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Thread: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyffe View Post
    Daz,

    Reference your #24 this morning, do the documents make any reference to the altimeter settings. Since there was no fire I'm assuming the instruments remained intact.

    Brian
    Brian,

    Nothing specific with regards to the altimeter, just a comment that all controls appeared to be working correctly.

    Regards
    Daz

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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    Brian and Daz, Might be irrelevant but local history of this area mention both DF and/or beacon. It is not clear which, being somewhere in this vicinity. The foundations of the facility are reportedly still visible. It seems possible that MZ 311 may have been tracking the beacon - if it was a beacon. Not suggesting it would be conclusive.
    regards
    cris

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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    I appreciate this is a long shot, but this operation would not have been the only 'Gardening' exercise over the Biscay ports of western France during the summer of 1944, and wonder if anyone is able to advise on a preferred location (beacon) over which inbound aircraft crossed the English coast when returning to base. I'm obviously thinking of squadrons based in the North East. My guess is that it would be between Weymouth and Dawlish - Bridport or Lyme Regis spring to mind.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 6th October 2020 at 18:10. Reason: Added 'beacon'

  4. #34
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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    Brian,
    Go along with that! Was there an HF beacon in that area that was switched-on to allow the Navs of returning Biscay "Gardening" streams to locate?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    Daz, Simon, and Brian,
    Following Simon's advice a fellow researcher in UK has located the mix of RAF Forms 765 and 412 on MZ311 from FLTLT Howes' file on Ancestry.com. The documents are very useful but the information is not comprehensive or entirely clear largely because the earlier report (765) defers to the pending Court of Inquiry (Form 412). However there is very little of a record of proceedings or findings of COI among the documents. So I am led to believe that the body of the report (412) is elsewhere. Although with that said Base Commander ACDRE H.V. Slatterly signs off the report I presume 765 on 1 September 1944 and then again on 30 September 1944 So it seems likely that on the second sign-off he was referring to the (unseen) outcome of the COI . And it is there that he concludes on a page not from Form 412 that the cause of the accident remains obscure etc. The front page of Form 412 which is in the Ancestry file is confusing because it has the COI opening on 17 August 1944 for the accident which occurred on 26 August 1944.

    My question out of all of this is : Is there a source of 78 Sqn 412's somewhere that I could apply to for a copy?

    Brian, your tip on accessing the 1945 image of Cleeve Hill was very helpful Thank you.
    Regards
    cris

  6. #36
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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    Quote Originally Posted by afterlift View Post
    Daz, Simon, and Brian,
    Following Simon's advice a fellow researcher in UK has located the mix of RAF Forms 765 and 412 on MZ311 from FLTLT Howes' file on Ancestry.com. The documents are very useful but the information is not comprehensive or entirely clear largely because the earlier report (765) defers to the pending Court of Inquiry (Form 412). However there is very little of a record of proceedings or findings of COI among the documents. So I am led to believe that the body of the report (412) is elsewhere. Although with that said Base Commander ACDRE H.V. Slatterly signs off the report I presume 765 on 1 September 1944 and then again on 30 September 1944 So it seems likely that on the second sign-off he was referring to the (unseen) outcome of the COI . And it is there that he concludes on a page not from Form 412 that the cause of the accident remains obscure etc. The front page of Form 412 which is in the Ancestry file is confusing because it has the COI opening on 17 August 1944 for the accident which occurred on 26 August 1944.

    My question out of all of this is : Is there a source of 78 Sqn 412's somewhere that I could apply to for a copy?

    Brian, your tip on accessing the 1945 image of Cleeve Hill was very helpful Thank you.
    Regards
    cris
    Cris,

    In short, no or not that I am aware of. The only records available are the Squadron ORB, the accident cards, the Station ORB and whatever is available in individual personal records which are either available online via Ancestry etc or obtained from the MoD. I have all of these and there is no further detail in them.

    I have a few other areas to check e.g. K Reports and 4 Group aircraft loss reports, but to be honest I'm not expecting to find anything given that there were no survivors.

    Regards
    Daz

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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    Thanks Daz. Much appreciated.
    Regards
    cris

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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    I have been to have a look at the likely crash area between the Rising Sun Hotel and the Cleeve Hill Golf Club. It is a slightly concave northwest-facing ridge about 800 yards long with a spur to the west and a higher hill to the north. To impact this area the aircraft would have to have been heading between 090 and 180. There are old quarries all over the site.

    The gorse clumps on the hill come and go over time so cannot be used to orient to a specific location, but they are generally above 900 feet.

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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    To avoid duplication of effort, has anyone followed Daz's suggestion at #16 to seek the police files relating to the accident? If not I will.

    Brian

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    Default Re: 78 SQN RAF Loss of Halifax III MZ311 on Cleeve Hill Gloucecstershire 26 AUG 44

    Good morning Richard , Please give a datum lat and long for your estmated position so i can record it in the file. Thanks
    cris

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