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Thread: 27. 12. 41 Operation Archery - 404 Sq RCAF

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    Default 27. 12. 41 Operation Archery - 404 Sq RCAF

    Hi all,

    I would like to know any more details about one crew taking part in this combined operation:

    Mk. IV Z6181/EE-B Sgt McCutcheon, Sgt Cleaver, Sgt Cruickshanks

    1) anybody could add the crew initials?
    2) according to some sources they have a dogfight with 2 Bf 109s - any claims?
    3) these Bf 109s may be from I./JG 77 based in Norway at the time?

    Any other details also much appreciated.

    TIA


    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    From the book "RCAF Squadrons of Coastal Command" they claimed one Bf109 as probable on this mission.

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    Combined Operations off the Norwegian coast – Vaagso 27 December 1941

    AIR 41/47

    At 0928 hrs on the 27 December the first section of fighters consisting of four Blenheim’s of Nos.254 and 404 squadrons arrived to give cover to the naval forces, and within half an hour were engaged in combat with three Me.109s, resulting in the loss of one Blenheim (X/254) and damage to another (A/254) which crashed at Sumburgh at 1145 hrs with two injured crew. Enemy casualties claimed were the probable destruction of two Me109s and damage to another. Blenheims B and Z/404 Squadron set course for base on being relieved by Beaufighters Z,J,K and T/235 squadron, comprising the second section of the air cover force. They arrived at the rendezvous at 1015 hrs and commenced the patrol. At 1030 and 1045 hrs two single JU.88s came to within eight miles of the naval force but were driven off by the Beaufighters. Fifteen minutes later one Me.109 was sighted in the sun and was speedily engaged by three Beaufighters. After several bursts of machine-gun fire had been exchanged the enemy aircraft made off. During the exchanges, which all took place at 300 feet, T/235 Squadron was seen to spin into the water from 300 feet. At 1222 hrs, K/235 was attacked by two Me.109s but took evasive action and sustained no damage.

    Hope this is a help.

    Regards
    Peter.

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    Hi Bill and Peter,

    many thanks for info!
    Could anybody provide me also details about the crew?

    Thanks

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default archery

    Hi,

    According to Eric Mombeeks book ”Eismeerjäger band 2”, planes from I/JG77 was based at Stavanger Sola and Herdla near Bergen at this time. A Blenheim shot down into the fjord south of Målöy apx.
    http://ktsorens.tihlde.org/flyvrak/oldeide.html
    was credited Walter Kalweit, from 3/JG77. His Rottenflieger – lt. Edgar Habermann - also claimed a victory in the same area, but its possible that his victim was the blenheim that made it back to Sumburgh.

    No german fighter losses in airbattle near maalöy as far as I know, but some damage to Me109s on the ground, and some groundcrews killed in the Blenheim attack on Herdla.

    In addition, one he111 from I/KG26 ditched near Bergen due to damage by enemy fire, and another he111 from the same unit suffered a 30% damage, but landed safe. Its probably the two planes reported to be Ju88s (?) in the posting above.

    Morten

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    Hi Morten, thanks a lot for additional info.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default 404 Squadron

    G'day Pavel

    Here is an extract (verbatim) from the No. 404 Squadron history book.

    Cheers..Chris

    "On December 27, the squadron took part in a command raid on Vaagos, Norway. During this event, P/O Pierce and Sgt. McCutcheon were on fighter patrol for the convoy when they intercepted and engaged two enemy Me109's. After they had closed, the enemy broke and fled. Smoke was observed coming from the engine of one which was losing height steadily as it drew away. A claim for one probable was made. The squadron closed out the first nine months of existence having established a presence off the Norwegian coast."

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    Default Oops

    Command should indeed read commando )-:

    Cheers...Chris

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    G'day,

    A little more on 404 Squadron.

    December 1941.

    Vaagso Raids.

    On 24 December, W/C Woodruff led the squadron down to Wick in preparation for escorting a raid on Norway. The Vaagso raid was a commando assault Vaagso Island, south of Stadtlandet, Norway. The Vaagso operation was actually a diversionary raid in support of the assault on the Lofoten Islands. The primary raid failed due to the commander of the operation not having air cover. The Vaagso raid, led by R/Admiral Burrough in HMS Kenya, was successful with the landing party achieving their objectives and 16,000 tons of enemy shipping sunk.

    This large operation involved detachments of 404, 248 and 236 Squadrons. Two Squadron aircraft flew as part of the event with P/O Pearce[sic] and Sgt McCutcheon, Cleaver and Cruickshanks, on fighter patrol for the convoy. The work of the fighters was directed by radio from the bridge of one of the naval vessels by S/L E H McHardy, DFC, a New Zealand officer commanding one of the flights' of 404 Squadron. McCutcheon in 'B' Z6181 along with Cleaver and Cruickshanks were on a six-hour flight when they intercepted and engaged two enemy Me.109s. After they closed, the enemy aircraft broke off and fled. Smoke was observed coming from the engine of one, which was losing height steadily as it drew away. A claim for one probable and one possible was made.

    http://404squadron.com/nov1941.html

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th March 2009 at 00:51.

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