Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    78
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    Hello,

    On 11th April 1944 eight "Mossies" from RAF N248 Squadron, including six Mosquitoes VI and two Special Detachment Mosquitoes XVIII "Tsetse", were airborne to attack a German U-Boat and its vessels escort off the Loire estuary.

    I don't need information concerning the six Mosquitoes VI, so I don't ask about them. But for both Mosquitoes XVIII involved in the 11th April 1944 mission, I would need the identity (name, first name, rank, function in the aircraft) of their crews, and the serial numbers of these aircraft.

    Could anybody help me ?

    Thanks in advance

    Pierre

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northumberland, UK
    Posts
    4,951
    Thanks
    136
    Thanked 329 Times in 317 Posts

    Default Re: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    Pierre

    Not sure if you've seen it, but they are mentioned in the ORB Form 541, but just listed as 'L/I/248 S.D.' which I assume are the two Tsetse Mosquitos?

    The ORB Form 540 records that 'L' developed engine trouble and returned to base, with 'I' taking over the lead.

    It records that 'Aircraft "I" of 248 Squadron Special Detachment made determined attacks on the shipping and a U-boat. Crew of "I" being FLYING OFFICER B. C. ROBERTS pilot, FLIGHT SERGEANT P. WINSOR, Navigator.'

    Not much help with serials, but a start, perhaps?

    Regards

    Simon

    EDIT - Roberts: http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?qnum=38520
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    563
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 12 Times in 11 Posts

    Default Re: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    In his book "Shipbuster" (MMP) Alex Crawford recordsMM425/L F/O Hamlett and W/O Mudd and HX903 F/O B C Roberts and F/Sgt P Winsor.
    Steve

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to SteveBrooking For This Useful Post:

    wwrsimon (16th June 2022)

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    78
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    Hello Steve and Simon,

    Thanks you very much for your prompt replies.

    And shame on me : I have the ORB Form 540 records... and I hadn't seen information I was researching about the identity of the crews (at the end of the page n4) ! thank you Steve for pointing this out for me. I'm really sorry for my carelessness !

    Simon : thank you very much for the serials you found in the Alex Crawford book.

    King regards gentlemen from a very hot West of France

    Pierre

    K

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    64
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    According to the website noted below, HX903 was coded DM-I and was lost in a mid-air collision on 9 June 1944.

    https://archive.is/CwjlM

    Regards,
    Tom

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    78
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Semenza View Post
    According to the website noted below, HX903 was coded DM-I and was lost in a mid-air collision on 9 June 1944.

    https://archive.is/CwjlM

    Regards,
    Tom
    Thank you Tom for your useful reply
    Best regards

    Pierre

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,926
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 28 Times in 24 Posts

    Default Re: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    Published in 2016 in THE OBSERVAIR (newsletter of the Ottawa Chapter, Canadian Aviation Historical Society):

    Excavating an archaeological site (my basement) I recently retrieved the text of an article which I sent to Aeroplane Monthly in 1982 about Tse-Tse. It was neither published nor acknowledged. The full text is too long for this newsletter, but portions with “Canadian content” will fit and may interest our members.

    “Tse-Tse” was a 57-mm gun firing a six-pound shell and developed in 1942 by the Molins Machine Gun Company as an ant-tank weapon. Increasing armour on German tanks rendered it obsolete, but the Royal Navy took over stocks for torpedo boats. Then in March 1943 the Ministry of Aircraft Production approached De Havilland, inquiring whether it could be adapted to the Mosquito. The result was the Mosquito XVIII - basically a Mark VI, retaining four .303 machine guns but with the sic-pounder gun replacing four 20-mm cannon. The intended use was as an anti-submarine and anti-shipping aircraft.

    Early development work was by No.618 Squadron, but operational deployment ended up with No.248 Squadron. “Tse-Tse” debuted on 4 November 1943. Mosquitos piloted by Squadron Leader Charles Rose and Flying Officer Alwyn Bonnett - the a member of the RCAF from Vancouver - attacked a German trawler in the Bay pf Biscay. The vessel put up a stout flak defence. Rose was hit and dived into sea.

    The balance was restored on 7 November. Bonnett was patrolling the Bay of Biscay when he sighted a U-Boat one-half mile away. He dived from 1,500 to 200 feet and fired eight 57-mm rounds before the cannon jammed. Although his aircraft was damaged in one oil tanks, he damaged U-133 enough to force it back to port.

    Biscay patrols were usually flown by mixed formations of Mark VI and XVIII aircraft. There were few targets that justified using the big gun. However, on 25 March 1944, U-976 was sunk by six-pounder fire while ordinary Mark VI aircraft suppressed German flak. Two days later, U-980 was damaged and forced back to port.

    On 7 June, two “Tse-Tse” aircraft pounced on U-212. Flying Officer Bonnett fired one round before his gun jammed; he made dummy attacks to draw flak while his RAF comrade fired 21 rounds, scored six hits, and sent the U-boat retreating back to port.

    This was the last victory for “Tse-Tse” over a submarine, but there were still a few attacks on shipping to come. On 10 June, a mixed force pulverized a German launch off Ushant. Unhappily, Alwyn Bonnett, flying HX903, was shot down and killed with his RAF navigator, Flying Officer A.M. McNichol.

    Four of No.248's Mosquitos attacked German minesweepers in the Bay of Biscay on 24 June; two were “Tse-Tse” machines, one piloted by Flying Officer William Cosman (RCAF) of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, who was just beginning his second tour. On this occasion he fired five heavy rounds but scored no hits. He was in action again on the 29th as 18 Mosquitos (two “Tse-Tse” but most armed with bombs) swarmed a heavily escorted tanker off Ile de Groix. The “Special Duty” aircraft scored seven hits, but the vessel survived for a few days more. Not all strikes involved the big-gun “Mossies”, but on 9 August, Cosman registered five hits on a minesweeper which was set on fire. In the last week of August, Nos.235 and 248 squadrons sent out 25 and 26 aircraft at a time to punish whatever enemy shipping was left in the Bay of Biscay.

    The successful conclusion of the French campaign left Coastal Command with no further targers in the area. No.248 flew its last Biscay sortie on 7 September; it then moved to Banff, Scotland, resuming operation of the 14th. It was now flying with several squadrons (Beaufighter as well as Mosquitos) in a relentless campaign around Norway and Denmark.

    “Tse-Tse” was increasingly being overshadowed by rocket projectiles. Assessing its effectiveness was complicated by the larger formations and varied weaponry in which it was employed. Moreover, the Mark XVIII “Mossies” were at a disadvantage vis-a-vis orthodox aircraft. Even if the six-pounder had the same wallop as a rocket salvo, the fact was that a Mark VI, having fired its rockets, still had four 20-mm guns and four .303 machine guns to either strafe targets or engage enemy aircraft.. The “Tse-Tse” aircraft had only the machine guns. In Scandinavian waters, encounters with the Luftwaffe were more common than had been the case around the Bay of Biscay.

    “Tse-Tse” actions involved a diverse range of targets and results. On 30 October, Cosman (soon to be awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross) was piloting one of two such aircraft (accompanied by two Mark VI machines of No.235) that encountered a Junkers 88 near Sogne Fiord. The Canadian missed - the No.235 aircraft set it on fire - Cosman missed again. The other Mark XVIII got dead astern and blew the bomber to pieces. On 29 November a mixed force spotted a U-Boat off the southern tip of Norway but scored no hits. The RCAF was represented by Flying Officer Kenneth Wing of Battleford, Saskatchewan. Both Wing and Cosman were piloting Mark XVIII aircraft on 5 December when Nos.143, 235 and 248 Squadrons descended en mass on shipping in a fiord, damaging three vessels while running a gauntlet of guns that lined the shore.

    On 7 December 1944, No.248 despatched six Mark VI and four Mark XVIII aircraft for a shipping strike. Other squadrons sent fifteen more Mosquitos; the Dallachy Wing put up forty Beaufighters, while No.315 Squadron provided twelve Mustangs. Such a large force guaranteed Luftwaffe attention. Near Gossen, they were intercepted by about twenty FW.190s. The ensuing battle lasted five minutes; the “Tse-Tse” Mosquitos piloted by Wing (PZ346 “Z”) and Cosman (NT225 “O”) were shot down. Both men are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    “Tse-Tse” was last used in the Norwegian theatre on 15 January 1945. They were transferred to No.254 Squadron. From 3 April onwards, based at North Coates, Lincolnshire, they were engaged in hunting small (280 ton) Type XXIII U-boats and midget submarines based in northern Holland. Attacks were few and inconclusive; following VE Day the Mark XVIII “Mossies” were swiftly discarded; the last was scrapped in August 1947.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    78
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    Thank you very much, Hugh, for this very interesting information

    Pierre

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Lincoln, England
    Posts
    568
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 205 Times in 191 Posts

    Default Re: 248 Sqdn Mosquitoes Tsetse, A/A patrol 11.04.1944 : information required

    All very interesting.
    One minor point, the serial of Cosman's Mosquito was NT224. NT225 survived the war, being SOC in Nov 45.

Posting Permissions

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