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Thread: Blenheim Loss, Calais August 23rd 1940.

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    Default Blenheim Loss, Calais August 23rd 1940.

    Hi,

    Trying to identify who attacked and shot down a Bristol Blenheim of No.218 Squadron on Friday, August 23rd 1940 south of Calais.

    The aircraft was briefed to attack Bruges aerodrome which they did successfully, however, on route home in cloud they became lost and ended up south of Calais at around 15:00hrs. They were immediately engaged by flak and over the forest of Guines they were attacked by Bf109s. The Blenheim, T.1990 HA-J crashed in flames. Two crew managed to bail-out at 800ft, both survived. However one succumbed to his injuries the following day at the German hospital at Guines. This was 'A' Flight commander, Squadron Leader Charles House. The sole survivor stated that the crew were attacked by 3 Bf109's. This is confirmed by eye-witnesses on the ground. The third airman went in with the aircraft.

    Is there any claims for a Blenheim at around 15:00 hours at St Tricat, 6 miles south-west of Calais.

    TIA

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    The aircraft is likely to have been T1990 of 218S, but this is said to have been during the night of 22/23, target Bruges. The pilot is recorded here as C House, the other fatality was the observer Sgt P Lefevre, and the survivor, made PoW, was Sgt J.Howard.

    The Bristol Blenheim, Graham Warner.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Dave,

    No.218 were not engaged on night operations while operational on Blenheims. I am aware of The Bristol Blenheim book by Graham Warner, however it is at odds with No.218 Squadron ORB, RAF Oakington Station Records Book, No.2 Group ORB, and two Air81 files. All of which record a dalylight operation, take off 11.35hrs on August 23rd 1940?

    Regards

    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 30th October 2018 at 19:46.
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve,

    from a thread on the Twelve O'Clock High allied forum dated 13 October 2013 it seems Flak Regiment 201 received credit for this aircraft. This information appears to have originated from an Eagles Over Europe source. While I am part of that group studying the RAF losses I do not have access to any German source material. The Blenheim may well have been under attack by both flak and fighters with the former receiving the credit for the victory.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for the reply, the survivor and the eyewitnesses confirm Bf109's but do mention the flak!

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Hello Steve

    Have you checked / copied AIR 81/3048 which covers this loss ? It's on my list as it's a local crash for me, but I don't know when I'll copy that one, as I have several tens of casualty packs to see at Kew.

    Joss

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