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Thread: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

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    Default Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    May I ask if anyone has copied the ORBS of the various M.E. & M.A.A.F. Communication Flights and M.U's which contain references to "Fairchild" or Argus aircraft and would be prepared to share them with me?

    The name "Fairchild" was frequently used in the ORBs, prior to "Argus" became universally accepted.

    This is part of an attempt to trace the movements of individual Argus aircraft for an article. I have all the Individual Aircraft Record Cards but these only report the arrival in theater and SOC dates.

    The downloadable Communication Squadron ORBs have proved a fruitful source and I would now like to attempt a similar search of the Record Books that members may have copied themselves at Kew.

    Any extracts from personal log books would also be very helpful.

    Thank you and best wishes for a safer 2021, Tony Broadhurst

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.



    Fairchild Argus
    (UC-61)

    check http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2/o/1586/9/0 for surces and authors

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    Zoran,

    From Vol 2 of my For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 :

    Mon 14 Aug 1944
    MEDITERRANEAN ALLIED AIR FORCES
    Communication flight from Heliopolis to Ismailiea
    Middle East Communication Squadron, RAF (Heliopolis, Egypt - 206 Group, Middle East Command)
    Argus II FS562 - took off at 0825 piloted by Flt Lt B R Terry, DFC, RAF, and flew into the ground 8 miles south of Abu Sueir between 0900-0915. The pilot and his passenger are buried at Moascar, Ismailia. It was thought that control may have been lost while flying in low cloud.
    (Medical Officer): 75334 Sqn Ldr John Henry Percival GAUVAIN, mid, RAFVR - Age 28.
    Gauvain was Flying Personnel Medical Officer at 203 Group Headquarters, which was also based at Heliopolis. He was twice mentioned in despatches, though this is not shown on the CWGC register.
    Australian-born pilot B R Terry’s brother, Ian Wingate Terry, served in the RNZAF and died on 21 Dec 41 while flying with 206 Sqn, RAF.

    Errol

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    Hi Tony:

    You may have this info already but happy to look up serials and transfers to the MAAF and corresponding USAAF serials in Lend-Lease books by Percy, Butler and Meekoms/A-B.

    The Meekoms/A-B book indicates transfers to the MAAF, NW Africa and West Africa (as well as UK and India). Are the first three within your scope? If so, there appear to be around 650 aircraft.

    Argus II FS646 'X' is captioned as operated by the Desert Air Force Communications Flight.

    Robert

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    Mind you Fairchilds were operated by other units as hacks. Eg. No 318 Sqn flew FS657 and FZ727, one replacing other following an accident or a wind blow, I do not remember. What you really should look for are log books, as as you note movements of those aircraft were not recorded.
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    Tony,

    You might already have this information. If not, here is a summary of the information contained in the relevant F.765C:

    Date: 23rd June, 1944.
    A/C: Fairchild Argus II FS587.
    Unit: M.A.C.A.F Comm. Flight.
    Command: M.A.C.A.F.
    Time: 15.30 hours.
    Location: Setif, Algeria.
    Type of Duty: Non-Operational, Day, Communication flight.

    Summary of Pilot's Report:

    At approximately 15.30 hours on 23rd June, 1944 75999 Lieut I. Robertson took off from Setif airfield in Fairchild Argus II FS597. At a height of approximately 300 feet, the engine failed, and despite the fact that the pilot switched over to the starboard fuel tank, while the airscrew was still windmilling, the engine did not restart. The pilot decided to make a forced landing, approximately height then being 200 feet, owing to the starboard wheel fouling a rock about 2 feet high, the landing was unsuccessful. The aircraft slewed at right angles to its path of travel, and the port wing and wheel after striking the ground broke up and the aircraft slid on the port side for about 30-35 yards before coming to a standstill.

    Assessment: Causes etc. follows.

    Pilot: 75999V Lt (Pilot) Ian ROBERTSON SAAF* - Slightly Injured.
    Pass: AUS408935 F/O (Pilot) Alfred Edgar TAYLOR RAAF - Injured - Admitted to S.S.Q., later transferred No.2 RAF General Hospital.

    To view the information, go to Taylor's Personal File at the National Archives of Australia:

    https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Sear...aspx?B=5253256 - see: pp.54-8 of 58.

    * ROBERTSON, Lt Ian 75999V. 73 OTU 1943. 249 Sqdn RAF 14.1.44-7.44. Att 153 (Night fighter) Sqdn RAF for dawn patrols 7.44-5.9.44

    See: Springbok Fighter Victory SAAF Fighter Operations 1939-1945 Vol.1/Michael Schoeman/Nelspruit,Free World Pubs.,2002/p.175.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th January 2021 at 05:36.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to COL BRUGGY For This Useful Post:

    Freshman (4th January 2021)

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    My thanks to each of you for your kind help and advice. Each is very helpful and worthy of further research.

    Zoran - I searched No.127 ORB last night. I found no mention of an Argus but unfortunately these operational records do not always record non-operational Flights.

    Errol - The crash to Argus FS562 is mentioned in the M.E. Comm Sqdn ORB but I did not have the identity of the passenger.

    Robert - I do have the data from the books you mentioned.

    Franek - Had a quick look at a few of No.318 Sqdn's downloadable ORBS - very comprehensive. Could you suggest some likely dates please? Yes, logbooks will be very useful. I am not sure when I shall be able to search the RAF Museum comprehensive collection again, as I did for Fairchild Cornell.

    Col - the Form 765(B) was very useful. There is a Cat.E report on the RAF record card, but I had found no F.1180 accident brief available for this accident to Argus FS597. The clearer typed entries and the engine nos. are also a bonus.

    Best Wishes, Tony
    Last edited by Freshman; 4th January 2021 at 13:06.

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    Tony
    Without any doubt Fairchild was in use post-war, already in 1945, but I have no idea when it was delivered. Could be already during the war. No 318 was an FR unit, so needed an aircraft to contact ground troops. I used to have some photos, but where are they now? I do not think I have any relevant log book.
    I understand FE is not of your interest?
    Best wishes
    Franek
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    Franek,
    Thank you for the date guide, that will aid a further search of the ORBs

    Yes, I am also interested in the Far East Argus and posted a similar request in the SEAC section late yesterday.
    Best Wishes, Tony

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus in the Mediterranean & Middle East.

    I think that logbooks are your best bet - Argus aircraft were based at Ramat David in Palestine with both the Staff College comms flight and the Station flight in the period 1945/46. However a check on the copy of the ORB I have had only three mentions of Argus aircraft -
    Sep 23 1945 Fairchild 754 arrived from Aqir
    Nov 9 Fairchild 770 of Staff College comms flight pranged on takeoff.
    May 20 1946 Fairchild 812 arrived

    FS536 is one aircraft I have photos of at Ramat David and I know that 6 Sqn pilot Albert Newman flew Argus aircraft there on a number of occasions but unfortunately don’t have a note of the serials.

    Simon

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