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Thread: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

  1. #11
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    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Quote Originally Posted by RodM View Post
    The only 104 Squadron loss on 14-15 July 1942 classified as missing was Wellington Z8643/C, P/O G. Richards, piloting.
    I appreciate we're drifting off-track, but I thought Z8643 was lost with 12 Sqn on the night of 30/31 May 1942? I note that TNA have this serial for both losses:
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?uniq=Z8643
    The Movement Card confirms 12 Sqn.
    So what was the 104 Sqn loss?

    PS Z6492 is a Whitley serial

  2. #12
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    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Marden View Post
    I appreciate we're drifting off-track, but I thought Z8643 was lost with 12 Sqn on the night of 30/31 May 1942? I note that TNA have this serial for both losses:
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?uniq=Z8643
    The Movement Card confirms 12 Sqn.
    So what was the 104 Sqn loss?

    PS Z6492 is a Whitley serial

    Hi Andy,

    thanks for the detail on 'Z6492' - my mistake in reading the scanned ORB - it was reads Z8492 ("O"). Anyway, I again misread the ORB, aircraft "E" (Sgt Newman) "Crash landed (Crew O.K.). Aircraft "E" appears to be Z.8653 or Z.8654 (depends which ORB entry one reads ...).

    In looking at the 104 Sqn ORB, the Form 540 records aircraft letter codes, while the Form 541 records aircraft serials.

    The Form 540 states P/O Richards piloted "C" and P/O Horton piloted "H" on 14-15 July 1942. The Form 541 omits Richards' flight details completely, and records the serial "R. _ _ _ _" against Hortons details.

    Going through the ORB for July 1942, the Form 541 records the following serials in relation to:

    Aircraft "H": Z.8568 (1/7), Z.8658 (2/7), Z.8658 (3/7), Z.8658 (7/7), Z.8658 (8/7), Z.8658 (10/7), Z.8648 (13/7)

    Aircraft "C": C. _ _ _ _ (1/7), Z.8649 (2/7), Z.864? (3/7), Z.8649 (7/7), Z.8649 (13/7)

    Thus, the missing 104 Sqn Wellington on 14-15 July 1942 appears to be Z.8649/C (and not Z.8643 as recorded in AIR 81). The Z.8649 movement Card records 104 Sqdn M.E. 29/5/1942 and then Missing Cat E FB, 14/15/7.

    The main point is that HF851 was not lost with 104 Sqn on 15 July 1942.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Last edited by RodM; 16th October 2021 at 15:15.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Thanks for the additional replies.

    Spurred by Andy Wis' findings of earlier entries for HF851 from December 1942, I looked even further back and found references mentioning HF851 as early as September 1942. These tilt the balance strongly in favour of the serial being HF851 rather than HF857, which is mentioned only two times and now seems to be the typo, rather than the other way round.

    Regarding the issue of Z8643...

    A search of the Archives of Australia website for William Bruce Shearer of 12 Sqn clearly shows the aircraft in which he was lost was Z8643. (Report on Operations Casualty Night 30/31st May 1942 - page 45 of 65 at Encl 21A).

    I carried out a similar search for John Manuel Squire, lost with 104 Squadron. The file header also refers to Z8643, lost Tobruk 15 July 1942. However a cypher message dated 20 July 1942 refers to 'Z8643 or 8649?' and it seems that the latter is the true serial number of the 104 Sqn loss. (See Squire's file, pg 45 of 45, Encl 1A.)

    Hope this helps with the 'off track' query!

    Geoff

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