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Thread: Confirmation Saught

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    Default Confirmation Saught

    Hello,
    I would have normally posted this question on the TOCH forum.
    So hope that members do not object to a Naval question.

    It concerns an air attack on oil tank South of Bergen. A Skua with a crew of two were in collision with another Skua whilst diving through thick cloud and rain One aircraft crashed 1/4 mile from shore Haugesundsletta, North of Haugesund Town It was declared Category W (Write Off) on the 26th July '40. Both crew killed.

    The other aircraft made it back and crash landed at Sumburgh, crew safe.

    There is (for me) a ? on the date of these losses.

    I am given to understand that the attack tok place on the 22nd July '40.

    But the LoS Memorial and CWGC had the deaths dated as 26th July '40.
    Which is the date that the aircraft was written off.

    So just when did the attack take place ?

    Thanks
    Alex

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    Default Re: Confirmation Saught

    Alex

    I think it is this incident, from Ray Sturtivant's Fleet Air Arm 1939-1945, page 32:

    L2906 - deld 10 MU 7.3.39; 801 Sqn Hatston 7.40; FTR Furious, mid air collision with another Skua diving through thick cloud and rain during attack on oil tank S of Bergen, crashed 1/4 m from shore Haugesundsletta, N of Haugesund town, Cat W 26.7.40 (S/L JEH Myers, NA1 SA Bass both killed) [other a/c COL Sumburgh]

    No ID for the 'other Skua'.

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 29th September 2021 at 23:05. Reason: typo
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Alex Smart (29th September 2021)

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    Default Re: Confirmation Saught

    Thanks Andy,
    Yes that is the event. I have te book( looking forward to the new edition).
    My question is about the date of the event. Been written off would suggest a date after an event rather than the date of an event .

    See - Naval History.net. gives the 22nd as the date.

    "Monday, 22 July 1940

    Campina, armed patrol trawler, sunk by mine off Holyhead
    BROOKES, Herbert, Trimmer, T.124, MPK
    BROWN, William, 3rd Hand, T.124, MPK
    CALVERT, William, Deck Hand, T.124, killed
    GALVIN, John, 2nd Engineman, T.124, MPK
    GOOD, Leslie, Trimmer, T.124, MPK
    INCH, Albert, 1st Engineman, T.124, MPK
    NALDER, John W, Fireman, T.124, MPK
    ROWLANDS, Robert, Deck Hand, T.124, killed
    WEBB, Alfred, Fireman, T.124, MPK
    WELLBURN, Fred, Skipper, RNR, MPK
    WILSON, John, Cook, T.124, killed

    Fleet Air Arm, 801 Sqn, Furious, aircraft carrier, air crash in Skua. In raid in thick cloud and rain on oil tank south of Bergen, collided with another Skua. Crashed one quarter mile from shore off Haugesundsletta, north of Haugesund.
    MYERS, John E H, Sub Lieutenant (A), killed
    BASS, Sydney A, Naval Airman 1c, C/JX 737061, MPK


    Hull Trader, steamship
    LUCE, Cecil J, Able Seaman, RFR, P/SSX 1000, (President III, O/P), DOW

    Maloja, armed merchant cruiser
    NOTLEY, Edward G, Able Seaman, P/J 18642, died

    Papua, New Guinea, Oro Bay (location)
    GODING, Howard C, Telegraphist, B 1723 (RANR), illness, died

    St Angelo, Malta, shore establishment
    CONTI, Vincenzo, Leading Cook, E/358073, died"


    All other sites have the 26th, including LoS Memorial, CWGC ,
    and Henk in his File -
    "L 2906 Skua II 801 sqn FAA 26-7-1940
    Hatston/Orkneys Bergen - Noorwegen
    Collideerde met een andere Skua - crashte in zee mijl van Haugesundsletta/Noorwegen
    Sub.Lt/A(P) MYERS, John E.H. - RN (HMS Furious) - LoSolent Mem. - B1 - P3
    Naval Airman 1st Cl.(Ag) BASS, Sydney A. - FX.77498 - RN (HMS Sparrowhawk) - LoSolent Mem. - B1 - P4"

    But did it happen on the 22nd or 26th ?

