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Thread: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    Disqualified? No.

    Did not say that. Did not imply that.

    Not throwaway. General observation, consistently made, on particular reply type, still sometimes seen.

    Your own queries & replies do "offer much more than "I have it as...""

    Some background & source ever helpful - to all - request or reply.

    No source nor modern transcript is error free incl Gunby&Temple, Halley, Robertson, Warner: all of exemplary quality & far better than many.
    Esp when no access to base records: Form 700, Form 1180, Del records at RAF Museum... closed til further notice.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 24th January 2021 at 21:39.
    Toujours ΰ propos

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    Hi Andy,
    .
    The late Graham Warner produced a wonderful history of the Bristol Blenheim and the 2nd edition was a great advance on the 1st. A 3rd edition, if ever published by someone, would help clear up many of the anomalies and errors.
    .
    L4827. Without going into too much detail L4827 clearly appears to be a Mk I. Unfortunately the ‘I’ on the F.78 for L4827 is too faded to read, but all the F.78s for Blenheims in that batch up to and including L4834 are recorded as Mk Is. The unit assignments of the Blenheims in this batch before and after L4834 are markedly different and support whether they were indeed Mk Is or IVs.
    Furthermore 60 Squadron which was the last user of L4827 did not apparently receive their first Mk IVs until late March 1942.
    .
    ‘L4864’. This serial anomaly caused me much trouble too due to errors in contemporary documentation or lack of detail in extant sources. I believe the problem resolves around the prefix letter of the serial number. L4864 has been recorded (incorrectly) up to this as the Blenheim involved in this incident.
    .
    L4864 is not mentioned once in the 107 Sqn. ORB. At this time the main unit was on detachment from Wattisham to Lossiemouth in Scotland for the Norwegian campaign. P4864 was one of the Blenheims left behind. Based on the times of the two losses it is a distinct possibility that F/Lt. Clayton, his crew and P4864 were ordered up to Lossiemouth to replace L8750 and crew (lost early that morning over Norway).
    .
    There is no F.1180 for P4864 for the accident on 24 April 1940, but there is a F.1180 and a F.1183 ‘Forced Landings’ card for ‘L4864’ with all the details matching the loss of the 107 Squadron aircraft. Somehow the serial was changed from P4864 – which I believe is the correct one – to L4864. Presumably the person(s) at the time were more familiar with the L-serialled Blenheims.
    While L4864 is not recorded anywhere in the 107 Sqn. ORB, P4864 is. The F.541 shows P4864 was flown operationally 11 times from 25-9-39 to 23-4-40. In fact P4864 was flown on a weather reconnaissance sortie to Norway from Wattisham on 23-4-40 to determine if conditions were suitable for a daylight bombing attack that day (they were not). I have checked the 107 Sqn. ORB from 25-4-40 to 1-7-40 inclusive and there is no trace of either L4864 or P4864.
    .
    The real L4864 did indeed serve with 53 Squadron. It was recorded flying operationally in September (L4864) and October 1939 (as PZ-W), but these were the only months the unit flew operations until April 1940 at least ! The October 1939 mission is important as a report for it exists in the 53 Sqn. Appendices (AIR 27/508, p. 60) connecting the code PZ-W to the serial L4864. However we have at least one clear EBay photo showing a belly-landed L4864 in France with the unit coding ‘PZ-W’. The date of its loss was 16 May 1940.
    The F.78 for L4864 shows it served only with 53 Squadron from 21-3-1939 until it was written off in 1942 as part of an airframe census.
    The F.78 for P4864 records it served only with 107 Squadron from 9-9-1939. Nothing else except that it was SOC on 6-5-1940.
    .
    L8529. Trying to be brief on this one, another difficult case. L8529 was serving with 113 Squadron on 5 July 1940 when badly damaged by AA fire. The observer was killed and the pilot badly wounded. The wireless operator – attached from 45 Squadron – helped fly the Blenheim safely back to base and received an Immediate DFM for his actions. L8529 was repaired. It is shown in the 13 (H) Squadron F.541 on a training flight on 7 May 1942 but no mention of any damage. Due to the details in Warner there may well be a F.1180 for this accident. The F.78 for L8529 has no reference to 223 Squadron, rather 72 OTU with the SOC date of 25 June 1942 as you note.
    Among the many sources consulted and particularly helpful with this Blenheim were;
    ‘DESERT PRELUDE, Early Clashes’ by Hakan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo and
    ‘RAF BOMBER LOSSES in the Middle East and Mediterranean, Vol. 2’ by David Gunby & Pelham Temple.
    .
    Hope this helps a little,
    .
    Martin Gleeson.

