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Thread: 320 Squadron Hudson, 15 May 1942

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    Default 320 Squadron Hudson, 15 May 1942

    In the ORB for 407 Sqn there is a reference to planes from this Dutch Sqn participating in a raid on a convoy in which 8 a/c from 407 were lost. I have found a reference to this a/c"

    Hudson mk.III AE525 NO-H 09.12.41 15.05.42 Malang Lost over Skagerrak 15.5.42
    4 MIA
    Does anyone have the ORB for this Sqn or more detail on the loss? There are five places in The Netherlands by this name, two close to the area of the attack.

    A German naval account of this incident mentions five a/c were downed but only four are listed in the 407 report, leading me to think this a/c may be the fifth.
    David

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    Hi,

    15/05/42
    320 Sqn
    Hudson III
    AE525
    NO-H

    Op: Strike, Bircham Newton, 20:50 hrs

    Off.Vl. 2e kl. J Stork RNNAS
    Res.2e Lt.Wnr J M Mulder RNNAS
    Vltg.Telegrafistenmaat A L Sens RNNAS
    Mar. 1e kl. E de Weerd KMR

    Called Malang. May have taken off from Docking for an attack on a convoy off Terschelling comprising of 10 merchant vessels and 1 destroyer flying 4 balloons. Claimed as a Ventura at 22:45 hrs by Hptm. H Lent of Stab II./NJG2, north of Terschelling, Netherlands.

    The five cat E losses of 407 Sqn were;
    AM864
    AM812
    AM679
    AM614
    AM525

    From draft RAF Coastal Command Losses, Vol 2

    Regards
    Ross
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    Default 407/320 losses accounting

    Thanks very much Ross - and so prompt!

    I have some details of the convoy if you would like them, especially the two ships that were sunk: MV Selje (Norwegian coal steamer) and patrol boat V 2002 (formerly the French trawler Madeleine Louise). This is also the raid where P/O Paige of 407 Sqn won his DFC.

    This now brings the total of lost a/c to six - four of 407, one from 320 and one other. Does your list of five a/c include P/O Creeden's which crashed on landing at Conningsby?
    David

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    Yes this was

    15/05/42
    407 Sqn
    Hudson V
    AM864
    RR-R

    Op: Shipping Strike, Bircham Newton, 20:21

    P/O J W Creeden DFM RCAF
    Sgt J H R Powell RCAF
    F/Sgt J A Easton RCAF
    F/Sgt D E Parks RCAF
    P/O R K Howson RCAF

    Crashlanded 0.5 miles north of Woodhall Spa near Coningsby on the return from the strike. Sgt Powell rests in New Hunstanton Cemetery, Norfolk, while P/O Howson, the signals officer, and the rest of the crew are buried in St.Mary Churchyard, Great Bircham, Norfolk.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Default "cat E"?

    Thanks again Ross, just one quick question, what does "cat E" mean. Category E? and meaning, I assume, the a/c was struck off their complement?
    David

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    Hi David,

    Category E was the written off category.

    Usually split into further sub cats to describe:
    Reduced to produce (sub components which can be used again)
    Reduced to scrap (consigned to the smelter to recover metal as ingots)
    Missing

    Other Cats were A, B, and C
    A - capable of being repaired on flight line/dispersal
    B - capable of being repaired by unit second line eg Hangar
    C - capable of being repaired by specialist unit off site eg MU or Civilian Repair organisation.

    Aircraft cat A,B or C returned to flight cat E did not.

    Early in the war R for repairable and W for Write off were used but this was soon abandoned.

    FAA had a slightly different system.

    TOC/SOC were an accounting system and were not usually associated with aircraft damage category.

    When an aircraft was assigned to a unit it was TOC (Taken on Charge). It would remain "on charge" with the unit until it was SOC (Struck off Charge) by means of posting out (Cat C repair, transfer or after usually 1 month as Cat E missing). If it was a transfer the new unit would record it as TOC on the day the old unit SOC.

    Form 78 Movement Cards list TOC/SOC dates and unit combinations.

    I see that Ken has come up with a detailed post
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3621

    Regards
    Ross
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    Hudson AE525: take-off was from RAF Docking. Mission was a search for the German battle cruiser "Prinz Eugen". Shot down by enemy nightfighter into the North Sea North of the Isle of Terschelling, aircraft exploded in mid-air. Crash site not pinpointed. All 4 crew MIA. The aircraft name "Malang" refers to a city in the Dutch East Indies. Sources include the 320 Sqn ORB. Crew is remembered on the general memorial in Bircham Newton.

    Regards,

    Rob

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    Default still missing one a/c

    Thanks Rob, I wondered whether this was the a/c since there is no mention of fighters in the raid on the convoy. Do you have any other candidate for a loss from 320 squadron? The German naval account says 5 a/c shot down but 407 only lost 4 in the air - they couldn't have known about the fifth which crashed on return. Or perhaps it's just a mistake.

    I take it the Prinz Eugen was not part of that convoy but was in the same area?

    And thanks Ross (and Ken) for the list of terms. In the losses you listed, could you tell me which a/c serials/call letters were flown by which pilot? I Have the crew lists but it doesn't mention which a/c they were in.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 10th December 2008 at 11:24.
    David

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    Hi David,

    Info as it stands at the moment.

    AM525
    RR-A
    F/Sgt G F Alger RCAF
    Sgt G A Tooth RCAF
    Sgt M Knight RCAF
    Sgt G F MacNutt RCAF
    Shot down by AA off the coast of Holland while attacking a convoy. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    AM614
    RR-N
    W/O J W Daubner RCAF
    Sgt W McL Crane RCAF
    P/O G F Cook RCAF
    P/O A R R Farley RCAF
    Failed to return from a strike to a convoy off the Dutch coast. Believed shot down by a nightfighter. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    AM679
    RR-B
    P/O W A Haliburton RCAF
    P/O L N Skinner RCAF
    Sgt L O Scott RCAF
    Sgt A J W Pottle RCAF
    Last seen turning away from a M/V of 5000 to 6000 tons because of balloons then going in again to score a hit on the stern before bursting into flames and hitting the sea at 21:30 hrs. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    AM812
    RR-S
    F/Sgt N C Doehn RCAF
    P/O S R Balden RCAF
    Sgt D McDonald RCAF
    Sgt W R Hamilton RCAF
    Took off in company with O/407 and M/407. S/407 was last seen making hits on a merchant vessel closely protected by a destroyer and shot down by ships flak at 21:30 hrs into the North Sea. Both F/Sgt Doehn, of Kitchener, Ontario, and P/O Balden rest in Sage War Cemetery while Sgt McDonald is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    No.233 Sqn and No.608 Sqn also seem to have lost Hudsons on on this day but these were on Vaaro Patrols in the early afternoon.

    Remember that the AA gunners may have claimed any Hudson that was seen to be leaving the area smoking/on fire despite the fact that the crew may have made it back to the UK or landed with Cat A/B or C damage. This aircraft would not have appeared as a Cat E loss.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Hi David,

    No other 320 Sqn loss is candidate for this one. I don't know where Prinz Eugen was at the time; the mission was to find that out. Hauptmann Lent flew a Me.110.

    Regards,

    Rob

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