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Thread: Missing Cat JX224? (Corrected!)

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    Default Missing Cat JX224? (Corrected!)

    What became of Catalina JX224 after being a trials aircraft at RAF Helensburgh. Did it crash near Oakington during August 1945? Was it Vingtor 1V? Confirmation of its fate please.
    Last edited by Jagan; 12th November 2021 at 18:55.

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX244?

    Robin,

    Not really my area but if you happen to google "Catalina JX224" you'll find a book called "Flying Catalinas - The Consolidated PBY Catalina in WWII" by Andrew Hendrie.

    JX224 is shown as ex-No. 202 Squadron. "KK B Vingtor IV" to Felixstowe 21 June 1945; crashed Oakington 14 August 1945.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX244?

    Two references to its allocations and fate here, Robin.

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=Pyh...0jx224&f=false

    Tip: click on Next in header to toggle between the references.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 12th November 2021 at 20:39. Reason: Tip added

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX244?

    Robin,
    Can you confirm which aircraft you are talking about please?
    The heading says JX244, the text JX224.
    Andy

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX244?

    Firstly sorry about type ref JX224 and thank you for your replies. Yes I have Hendrie's excellent Flying Cats. In confirming the JX224 crash at Oakington was it with RAF Felixstowe and what was the fate of the crew? My research for Helensburgh Heritage Trust concerns Cats at Helensburgh, who flew them and what happened to these aircraft.
    We now have a memorial to RAF Helensburgh/MAEE overlooking the Gareloch. The last known survivor of this flying boat base was Frances Mclaren who died recently. A poppy cross will be placed to remember them.
    Last edited by robin bird; 13th November 2021 at 18:37.

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX244?

    I asked Catalina expert David Legg for input. He says:

    JX224 was a Catalina IVA and in answer to the original questions, it was damaged beyond repair as Cat.E FA in a forced landing 1.5 miles SW of Oakington, Cambs on 14Aug45 following engine failure. It was struck off charge on 25Aug45. I am not aware of any crew loss as a result of the accident. JX224 did serve with 333 (Norwegian) Sqn and was named Vingtor IV. However, as will be seen from the additional data below, it may not have been with the Norwegian squadron at the time of its loss. I have no details of its departure point or destination at the time of its loss although the latter may have been Felixstowe.

    Further background information - JX224 was built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at San Diego, CA on contract 91876-LL and was supplied to the RAF under Lend-Lease. It was accepted from the manufacturer on 23Feb43 and ferried across the Atlantic to the Scottish Aviation reception centre at Largs 17May43 although officially recorded as arriving 20May43. It went on to the Saunders-Roe modification centre at Beaumaris 20May43, officially recorded 21May43, departing to Helensburgh on 13Jul43 where it was officially allocated to the MAEE on 18Jul43 and used for bomb carrier tests. Its movements thereafter were 190 Sqn 03Dec43; 210 Sqn 01Jan44 (hull code N); 202 Sqn 28Jun44; 302FTU 18Jul44; 202 Sqn 16Sep44; Felixstowe 02Dec44; 202 Sqn 04Feb45; 333(N) Sqn 28Mar45 (hull code B, later KK-B Vingtor IV); Felixstowe 26Jun45; 41 Grp 10Jul45; 57MU (no date); SoC 25Aug45.

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX244?

    Form 1180

    Records as No.333 Squadron, not on active air operations, but given crew composition of 1 RAF and 3 non RAF all un-injured the squadron may be clerical error at time.

    Pilot listed as sole in command F/O Barstaple 159501 (sic) this is actually F/O Brian Bastable DFC 159501 who Robin knows from MAEE.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015 to 2022 - All rights reserved.

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX244?

    Ross, thank you for completing the story. Bastable joined MAEE Felixstowe after an active war service. He tested the Seaford then was killed as a test pilot in the prototype Marathon. I will update my MAEE files.

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX244?

    Looked up the prototype Marathon in which Bastable died (G-AGPD) and noted that “the loss was attributed to pilot error, having failed to adjust the fins to their normal position, resulting in mid-flight structural failure.”

    Intrigued by the reference to adjustable fins, I found the following (http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/inde...;topic=11007.0)

    ‘The object of the device was to provide a measure of directional dihedral to assist the pilot in the event of failure of an outboard engine during take-off. To effect this, the fins were adjustable in the vertical plane, being toed in during take-off and initial climb. Before allowing the speed to increase above climbing speed, the fins had of course to be reset to their normal position. This the Boscombe pilot, Brian Bastable, unfortunately forgot to do and proceeded with the flight. The speed soon rose well above the figure for which the fins and tailplane were stressed and structural failure occurred, resulting in the death of the pilot and of the flight test observer.'

    [Don L. Brown, 'Miles Aircraft since 1925' - Putnam (1970)]

    What Don Brown does not mention is, at the time of the crash, the absence of a warning notice in the cockpit concerning the maximum permissible speed of the aircraft with the fin adjustment device actuated. But equally he does not mention that the aircraft had suffered damage to the starboard fin and rudder not that long before the flight from which it did not return.’

    Robert

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    Default Re: Missing Cat JX224? (Corrected!)

    Robert thanks for the feedback. I have traced a number of experienced pilots of WW2 killed in post war flying accidents, i.e Robert Kronfeld

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