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Thread: RCAF POW Details

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    Default RCAF POW Details

    Dear All,
    As part of a totally different investigation I have been quietly working my way through the PoW files on the old forum. One entry caught my eye.
    J/15379 (rank unknown) C E Hegglveit, RCAF, is recorded as being PoW No 651 in L3 Sagan. He is recorded as being lost on 1 Sep 42 in AB131 of 521 Sqn.
    He is the only 521 Sqn PoW that I could see. So if he was taken PoW then the other crew members might well have been KIA (including the Met Observer). We don't have a Met death anywhere near this date. AB131 was a Spitfire PR 4 lost by 222 Sqn on 12 Apr 42 at St Trond. 521 Sqn did not form until 1 Aug 42.
    Can anyone explain or confirm the above?
    Rgds
    Peter Davies

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    Peter,

    the aircraft was a PR/Met Spitfire that landed in Belgium by mistake. So there wouldn't have been any other crew to account for. But the details seem to differ slightly from yours. Alain posted this on another forum, specifically mentioning that it was 1404 (Met) Flight which was, of course, the precursor to 521:

    http://www.rafinfo.org.uk/airsearch/names_am.htm#HEGGVEIT



    A
    Last edited by Amrit; 26th December 2007 at 17:41. Reason: forget the link

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    Amrit,
    Tks for that. The cause is explainable. Looks like the dates in some accounts are a bit at variance - not entirely unknown in this game!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies

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    Hi Peter,

    I confirm 1st Sept 1942 in AB131, No.521 Sqn

    Took off for a practice Pampa sortie from base to the East coast of Ireland and return. This officer mistakenly set a reciprocal course on his compass and eventually forcelanded in enemy territory at the German night-fighter base of Sint-Truiden, Belgium.

    Took off for a training flight from RAF Bircham Newton at 10:25 hrs.

    Regards
    Ross

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    Hi Peter
    If it is of any interest this from a Russian site, http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2/f/52/2/0/4, shows a profile view of what is claimed to be AB131 converted to Luftwaffe use and markings.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Ross/Dick,
    Many thanks for the unusual info on AB131.
    Tks yr help
    Rgds
    Peter Davies

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    Gentlemen, I've been following this thread with interest and I think there might be some erroneous information being posted.

    Amrit:

    1404 Met Flight was based at St Eval, and was redesignated 517 Sqn in August 1943.

    403 Met Flight was redesignated 1403 Met Flight at Bircham Newton in early 1941, being joined there by 1401 Met Flight in October that year. The two units merged the following February to become an enlarged 1401 Met Flight, which in turn was redesignated 521 Sqn on 1 August 1942.

    Ross:

    Apologies for querying your post, but I wonder if PAMPA has been mistakenly used instead of PRATA? Spitfires were used by 1401 Met Flight for PAMPA (deep penetration, high level met reconnaissance) sorties during the first half of 1942, but these had been replaced by Mosquitoes by the end of June 1942.

    The Spitfires were retained by 1401 Met Flight (soon to become 521 Sqn) but only for PRATA sorties. PRATA derives from PRessure And Temperature Ascent; these were vertical ascents with a target height of 40000 ft, and flown over or near the base airfield.

    In the Mosquito the navigator was responsible for observing and recording met details, the pilot simply being the driver; thus there should have been no reason for the pilot of a single seat Spitfire to have flown a practice PAMPA on the date given.

    Sources: "Even the birds were walking" by Peter Rackliff, and "RAF Training & Support Units" by Ray Sturtivant et al.

    Incidentally although I don't have the Met Office charts to hand, this pilot seems to have made another strange error, as well as flying a reciprocal track. Normally I dislike using the historical weather charts at http://theweatheroutlook.com/twodata/dathistcharts.aspx, but in this case I'll make an exception. There appears to have been a clearly defined front moving west to east across the Midlands at midday, and this would suggest the pilot should have expected improving conditions (thinning layer cloud giving way to convection) for his NW'ly flight, whereas flying the other direction he would continuously have been in pre-warm frontal cloud. Strange he didn't pick up any of the discrepancies.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 26th December 2007 at 21:33. Reason: Addition info

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    Default P/O.C.E. Heggtveit and exchange/repatriation vessel Gripsholm

    Hi !

    Carlyle Edgar Heggtveit (of Ottawa) was mentioned in the Hamilton Spectator of September 18,1944
    ( http://collections.civilisations.ca/warclip/objects/common/webmedia.php?irn=5093520 ) as having returned to the U.K. aboard the repatriation/exchange ship Gripsholm. The reason for his repatriation is not mentioned.

    Ross and all contributors : Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    Luc

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    Hello,

    There is a picture of the aircraft in the book "De vliegbasis van St truiden 1941-1945"
    The serial written on the page is the same that the one written in various answer Spitfire MKIV AB 131 but the squadron is different , mistake from the writer , 222 Sqn. and the date different 12/04/1942.

    Best regards

    Rene

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    Hi Brian,

    Practice Pampa is the task listed on the Form 1180.

    Must admit that I can see no reason to end up over enemy territory by mis-setting reciprocal on a Prata climb.

    Regards
    Ross

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