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Thread: Sergeant Appelby of ’X’ Flight

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    Default Sergeant Appelby of ’X’ Flight

    Hello,

    Is there anyone with the whole name of Sgt Appelby of 'X' Flight (http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/commonwealth_appelby.htm), who claimed a Dewoitine D.520 in June 1941 during the invasion of Syria?
    Any additional info on his service record would also be much appreciated.

    Best wishes/Håkan Gustavsson
    WWII Biplane Fighter Aces
    http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se

    WWII Biplane Fighter Aces Blog
    http://ww2biplanefighteraces.blogspot.com/

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    Default

    Maybe the problem with identifying this individual is that his name is probably Sgt Appleby??

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    Default

    hello

    In "Those Other Eagles", there's only one Appleby, who was an officer, first names Michael John. He flew with No. 609 (WR) Squadron during the Battle of Britain, so definitely not the Sgt from "X" Flight.
    No Appleby in "Aces High".
    I'm not documented on the Syria case, but others will probably be able to give further details.

    Joss

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    Default

    Unfortunately, "Dust Clouds in the Middle East" by Chris Shores refers to the shooting down of the Dewoitine but only uses Appleby's Surname with not even an Initial/s for other names.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Default

    Dick,
    Any mention of a squadron number in your source or a base?
    Bill.

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    Default

    Hi Bill
    The 1st mention of Appleby is as one of 6 former Instructors who had formed the Fighter Flight at Habbaniya under F/O K H O Young. Along with 2 ex 94 Sqn pilots they formed X Flight with 8 Gladiators that had come from33,80 and 112 Sqns plus 2 from an MU in Egypt flown by the 94 Sqn pilots.They formed at Habbaniya on 6/6/41 and were immediateley sent to Amman in Transjordan. The 2nd ref includes the shooting down of the Dewoitine and by then they were also operating from a base at Mafraq and the action is reported as taking place over Kissoue.
    Appleby seems to have been simply on X Flight and not a Sqn and there are only the 2 refs to him in the Index which also says X Flight
    Regards
    Dick

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    Default Appleby

    Hello,

    Thanks for all replies. With the exception of me spelling his name wrongly, the only info I have about him is the info found in "Dust Clouds...", i.e. the same as the one Dick presents.
    He wasn't neither part of any Squadrons taking part in combat over North Africa up until 6 February 1941 (i.e. his name isn't mentioned in any ORBs).

    Best wishes/Håkan
    WWII Biplane Fighter Aces
    http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se

    WWII Biplane Fighter Aces Blog
    http://ww2biplanefighteraces.blogspot.com/

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    Default Sgt Appleby

    Hi guys

    I supplied the informtion to Chris Shores regarding X Flight for his original 'Air Pictorial' series on which 'Dust Clouds' was based, having then just 'discovered' a file on X Flight at the old PRO (pre-Kew!). I still have my original notes and can confirm that neither Appleby's initials or Christian name were recorded in the documenst that I saw. Nor have I been able to find anything on him pre- or post-X Flight. This would probably imply that he was a pre-war regular and presumably considered over the age limit for fighter operations, so possibly he remained an instructor.

    These are just my thoughts. Possibly more could be found by studying ME training unit records.

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Default Appleby

    Hello Brian,

    Thanks for your help!

    /Håkan
    WWII Biplane Fighter Aces
    http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se

    WWII Biplane Fighter Aces Blog
    http://ww2biplanefighteraces.blogspot.com/

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    Default X Flight

    Hakan

    I am looking forward to your book.

    It may not be much help but I wondered if Sgt Appleby's tracks might be found in the ORBs for 127 or 261Sqns? I know the records from this period in the ME can be fairly disappointing but Jefford records that the Habbaniya Flight was reformed as 127Sqn in June 1941 and Mason in his Gladiator book records that 'X' Flight "at once became 127Sqn" when it moved to Tahoune Guemac in Syria at the end of June. Jefford records that 127Sqn was absorbed into 261Sqn in July 1941 after the armistice in Syria.

    It is not easy to unravel the ORBAT for these operations but the official RAF History seems to indicate that the air forces in Syria were commanded by A/Cdre L O Brown of Palestine Command (later of 2TAF).

    Steve

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