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Thread: 133 Sqn ORB for 26 Sept. 1942. A proved second error

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Lanildut, north west Finistère, France
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    Default 133 Sqn ORB for 26 Sept. 1942. A proved second error

    Sept. 26, 1942 questions

    Spitfires BS137-BS294 : We noticed in the past that BS137 was a probable error and that BS294 took part to the circus mission. Confirmed by Jon E. C. Tan in his book “Aces, airmen and the Bigging Hill Wing”
    Four French pictures also match with French archive report.

    Spitfire BR638 : A French archive does state one of the planes crashed near Loqueffret, and that the pilot was captured. This matches perfectly well with an account from a family who remembered the pilot’s name as “John Sperry from California” (F/O George Sperry was coming from California) where he was captured, remembering where his plane had crashed, Loqueffret. (Also matches with the pilot’s information about the fact he was put in a local jail).

    In a former Britain at war magazine I had read as a kindle book, in an article written by Andrew Thomas, he used pictures of Peter Arnold collection showing several pictures of BR638.

    BUT the remains found ten years ago, including a cylinder liner with its piston, can’t come from this plane. On the pictures of the broken BR638 Spitfire, a first one shows the cowling above the engine, then another the engine in quite good state after the cowling removing by a maintenance crew.
    Also he would have lost a part of the windscreen. At least the front and right parts of it can be seen on the pictures.
    Two days ago, a new quick search was made on the crash site, and a propeller blade root was found with its big castle nut. It also proves this Spitfire had a wooden type propeller (burnt wood inside). Propeller is not on the plane on picts.
    According to Jon Tan book again, Brettell would have exchanged his plane with Sperry after a burst tyre, just before taking off. Then Sperry joined them later.

    Questions :
    Maybe this last minute change was just never recorded on the ORB ?
    Were the movement cards made from the ORB, or is it a kind of plane file including maintenance records ?
    Is it today easily available ?
    Still never got any answer about the source stating BS294 did fly and crashed, which source (as not in the ORB) ?
    Did anyone ever cross any P/O Beatty account, the only one who came back. Guingamp area can be read several times for P/O Gene Neville crash, but the three pilots killed where all first buried at Brest, and German archives do list three as killed in this area. I suspect he thought to be in Guingamp area when Neville was hit ?
    Is there any written report of his memories of that day ? Did he see his comrade bailing out or going down in the plane ?
    (to help, no way to find any difference of time in the German claims, only a quarter of an hour. There should have been one for Neville as he left the group earlier with Beatty as escort). And the place where we think he bailed out is recorded as 7 pm, so the latest instead of the earliest…

    This is a real police enquiry ! Sorry for the length. But there’s still quite a lot do to resolve this.
    Have a nice day. Gildas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Thanked 18 Times in 16 Posts


    Hello Gilda's,
    This is what I have had for several years now. These a/c were discussed on the TOCH forum some years ago iirc.

    August 19th 1942
    AB811 - Lt. Sam JUNKIN, wounded, Returned.
    BL338 - Lt. Robert ( nmi) INGRAHAM, POW.
    August 26th 1942
    BS140 - 1 Lt. Gene (nmi) NEUVILLE, kia.
    BS447 - 2Lt. Robert E. SMITH, Evaded.
    BS313 "A" - F/Lt. Edward BRETTEL, POW.
    BS446 - P/O. William H. BAKER, Kia.
    BR640 - "V" - Capt. Charles A. COOK, POW.
    BS279 - Capt. Marion E. JACKSON, POW.
    BS301 - 1Lt. George H. MIDDLETON, POW.
    BS275 - 1Lt. Leonard T. RYERSON, Kia.
    BS294 - 1Lt. Dennis D. SMITH, Kia.
    BR638 - 1Lt. George B. SPERRY, POW.
    BS138 - 1Lt. Gil P. WRIGHT, POW.

    Hope this is of some use.

    Also see here -

    Last edited by Alex Smart; 22nd February 2020 at 01:29.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Lanildut, north west Finistère, France
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    Many thanks Alex,

    But what was the source used to make your list. On my first list, there was BS137 as on the ORB.
    My aim is now to find : On which document BS294 appears, as it is not on the ORB. A Movement card ?
    If yes, I’d like to know how I can get the one for BS638 to see what is reported.
    George Sperry said his engine cut just before bailing out. The plane just can’t be the one on the pictures of Peter Arnold in the magazine.
    No way thanks to George Sperry interview AND remains found.
    Even if this was written many times, we have to admit it is wrong and find the good one.

    Thanks again, have a nice day

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