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Thread: 82 Squadron - The Squadron that Died Twice Sources

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    Default 82 Squadron - The Squadron that Died Twice Sources

    Dear All,

    Bit of an odd one here.

    I recently purchased a copy of the book "The Squadron That Died Twice" by Gordon Thorburn as I was very interested in reading the section on the 82 Squadron operation on Gembloux.

    I have been researching a chap named Cleary for a number of years, and he was the air gunner of the only aircraft to return from the raid, so imagine my surprise and cheer when I found that large sections of the chapters on the raid feature accounts from 'Jock' Morrison, the pilot of the Blenheim in which Cleary was serving (P8858).

    All good so far.

    Now, I was very keen to obtain copies of the original reports from which the accounts are taken, but the book lacks any kind of proper bibliography or list of sources. Indeed it pretty much lacks any kind of referencing, so I emailed the author. I have now had a reply back from Thorburn and he states he cannot remember where the information came from, but imagines it was Kew.

    So, where do I go from here?

    I'm not sure if any members here have the book in question, but the account from Jock Morrison sounds like it may have been taken from an intelligence report or similar. The way it has been written in the book makes it sound almost like a first hand account, but as Morrison was killed a year or so after the raid I know the account if not something passed down more recently.

    Can members suggest where such an account might be held? I could not see anything in the ORB when I looked there a number of years ago, and it would be great to find the source as I would like to see the full, unabridged, report/file.

    Hopefully there might be an expert here on files linked to 82 Squadron/the Battle of France etc.

    Thanks in advance,

    Johnnie

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    Hi Johnnie,
    unfortunately I am unable to give you a definitive answer, but when you have been looking into the ORB, have you checked also the Appendices?

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C2503323

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

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    Hello,

    Firstly, Morrison was flying No.82 Sqn Blenheim IV L8858, not P8858.

    Two sources where you will find mention of the events of 17 May 1940, are:

    Bomber Command.
    Hastings,Max
    London:Michael Joseph,1979 (several editions of this book)
    pp.59-61

    and ...

    2 Group R.A.F. A Complete History 1936-1945
    Bowyer,Michael J. F.
    Somerton:Crecy,1992.
    pp.25-31

    Col.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    Hello,

    Firstly, Morrison was flying No.82 Sqn Blenheim IV L8858, not P8858.

    Two sources where you will find mention of the events of 17 May 1940, are:

    Bomber Command.
    Hastings,Max
    London:Michael Joseph,1979 (several editions of this book)
    pp.59-61

    and ...

    2 Group R.A.F. A Complete History 1936-1945
    Bowyer,Michael J. F.
    Somerton:Crecy,1992.
    pp.25-31

    Col.
    Interesting.

    The log book of Cleary states P8858.

    Indeed the log book seems to fail to mention any L series aircraft around that time.

    After the loss of P8858 Cleary starts flying with Attie Atkinson in P4839 and R3619.

    Johnnie

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    Hello,

    Veryyyyyyy Interesting!

    P8858 was an Airspeed Oxford that went to the Royal New Zealand Air Force as NZ1254, received 30 August, 1940.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 10th September 2018 at 13:23.

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    I've just checked and the ORB also states P8858, code letter W.

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    Hi chaps,
    my experience is that you cannot trust anyone anywhere (Log Book, ORB):-)
    My worst experience was a flight documented by the ORB + 3 Log Books of the crew members taking part and result was: two different aircraft serials, two different dates and take-off times.
    Exchanging letters in serials (like this case) was quite a common problem in Log Books: One day he was flying an aircraft Pxxxx, another day Lxxx.

    Log Books were not filled properly all the time, sometimes with the Watch Log at the tower just before submitting it to the Flight commander for check at the end of month (or better at the start of next month)

    As one Czech WOP/AG said once to me: "When I have landed from any flight, my main interest was to go to sleep or go to dance with girls or just to a pub. Once a month I have filled the Log Book when our Flight commander started to demand it. I never think that after some 60 yeas a young lad like you will come and tell me that I have something recorded incorrectly in my Log Book." :-)

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

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    I know what you mean.

    I remember going to see an old chap who had served under my grandfather and his log was all over the place. He told me that he hardly ever filled his log book in, and instead paid a friend to do it for him/asked others to do it for him!

    As a result sections were in his hand, while others were in several different hands.

    I've also seen a few with various reprimands in for things like not putting enough detail, not being neat enough, and putting too many photos in an "using it as a scrap book which it is not"!!

    All very interesting stuff.

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    Hello ,

    Here some on the ops to Gembloux :
    17/05/1940
    Rossegnies north of Charleroi ( Belgium )
    Blenheim IV
    Flak
    Crew bailed out at0615 hrs
    Ops to Gembloux
    L-8830
    82Sqn
    UX-T
    Watton

    F/O McConnell R.J. (POW) 39421 Luft 3-410
    Sgt Fulbrook S.J. ( EVD )
    LAC Humphreys H. ( WIA - POW ) 539473 Luft 357-57

    Regards
    Alain12

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    Hello Alain,

    We have already discussed this point before, R.J. McConnell wasn't captured following that mission, but after a much later mission, in 1941. Better not spread wrong informations again and again.

    Joss

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