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Thread: 'FIGHTER LEADER' by Norman Franks look up.

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    Default 'FIGHTER LEADER' by Norman Franks look up.

    Hello,

    Could someone who has a copy of the above biography of Ian Gleed please look up something for me ?
    It is well known that he baled out of Spitfire N3120 on 18 February 1940 near Littleport in Cambridgeshire. This is well supported in primary sources; 266 Sqn. ORB, F.1180 and an AVIA 5/19 Court of Enquiry crash report (W-731).
    However, the 'AEROMILITARIA' Spitfire I series (Summer 2006 issue) also noted that he belly-landed N3170 on February 15th when out of fuel. What makes this somewhat suspect is that it gives the same location as the N3120 crash (Littleport) and I cannot find any primary source for it. It is not mentioned in Gleed's 1942 autobiography 'ARISE TO CONQUER'.
    So I wonder if there is anything about the belly-landing in N3170 on February 15th in the Norman Franks biography.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Default Re: 'FIGHTER LEADER' by Norman Franks look up.

    Hi Martin,
    This may help -
    From the Spitfire Production list.
    "N3170 Ia 412 EA MIII FF 10-11-39 27MU 13-11-39 266Sq 15-2-40 struck tractor taxying 18-7-40 P/O Ashton safe 1CRU 610Sq 9-9-40 66Sq 18-9-40 damaged by Bf109 force-landed 28-9-40 Sgt KS Wright inj GAL 1FPP Belly landed Cholsey nr Wallingford 11-1-41 1/O GW Harben safe 308Sq 18-5-41 for defence of Austin Works 131Sq u/c collapse on landing CB 9-9-41".
    Maybe he raised the undercarriage to stop ?
    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 4th December 2022 at 15:54.

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    Default Re: 'FIGHTER LEADER' by Norman Franks look up.

    Alex,

    thanks for that information. It adds a new twist to the story ! It might be a combination of both events as you suggest.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    Default Re: 'FIGHTER LEADER' by Norman Franks look up.

    Alex,

    It appears the accident with the tractor occurred on 18 July 1940 with P/O Ashton. This is documented for that date in the 266 Sqn. ORB, the F.1180 and on the F.78.
    Reading the 266 Sqn. F.540 for 15 February 1940 it seems their pilots collected three new Spitfires that day. As the F.78 for N3170 shows it was taken on charge by them on this very day it seems entirely possible it was one of those three and that it had an accident landing at Sutton Bridge. However, F/Lt. Gleed was not one of the three pilots involved in the ferrying operation on the 15th, though he had ferried one the day before.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    Default Re: 'FIGHTER LEADER' by Norman Franks look up.

    Thank you Martin,
    I have re-read it and broken it down so -
    N3170 Ia 412 EA MIII
    FF 10-11-39
    27MU 13-11-39
    266Sq 15-2-40
    struck tractor taxying 18-7-40 P/O Ashton safe
    1CRU
    610Sq 9-9-40
    66Sq 18-9-40
    damaged by Bf109 force-landed 28-9-40 Sgt KS Wright inj
    GAL
    1FPP Belly landed Cholsey nr Wallingford 11-1-41 1/O GW Harben safe 308Sq 18-5-41 for defence of Austin Works
    131Sq u/c collapse on landing CB 9-9-41

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    Default Re: 'FIGHTER LEADER' by Norman Franks look up.

    Gleed's 1942 autobiography 'ARISE TO CONQUER'.

    Also says no accidents to aircraft during Spitfire conversion on Sqn until his bailout

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    Default Re: 'FIGHTER LEADER' by Norman Franks look up.

    Thanks Alex and Paul.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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