct ? Is there an original document listing the aircraft and personnel for that flight ?

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Hi Martin

    Thanks for that - most helpful.

    Many moons ago, when researching 'Malta: The Hurricane Years', I found a file for 4(C)FPP at TNA but sadly did not note the reference number! There was a report of the tragic ferry, to which I added personal accounts from Jock Barber, Dick Sugden and George Maycock, all of whom I met in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). I have to confess to much self-satisfaction when I had finished writing that piece, which seemed to have been overlooked by earlier historians/writers.

    So, yes Martin, there is a file tucked away in the archives somewhere, a file that undoubtedly has the names I now seek! Perhaps someone else has discovered it!

    R.T.M. Saunders is the name I noted at the time. He was probably old school; some of his companions were. Edwin Cole MC was a WWI ace.

    Fingers crossed!

    Brian

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    Brian,

    I think the file you want is AIR 29/458 which covers "4 (C) Ferry Pilots Pool; based at Filton, Cardiff and Kemble", from 1 April 1940 until 31 October 1940

    Another Brian

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    Hi Brian
    Thanks for the reference number
    Cheers
    Brian

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    Brian and Brian,

    I have a copy of that ORB. While several of the officers involved in that ferry flight are mentioned being posted in there is no reference whatsoever to the mission, let alone a list of serials and crews. I wonder if one of the pilots you met had such a list ? I would certainly love to see same.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    Hi Martin, Brian and Brian

    Well, I am now confused! When I saw the relevant file there was certainly an account (perhaps 4 or 5 pages) of the attempted ferry - hence from where I obtained the details - serial numbers of both Blenheims and Hurricanes, and crews. So, there must be another file!

    I'm not sufficiently fit at the moment to get to TNA - hopefully soon, though.

    Cheers
    One of the Brians!

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    Hi Brian
    Graham Warner's "Blenheim" Mentions L9334 but has it as crashing into the sea near Bizerte, on 19th, but apparantly in the hands of another crew. Warner records that L9334 reached Merignane on the 18th under command of P/O S Millen. When it crashed the following day the names recorded as Killed or died of injuries are S/L G Pryde,K.,Sgt A Scott,KIA, and Sgt L Hibbert,DoI. Pryde was clearly not recovered or not I/D'd and is on Runnymede, but Scott is buried at Medjez-el-Bab and Hibbert at Ferryville
    Pryde, Scott and Hibbert are record as survivors of L9263 that crashed at Merignane following an engine failure on 18th
    "Blenheim" Ch 13.p233 Appendix 5
    I should have pointed out that I am using the 2nd Edition of "Blenhein" in case there are any corections /differences from other editions
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 27th March 2017 at 18:30.

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