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Thread: Survival time in the Channel

  1. #11
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    Thanks Steve, what a great story. So the answer to my question is the same as the one I used to put to my reporters when they asked me how long a story should be. I would always tell them, "as long as a piece of string".

    But seriously, thanks for the wonderful description. My only question now is, why did my crewman die? It must have been very cold still and he must have been in the drink for a time.
    David

  2. #12
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    Hi Stephen,
    The G/Capt Peter Donkin‘ s aircraft wasn’t Typhoon. He flew Mustang IA FD448 (41-37350).
    Regards
    Mojmir

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrajm View Post
    Hi Stephen,
    The G/Capt Peter Donkin‘ s aircraft wasn’t Typhoon. He flew Mustang IA FD448 (41-37350).
    Regards
    Mojmir
    Mojmir,
    Many thanks indeed.
    Peter was qualified on all aircraft in his squadrons. Certainly he mainly flew Mustangs and I originally had him in a Mustang on this day, but - according to 2TAF History and RAF History- he was flying a Typhoon of 268 Squadron, which would be borne out by his wingman (Normoyle) being from 268.
    If you know he was flying this Mustang on this day, I'll happily correct it.
    Steve
    stephen.collins@bigpond.com
    +61 2 6361 9675

  4. #14
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    Default This is not the Channel but the Bay of Biscay

    My cousins Flying Boat rescued many striken airmen during his tour of duty before he died 65 years ago next week. Here are a couple of extracts from diaries and books. Which shows that Coastal Command guys were heroes...........RIP DW110 Crew.



    This extract is taken from John Quinns "Down in a Free State"

    The Skipper of the Sunderland DW110 was Howard Armstrong who had recived his DFC for the rescue of a Canadian Air Crew in the Bay of Biscay on the 6th September 1943. The sea off the North Atlantic can be turbulent and as Jim Gilchrist, who was on Armstrong's crew that day stated "We landed in the trough of the huge rolling swell for which the Bay of Biscay is renowned and managed to rescue all twelve young men, Our take off was breathtaking"

    He paid tribute to Armstrong for skill and daring in an Epic rescue.

    It is believed that most of the crew on DW110 were also involved in this rescue.

    Another extract from the same book.

    Don Wells from Canada one of the rescued that day tells about the rescue.

    A wing came up and we were afraid it was too tough to attempt a landing. We tried to wave him off but the pilot found the right trough and dropped it like a real pro. We were all rather weak after three days of soaking in salt water and had to be helped into the aircraft. I was given a cup of tea and place in the bomb bay with my back to the wall. The take-off was awesome, we were sure the aircraft would come apart but the pilot finally got it into the air and set course for home.

    The flight was not entirely uneventful as we came a bit close to Brest (it was dark at that time) and the Anti-aircraft gunners had a go at us. Not too long after we were landing at Pembroke Dock. The aircraft was out of fuel and the tide was out as well. After an interminable wait we were towed to the pier and managed to climb to the top of a lot of steps and walk a very long way to dry land.

  5. #15
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    Default G/C Donkin's aircraft

    Steve, I can confirm that Mojmir's identification of G/C Donkin's aircraft on 13 April 1944 is correct. I researched all 2nd TAF losses for the recent '2nd TAF' publication and located record of the loss of the Mustang in 268 Sqn's ORB. The Form 78 for Mustang FD448 confirms its loss on 14 April 44.

    268 sqn did later operate fighter-recce Typhoons, but not until July 44. If you need any further info please drop me a PM.
    Chris Thomas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Thomas View Post
    Steve, I can confirm that Mojmir's identification of G/C Donkin's aircraft on 13 April 1944 is correct. I researched all 2nd TAF losses for the recent '2nd TAF' publication and located record of the loss of the Mustang in 268 Sqn's ORB. The Form 78 for Mustang FD448 confirms its loss on 14 April 44.

    268 sqn did later operate fighter-recce Typhoons, but not until July 44. If you need any further info please drop me a PM.
    Chris Thomas
    Chris
    Many thanks indeed - reference corrected.
    Steve
    stephen.collins@bigpond.com
    +61 2 6361 9675

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