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Thread: Replacement aircraft availability

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  1. #1
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    Default Replacement aircraft availability

    Did Bomber Command squadrons in 1944 have spare Lancasters available on base to replace losses?
    Early in the morning of July 7th my Dad and crew returned to Gransden Lodge from Wizernes after they had been attacked by a JU88 - Their aircraft LQ-M was sent off to a repair depot as the damage was so severe. But that very night they took off again in LQ-M (labelled "M-2" in one of the crew's logbooks...) against a V-1 launch site.
    Would Grandsden Lodge have had spare aircraft available....or was there more than one Lanc coded LQ-M...? Was a replacement flown down from a supply base that quickly?
    Any insights would be helpful,
    Many thanks, Clint

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    Hi Clint

    All squadrons were allocated aircraft as IE (Initial Equipment) and IR (Immediate Reserve) so there could have been an aircraft made available immediately. By 1944 the Base system was also well under way so aircraft were probably held at the Base HQ airfield for issue to satellite units as required.

    Malcolm

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    Hello

    Clint, have you checked the Squadron's Operations Record Book ? It would give the serial number of the two Lancasters flown by your Dad's crew.

    Joss

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    Clint

    The ORB for 405 Squadron shows M as JB707 on the evening of 6th July 1944 up at 1956 hours back at 2230 hours from bombing raid to Coquereaux with no mention of damage.

    The following evening the same aircraft (M JB707) was up at 2055 hours and back at 2321 hours on a raid to Caen. P/O J R Coffey J86050 was captain on both occasions with the same crew.

    http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c12270/279?r=0&s=3


    It would appear the same aircraft was used on both missions, though the ORBs are not always 100% accurate

    Chris

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    Using the RCAF Operations Record Book link provided by Chris and working backwards shows that

    'M' ND412 was up on a Wizernes raid on 5/6 Jul Up 2324 Down 0111 and
    "...Aircraft damaged by enemy fighter over target area 0030 hours..." with detail of damage and safe return early am 6 Jul (that is, not 7 Jul)
    See ORB page at http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oo...70/277?r=0&s=3

    So it was this aircraft that was replaced by 'M' JB707 on the evening of the same day, that is 6 Jul. Up 1956 hours and with the same crew, Coffey and Co
    (as per the ORB page link given by Chris, who I hope will not mind my additional work from his post).

    Agree, accuracy of entries can be variable...both in Operations Record Books and in Flying Logbooks. It was not unknown for the crews, eg, to complete Logbooks later, together. Displacement by one day eg is not unknown.

    My late Dad once remarked (though he was on Blenheims in Greece) "Getting the paperwork right was not the first thing we thought of after coming back from being shot at by the Italians"

    Great resource, the Canadian Héritage site and its RCAF Squadrons Operations Record Books set.

    Good luck with the book.

    Don Clark
    www.211squadron.org
    Last edited by Don Clark; 19th February 2020 at 08:21. Reason: time typo
    Toujours à propos

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    Good work Don

    Problem solved

    Chris

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    Thanks to all who replied....sorry about my date mixup in my initial post, I was off by one day. I have a better understanding now of both the replacement system and the coding of the Lancasters, and thanks to Dave S. for sending me a link to look up the serial numbers to find out the history of each individual aircraft. It seems my Dad and crew went through no less than three "LQ-M" coded Lancasters to finish their tour.

    all the best, Clint

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