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Thread: Pre-war Gladiator losses in 3 Squadron

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    Default Pre-war Gladiator losses in 3 Squadron

    Hello,

    I’m been looking through Errol Martyn’s nice compilation of RAF officer deaths pre-war.
    I’ve been cross-checking this list with my known losses of Gladiators in various Squadrons, which has resulted in some questions.

    K7955 of 3 Squadron
    20/02/39 Hit ground in cloud, Firle Beacon, south-east of Lewes, Sussex, and destroyed by fire; pilot killed.

    I can’t find a corresponding loss of pilot. Is there anyone who knows more?

    K7962 and K8023 of 3 Squadron
    18/04/39 Collided with K7962 in formation at night and crashed near Caterham-on-the-Hill, Surrey; Acting P/O Frank Brian Stiven and F/O Dennis Thomas Collins KIFA.

    Is there anyone who knows which pilot who flew each aircraft?

    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

    Hi Hakon,

    K7955 actually crashed on 10.2.1939; it was reported in the Times for 11.2.1939 as missing. Unusually the serial number is quoted in the Air Ministry press release asking for members of the public with any knowledge of the aircraft to contact the authorities. The Times for 13.2.1939 mentions that the wreckage had been found "yesterday" ie 12.2.1939. I can only assume the date quoted in the K File is a typo.

    I can find no further information regarding the collision.

    hth

    David Molyneux

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    Default

    I should have added the pilot was P/O Jack Driscoll Mills

    Sorry

    Dave Molyneux

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    Default K7955

    Hello Dave,

    Thanks for the help!

    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 3 Squadron losses

    Hi Hakan

    To confirm David's info, these are my notes from 3 Sqn ORB and the F1180 for the incident on 10/02/39:

    3 Sqn ORB: 10/02/39: PO JD Mills reported missing. 11/02/39: Sqn t/o in early morning to look for Mills. Eventually found dead by an intructor from Wilmington nr Firle Beacon on South Downs. Accident thought to have happened around 1500, Friday (10/02/39) while flying in low cloud.

    F1180: 14 (H) Fatal, 10/2/39, 3 Sqn, sector reconn, K7955, Fire on impact, chute not used, SE of Lewes. Flew low over high ground in low cloud, hit side of hill, PO JD Mills killed.

    For the collision between Collins and Stiven the F1180 records: 18/4/39, 3 Sqn, K8023, K7962 collided in air, 1.5m SW Kenley. 7962 collided with 8023 (leader) while endeavouring to take station on him. Collins DT, Stivens FB both killed.

    This doesn't actually help identify who was in which aircraft, but I'd be tempted to assume from the context that Collins, as B Flt Commander, would be "leader" (i.e in K8023).

    Flight for April 27 1939 confirms date as 18th and gives location as Caterham-on-the-Hill.

    HTH

    Niall

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    Default 3 Squadron

    Hello Niall,

    Thanks for your additional input!

    A "stupid" question - there wasn't any Form 541 pre-war (or perhaps you don't have it)?

    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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