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Thread: Raf airmen interned in turkey 1943

  1. #11
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    The second sentence of Johan's second link refers to, I think, a place called Valens, probably on the Adriatic coast of what is now Croatia. I'm unable to find any reference to the name on the internet and wonder if anyone knows its location?

    TIA

    Brian

  2. #12
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    I think it is very possible, Valona, Albania. Due to this A/C where going along east coast of the Adriatic Sea.
    Also there journey took them to Dalmatia, Trieste and they passed over Venice. Before returning. (from sortie report)

    /Johan
    Last edited by JohanSWE; 2nd April 2020 at 14:39.

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    Thank you Johan, that's very useful. My next question is "Do you know if the aircraft flew direct from Egypt (Cairo?) to Valona (ie over Greece) before tracking in a northwesterly direction along the Adriatic coast?" It appears that whoever authorised the operation was unconcerned that the majority of it was to be flown over Axis territory without any feints.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyffe View Post
    Thank you Johan, that's very useful. My next question is "Do you know if the aircraft flew direct from Egypt (Cairo?) to Valona (ie over Greece) before tracking in a northwesterly direction along the Adriatic coast?" It appears that whoever authorised the operation was unconcerned that the majority of it was to be flown over Axis territory without any feints.

    Brian

    Hello Brian!

    I dont have the flight plan unfortunately. I have no idea.
    It was a night mission according to the Sortie Report. That you find in the link that i posted and they took of from LG-159.
    I post a the link to the airfields down below.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North_African_airfields_during_World_War_I I

    //Johan

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    Ah, that goes some way to explaining my, and Peter's, confusion. LG-159 is actually one of six airfields in Libya collectively known as RAF Gambut, and having its location helps considerably. That said the Sortie Report actually raises a number of questions, one of which being why a special reconnaissance mission flying at some 22000 ft with no specific target should be carrying a bomb-load of 8x100 lb American bombs, 120x4 lb British incendiaries plus 3x500 lb bombs - it's hard to see the first two types causing any significant damage.

    I have access to real-time German upper air charts covering the time of the sortie, but I'll write about those separately.

    Brian

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    "Maj. Thomas Tipton Omohundro Jr., a veteran of 330 hours of combat flying in the Middle East, who now is a flight instructor at an Army air base at Casper, Wyo., was presented the British Distinguished Flying Cross by Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States, at Washington last Tuesday.........The award acknowledged Maj.
    Omohundro's successful completion of a secret mission in the Near East for the British. His plane crashed in neutral Turkey during the mission and he was interned there from Feb. 16 to April 30........"

    Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 27 Nov. 1943

    Regards

    Finn Buch

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyffe View Post
    Ah, that goes some way to explaining my, and Peter's, confusion. LG-159 is actually one of six airfields in Libya collectively known as RAF Gambut, and having its location helps considerably. That said the Sortie Report actually raises a number of questions, one of which being why a special reconnaissance mission flying at some 22000 ft with no specific target should be carrying a bomb-load of 8x100 lb American bombs, 120x4 lb British incendiaries plus 3x500 lb bombs - it's hard to see the first two types causing any significant damage.

    I have access to real-time German upper air charts covering the time of the sortie, but I'll write about those separately.

    Brian
    That would be delightful to hear more about, Brian.

    /Johan

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    Default Re: Raf airmen interned in turkey 1943

    Johan,

    The reference to a 150 mph tail wind worries me, especially as a cursory glance at contemporary meteorological charts would not bear this out. First a brief comment on the meteorological background. I am sure you appreciate that the distance apart of isobars as seen on weather charts published by the media, is an indication of the wind direction and strength - the closer the isobars the stronger the wind, in fact by using a scale meteorologists can estimate the wind speed to a high degree of accuracy - the wind direction follows the direction of the isobars, with low pressure always on the left (in the northern hemisphere) Isobars are lines joining points of equal sea-level pressure and are usually drawn at 4 millibar intervals. A similar technique is used to calculate wind speed and direction aloft.

    The best wartime upper air charts for Europe are German by virtue of the amount of data they had available, plus the analytical skill of their meteorologists who had been using such charts since the early 1930s, some ten years before the British adopted similar techniques.

    Fortunately German data, including charts, are available online and although the quality is very poor and reading them difficult at times, I have based the meteorological aspects of this summary on this source. The estimated winds are based on a chart for 18000 ft, but other evidence suggests they would have been similar at 22000-24000 ft.

    I have combined the meteorological data with the flight profile constructed from the Sortie Narrative:

    a. 41-23763 departs Gambut 2030 local time - bearing 335 deg to Valona (now Vlore). Climbing to 22000 ft, cloud increasing to 10/10; wind 280/15 mph becoming 340/15 mph

    b. Valona to Trieste - bearing 320 deg at 25000 ft. 10/10 cirrus cloud, top 24000 ft; wind 330/15 becoming 300/20

    c. Trieste to Venice - bearing 260 deg at 25000 ft. 10/10 cirrus cloud; wind 300/20

    d. Venice to Fondi (midway between Rome and Naples) - bearing 170 deg descending to 22000 ft. Cloud quickly dispersing; wind 300/20 becoming 340/10

    e. Fondi towards Brindisi - bearing 105 deg at 22000 ft. Little cloud; wind 340/10-15

    f. Unknown position to southwest Bulgaria - approximate bearing 080 deg at assumed 22000 ft. Little cloud southern Italy and Adriatic (charts show the earlier cloud having cleared from Albania); wind 340/15-20

    g. Southwest Bulgaria to Turkey - approximate bearing 125 deg descending. Wind 330/10.

    The only reference to the wind in the Sortie Narrative is to an alleged tail wind of 150 mph on the final leg over Italy towards Brindisi, allegedly the reason the aircraft ended up over Bulgaria. For that to have happened the tail wind must have been blowing from between 250 degrees (from Brindisi) and 270 degrees (from Fondi), but essentially directly across the flow in which the aircraft had been flying. Even had that been physically possible, and it wasn't, there should have been sufficient light to fix the aircraft's position when it crossed either the Italian east coast, or later Albania, and make a course correction.

    I offer this for what it is worth and leave others to perhaps discuss this inconsistency, and why the aircraft ended up so far of course..

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 13th April 2020 at 20:32.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Raf airmen interned in turkey 1943

    Hello,

    Distinguished Flying Cross (UK).

    OMUHUNDRO, Thomas T. Capt. (O-431034). USAAF.
    Approved: 19/4/1943.
    Note:surname given as THOMAS however from official sources corrected as stated.

    See: The DFC & How it was Won 1918-1995,Vol.II.M-Z/Carter,N&C.;Savannah,1998/p.1952.

    Col.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Raf airmen interned in turkey 1943

    From the ORB of 14 Sqn.
    FK143 a/c "R".
    Crew names -
    LT. L. C. JONES.
    F/Sgt. J. H. KELLEY.
    W/O. H. A. DUBE.
    F/Sgt. B. J. MACK.
    Sgt. J. B. ACKLAND
    Sgt. A. TAYLOR

    Anyone have their christian names and service numbers ?

    Alex

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