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Thread: Fairchild Argus and Cornell in ACSEA

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    Default Fairchild Argus and Cornell in ACSEA

    In parallel to my request on the General Forum for leads of M.E. Argus movements - may I ask if anyone has copies of the various Indian and ACSEA
    Communication Flight ORBs and Maintenance Units that include details of Fairchild Argus and Cornell, that they would be prepared to share with me?

    The Indian and ACSEA Communication Squadron ORBs which I was able to download proved useful. I would to extend my search to various Comm. Flights and Units.

    These are held by the National Archives in book form and therefore need to have been copied by visiting researchers.

    I already have extracts from the following:
    No.2 E.F.T.S., Jodhpur July 44 - Mar 47.
    RAF Station, Jodhpur April ’46 – April ’47.
    Jodhpur Replacement Staging Post April ’44.
    No.46 Staging Post, Jodhpur Jan – April, July & Oct ’45.
    No.39 Staging Post, Hakimpet Aug & Sept ’44.
    No.141 R&SU., Jodhpur Aug, Sept, Nov’44, Feb – Dec ’45, Jan – Apr ’46.
    No.301 MU., Drigh Road Jan - Dec 1942.
    No.307 MU., Lahore Dec ’43 – Nov ’45
    No.315 MU., Nagpur Aug – Dec ’44, Jan ’45.
    No.319 MU., Jodhpur April – July, Sept, Oct, Dec ’44, Jan, Feb ’45.
    No.320 MU., Drigh Road Mar – Dec ’44, Jan – Apr, June ’45.
    No.355 MU., Jodhpur April ’46.

    I would also be interested in any Argus or Cornell entries from personal log books.

    Thank you, Tony Broadhurst

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    F/O EL Wood 128581 with his Nav/W F/O Stokell ferried a Beaufighter out to CBI theatre in that uncertain period of working up Beaufighter Squadrons in mid-late 1943 that saw aircrew diverted to short postings with support units like ATP Poona and latterly AHQ India Communications Flight Delhi (Palam).

    There in Nov and Dec 1943 he kept current flying a variety of aircraft, incl several flights in a Fairchild entered in his Log Book as only Argus 529.

    Checking Sturtivant, RAF Flying Training and Support Units for AHQ India Communications Flight adds another a/c:
    Argus II FS583 (an entity confirmed by the A/c serials db here).
    This indicates that Wood's Argus 529 was very likely Argus II FS529.

    In June 1944 Wood and Stokell were at last posted to 211 Squadron RAF (Beaufighter X), there completing their ops tour together in June 1945.

    Sources
    Sturtivant, RAF Flying Training and Support Units
    Wood EL Pilot's Flying Log Book (RAF Form 414)
    Last edited by Don Clark; 4th January 2021 at 20:59.
    Toujours à propos

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    Again referring to Sturtivant cited above, no Fairchild Argus noted for any of the following

    No.46 Staging Post
    No.39 Staging Post
    No.141 R&SU
    No.301 MU
    No.307 MU
    No.315 MU
    No.319 MU
    No.320 MU
    No.355 MU

    While other a/c were noted for two of the above, most entries did not incl any a/c ids.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 4th January 2021 at 21:03.
    Toujours à propos

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Clark View Post
    F/O EL Wood 128581 with his Nav/W F/O Stokell ferried a Beaufighter out to CBI theatre in that uncertain period of working up Beaufighter Squadrons in mid-late 1943 that saw aircrew diverted to short postings with support units like ATP Poona and latterly AHQ India Communications Flight Delhi (Palam).

    There in Nov and Dec 1943 he kept current flying a variety of aircraft, incl several flights in a Fairchild entered in his Log Book as only Argus 529.

    Checking Sturtivant, RAF Flying Training and Support Units for AHQ India Communications Flight adds another a/c:
    Argus II FS583 (an entity confirmed by the A/c serials db here).
    This indicates that Wood's Argus 529 was very likely Argus II FS529.

    In June 1944 Wood and Stokell were at last posted to 211 Squadron RAF (Beaufighter X), there completing their ops tour together in June 1945.

    Sources
    Sturtivant, RAF Flying Training and Support Units
    Wood EL Pilot's Flying Log Book (RAF Form 414)
    Thank you Don,
    That is very useful. Yes, "529" must surely by FS529 and it was delivered to India.

