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Thread: Frank VID's Spitfire ID : R7195 or W3606 ?

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    Default Frank VID's Spitfire ID : R7195 or W3606 ?

    hello,

    In a recent Air-Britain magazine series of articles about the Spitfire Is, I found that Frank John VID, RCAF, C/86521, 501 Squadron, was killed on 24th March 1944 in Spitfire V R7195, a machine initially built as a Mk I.
    In "Fear Nothing" the History of No. 501 Squadron, author David WATKINS gives the Spitfire identity as W3606.

    Who's right ?

    TIA

    Joss

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    Air Britain for W3606:
    222/91/602/501/287 - SOC 8.9.45
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Hi,

    Air Britain for R7195:
    92/Cv VB/ 129/66/501 - NFT 14.1.42

    ATB
    Alex

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    Joss,

    I hope not to confuse matters, but Spitfire Vb W3817 seems to have been involved in an accident (FAAC) on 24-3-1944 with 501 Squadron....

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Hi,
    From "Spitfire the History"
    R7195
    1508
    Holmwood I
    FF 10-3-41/6MU 12-3/ 92S 23-3/ RRH 7-4 con to FVB M45M/ 129S 17-4-42/ CG ops 18-8 ROS/ 66S 19-2-43 /VSM 24-5 fuel syst wing stiff & elev mods Mk III 1FF/ 501S 28-10 CAC ops 15-12 ROS.

    W3606
    1895
    CHA M45 /FF 19-7-41/39 MU 20-7/222S 24-8 CB ops 25-3-42/VSM 31-8 fuel syst mods/ 91S 28-12/ CAC ops 26-12/ 62S 10-6-43/ 602S 16-6/ CAC ops 4-9/ 501S 31-3-44/ FAAC 3-4 ROS/ 287S 17-1-45 SOC 8-9.

    W3817
    1993
    Wellingborough
    FF 23-8-41/ 8MU 27-8/ 92S 1-9/ 417S 6-2-42/ 242S 18-4/ 243S 6-6/ SAL 4-7/ 501S 9-11/ FAAC 24-3-44 /DeH recat E BBOC 25-8/ 17SFTS 7-10/ FACB 9-8-45/ SOC 18-9.

    Looks like Leendert has it with W 3817 ?

    Hope this is a help.
    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 3rd September 2008 at 23:12.

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    Gents, the accident to W3817 'Wellingborough' on the 23 March 1944 (sic) is described in Gifts of War

    ' F/O Line taxied into BM256 'Dorothy Mary' which was at dispersal, W3817 being declared Cat E and sent to DH at Witney, only to be recat B and repaired'

    regards

    DaveW

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    hello,

    Thanks for your input.

    Author David WATKINS was, when the book was published in 1990, Air-Britain specialist for No. 501 Squadron.

    The recent series of articles (2007-2008) by Air-Britain about the Spitfire I production is more up-to-date than the book (1990).

    I was (I'm still) puzzled by the discrepancies, for I had Frank VID in my lists for years, without a serial number in front of his name. The plane was lost during a weather recce flight in the morning, the pilot being initially buried in Berck-sur-Mer. So far, I can't tell whether the crash occured inland or in the sea, VID's body being washed ashore at Berck. That was the case for many airmen who were buried in Berck. This cemetery was closed post-war, the bodies being transfered to other cemeteries, such as Etaples. VID being Canadian, he was transfered to the Calais Canadian War Cemetery.

    David WATKINS wrote : "In March the squadron also lost the popular Canadian, Warrant Officer Frankie Vid (W3606) during the weather recce between Gravelines and Abbeville. News of his burial at Berck was not received until two months later".

    In the appendix section of the same book, W3606 is stated as being quoted SD-E, arriving in the Squadron 30 31 March 1943 and suffering engine failure on 20 June 1944, P/O GROTTICK bellylanded. To No. 39 M.U. on 27 June. This is not matching in the main body of the book.

    The same appendix section duly records R7195, coded SD-E, arriving to the Squadron on 28 October 1943, but no date of loss or posting out.

    Spitfire W3817 may have been damaged, the category AC accident is not severe, either during that weather flight, or during another operation. No mention of this accident in the book. The appendix just adds that it was coded SD-O, arriving on 9 November 1943, to No. 6 M.U. on 15th september 1944. Only a check in the Squadron ORB would clarify this, or even an accident card at Hendon.

    So I think that indeed Frank VID lost his life in R7195, but I wanted to have your opinion about it.

    Joss

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    Does Gifts of War have anything on R7195 'Holmwood I'?

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    Gifts says about R7195

    "On 24th March 1944 the a/c was shot down over Le Torquet on a weather reconnaisance, P/O Frank John Vid C86521, aged 25, of Sudbury, Ontario being buried in Calais Canadian War Cemetery, Leubringhen."

    regards

    DaveW

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    hello

    Thanks Dave for this final input which clarifies the identity of Frank VID's Spitfire.

    I've not bought "Gifts of war" so far, the volume is still quite expensive even for a member. I provided a few corrections to Henry Boot when he was researching it, but it seems he didn't take them in count. It was about the Spitfire that actually crashed in my village in France.

    Cheers

    Joss

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