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Thread: Same Squadron Aircraft Code Letters in two different Squadrons

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    Default Same Squadron Aircraft Code Letters in two different Squadrons

    Hello,

    I don't remember if we already talk about that but I read in some files the same code letters on aircraft of 2 different Squadrons at the same time: '5T' on aircraft of 233 Squadron and 196 Squadron in September 1944.

    5T wasn't the 'official' Squadron aircraft code letter of 196 Squadron but I found at least 5 Stirlings aircraft of 196 Squadron with the 233 Squadron aircraft code letter 5T! So how is it possible?
    Was there a rule to give the Squadron aircraft code letters?
    I thank you in advance for you help.

    Bruno
    Last edited by Bruno; 26th December 2008 at 01:20.
    Bruno LECAPLAIN
    Raf WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited <www.raf38group.org>
    Stirling Aircraft Society <stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org>

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    Bruno,
    233 Squadron left for the Far East in August 1944 and they never operated the Stirling.
    It is possible that 5T was reallocated to a flight of 196 after 233 had left but, if these five Stirlings were coded 5T how do you know that they belonged to 196 Squadron?
    Regards,
    Bill

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    hello,

    Quoting from "Combat Codes" by Vic Flintham & Andrew Thomas :
    '5T' was carried out by No. 233 Squadron's Dakota III, March 1944 to December 1945, eg. KG403/5T-UQ, Dakota IV, same period, eg KJ844/5T-T.

    "Squadron Codes" by Michael J.F. Bowyer & John D.R. Rawlings, gives the same for No. 233 Squadron and the codes ZO, D4 and 7T to No. 196 Squadron, eg Stirling IV LK428 ZO-B, Stirling V PJ912 ZO-L. There's no confirmation for D4 in the main body of the book (D4 was confirmed for 620 Squadron, so we're still in the same area of Stirlings and airborne ops), while 7T is confirmed for 196 : "It is not believed that the code 7T was used until circa April 1944 but was retained until disbandment in March 1946, eg, Stirling IV EF429 7T-P, Stirling V PJ912 7T-L.

    As it appears from this quote, Stirling V PJ912 flew with two different Squadron codes, but retained the same individual letter.

    "Combat Codes" confirms 7T and ZO for 196 Squadron, D4 for 620.

    Bruno, is there a possibily that '5T' and '7T' might have been confused ?

    Joss

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    Hi
    double issues did occur, for example :-

    HP 247Sq and GRU
    ZK 25 Sq and 24? Sq

    To quote a few from memory
    cheers
    jerry

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    Hello,

    I thank you very much for your replies.
    The probably biggest part of the Stirling Aircraft preserved in the world is in Mus&#233;e de Vraux in France (http://amrvraux.chez.com). It is 9 meters long and served to protect horses after the war but has always its markings!
    You can see some photos at this link:

    http://olivier.housseaux.free.fr/VRAUX/stirlingamr.htm

    You'll see on the photos, thanks to the markings, that it is Stirling LK142 5T-'A' of 196 Squadron, 38 Group, which had to crash in France after having been badly damaged during a re-supply mission of Operation Market on 24 September 1944 (on the website of Olivier Housseaux it is written that LK142 was lost during an SOE mission but I wrote to the webmaster that it is an error).
    I since have searched in 196 Squadron ORB and I've found at least 5 Stirlings coded 5T.
    These are the only photos which prove that some Stirlings of 196 Squadron were coded 5T and I've never found other ones so they seem to have been forgotten by history.
    That's why I love history!

    Bruno
    Last edited by Bruno; 26th December 2008 at 23:12.
    Bruno LECAPLAIN
    Raf WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited <www.raf38group.org>
    Stirling Aircraft Society <stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org>

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    There are a lot of instances were codes have been carried by more than one unit. This was sometimes accidental, as during 1940 with 92 Sq and 616 Sq, but more often a unit's codes were reallocated when the unit went abroad - 607's AF was allocated to The Air Fighting Development Unit. The codes of the 8th AF fighter units were duplicated in the USAAF fighter units of Operation Torch, but this was a deliberate attempt to confuse German intelligence.

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    Thanks very much Graham.
    Bruno LECAPLAIN
    Raf WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited <www.raf38group.org>
    Stirling Aircraft Society <stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org>

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    Bruno,

    It was also usual for squadrons to borrow from each other to make up shortfalls on ops eg both x and y squadrons on an aerodrome and y squadron aircraft used by x squadron crew.

    Also when a unit moved abroad or changed role equipment aircraft were transferred wholesale to the new unit. They would remain in the old codes until ground crews could organise supplies for repainting.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Thanks very much for your response Ross but now I have an other question!

    The 196 Squadron Stirlings aircraft flew 'official' war missions with 'wrong' official code letters and were so written in official ORBs: In consequence should they be considered as official code letters? (in the case of 196 Squadron I only found 5T as 'non official' code letter written in ORB).

    Bruno
    Bruno LECAPLAIN
    Raf WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited <www.raf38group.org>
    Stirling Aircraft Society <stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org>

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    Hi Bruno,

    The only official code is the one given in Air Ministry Orders.

    The code in the ORB just means that the scribe was accurate in recording the actual code present on the aircraft.

    Possibly this was because two T or F aircraft were present on the dispersals eg 5T-T and 7T-T or 5T-F and 7T-F.

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
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