    Ray Sturtivant's RAF FT&S is a rich source of Argus serials. I went through the entire book to extract Argus and Cornell serials and units sometime ago.
    Looking at my list there are over 100 Argus serials and it will make a good guide for the files to search- if and when I am able to get the National Archives again.

    Best Wishes, Tony

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    Tony,

    can you narrow down the window as to when the first Argus / Cornells reached India ? That will give me a narrower window to look up in the ORBs that i have.

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    Addendum
    Since your ME etc post asked for Flying Log Book details,
    seemed useful to add these details re

    Dec 1943 F/O Wood flights "Argus 529" (Fairchild Argus II FS529)
    (date, 1st pilot, 2nd pilot/passenger, duty, duration)
    6 Dec 1943 F/O Rhodes, Self, Familiarisation 30min day
    6 Dec Self, .. , circuits and landings 30 min day
    9 Dec Self, Lt Shepherd, Delhi-Gwalior 2:00hrs day
    9 Dec Self, Maj Jones, Lt Shepherd, Gwalior-Delhi 2:00hrs day
    Source: as my post #2 above
    Acknowledgement:
    My thanks to my good friend Dr Elizabeth Kaegi in Canada, who long ago sent me such a trove of source material, about Les aka Fred Wood as well as so much of the Squadron's 1944 and 1945 records.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 4th January 2021 at 22:08.
    Toujours à propos

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    Freshman (4th January 2021),Jagan (4th January 2021)

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    Quote Originally Posted by Jagan View Post
    Tony,

    can you narrow down the window as to when the first Argus / Cornells reached India ? That will give me a narrower window to look up in the ORBs that i have.
    Thank you, Jagan,
    First Argus to India was FS500 - arrived May 1943.
    Using the Middle East as a guide I would guess the Argus was retired from service with the RAF in India by end of May 1946 - then "Recaptured" by the U.S. authorities.

    First Cornells arrived at Karachi on the SS Athel Victor and were TOC 30.4.44. Mostly "Recaptured around March 1947.
    Of the total of 115 delivered to India most were assigned to No.2 EFTS at Jodphur, but there are quite a few unaccounted for.
    Seem to recall there were an additional 5 or 6 used by the Indian Air Force Display Flight.
    Possibly the rest remained stored - but where?
    After "recapture" presumably all (except 3 reported "Sold") were scrapped - but where and by whom?
    It was once suggested to me, that it may have been Hindustan Aircraft as it was supported with American money, however I have no means of confirming any of that.

    Thank you for your help and Best wishes for 2021.

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    Thank you for Don, most useful
    Tony

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    Reg the IAF Display Flight - I have these noted which i had shared some time ago..

    Cornells, FZ711, FZ387, FZ614, FZ397 , FZ363, FZ164 (typo for 614?) All flying in January 1945 with the IAF DF in Kohat
    also '714' - likely FZ714

    FZ397 recorded in Feb 1945

    These are of course the first iteration of the IAFDF - that was pretty much wound up after the death of Wg Cdr Majumdar in Feb 1945. The suspension happened around April 45. They apparently had four Cornells with them at that time.

    Then the second iteration was when the IAFDF was raised again in late 45 at Kohat as the RIAF Demonstration Flight - you have the notes already but no serials or identities of the Cornell. (But most likely it retained four ac from before). It was disbanded w.e.f. 15 April 46.

    At the time of disbandment , it got the following orders:

    6 Spitfires to be returned to 3 Sqn RIAF
    5 Cornells - 1 loaned from 2 EFTS to be returned to them. remaining four to be disposed off by 226 Gp
    1 Tigermoth - to 2 EFTS
    2 Harvards - to RAF Kohat.
    Last edited by Jagan; 5th January 2021 at 01:33.

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    Default Re: Fairchild Argus and Coirnell in ACSEA

    Hello Jagan,
    I had a look at my old notes on the Indian Cornells. There are still about 55 Cornells which I have not accounted for as being with No.2 EFTS or the IAFDF.

    I think the only major input since we last discussed them has been a list of No.2 E.F.T.S. Cornells from Peter Vacher, the author of "The History of the Jodhpur Flying Club".

    One thing I note is that, with the exception of FZ397, the rest of the Display Flight aircraft do not appear to have been allotted No.2 E.F.T.S.

    The true identity of"FZ164" is a bit of a mystery. FZ614 is the most likely answer as although FX161 to FX163 definitely went to India but FX164 was stored in the USA and eventually gained a U.S. registration.

    Thank you looking this up, Tony

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