Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Danish presentation Spits mystery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    877
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Danish presentation Spits mystery

    Inspired by the excellent volume of the - now sadly late - aircraft historians Boot and Sturtivant "Gifts of War" I have been looking into the aircraft donated by Danes abroad. I compiled the information that I had gathered so far in 2006 in this article
    http://www.danishww2pilots.dk/articles.php?id=2

    The story of the three Spitfires "Skagen Ind.", "Valdemar Atterdag" and "Niels Ebbesen" is widely reported in many sources, but not in as many details as in "Gifts of War." Furthermore they added another Spitfire "Holger Danske" and a Hampden to the list.

    Nevertheless something does not add up. The mystery is that both BL830, BL831, and BL924 at practically the same bore the presentation name "Skagen Ind." I very much doubt that this was the case.

    First of all, the AM.78 of both BL830 and BL831 "confirm" this - as the name is written on both. The only trouble is that BL830 was in service in No. 129 Sqn before the Danes had donated the money and this squadron had no relation to Denmark as was the case of No. 234 Sqn who received BL831, BL855, and BL924.

    Wouldn't the name be given at the factory? And wouldn't it be natural if the Spits donated to No. 234 Sqn were built at the same factory and passed the same MU? Would two aircraft in service at the same time carry identical names without a number, i.e. I, II, III etc.?

    Secondly, a series of photos was taken at the day of the official donation of the aircraft to the RAF and No. 234 Sqn. One of these clearly shows BL924 carrying the name "Skagen Ind." As far as I know this is the only existing photo showing both name and serialnumber. Nevertheless, BL924 was "Valdemar Atterdag" according to its AM.78. Both BL831 and BL924 were shot down on 24 April 1942 killing the two pilots.

    Would it be likely that a presentation aircraft changed identity during the course of a month of operational service in the spring of 1942? And if the identities really did change wouldn't BL831 had been "Valdemar Atterdag" at some point?

    I would be happy to hear from other "presentation aircraft researchers" out there, for ideas on how to solve "my mystery."

    Regards
    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,612
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 57 Times in 55 Posts

    Default

    Mikkel

    I am sure there are a couple of pictures in Hawker Hurricane by Mason of the same Hurricane with 2 different names on it - It seems an early version of a PR Spin - where the same plane was used and the name constantly changed and a 'new' offical phoptograh created all at the same time

    Paul

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    470
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Gifts of War

    Mikkel

    Given the sad demise of the authors it is unfortunate to have to say that it seems there were quite a lot of errors in "Gifts of War". For somehwile now, in the Air Britain 4ly journal Aeromilitaria, Wojtek Matusiak has been providing regular corrections and additions to the content of Gifts of War. I cannot say off the top of my head if his corrections are solely for Spitfires with a Polish connection but I will check if he provides answers to your questions. It might take a day or so to go back through the magazines.

    Steve

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    524
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Steve, I leave it to you to go through the articles for there may indeed be more there, but I think it fair to say that Wojtek's corrections are largely correcting allocation to Polish units and spelling of Polish names: presumably RAF clerks were not particularly competent in such matters.

    PR spin was much earlier than that: compare the Egyptian and Hittite versions of the battle of Kadesh. (Go on - it is fairly well reported in accessable English, you don't have to learn hieroglyphs!) However, the habit of photographing one aircraft with several names doesn't answer the problem of the same name on diferent aircraft. Does the Form 78 show any sign of when the name was added? Perhaps the clerk simply put it on BL830 by mistake, then just added it to BL831? I agree that names would normally be added at the factory, but this does not allow for the grouping of appropriate names in specific units: I'd have thought this was a matter for action at the unit level, or at least at the MU allocating these aircraft.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    877
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks for the answers gentlemen.

    Steve, an Air-Britain member myself I have seen the corrections/addendum in Aeromilitatia, but thank you for the offer.

    Graham, it is difficult to say, but I am of the opinion that the name was added to both AM.78 by another person that actually completed the rest of the two forms. It also seems to be two different persons for the two forms. Neither the writing, nor the pen/ink seems to be the same (I only hold a copy I have to say). I think it is likely, that BL830 could be an error, but the I still have to explain the BL924 photo, cf.
    http://images.kb.dk/image?id=dh001293

    This photo is part of a the same series as is this
    http://images.kb.dk/image?id=dh001305 (P/O Svendsen and P/O Thalbitzer)

    What may be significant is that if it is indeed taken the same day - 10 April 1942 - then the a/c behind BL924 would be either BL831 (or BL830) or BL855, but the aircraft serial is not visible.

    BL831, BL855, and BL924 all passed through No. 24 MU, while BL830 passed through 6 MU...

    Mikkel
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 16th September 2008 at 15:49.
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    877
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    The article on my website on these aircraft is updated to include 4 new profiles that I have made showing the possible identities.
    http://www.danishww2pilots.dk/articles.php?id=2

    Regards
    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    877
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Minutes from a meeting in the working comittee of the Danish Council from 1943 states that it was decided to name additional four Spitfires :

    Danmark 4
    Danmark 5
    Danmark 6
    Danmark 7

    Unfortunately no serials or units mentioned. Which these names, the names of all 8 Spitfires supposedly donated by the Danish Comnnunity abroad are known. I need to update my article on the subject
    http://danishww2pilots.dk/articles.php?id=34

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •