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Thread: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940

  1. #11
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    Default Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    I have been asked to post the following on this forum:

    Data from Air 20/271

    A&AEE Blenheim IV Boscombe Down 24 February, via Marseilles, North Africa 25 February. Depart North Africa 11 March via Marseilles Boscombe Down 13 March.

    6 Blenheim IV depart Aston Down 5 March, 3 arrive Heliopolis 8 March, 3 on 19 March. 3 more depart Aston Down 16 March, 1 crashed, crew killed, remaining 2 made a new start 22 March, arrived 29 March.

    1 Blenheim IV depart Aston Down 25 April, replacement for crashed Blenheim, Marseilles 29 April, Malta 6 May, Heliopolis 7 May.

    12 Blenheim IV depart Tangmere 18 June, flights of 6, 3 reached Malta on 21 June, Mersa Matruth 24 June. Two Blenheims returned due to bad weather, remainder lost.

    Status report 15 August 1940, a total of 18 Blenheim IV have departed Thorney Island, 15 arrived Malta, 1 Tunis.

    https://maltagc70.wordpress.com/cate...0/august-1940/
    1 Blenheim arrived 17 August, 1 landed in Tunis
    3 Blenheims arrive 18 August
    3 Blenheims arrive 19 August
    6 Blenheims landed 0810 hours 20 August, 1 destroyed and 3 damaged by bombs.
    7 Blenheims landed 0835 hours 23 August.
    T2058 ran out of fuel 26 August.

    Status report 6 September 1940, a total of 29 Blenheim IV have departed Thorney Island, 3 lost en route, 1 Tunis. T2167 damaged.

    6 Blenheim depart Thorney Island 13 September, 5 arrived Malta, 4 flew on to Ismailia, 1 damaged and under repair, missing aircraft possibly landed Pantelleria.

    (report 23 not in file)

    6 Blenheim depart Thorney Island 16 October, 5 arrived Malta, 1 returned after 8 hours, 3 flew on to Ismailia on 17 October,1 delayed at Malta due to sick pilot, 1 to 431 flight at Malta.

    Week ending 29 November 1940, 15 Blenheims to Malta, 14 arrived, 4 flown on to Middle east.

    Week ending 6 December 1940, 10 Blenheims sent to Malta and 8 arrived safely since last bulletin, cumulative totals now 67 departed UK since 1 August 1940, 58 arrived, 1 destroyed by enemy at Malta, 9 more lost. 55 Flown on to Middle east, 54 arrived.

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    I thank JDCAVE and his anonymous correspondent for this summary of 1940 Middle East Blenheim Delivery Flights, a response to my query on this topic at
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...gypt-late-1940.
    A worthwhile if rather puzzling transcript.

    AIR 20/271 "Deliveries of aircraft by air from UK to Overseas Commands: weekly bulletins"
    The extended comments in Discovery describe this further as
    "Papers accumulated by Air Historical Branch"
    and confirmed by the original dept reference: AHB Ref. II/93/38(a)
    See https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C1218604 and initial Discovery entry.
    Suggests that AHB today have no "memory" of which AHB files have been passed to National Archives, given their reply to me that
    "...we do not have any information on the Blenheim Delivery Flights".

    These Weekly Bulletins summarise BDF activity to the Middle East though the underlying source remains unclear.
    So here we have a partial account of aircraft totals but not the details of aircraft ids + crews +dates despatched UK.

    Request lodged for copies of relevant pages.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940

    See also JDCAVE and my response re
    AIR 20/271 "Deliveries of aircraft by air from UK to Overseas Commands: weekly bulletins"
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C1218604

    at
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...gypt-late-1940
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    My apologies, Don for not appending this to the original thread. I had looked for a thread on this topic but obviously failed miserably in my search.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    Quite OK Jim, no apology needed - previous threads can be hard to spot by browsing or to uncover by search.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    Hi Jim and welcome to the forum.
    I have sent you a PM.
    Many thanks for sharing your findings with us here.
    Alex

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Smart View Post
    Hi Jim and welcome to the forum.
    I have sent you a PM.
    Many thanks for sharing your findings with us here.
    Alex
    Thanks Alex, but I have been around for 15 years now. LOL!

    Jim

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    Received this via Geoff Sinclair
    ----------------------------
    Finally about the forum post Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    From a quick look in the RAF Serial Register entries, so it is not startlingly coherent. It suggests many of the Blenheims flown out August to December 1940 were in the T2000 or so serials.

    There were 2 serials mentioned in the data, so I decided on taking a poke around their area. The Blenheims that went to Takoradi usually have an MU date or Abbotsinch then an ME date, the ones flown out tend to have an airfield mentioned then an ME date, the ME date is variable, maybe shipping, arrival or census return.

    T1817 to T1823, 47MU in July 1940, Middle East 2 August, with T1820 and T1821 in Aden 5 December.

    Fly out candidates,

    T1994 Middle East 30 Oct 40, T1995 ME 1 Dec 40, T1926 ME 15 Dec 40

    Middle East 14 Aug 40, T2074, T2075

    Middle East 20 Aug 40, T2072, T2073, T2076

    Middle East 26 Aug 40, T2084, T2049

    Middle East 27 Aug 40, T2064, T2065, T2066, T2067, T2068, T2069, T2070

    Middle East 9 Sep 40, T2051, T2052, T2054, T2057, T2059, T2061, T2063, T2071

    T2058, which ran out of fuel, has the same pre ferry flight entry, Horsham St Faith in August, as some of the others above, then PSOC 16 Sep 40

    T2080 may be a candidate for a loss, T2112 Wyton Aug 40, Aden Aug 40,
    T2113 to T2117 Wattisham 9 Sep 40, T2113, 6, 7 Middle East, T2114 PSOC in November, T2115 maybe a return?

