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Thread: Mosquito YP-O 23 Squadron 1942

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    Default Mosquito YP-O 23 Squadron 1942

    I was wondering if anybody has the ORB for 23 Squadron and if they would be able to tell me
    the serial of Mosquito YP-O flown by F/Lt Welch and Shuttleworth. They seem to have operated in it from October time until they moved units in December 1942.

    Any help would be great,

    Johnnie

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    Hi Johnnie:

    Didn't one of your earlier posts have this one as DD714?

    Either way, I'd love to hear more about these sorties, as they must be some of the earliest daylight intrusions by Mosquitos. Giving 190s the slip is always noteworthy...

    Edit - Air Britain has DD714 going to 85 Sqn from 23, appears to be the only aircraft to have done so.
    Last edited by mhuxt; 20th October 2008 at 20:22.

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    I never managed to get to the bottom of the serial on this one, and still
    haven't ordered the ORB's.

    In the log, most flights (both operational and non operational) have the aircraft
    listed with the Squadron codes, and from August (the 13th) YP-O seems to
    be Welch and Shuttleworths regular aircraft. Having said that, there is a period
    from mid September to mid October when they are not flying YP-O so I am not
    sure if it may have been damaged ot if there is some other reason (again the ORBS
    which I hope have the serials in should clear this up). I had wondered if it may have been
    taken away for modifications as when they do fly YP-O again the first flights are
    listed as "G" Practice.

    The attack on the 8th December when they reported shooting down a Ju87 and
    a Bucker 133, along with damaging a Bucker 133 and a Fw 200 they are flying
    YP-O according to the log book. I have the combat report and this fails to
    provide a serial but it does list them as flying with 23 Squadron loaned to 515
    Squadron, while the DFC citation states they were with 23 Squadron (the
    combat report also states a Bucker 131's rather than 133's).

    On the 28th December when they are attacked by oneFW190 and have the
    starboard wing badly damaged there aircraft is again YP-O without any serial number.
    At this stage I am unsure what unit they are actually with as the log states:

    10/12/42 to 31/03/1943 605 Squadron Ford
    But detached to:-
    S S Flt, Northolt 06/12/1942 - 21/12/1942
    85 Sqn, Hunsdon 21/12/1942 - 31-03-1943

    So it would seem the pair were posted to 605 but might not have flown
    with them at all during that period, and I am assuming the operation on which
    they were attacked by the FW190 was with 85 Squadron.

    From March 1943 Shuttleworth starts listing aircraft serials rather than Squadron
    Codes, and DD714 becomes his usual aircraft. Indeed, it is this aircraft that he is
    flying on the 03/05/1943 when the pair are attacked by two FW 190's while ove the
    Channel, and he reports that they crash landed at Ford. I assume this was while with
    85 Squadron, however on the 14/05/1943 they move to 605 Squadron.

    While with 605, most of the aircraft they fly are listed with both the serial and the
    Squadron code.

    It might be interesting to note that on the 20/5/43 they are in DZ409 and
    carrying out a climb to 28,000' although they had to decend due to a glycol leak.

    I am not 100% of the serial of YP-O, although I suppose it might have been DD714 if
    they had moved it with them rather than leaving it with their last Squadron. It was
    certainly the aircraft they were in when they shot down the aircraft on 8/12/42,
    and where themselves attacked on 28/12/42 by a FW190.

    When they were attacked on the 3/5/43 by two FW190's they were in DD714.

    Johnnie

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    Hi Johnnie:

    Many thanks for the reply. I had a look again at the Air Britain info, as I thought it all seemed too easy that DD714 was the only one to have gone from 23 to 85. However, no matter which way I cut it, that seems to be the case. Most of the original DD-series aircraft apparently went from 23 to various OTUs.

    I'll have a snoop hither and thither and see if I can network out any better info for you.

    Thanks also for the note about 3 May '43. It actually throws light on something of a mystery, as there is a claim for a Mosquito that day by Ltn. Günther Bloemertz of 4./JG 26 at 13:45 (German time) low over the sea 80 km. N.N.W. Fécamp. That vector is a beeline straight to Ford from Fecamp, so I'd assume he was chasing Welch & Shuttleworth. (Incidentally, to their credit, the Luftwaffe authorities turned down the claim).

    Would the time tie up with what you've got? The position seems to work, in any case...

    When do they start on YP-O? I have it in my notes that there was a YP-O (DD683) which crashed into the sea on 9 September '42 - does that contradict your info?

    Anyway Johnnie, as I say, it's all an intruiging tale, as their December adventure is well in advance of any other day ranger of which I've heard. Was that their first daylight effort? Sorry, questions, questions.

    I can recommend a researcher at Kew - might save a few bob over ordering the ORBs.

    Cheers,

    Mark
    Last edited by mhuxt; 21st October 2008 at 11:14.

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    Thanks for the information. i have just checked the log and it seems their first flight
    in Mosquito YP-O was on the 13th August 1942, and they continue to fly this aircraft
    until the 7th September. They then fly a number of different aircraft (YP-G, YP-H, YP-D etc) until the 26th October when YP-O appears in the log book again, so these dates
    would seem to fit in with YP-O DD683 being lost on the 9th September, and I suppose
    we can assume the first YP-O they were flying was DD683.

