Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Suffolk, England
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    A query for Wellington enthusiasts: In early 1943, 215 Squadron was operating the Wellington Ic in India.

    The ORB records operations by HF857 'J' on 16 April and 22/23 April 1943. Then in July 1943, HF851 'J' operates on 21, 22, 23 and 31 July.

    Now I assume the latter serial, '851, is a typo for '857, as Mk Ic HF851 was lost on 15 July 1942 operating with 104 Squadron.

    However, is HF857 correct? It was a Mk VIII not a Mk Ic and according to Air Britain it served with 1443 Flight / 211 (not a Wellington squadron at any time) / 38 (Wellingtons in UK and ME).

    Any suggestions to solve this gratefully received,

    Geoff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Suffolk, England
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Further info:

    Looks like it was 221 Squadron, not 211.

    HF857 is mentioned in 'History of the Mediterranean Air War' as attacking a U-boat whilst on A/S patrol, 21 August 1942.

    Geoff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7,164
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 161 Times in 153 Posts

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Quote Originally Posted by Smith 565 View Post
    Further info:

    Looks like it was 221 Squadron, not 211.

    HF857 is mentioned in 'History of the Mediterranean Air War' as attacking a U-boat whilst on A/S patrol, 21 August 1942.

    Geoff
    Hello,

    I believe the U-boat attacked by Sgt Clark on 21/22 August 1943, was U-565:

    In the Aegean on 22 August (1942), Kaptlt Wilhelm Franken's U-565 was also hit by aircraft and severely damaged only eight days into his cruise. In response to his radioed appeals for assistance the Admiral Aegean requested and was granted air cover to be provided by units of X Fliegerkorps. The boat entered La Spezia harbour three days later.

    See:
    U-Boats in the Mediterranean 1941-1944.
    Paterson,Lawrence.
    London:Chatham Publishing,2007.
    p.84.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 15th October 2021 at 05:09.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Suffolk, England
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Thanks Col,

    I wondered about the U-boats identity and what had happened to it. So this seems to back up the Air Britain entry, presumably taken from the Aircraft Movement Card.

    All this is a little frustrating, as I have a pilot's logbook to a man who flew this aircraft on at least two of its operations in India. He neatly wrote 'J' in his log book, with space underneath to enter the serial number, but never did so.

    Geoff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    305
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    A quick glance at the Movement Cards, reveals the following as the only relevant HF8xx entries:

    HF841 - to India 12.1942
    HF851 - to M.E. 5.1942, to India 6.42, but then to 104 Sqn M.E. (date not given)
    HF869 - to India 2.1943
    HF890 - to India 1.1943

    Cheers

    Rod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Suffolk, England
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Thanks Rod,

    Excuse my ignorance, but are the Movement Cards available online anywhere? I assumed you had to access them via the RAF Museum.

    Of the serial numbers you list, HF890 certainly went to 215 Squadron. No sign of HF841 or HF869 in the Squadron ORB, and I don't think HF851 can ever have reached India if it was lost in July 1942.

    Geoff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    358
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 49 Times in 44 Posts

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Suffolk, England
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Cheers Chris,

    I think I was dimly aware of that site, but for some reason assumed it would include Bomber Command aircraft only. Much appreciated, the Wellington cards will be very useful.

    Geoff

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    169
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Hi, All
    HF851/J operated with 215 on 10th December ‘42, (Sgt Kearns) and on 3rd February ‘43 (now, F/Sgt Kearns). ‘851/J, was still flying with 215 in July ‘43…
    Hth
    Andy BW
    Last edited by andy wis; 15th October 2021 at 20:43.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    305
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post

    Default Re: A Wellington conundrum - HF857 / HF851 on 215 Squadron

    Quote Originally Posted by Smith 565 View Post
    Thanks Rod,

    Excuse my ignorance, but are the Movement Cards available online anywhere? I assumed you had to access them via the RAF Museum.

    Of the serial numbers you list, HF890 certainly went to 215 Squadron. No sign of HF841 or HF869 in the Squadron ORB, and I don't think HF851 can ever have reached India if it was lost in July 1942.

    Geoff
    Hi Geoff,

    yes, Chris linked to the website with scans of the Movement Cards...

    HF851 is a conundrum, since the Movement Card records:

    Taken on charge of: M.E. 19.5.1942
    Taken on charge of: India, 14.6.1942
    Taken on charge of: 104 Sqdn M.E., not dated
    Taken on charge of: Missing Cat E FB, not dated

    The only 104 Squadron loss on 14-15 July 1942 classified as missing was Wellington Z8643/C, P/O G. Richards, piloting. AIR 27 & 81 also shows Wellington Z8658/H, P/O R.C. Horton piloting, made a crash-landing during the same raid, killing most of the crew. On 15-16 July 1942, Wellington Z6492 apparently made a crash-landing in the early hours of the 16th.

    Thus, I suspect the movement card is in error, unless the transfer to 104 Sqdn occurred very late in the war. Also, post-war references to HF851 being lost with 104 Sqdn on 15 July 1942 are clearly in error.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Last edited by RodM; 16th October 2021 at 09:04.

Posting Permissions

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