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Thread: 59 Squadron Blenheim losses June 1941

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    Default 59 Squadron Blenheim losses June 1941

    I'm struggling to get my head around three 59 Squadron losses (two on 16 June, one on 19 June).
    The ORB says:
    a) 16Jun41: TR-G Villa, Mortimer, McIntyre (FTR)
    b) 16Jun41: TR-Y Kennedy, Briggs, Edgar (FTR)
    c) 19Jun41: TR-N Miles, Lewis, Mikklesen (crash-landed Shoreham)

    a) AIR 81/6955 says this was V5395. This is reflected at:
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?uniq=V5395
    although the headline loss date is wrongly given as 19 June 1941
    The Air Britain serials book also lists this one as 19 June 1941
    Warner's Blenheim book agrees with 16 June 1941, but says it was V6386.

    b) AIR 81/6956 says this was V6386. This is reflected at:
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?uniq=V6386
    although Flt Lt Villa (see above) has been incorrectly linked in the entry.
    The Air Britain serials book agrees.
    Warner has a glitch in that he lists the serial as Z3339 (a Hurricane lost on the same day). He notes that "Serial No. in ORB incorrect" - but no serials are listed in the ORB.

    c) Warner says this was V5395 (see above)
    I can find no other clues.

    So we have two serials for three losses.
    Ideas anyone please?

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    Default Re: 59 Squadron Blenheim losses June 1941

    Hello Andy,
    .
    This is an interesting puzzle and not the first for 59 Squadron regarding Blenheim serials. I cannot solve the issue but I would like to add the following and hope it will be of some help.
    ,
    Firstly in my experience the serials recorded in the AIR 81 files are rarely incorrect – dates are another matter ! These files are often the only surviving contemporary document with the serial for a loss (tying it to a particular crew).
    .
    Looking at the F.78 aircraft history cards that for V5395 has no detail or loss date, merely that it was Struck Off Charge on 19-6-1941. The F.78 for V6386 has ‘16/6/41 F.B. (E) Missing’ with a SOC date of 19-6-1941. More or less confirming the two serials are correct for the 16th as their date of loss.
    .
    There is a third AIR 81 file for this mission on the 16th , AIR 81/6945 for V6310 TR-D of P/O Foster which was damaged in action and had two wounded crew members. This should mean there is no mix-up with the other two, especially as V6310 was repaired and flown until 1942. That said the F.78 for V6310 raises a few questions of its own in that it shows it was Taken On Charge by 43 Group on 31-5-1941 and the next entry was TOC by Cunliffe Owen/S.A.S. on 22-6-1941. Unfortunately page 2 of this F.78, which might have had damage details, was not photographed for the microfilm reel. The 43 Group entry might indicate going for modification or repair, but if so it was carried out quickly as the 59 Squadron F.541 records TR-D flying on May 27th (no action or damage recorded) and June 12th .
    .
    Perhaps the most useful loss to focus on may be TR-N which crash-landed at Shoreham on June 19th. As the crew were unhurt no AIR 81 file was produced. However in my experience (for 1940) F.1180 Aircraft Accident Cards were often written up for bombers which crashed or had accidents in the UK when returning from operational flights, even with damage inflicted by the enemy. It may be worthwhile to ask the RAF Museum if they have a F.1180 for a 59 Squadron Blenheim on 19-6-1941. Should one be available it will have the serial and therefore allow more clarity on all three losses, if not to solve them. Should you obtain it I would love to know the result.
    .
    Regards,
    .
    Martin Gleeson.

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    Default Re: 59 Squadron Blenheim losses June 1941

    Two serials for two losses on 16th.

    I had no serial for Kennedy and linked Villa to V6386.

    With release of AIR81 the correct crews can be linked to V6386/Kennedy and V5395/Villa on 16th.

    Shoreham arrival of Miles was in V5504 after pompom fire had forced the port wing down and shattered the airscrew. Landed u/c up with ASI u/s.

    Both engines Cat R and aiframe Cat B (repairable).

    Ross
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    Default Re: 59 Squadron Blenheim losses June 1941

    Ross, Martin,
    Thanks for your useful replies. Another problem solved!
    Regards,
    Andy

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    Default Re: 59 Squadron Blenheim losses June 1941

    Ross.

    Many thanks for that information on V5504. The F.78 records '19/6/41 F.B. (AC)' and that it was repaired, flying into 1943 at least.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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