    In relation to the operation on the 8th of December 1942. This is the first day light
    operation they fly, and at 5hours 10 mins I think it was quite a long one for a Mosquito.
    They then continue on day light ops:

    14/12/42 Attempted intruder to Cognac Area but returned before crossing French
    Coast owing to unsuitable weather. 1hr

    18/12/42 Intruder to Bourges, Avord, Bricy, and Chateaudun Aerodromes, No Activity. Landed at Exeter. 4hrs 15min

    28/12/42 Intruder to Rennes and Vannes Aerodromes. No activity seen except when bounced by FW190 at Vannes which badly damaged starbord wing. Landed at Predannack 3hrs 15min

    They don't fly anymore operations until March when they are flying a mix of daylight
    and night time intruder ops and Channel Stooges etc.

    I have also checked the entry for the 3rd of May and the log states they took off
    at 0940 and were in the air for 4hrs 35 mins. The full entry is:

    Intruder: Dijon, Chalon Sur Saone. No activity seen. Attacked by 2 FW190's over
    Channel on return. Crash-landed Ford

    The following day they from from Ford to Hunsdon in an Oxford, and on the
    14th they move to West Malling where they are carrying out high altitude flights
    (28,000') in Mosquito Mk XV DZ409.

    I hope this helps. The time you have for the German claim would seem to fit. They do
    state they were attacked by two FW190. Is there any mention of this in the German
    report, or could it be their error? Where did you obtain the German information?

    I was also wondering if anybody could tell me if the award of the DFC to Welch and
    Shuttleworth was immediate. The entry in the LG has a full citation which I have
    always assumed was an immediate award, but I am not sure how you find out the
    difference.

    Johnnie

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    Hi Again Johnnie:

    Thanks as ever for the additional info. The German claims information comes from here:

    http://www.lesbutler.ip3.co.uk/tony/tonywood.htm

    The original data is from the Chef für Ausz. und Dizsiplin Luftwaffen-Personalamt. I believe there's a fuller explanation in each of the Word / pdf documents on the site.

    I wouldn't worry about only one name being indicated for 3 May '43 - the Luftwaffe authorities don't seem to have been in the habit of giving halves, thirds, etc. (I think I've heard "somewhere" that it tended to go to the ranking man, but that may just be me running hearsay through a sieve-like memory...)

    There's a very good JG 26 diary in circulation, I'll ask about to see if Bloemertz's wingman is listed, or if there's any other pertinent info.

    The time given for YP-O pretty much locks it up in my mind - German and UK times were identical on the date in question, YP-O would have been most of the way home at the time.

    Thanks also for all the other details - the 5 hr 10 minute effort on 8 December may well have been a record for a Mosquito up to that point. I don't believe the F.IIs had drop tanks, so it may well have been the longest of all for that variant (but, don't take my word for it...) I also believe it was the most successful Mosquito sortie to that date - the best to that point had been two destroyed and one damaged by 151 Squadron's CO.

    There used to be a 23 Squadron forum - seems either to have gone or been hijacked, so can't double-check there. That was the only place I knew of where someone had insight into the ORB.

    Can't be of any help with the DFC question I'm afraid.

    Let me see what I can dig up re: JG 26 in May.

    Cheers,

    Mark

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    Thanks ever so much for all of that. it's nice to try and tie things in together.

    Can I ask is your interest in the Mosquito, German claims, or something
    else.

    Johnnie

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    hello,

    There's not much information in "The Red Eagles" by Peter Rudd, the Squadron history.

    On page 59 he wrote about the delivery of 25 Mosquito NF IIs, DD670-DD691 and DD712-DD714, the first one arriveing on 2nd July 1942. DD670 was YP-S Sugar.
    Page 69 : I quote "By the end of the month [december 1942] sixteen of the original eighteen aircraft had arrived [on Malta], although one, YP-O, was 'reduced to spares'. Its infortunate pilot, Flight Lieutenant Orzechowski, had lost an engine some eighty miles from the Island and had the unenviable task of landing, on one engine, in the dark, for the first time on a strange airfield, with a flare-path that left a lot to be desired. The undercarriage did not lock down, with dire consequences."

    I'm sure someone else will be able to expand about this accident at Malta, giving the serial of that YP-O, this could probably help you

    Caldwell's JG26 war diary, volume 2, gives the unit of the Mosquito attacked by Lt Blömertz on 3rd May 1943 (his first claim), 80 km NNW of Fécamps, at 01:45PM, as 540 Squadron, confirmation unknown, in the table. In the main text, the author wrote that "his claim was not confirmed, although a No. 540 Squadron Mosquito was lost at that time". No mention of a wingman. JG 26 was not the only German unit, in the west, it might have been JG 2 as well.

    Joss

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    The Luqa crash was DD691, though I'm not sure how it came to be YP-O. IIRC, 23 Squadron itself was pulled out for refitting etc on December 6 prior to heading to Malta, so perhaps DD714 was already off-strength by then.

    The 540 Sqn Mossie was on a sortie to Breslau, though I've no information re: the time it took off, or its crew, which might throw some light on the subject. However, an intruder Mossie returning to Ford is a better bet than the PR Mossie, IMHO. Bloemertz's claim is however the only one for a Mosquito which I've been able to find on that date, though flak claims are harder to find.

    Johnnie, my interest is primarily in Mossies, especially the armed variants, though as I speak German I've been trying to tie up as many of the claims and losses as I can. As I started this whole malarkey with an interest in Intruder Mossies, all 23 Squadron info (especially this kind of trail-blazing stuff) is of acute interest.

    All the best,

    Mark

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    The 540 Sqn Mosquito lost on 03May43 was DZ532, a PR.IV. The pilot was W/O Thomas J. Moss (521717)

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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