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Thread: Vickers Wellesley

  1. #1
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    Default Vickers Wellesley

    Can anyone provide a definitive answer regarding whether the Wellesley carried a Vickers .303 in the starboard wing or a Browning .303, as internet wisdom has various sites which contradict each other.

    Your usual help would be much appreciated

    Regards

    PeteT
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default Re: Vickers Wellesley

    Hi Pete,

    Far from definitive but the Putnam Vickers aircraft says armament was two Vickers guns which presumably refers to one behind/on top and one forward!
    Peter

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    Default Re: Vickers Wellesley

    Not definitive but may help

    Mfr in two batches,
    K serials Mar-Oct 1937,
    L serials Feb-May 38,
    Wellesleys served in RAF from Apr 1937, but briefly in Bomber Cmd, from Nov 1937 into 1942 in the Middle East.
    (from Air Britain Serials)

    Over that period it's possible both were true:
    Vickers .303 in stbd wing on service entry,
    Browning .303 in stbd wing in later service.

    This sort of conversion might just get a mention in a Squadron's Operations Record Book:
    in UK, 35, 76, 77, 148, 207 Sqns eg, being among the early users.
    Or in the Middle East, 45 Squadron and 14 Squadron come to mind.

    UK National Archives access free at present eg
    45 Sqn TNA AIR 27/455/1
    at http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...e/r/h/D8412251
    14 Squadron TNA AIR27/191
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C2502825

    Some one may yet know the answer, if not other possibilities
    Warpaint 86 Vickers Wellesley
    or Profile no 256 Vickers Wellesley.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 27th September 2020 at 00:24.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Vickers Wellesley

    Hi

    According to the Warpaint book mentioned by Don they were fitted with 1 x Browning 0.303 in the wing and a hand operated Vickers (K) in the rear cockpit.

    This makes sense as fixed forward firing Vickers guns needed to be mounted within reach of the pilot so he could clear jams. This problem wasn't solved until the introduction of the Browning.

    Malcolm

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    Default Re: Vickers Wellesley

    Hi

    Early Wellesleys (K7713 - K7752) were fitted with the Vickers gun. Wellesley Mod. 24 "Browning gun - installation in place of Vickers gun" was introduced for K7753 and subsequent airframes. Modification sets were issued so that the early aircraft could be upgraded in the field. Somewhat later the installation was altered again: Wellesley Mod. 103 is "Main plane - Browning gun - To provide for fitting of fire and safe device".

    HTH
    Niall

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    Default Re: Vickers Wellesley

    Most interesting information. Just as interesting would be the Modification date please, and the source too, please.

    There's not, as far as I can see, an entry for either Mod in TNA Discovery.

    35 Squadron RAF kept a pretty full Operations Record Book in 1937 and 1938, and the Adj Office already rejoiced in possession of a typewriter, so it's very legible, even watermarked . From July 1937 to October 1938 their Wellesleys (and trials) get fair mention though not the Browning mod/install. It was just a chance and not in anyway a surprising omission. In this peace-time period, Form 540 Summary of Events was all that was required: no appendices listed nor shown.

    So a very interesting question has an even more interesting if tantalising reply.

    If I may say please, to Niall and other posters, replies are all the better for including a Source note of some sort, exact enough for others with similar research puzzles to follow. It's really very helpful. And a simple courtesy, too, if quoting some other researcher/author's work.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 27th September 2020 at 22:36.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Vickers Wellesley

    Don

    My source is Air Publication (AP) 1524A "The Wellesley I Aeroplane, Pegasus XX Engine". There's probably a copy at TNA, if so it will be in the AIR10 class. If not there's probably a copy at Hendon. I'm not surprised you can't find mention of this particular mod in TNA Discovery - they don't catalogue their holdings in anything like that degree of depth.

    The Mod leaflet is dated 1/6/38, but I don't know whether to set much store by that, since the Browning was being fitted in production in airframes from K7753 onwards - and that was delivered nearly a year earlier.

    Niall

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    Default Re: Vickers Wellesley

    Thanks, as always, for the informative feedback; it is always much appreciated.

    The information suggests that some of No 35 Squadron's aircraft had the Vickers gun fitted and others the Browning gun and some may well have been modified whilst on charge of the squadron.

    Regards

    PeteT
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default Re: Vickers Wellesley

    Thanks, Niall, and you're right.

    AIR 10/2099 The Wellesley I Aeroplane Pegasus XX Engine 1st Edition AP No. 1524A Vol I
    and also
    AIR 10/2100 Wellesley I Aeroplane Index of Leaflets only AP No. 1524A Vol II (which might include the Mods list, if not the leaflets as such).
    Not digitised of course.

    A pity I wasn't thinking more clearly on this one, but I wasn't.
    Many thanks again.
    Toujours propos

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