    T2167 to T2186 Wyton or Horsham St Faith in September 1940 then mostly ME September to December.

    For serial elimination purposes, Takoradi Blenheim fly out months, September 1940, R3593, R2770, T1857, October R3593, R2770, T1857, T1868, T1856, N3582, November T2056, T2242, December T2189, T2190, T2053, R9319, T2551, T2243, T2240, R3917, R3918, N3557, T2216, T2255 plus 8 to Fort Lamy/Free French R2790, T1998, T1935, Z5727, Z5728, T3877, T2079, T2077. Takoradi totals contradict the above, stating 28 Blenheims flown out to end December, probably excluding the Free French aircraft.

    January 1941, T2236, N3560, N3579, N3581, R2780, T2237, R2778, N3580, T2235, L9320, L9300, T2238, T2241, Z5849, Z5862, P2388, Z5893, V5509, T2252, V5435, T2247, Z5865, T2248. Another 42 in February, making the official fly out total 101 Blenheims = 28+8+23+42?
    --------------------------------

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    Thank you, however, now may be the convenient point to refer to my original request (#1 p1 above, after thread merge)

    "Looking for details of several Blenheim Delivery Flights (BDFs) in late 1940 UK to Middle East.
    Ideally I should like to see some record of
    Aircraft x serial, aircrew, and date for BDFs UK to Egypt in Sep 1940 and Nov 1940
    Detail to hand, from aircrew Log Book, diary and later narrative sources.

    About 24 Sep 1940
    Three Blenheim IV aircraft
    Wyton-Thorney Island-Malta-Egypt overflying France by night
    Inc Mk IV T2174 (Herbert, Dunnet, Young)

    From 29 Nov 1940
    Individual Blenheim IV aircraft successive flights
    Watton-Thorney Island-Malta-Egypt overflying France by night
    Inc Mk IV T2179 (Sgts Baker, Hay, Checketts)
    and others incl Sgts Bennett, Tunstall and France
    and at least one other (Sgt Martin as Obs)

    The two known a/craft are both recorded as on Wyton charge before departure, while Martin (a/c not known) reported dep Bodney.
    Not unexpectedly, AM Form 78 detail is sparse, just broadly confirming dating."

    That is, in summary: for two shortish periods c 24 Sep and c 29 Nov, aircraft and crew for UK BDFs to Middle East via France and Malta, crews thence to 211 Sqn .


    Work to date summary
    Nil results:
    AIR 28/844 THORNEY ISLAND
    AIR 28/902 Watton
    AIR 28/905 Watton Appendices
    AIR 28/961 WYTON

    AIR 81 Casualty files
    AIR 81/3492 Goldie, Dean, Conner Blenheim IV T2176 eg:
    records no relevant BDF ops detail. Ref to Middle East Reinforcement Unit as originating Sqn, by survivor report, produces NIL hits at TNA Discovery

    AIR 29/271 Deliveries of Aircraft By Air...
    Although earliest folios record some aircraft/crew data for eg Wellesley flights, by the periods in question NIL aircraft/crew details. From June to Nov 40 the fortnightly reports are in narrative form, but largely lacking aircraft or crew details from June on. By 6 Dec 40, the report has been reduced to an a/craft sent/delivered table at 2-week intervals from then onwards, in two parts: the Takoradi and Malta routes.
    At 27 Dec 40 Bulletin 33 summary shows that since 1 Aug 1940 for UK Malta Middle East Air Route
    67 Blenheims sent from UK
    9 lost en route Malta
    58 arrived safe Malta
    55 arrived safe ME (ie Egypt)

    AIR 23/7569 Greece: Delivery of Aircraft to British Air Force Units
    Interestingly the originating Unit for this file is C Squadron 102 Maintenance Unit [Abu Sueir]
    Commences 9 Dec 40 and from then to April 41 brief aircraft and crew details are recorded for Egypt-Greece direct.
    There are some details of interest to 211 Sqn, so far, for existing members...summary work proceeding but broadly, the period recorded is too late for the newly arr crew/aircraft for dates originally sought.

    Further work
    One of the Delivery files noted two UK Maintenance Units as originators: possible retrieval of ORBs in the New Year, also for 102 MU ORB (AIR 29/1035/3).
    The aim, to repeat, is to find, for two shortish periods c 24 Sep and c 29 Nov, aircraft and crew for UK BDFs to Middle East via France and Malta, crews thence to 211 Sqn.

    I appreciate the efforts undertaken on aircraft serial/losses, which may prove useful to those with an interest in eg Takoradi.

    Footnote:
    For interest re TNA file retrieval, my chosen researcher recovered the three latest files, in all just under 300 pages, good jpg & pdf copies, all in under a month from TNA, at a cost to me of about 35 pounds stg
    Last edited by Don Clark; 17th December 2022 at 09:14. Reason: reflect thread merge & file retrieval time and cost
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Blenheim Delivery Flights to Egypt late 1940.

    Colin Burningham did a research on ferrying of aircraft, but I am not sure if he got it published. Perhaps worth of contacting?
    Franek
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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