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  4. #13
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Marden View Post
    Finally, looking at your list Jagan:
    4 Dec 41 was Z7775: etc

    Andy, DUH! I should have checked the names against the AIR81 Data to find the entries - thanks for that direction, - I was able to pretty much knock away every entry in my list except for the following:


    97553 1942-02-13 Blenheim McINERNEY THOMAS TAYLOR 407273 Flying Officer SEAC Loss - but commemorated in Australia
    108059 1943-01-30 Blenheim SAINSBURY POPHAM 414389 Flying Officer Tunisia
    102564 1943-01-30 Blenheim PHILLIPS CECIL HENRY WALTER 1312445 Sergeant Tunisia
    86744 1943-01-30 Blenheim KENNY MATTHIAS FRANCIS 1126351 Sergeant Tunisia

  5. #14
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    Thanks again for the great input.
    Martin, regarding L4827 and the Blenheim I, by co-incidence the Air Britain forum has been discussing a different matter concerning Blenheim. However, this contract summary was mentioned:

    "RAF Contract card summaries, Bristol built Blenheims. Contract 435061/35 for 150 mark I, K7033 to K7182, produced from March 1937 to February 1938.
    Contract 527114/36 for 568 mark I, L1097 to L1546 (450), L4817 to L4934 (118) produced from February 1938 to June 1939, delivered as 500 mark I and 68 mark IV (L4835 to L4902), but all with Mercury VIII engines, no mention of extra or missing fuel tanks."

    So taken with Martin's comments, I think we can say that L4817-L4834 were mark I, L4835-L4902 were mark IV.

    Now for some new queries:
    “L7965” – lost with 113 Sqn on 25 May 42 (in addition to Z9741)
    “L9351” – lost with 4 (C) FPP on 18 Jun 40. This was one of seven lost in France on delivery to Malta – the other six were L9263, L9314, L9315, L9317, L9318, L9334)
    N3581 – lost with 45 Sqn 3 Jan 42 or 30 Jan 42, or with 14 Sqn 30 Jan 42
    N3628 – lost with ADU. Was loss on 1 Jun 42 or 2 Jun 42? - Warner lists both
    T2384 – lost at sea 14 Jan 41 (ABN serials book agrees). But Warner (P 482) also lists it as lost at sea 19 Apr 41 – which aircraft was this?
    V5573 – mentioned as lost with 45 Sqn on 6 May 41, and again with 124 Sqn on 25 Nov 41
    “V6165” – lost with 82 Sqn on 21 May 41. Serial given in AIR 81/6643 as V6165, which does not exist: http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ls/r/C16755940

    Unknown aircraft
    34 Sqn – lost on 28 Dec 41, in addition to V5636
    55 Sqn – Warner P488 says T2177 of 55 Sqn was hit by V5514 on landing on 10 May 41. However, T2177 was damaged with 113 Sqn in Greece 14 Apr 41, force-landed at Larissa; damaged 15 Apr 41 in air-raid, abandoned. Little doubt about this, it was coded AD-V, see photo at: see photo: http://113squadron.com/id21.htm

    And to save having to plough through the thread from the beginning here are the previous queries, with the solved ones at the end.

