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Thread: 280 Sqdn Codes "ME" and "MF".

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    Default 280 Sqdn Codes "ME" and "MF".

    Hello,

    The codes worn on the Warwick's of 280 Sqdn. I understand that from some time in 1943 the squadron began to use both "ME" and "MF".
    What was the reason for these two different codes ? Was it because of different Flights within the squadron or some other reason ? "ME" was used until 1946, while "MF" was used until 1944.

    Many thanks
    Alex

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    Combat Codes only lists MF and not ME. ME is only listed for 488 Sq.

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    Hello Graham,
    The details in my post were from Rawlings "Coastal, Support & Special Squadrons of the RAF & their Aircraft".
    Pages 248 & 251.
    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 5th March 2019 at 22:11.

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    Hi,
    Here is what I found:
    280 Aqn's codes:
    FX Apr - Sep 1939 (Allocated)
    YF Feb 1942 - Aug 1943
    3 Aug 1943 - Jul 1944
    ME Jul 1944 - Jun 1946
    MF Jul 1944 - Jun 1946
    Examples:
    Anson I YF-P DG922
    Warwick I 3-F BV333
    Warwick I ME-H HG188
    Warwick I MF-X HG211
    Zoran

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    Hello Zoran,
    Thank you for your reply.
    Yes I had ME-H and ME-X,
    Also ME-U , HG145 along with BV290 which I believe was MF-G.. There was also an MF-F but would like serial for that one.
    Thanks again.
    Alex

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    Interesting. Combat Codes significantly post-dates All the other Squadrons, and has some extra credence because of that. The authors of CC will have used all early works as guides, and it quotes HG188 as MF-H. I suspect an error in the older work, but a photo would be good.

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    Hello Graham,
    Yes photo would be good but I expect there may not be one :(
    Anything known about the Squadrons ORB ?
    Alex

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    The photo confirms the use of MF, but to be honest this is not what is being queried. The question is whether ME was also being used, which I consider extremely unlikely as the use of multiple codes was only seen in rare examples of very large bomber squadrons late in the war. None of the other ASR units used multiple codes; even when split between various detachments on different bases, which doesn't apply to 260 Sq. I think that only a photo clearly showing ME would confirm its use - given the rarity of photos of ASR squadrons' aircraft it unlikely that many more can be found and I suspect all such will show MF. But that will still mean that it would be impossible to prove ME wasn't used...

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    http://abload.de/img/warwick-halifax-1gsur7.jpg

    Above is a profile of ME-Y HG208.
    Transcribed Mr. John Allan's (of Langham Dome Museum) text about the loss of ME-G BV290 on 3 Oct 1944:
    On the 03rd October at about 13:30 hrs, Beaufighter NT909 during an operation to attack shipping off the island of Amerland the aircraft collides with either a balloon cable or the ships mast. The crew, consisting of W/O. Mann and Fl/Sgt. Kennedy were forced to ditch. They managed to climb into the life raft.

    An air-sea search was then put into operation.

    After 4 days adrift and becoming very weak the crew were spotted by another Warwick from the Squadron on the 07th October. P/O. Hagg flying BV341 ME-A dropped a lifeboat which landed about 150 yards from the crew. They were too weak to be able to paddle to it and it drifted away.

    The crew of another aircraft Warwick BV282 ME-E flown by F/O. Harvey witnessed the drop at 09:15 hrs. At 10:10 hrs they then dropped a set of Lindholme gear (1) just 20 yards from the stranded crew. Fl/Sgt. Kennedy manages to make it to the large Lindholme dingy and then assists W/O. Mann to climb into the dingy. They placed on survival suits and took on water and condensed milk. F/O. Harvey continued to circle the lifeboat until they have to return to Langham through lack of fuel. They landed safely at RAF Langham at 15:45 hrs some 7 hours 35 minutes after take off!

    On the 08th October three aircraft took off at 10:00 hrs to continue with the rescue. At 11:45 hrs two Warwicks are attacked by Me410 fighters. F/O. Rhodes managed tohidz in clouds and called BV290 to warn them of the attack. No reply was received from F/O. Albert Mason and they were never seen again. It is not clear if they were shot down or the pilot lost control taking evasive action.

    At 18:30 hrs on the 10th October after 7 days adrift in the North Sea W/O. Mann and Fl/Sgt. Kennedy finally arrive at Gorleston near Great Yarmouth, taken to hospital for treatment and released a week later.

    (1) The Lindholme Gear was developed at RAF Lindholme by Group Captain Waring during the 1940s to provide a simpler rescue system than the air-dropped lifeboats then in use. The Lindholme Gear is five cylinder-shaped containers joined together by lengths of floating rope. The centre container would house a nine-man inflatable dinghy with the other containers housing survival equipment such as emergency rations and clothing. The containers were discarded containers from the tail-units of 500lb and 250lb bombs.

    Zoran

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