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Thread: Fairey Battle Serial Numbers

  1. #1
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    Default Fairey Battle Serial Numbers

    Could anyone advise on which mark of Fairey Battle these serial number ranges relate to please:

    K7558 to K7712

    L4935 to L5797

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  2. #2
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    Hi Pete,

    L4935 to L5797

    Battle Mk.I

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

  3. #3
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    Pete,

    K7558 to K7712 - Also Mk.I.

    Source: -

    The Battle File, Pub. A-B 1997.

    L/O

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses.

    I will have to do some further research as the ORBs suggest that the squadron had a number of MKII but I can't establish which ones these were at the moment

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  5. #5
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    I'd be very careful when dealing with the early marks of Battles. The progressive improvement from Merlin I to II to III may have been officially reflected in the Battle Marks I,II and III but aircraft delivered in 1939 in the Nxxxx series are still being referred to as Mk.Is. According to The Battle File, all the contracts were for the Battle Mk.I. Were there really quite so many of the unsatisfactory Merlin I built, just for the Battle? I understood that only the Merlin III was built in significant numbers.

    I suggest that the Merlins II and III were introduced onto the assembly line - and also into service aircraft - as they became available, and after a short period all aircraft will have been "Mk.III"s. But I doubt that this was what they were called.

    To be more specific in answer to PeteT query, the Mk.IIs will be the ones with the later serials. That'll be the best guess until someone goes into Fairey's production records, if they exist. I don't see a fuller account in the published works.

  6. #6
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    Hello,

    Fairey Battle

    L1000 to L9999

    L4935-L5797 - Fairey Battle - 863 a/c.

    Bulit by Austin Motors. L4935-L4937 non-standard.
    Merlin II fitted up to L4993, then Merlin III.

    See:
    British Military Aircraft Serials 1878-1987.
    Robertson,Bruce (Comp.)
    Earl Shilton:Midland Counties Publications,1987.
    p.99

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 15th February 2018 at 14:04.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback; much appreciated as always.

    I think some of the aircraft in the K7558 to K7712 range and the K9176 to K9675 range also had Merlin II and possibly Merlin III engines fitted. This is based on information in the No 35 Squadron ORB regarding aircraft that were exchanged so that the frontline squadrons had the better engines.

    Col; does your book show any details for those ranges?

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  8. #8
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    Pete,

    K7558-K7712 Fairey Battle - 155 a/c.

    136 with Merlin I and 19 with Merlin II initially. Built at Stockport.

    Unfortunately, Robertson doesn't identify the 19 Merlin II's.

    If the 19 Merlin II Battles were at the tail end of the K7558-K7712 batch, ie K7694-K7712, 10 of those were allocated to No.35 Squadron, at one time or another. That is pure wishful thinking on my part!

    Just to clarify some of the terms/marks be bandied about here, read this:

    Some Battles were fitted with the Merlin V, which had higher boost pressures, and you will often see much period reference to the Battle I,II,III or V that simply identifies the type of engine fitted, not its correct mark, as the Battle was only ever designated the Battle Mk I (Bomber), the Battle Trainer and Battle Target Tug.

    See:
    Aviation Guide No.1 - Fairey Battle.
    Huntley,Ian D.
    Bedford:SAM Publications,2004.
    p.8

    For what its worth, Huntley also mentions that; "The first Austin-built Battle was test flown by Sqn Ldr T.H. England in July 1938, and deliveries started from Austin about one month after those from Fairey at Ringway. The first 136 machines from the Fairey factory were fitted with the Rolls-Royce Merlin I, then it changed to the Merlin II (the first 59 Austin-built examples were thus powered) before using the Merlin III as standard thereafter." (p.8, same ref as above.)

    Huntley is my first port-of-call on anything vaguely "Fairey".

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 15th February 2018 at 15:18.

  9. #9
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    According to Green and Swanborough:

    'The first 136 Battles from the Fairey assembly line were powered by the 1,030 hp Merlin I; a switch was then made to the Merlin II, also used in the first 59 Austin Battles, after which the 1,440 hp Merlin II became standard. Some Battles were fitted with Merlin Vs, operating at higher boost pressures, and it eventually became the accepted practice to refer to Battle Mks I, II, III and V on the basis of the mark of engine fitted. Much earlier, in the summer of 1937, the designation Battle II had been officially applied to a projected lightweight long-range version...'

    Robert

  10. #10
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    Thanks once again for the feedback.

    To enable me to complete this exercise, do you have any information on the K9176 to K9675 range?

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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