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

Thread: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    Looking into the brief history of the a/c detached by the squadron to the Middle East (put on strength of newly created No. 162 Squadron in Jan 1942), I came across an old discussion here that noted there might be a bit of info in "Beam Bombers". If anyone has the book, could you PM me?

    Afraid the ORB is of no use as it only covers events in the UK, and like so many other detachments (e.g. of Blenheims to Malta), there is simply no record of what happened in the Mediterranean.

    Many thanks in advance!

    All the best

    Andreas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Lincoln, England
    Posts
    292
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 88 Times in 80 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    Andreas,
    Are you referring to the Midland Publishing book "Beam Benders"?
    There are quite a few references to 109 Sqn in the index of that book.
    Andy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Marden View Post
    Andreas,
    Are you referring to the Midland Publishing book "Beam Benders"?
    There are quite a few references to 109 Sqn in the index of that book.
    Andy

    Hi Andy

    That's the one. I would be interested in operations of the squadron detachment during CRUSADER (November/December 1941)

    All the best

    Andreas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Peebles
    Posts
    153
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    Andreas,

    The only non Europe or UK references are to Malta and Suez from the 1956 Suez Crisis. I can't see any mention of operations in North Africa or anywhere outside Europe, I'm afraid. I should mention that this is from Beam Bombers: The Secret War of No. 109 Squadron by Michael Cumming, published by Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1998. Beam Benders by Laurie Brettingham is an entirely separate book, looking at the work of No. 80 (Signals) Wing although there are references to No. 109 Squadron in the index of this book.
    Last edited by Ian Brown; 19th October 2021 at 15:46.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    A 109 Squadron formed in the Western Desert in October 1941 "despite a squadron with this number already existing in the UK at this time", in order to jam the radios of German tanks. There is considerable mention of its operations in Volume 1 of Chris Shores et al A History of the Mediterranean Air War, pages 319, 322, 323, 331, 344, 357, 363. Presumably there may well be more on this unit in Volume 2. This is presumably why it does not feature in histories of the UK unit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
    A 109 Squadron formed in the Western Desert in October 1941 "despite a squadron with this number already existing in the UK at this time", in order to jam the radios of German tanks. There is considerable mention of its operations in Volume 1 of Chris Shores et al A History of the Mediterranean Air War, pages 319, 322, 323, 331, 344, 357, 363. Presumably there may well be more on this unit in Volume 2. This is presumably why it does not feature in histories of the UK unit.
    They are contradicting themselves there, and the parallel establishment doesn't sound likely to me.

    Here is what it says in the section on bomber ops.

    “The group did make mention of 109 Squadron undertaking special reconnaissance operations. This unit, which had been formed in the UK in December 1940 from the Wireless Intelligence Unit at Boscombe Down, was also Wellington-equipped, but was not sent out to the Middle East, although it appears that some of its aircraft had indeed been detached to this area for electronic countermeasures. ”
    I consider this the more likely origin of the detachment.

    All the best

    Andreas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Brown View Post
    Andreas,

    The only non Europe or UK references are to Malta and Suez from the 1956 Suez Crisis. I can't see any mention of operations in North Africa or anywhere outside Europe, I'm afraid. I should mention that this is from Beam Bombers: The Secret War of No. 109 Squadron by Michael Cumming, published by Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1998. Beam Benders by Laurie Brettingham is an entirely separate book, looking at the work of No. 80 (Signals) Wing although there are references to No. 109 Squadron in the index of this book.
    Thanks, yeah I guess Beam Benders is the one!

    All the best

    Andreas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    Arghh - so this was the one I was looking at.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beam-Bomber...50919981&psc=1

    All the best

    Andreas

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    I'm sorry it doesn't sound likely to you, but apparently that's the way it was. Given that such equipment (and even airframes with trained crews?) was indeed likely to come from the same original source, it's perhaps reasonable that there was some confusion over the unit's designation particularly given its high level of secrecy. However if the main references to 109 Squadron only refer to operations from the UK, then perhaps they are the ones which are wrong? Although examples of the same squadron number being used simultaneously in different theatres are very rare, this example would not be unique. Almost... I can only think of one other offhand.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: No. 109 Squadron 1941 - "Beam Bombers"

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
    I'm sorry it doesn't sound likely to you, but apparently that's the way it was. Given that such equipment (and even airframes with trained crews?) was indeed likely to come from the same original source, it's perhaps reasonable that there was some confusion over the unit's designation particularly given its high level of secrecy. However if the main references to 109 Squadron only refer to operations from the UK, then perhaps they are the ones which are wrong? Although examples of the same squadron number being used simultaneously in different theatres are very rare, this example would not be unique. Almost... I can only think of one other offhand.
    Sorry for not being clear Graham. The quoted text in my post is from the same book. So Shores et al are contradicting themselves, saying in one part that the Squadron was erroneously established in 1941 in the ME and in another part that the planes came from No. 109 Squadron at home. So it's the same unit, but the ORB only covers the British element. As noted, this is not unusual, I have encountered this with Blenheim squadrons on Malta. In January 1942 the No. 109 detachment in the Middle East was converted to No. 162 Squadron in the Middle East, so it should then disappear from the narrative, and only the UK-based unit continues. The No. 162 ORB is useful and has a reasonable amount of detail.

    All the best

    Andreas

Posting Permissions

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