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Thread: W/Cdr. Basil Embry, 23 May 1940.

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    Default W/Cdr. Basil Embry, 23 May 1940.

    According to ‘VALIANT WINGS’ by Norman Franks (page 191) Wing Commander Basil Embry’s Blenheim L8777 suffered severe damage to the port wing on 23 May 1940 during a raid by 107 Squadron. The damage is not recorded in the 107 Squadron ORB or Appendices, nor in the Wattisham ORB.

    Furthermore according to the 107 Squadron ORB for May 23rd the unit only despatched six Blenheims on one raid that day, and neither Embry or L8777 is listed among the pilots and aircraft. However he flew L8777 on two missions during May 22nd, with all the six aircraft from the second raid landing at Manston late on the 22nd and returning to Wattisham early on the 23rd. L8777 does not feature in the 107 Squadron ORB as being flown operationally again for the rest of May 1940.

    I assume Norman Franks used Embry’s autobiography ‘MISSION COMPLETED’ as his source (he lists it on the bibliography page). Unfortunately I do not have a copy of ‘MISSION COMPLETED’. If someone has a copy could you please check it for me ? What date does Embry give for the raid during which L8777 was damaged ? And does he state that he flew it back to Wattisham the next morning in this damaged condition ?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Default Re: W/Cdr. Basil Embry, 23 May 1940.

    Hi Martin,

    According to ‘After the Battle’ book ‘The Battle for France’ Blenheim L8777 Port wing was badly damaged by a direct hit by AA fire west of Boulogne and forced a crash landing at Hawkinge at 12.30pm. W/C B E Embry and crew unhurt, aircraft damaged but repairable. They were attacking troop columns.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Default Re: W/Cdr. Basil Embry, 23 May 1940.

    Hello John,

    Thank you for the very quick reply. Yes, I have that excellent book but I believe Peter Cornwell would have used either the Franks or Embry book as his source for that entry seeing as any reference to the incident seems to be lacking in contemporary documents. I would not be surprised if Basil Embry's flying logbooks survive to this day but have no idea where. Also it is possible AIR 14/3360 Day Bombing Raid Sheets may have a mention of L8777 being damaged this day (but with no detail) but again I have not seen this document.

    Thanks again.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    Default Re: W/Cdr. Basil Embry, 23 May 1940.

    Hi Martin,

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, could you contact me off board on harleyDOT158ATbigpondDOTcom replace the DOT & AT with the usual. I have a question about a Merchant Navy guy from WW1 who came from your part of the world.

    Regards,

    John.

    Ps no rush mate.
    Last edited by John Williams; 17th July 2021 at 08:29.

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    Default Re: W/Cdr. Basil Embry, 23 May 1940.

    Will do,

    Martin.

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