    Unresolved
    L8538 – lost with 45 Sqn on 4 Feb 41 (some sources say it was L8530) – L8538 was SOC 30 Sqn 1 Jan 44?
    V5388 – FTR on 3 Jan 42 whilst with 34 Sqn (Warner says 2 Jan 42). He also says V5388 was DBR in an air-raid on Butterworth on 8 Dec 41, together with V5381, Z5799 and V5633 which had belly-landed earlier. Was there another machine lost in the Butterworth raid, or?....
    V5589 - listed first as lost with 60 Sqn on 9 Dec 41, then with 113 Sqn on 9 Sep 42 (photo caption P574). In the Appendix on P583, the loss is said to be V5938, but the crew details don’t match with the database. The 60 Sqn loss is discussed here: http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...qn-8-9-12-1941
    V5589 was indeed lost with 60 Sqn on 9 Dec 41. The two 113 Sqn losses on 9 Sep 42 were V5938 and V6507
    BUT: the Australian Casualty file states V5589! – so still not sorted!
    Z7799 – listed first as DBR in crash landing at Palembang, Borneo on 16 Jan 42, then as destroyed in air raid at P1 Sumatra on 7 Feb 42

    Unknown aircraft
    14 Sqn – the ORB reports Z9307 (not valid) as lost with 14 Sqn on 11 May 41. It cannot have been L9307, as this was lost with 34 Sqn on 29 Jun 42
    (this entry removed from the entry under L9307)
    34 Sqn MIA 20 Jan 42 – in ORB as L1414, which was lost on 1 Jan 42. Discussed earlier at:
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...o-end-Feb-1942
    113 Sqn – second loss on 25 May 42, additional to Z9751. Warner quotes “L9765” which isn’t valid.
    211 Sqn – second loss on 13 Feb 42, additional to Z9829.

    Resolved (see discussion in the thread for details)
    L4827 – Warner and the serial database say it was a IV. However, it was a I.
    L4864 – listed as lost 107 Sqn 24 Apr 40, and as lost 53 Sqn 16 May 40 – L4864 was lost with 53 Sqn. The 107 Sqn loss is very likely to have been P4864.
    L8529 – It was repaired following the 5 Jul 40 incident in AIR81/1021. It seems that it was serving with 13 (H) Sqn on 7 May 42, but if damaged at all, this was not serious. It was actually struck from 72 OTU on 25 Jun 42.

  6. #15
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    V5573 – mentioned as lost with 45 Sqn on 6 May 41, and again with 124 Sqn on 25 Nov 41

    5/5/41 Jolted on takeoff one wheel stuck down, landed - Classed as repairable

    V5514 8 POB 7 K - 1 I, hit camouflaged stationary Magister P1974

    Ross
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  7. #16
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    Jagan

    Sainsbury RNZAF and the two others on 30/1/43 in 64Sqn BB147

    Ross
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  9. #17
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    Ross,
    Thanks for sorting V5573.
    With reference to V5514, Warner actually states "collided with parked Magister R1974, bounced into Blenheim T2177". So this query is still outstanding.
    Regards,
    Andy

  10. #18
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    No other airframe listed - just those two on the Form 1180.

    Are you doubting your "However, T2177 was damaged with 113 Sqn in Greece 14 Apr 41, force-landed at Larissa; damaged 15 Apr 41 in air-raid, abandoned. Little doubt about this, it was coded AD-V, see photo at: see photo: http://113squadron.com/id21.htm"?

    Ross
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  11. #19
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    Ross,
    No, not at all. Photos show German troops climbing all over a damaged T2177/AD-V, so this will have been the end of its RAF service.
    Maybe just another "rogue entry" in Warner in relation to the V5514 incident.
    Andy

  12. #20
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    Default Re: Bristol Blenheim anomalies

    No reason to doubt that T2177 was abandoned in Greece a month before V5514 had its landing accident.

    It would be a stretch to accept that after hitting R1974 (listed incorrectly as P1974 on F1180) the bounce took V5514 from Burg-el-Arab in Egypt to Larrisa in Greece.

    So Warner entry partly correct and partly incorrect for V5514.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries/members/02100075

    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries/members/02100076

    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 26th January 2021 at 18:08.
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