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Thread: B.P. Defiant N1796, 141 Sqn, May 1941 - individual code letter?

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    Default B.P. Defiant N1796, 141 Sqn, May 1941 - individual code letter?

    Hello everyoen

    On the night of May 6/7 1941 Defiant N1796 of 141 Sqn, flown by F/O Robert Day with his air gunner P/O Frank Lannings shot down both an He-111 and a Ju-88 over Northumberland. I have the units, codes and werk nummers of the two Luftwaffe aircraft thanks to Bill Norman's excellent book 'Broken Eagles 2', but not the individual letter for the Defiant. I've looked at the 141 Sqn O.R.B. Forms 540 and 541 to no avail.

    So, can anyone tell me the individual code letter of N1796, if possible? A long shot, I think, but you never know!

    Many thanks,

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hello Simon

    Hopefully Andy Long will come along and answer your question - he is writing the definitive history of the Defiant

    cheers

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

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    Simon
    Your best bet is to list all the crew from the ORB who flew the aircraft, and then to try to locate their log books. There is a chance that someone put code letter there. I had some luck with some pilots, albeit never seen such a log for No 307 Defiants.
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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    Simon,

    Sadly the log books I've had access to only record the aircraft by serial numbers.

    I assume you've seen the RAF intelligence combat reports ( slightly different to a Form F ) - if not I can supply copies if you wish.

    As an aside, Flying Officer Robert 'Bing' Day was later killed on 16th June 1944 serving with 132 Squadron. By then he was a Flight Lieutenant and had been awarded a D.F.C.

    Regards,

    Andy

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    Many thanks for the replies everyone.

    I did see if the combat report was online at the National Archives website but there doesn't seem to be one available - plenty of 141 Squadron reports, but not those particular ones. Andy, if you could send the reports to me, I'd be most grateful. I'll drop you a PM with my e-mail address.

    I did come across this obituary report of Frank Lanning in the Northern Echo in 2002:

    http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/new...a__dies_at_94/

    Wonder if the interview in 1990 mentioned in the article was in the Northern Echo too, or from another source?

    Regards

    Simon

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    A quick supplemental question on the Ju-88 attacked by Day and Lanning.

    Bill Norman's 'Broken Eagles Volume 2' includes an account from the Ju-88 pilot, Hans Schaber, in whch he states that the Ju-88 was attacked by a night fighter over Glasgow, and he struggled on to crash-land the damaged Ju-88 on Lindisfarne. He states he flew south-eastwards at around 7,000 feet over the Firth of Forth, then out to sea until he reached the Berwick area, by which time he was at 650 feet and strugging to maintain altitude on one engine, where he chose to head inland and make a crash-landing.

    Day's combat report, however, states that he sighted a Ju-88 at 9,000 feet, 5 miles east Seaham, on the County Durham coast, where he made his attacks. As Bill Norman points out, that's some 60 miles south of Lindisfarne, and obviously nowhere near Glasgow!

    So, are they really the same incidents? Bill Norman said in Broken Eagles Vol. 2 that he believed that credit for the Ju-88 loss 'probably lies elsewhere.'

    Two other 141 Sqn Defiants claimed victories that night: Defiant T3926 claimed a Ju-88 over Clydebank at 01.45, but that came down at Lennoxtown, and Defiant N3394 claimed an He-111 in the Glasgow area at 01.15.

    Regards

    Simon

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