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Thread: Halifax "exchange"

  1. #1
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    Default Halifax "exchange"

    I am just doing some research on a particular aircraft and I noted that on 9th April 1942, No. 35 Squadron's ORB shows "six Halifax aircraft MKII (W1047, W1048, W1049, W1050, W1051, W1053) arrived from No 102 Squadron, these were exchanged for six of our own aircraft having special modifications on them"

    Does anyone know what these modifications were and why the exchange took place?

    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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    Hello

    I think that it was due to "Gee" Equipment being fitted or not, and in preparation of the Tirpitz raids which were carried out just after. I know I discussed this very topic with Linzee, a number of years ago. She might remember.

    Joss

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    Thanks Joss; I will contact Linzee

    I am still trying to work out if the wording meant that the 35 Squadron aircraft given to 102 Squadron had the special modifications or visa versa. The wording suggests the former.

    Also, would anyone happen to know if W1050 flew operationally with No. 102 Squadron, before its transfer to No. 35 Squadron?

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 29th March 2018 at 08:48. Reason: Additional Query
    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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    Gee was a pretty new Navigational aid in April 1942 having only been used for the first time in early March 1942. There was also an issue about getting enough sets made and enough fitters trained to install so not all aircraft were fitted out with Gee by April 1942. For the Tirpitz Ops Gee would be no use as it couldn't be used over Norway there was therefore no point in sending aircraft with such equipment on them and with it being so new and in short supply they didn't want to risk any falling into enemy hands if it didn't have to. Hence the swap of Halifax aircraft between 102 and 35 Squadrons with the 35 Squadron Halifaxes fitted with Gee going to 102 and the non Gee Halifaxes from 102 Squadron to 35 Squadron for use on the Tirpitz op.

    I'm not able to see if I have any 102 Squadron ORB's to check if W1050 flew operationally with them or not.

    Hope this helps.
    Linzee
    Last edited by Linzee; 2nd April 2018 at 13:25.

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    Linzee

    Thanks for the comprehensive response; much appreciated as always.

    I have established that W1050 arrived at No. 102 Squadron on 1st April and was exchanged on 9th April .... it was not operational with No. 102 Squadron during this period

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 2nd April 2018 at 14:09.
    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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    Pete, it's quite likely that all the serials you mentioned in above post were delivered to 102 Squadron at the same time, or at least were manufactured as a batch. The 102 ORB would have the delivery to Squadron info I expect.

    You could try asking on the Halifax forum which has sparked alive again with Ian Foster and Co over here
    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/hali...forum-f261665/
    Some of the most knowledgeble Halifax expertise pop up there from time to time.

    Regards
    Linzee

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    Thanks Linzee

    I have now obtained a copy of the 102 Squadron ORB and have been able to extract the information that I need.

    My enquirer is building a 1/48 scale model of W1050 for the 76th anniversary of its loss, so wanted some background information on its service.

    One question he has asked (which I don't know the answer to) is whether 35 Squadron's aircraft carried the call sign letter on the front face of the fuselage. I note that some of the Lancasters did but have not seen it on the Halifax .... any thoughts would be welcome

    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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    Hi Pete

    Interesting what we take for granted, like letters on bomber noses.
    Having trawled through a considerable number of Halifax photos it would appear that no Bomber Command Halifaxs had these letters apart from the odd 44/45 one with a "letter" as part of a fancy nose art. Certainly I can see no evidence from your time interest.
    To back that up, no other bomber type of that period seems to have carried them either. Nose letters on Lancasters seem in the main to appear in photos from the 44/45 era and not earlier. The earliest possible I can find are from a few Australian and Canadian squadrons, all in the latter half of 1943.

    MJF Bowyer, who one would normally expect to have the answer merely says these letters appeared to arrive in 1944 possibly at the whim of individual squadrons.

    best wishes Peter

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    Thanks for your time and effort Peter; it is very much appreciated.

    I too have not seen it on the Halifax, although I only have a very limited number of photographs of No 35 Squadron aircraft

    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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    Hi Pete
    I wonder In your collection of Halifax Photos you have one of Halifax type 3 with the production no LV825 this aircraft was originally delivered to 35 Squadron then after few months was transfered to
    10 squadron in March 1944 with several others,this Is a shot In the dark,a photo of this aircraft Is one of the only things that I am looking for to help with my research regarding my brother who lost his life
    while at 10 Squadron, I have all the Orbs with details of the transfers but these only quote the Squadron Nos, as In the past many thanks for your help

    HAROLD DUMMER

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