    I found this on the National Archives site -
    ADM 199/450 which seems relevant.
    Anyone have access. Perhaps to view or even copy the relevant pages would be very helpful.

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 30th September 2021 at 02:22.

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    Default Re: Confirmation Saught

    Hello,

    From Peter C. Smith's Skua!, p.186:

    Hunting in the fiords.

    They (801 Sqn FAA), embarked aboard "Furious" again and 2 days later, on 26 July (1940), the squadron headed off once more to what Harrington termed, 'That Bane of My Life - Norway', where another enemy ship target was claimed hit, but he had to record one of his closest friends, 'Johnny Missing'* after they ran into terrible weather conditions.

    The attack was made despite these very poor conditions, thick cloud and heavy rain. Ratting Pilot R. H. Williams, with Naval Airman Beardsley, was flying L2951 on this mission to Sogne Fiord, and they reported that Sub-Lieutenant J. E. H. Myers and naval Airman S. A. Bass in L2906 failed to return, being posted 'missing, believed killed'.** It later transpired that, unable to locate the target vessel, the Skuas dive-bombed the oil tanks at Bergen. Conditions were abysmal and during the attack dive two of the Skuas collided. Myer's aircraft crashing about a 1/4 mile offshore from Haugesundsletta, north of the town of Haugesund. The other Skua somehow miraculously survived the impact and managed to limp home to make a crash-landing at Sumburgh.

    * Flying log Book Lieutenant Commander Tom Harrington, RN.
    ** Flying Log Book Lieutenant Commander R. H. Williams RN.

    See:
    Skua! The Royal Navy's Dive-Bomber.
    Smith,Peter C.
    Barnsley:Pen & Sword Aviation,2006.
    pp.186 & 194.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 1st October 2021 at 00:43.

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    Default Re: Confirmation Saught

    Thank you Col, it does look as though it was on the 26th . Although I wonder how the NAVAL HISTORY.NET team came up with the 22nd ?
    Alex

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    Default Re: Confirmation Saught

    Hello Alex, the Admiralty War diary states on 26Jul’40 that 8 Skuas attacked shipping in the Bergen area of which two collided during the attack with one crashing immediately and the other on landing. If you have a membership of Fold3 it can be viewed here https://www.fold3.com/image/302068961

    The same source also indicates that on the 22Jul’40 that 8 Skuas operated from Shetland, this time targeting a railway near Bergen. This can be viewed at https://www.fold3.com/image/302068980 Possibly where the source of confusion has arisen?

    As another alternate source, from the other side, it might be of use to browse the Russian archives at https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/...de/grid/zoom/1 These are daily Luftwaffe situation reports for the time period you are interested in and should contain reference to any raids. 22Jul’40 starts from image 319 https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/...inspect/zoom/4 Happy browsing.

    Kind regards
    Pierre

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    Default Re: Confirmation Saught

    Hi Alex,

    As well as ADM 199/450, it seems that there is the Naval equivalent of AIR 81 for this loss

    ADM 358/202
    1940 Jan 01 - 1941 Dec 31
    Sub-Lieutenant (A) J E H Myers, RN: missing presumed dead; aircraft failed to return from air operations off the Norwegian coast; includes correspondence about condition of officer's effects

    Found in a thread by Paul McMillan

    Again, would require a visit in person to TNA as the file is not digitised.

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Alex Smart (1st October 2021)

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    Default Re: Confirmation Saught

    Hello Jeff and Pierre,
    My grateful thanks for your efforts. Thank you both for the info and the links, they are very helpful.
    I had not even looked in Fold3 as never thought I would find anything about the event.
    Again, thank you both
    Alex

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