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Thread: Stirling Mandrel modification at Foulsham?

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    Default Stirling Mandrel modification at Foulsham?

    Hi,

    Six Stirlings were allegedly converted for the Mandrel role with 199 Squadron, at Foulsham, in the Spring of 1944. Does anyone have info as to wether this happened and if so which airframes were involved please.

    regards Peter

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    Hello,

    From Michael Bowyer's "The Stirling Story":

    By mid-April 1944 four Stirlings were being fitted with "Mandrel" equipment at the Telecommunications Flying Unit, Defford, where the prototype was complete by the end of the month. Five B-17s flown by 803rd Squadron, USAAF and Sculthorpe based, already had the equipment.

    By the time 199 Squadron was transferred to 100 Group a dozen Stirling IIIs were being modified, and to support establishment of 16+4 a further eight were modified by 100 Group at Foulsham. Hope was that that operational flying would start on 20 May 1944 to acquire experience to apply on the eve of D-Day. Despite a rapid modification programme, only thirteen "Mandrel" Stirlings fitted with the latest IFF equipment had joined 199 Squadron by 25 May 1944. Three were still being modified at Defford and four at Foulsham, while at BDU, Newmarket a special chute linked with an American automatic "Window" dispenser had been tested. Stirlings of 199 Squadron were to have this fitted once it had been cleared for use.

    See:
    The Stirling Story
    Bowyer,Michael J F.
    Manchester:Crecy,2002.
    p.258

    If you cross-reference the production list in the above reference (pp.339-95) and check it against the information in "Let Tyrants Tremble"/(2014),John Reid (pp.127-30 & 196-7), you get the following 199 Sqn Stirlings:

    LJ510/A - 10 MU - 02/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 21/04/44
    LJ513/E - 10 MU - 10/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 22/04/44
    LJ514/B - 10 MU - 15/12/43 - 199 Sqn - 05/05/44
    LJ516/H - 10 MU - DEFFORD/MANDREL - 06/07/44 - 199 Sqn - 23/07/44
    LJ518/K - 10 MU - 22/12/43 - 199 Sqn - 29/04/44
    LJ520/Z - 10 MU - 25/12/43 - 199 Sqn - 02/05/44
    LJ525/R - 06 MU - 06/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 30/04/44
    LJ531/N - 19 MU - 13/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 29/04/44
    LJ536/P - 19 MU - 07/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 26/04/44
    LJ538/T - 06 MU - 23/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 22/05/44
    LJ541/? - 10 MU - 31/01/44 - DEFFORD - 03/07/44 - 199 - 17/07/44 - 199 Sqn - /K - 02/10-44
    LJ542/G - 19 MU - ??/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 30/04/44
    LJ543/J - 19 MU - 31/04/44 - 199 Sqn - 29/04/44
    LJ544/D - 19 MU - 31/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 29/04/44
    LJ557/Y - 19 MU - 31/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 29/04/44
    LJ559/Q - 10 MU - 03/02/44 - 199 Sqn - 31/08/44 - 199 Sqn - 02/11/44
    LJ560/H - 19 MU - 31/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 30/04/44
    LJ562/V - 10 MU - 05/05/44 - 199 Sqn - 05/05/44
    LJ565/Q - 10 MU - 31/01/44 - 199 Sqn - 14/05/44 - 199 Sqn - 17/01/45
    LJ567/Y - 06 MU - 31/08/44 - 199 Sqn - 31/08/44
    LJ568/L - 06 MU - 03/02/44 - 199 Sqn - 29/08/44 - 199 Sqn - 10/11/44
    LJ567/Y - 06 MU - 05/02/44 - 199 Sqn - 31/08/44
    LJ569/C - 06 MU - 05/02/44 - 199 Sqn - 22/05/44
    LJ578/S - ?????? - ????????? - 199 Sqn - 29/02/44
    LJ580/X - 149 Sqn - 29/02/44 - 199 Sqn - 11/03/44
    LJ582/? - 149 Sqn - 29/02/44 - 199 Sqn - 11/03/44
    LJ595/N - 27 MU - DEFFORD/MANDREL - 04/06/44 - 199 Sqn - 06/07/44
    LJ611/A - 06 MU - 25/07/44 - 199 Sqn - 31/08/44 - 199 Sqn - 26/10/44
    LJ614/S - 27 MU - 06/04/44 - DEFFORD - 02/07/44 - 06 MU - 13/08/44 - 199 Sqn - 30/08/44
    LJ617/E - 27 MU - 13/04/44 - 06 MU - 05/07/44 - 199 Sqn - 10/11/44
    LJ649/P - 23 MU - 30/06/44 - DEFFORD/MANDREL - 03/07/44 -06 MU - 03/08/44 - 199 Sqn -30-08-44
    LJ651/C - 23 MU - 30/06/44 - DEFFORD/MANDREL - 17/07/44 - 06 MU - 03/08/44 - 199 Sqn - 30/08/44
    LJ670/? - 23 MU - 24/07/44 - 199 Sqn - 29/09/44
    LK381/Z - 199 Sqn - 01/10/43
    LK385/A - 199 Sqn - 08/11/43
    LK397/P - 199 Sqn - 08/11/43
    PW256/D - 23 MU - 13-08/44 - CRD Shorts - 25/09/44 - 199 Sqn - 07/12/44
    PW258/? - 23 MU - 04/08/44 - 199 Sqn - 12/10/44
    PW259/? - 23 MU - 14/08/44 - 199 Sqn - 13/09/44 - 171 Sqn - 17/09/44 - 199 Sqn - 10/11/44

    NB. Some entries simplified. Delivery dates to 199 Sqn vary, generally+/- 2-3 days, depending on source.


    and ...

    On 1 May (1944), a second jamming unit, 199 (SD) was drafted into the Group (100). Previously a Stirling bomber unit within 3 Group, the Squadron was now based at North Creake in the "mandrel" role. For the first week of its existence, 199 Squadron had no aircraft, recieving its first Stirling III fitted with "Mandrel", "Shiver" and "Gee" on the 10th. Over the next fourteen days a further 12 such aircraft arrived on the squadron. During the same period, three more of the unit's Stirlings were being fitted out at Defford (TRE) and another four were undergoing a similar operation at Foulsham (BSDU). For the rest of the month, the squadron underwent intensive training for its new role.

    See:
    Confound and Destroy 100 Group and the Bomber Support Campaign
    Streetly,Martin
    London:Macdonald & Jane's,1978.
    p.45

    See also:
    The Aircraft of 100 Group A Historical Guide for the Modeller
    Streetly,Martin
    London:Robert Hale,1984
    pp.9-20

    Corrections/comments welcomed!

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 17th October 2018 at 03:17.

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    Hi Col,

    Very many thanks for your truly herculean reply, much appreciated. Have previously seen some of your sources but your resume allowed me to hopefully put all the pieces together. Additionally I have MJF Bowyer, again! , Aircraft for the Many which lists 199 Sqn aircraft on the eve of D Day. As you say some of the dates are plus or minus a little, paper not hardware at a place maybe?, and again there is a huge difference between being on a squadrons books and actually being physically present. Aircraft loss reports have also identified many of the airframes as actually having Mandrell fitted.

    From this I am fairly certain that twenty airframes were with 199 on that date which coincidently or otherwise matches the 16+4 establishment.

    First 16 that operated on D Day........LJ513, LJ518, LJ520, LJ525, LJ531, LJ536, LJ538, LJ542, LJ543, LJ557, LJ560, LJ562, LJ565, LJ569, LJ578 and LJ580,

    and four others...............................LJ510, LJ514, LJ544 and LJ582

    So presumably, sorry you've told me not to presume before ,but probably the eight converted at Foulsham and the twelve at Defford are likely the above.

    Again very many thanks for your input.
    Peter
    Last edited by PeterColwill; 18th October 2018 at 20:00.

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