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Thread: Liberator Mk II AL series

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    Default Liberator Mk II AL series

    To everybody which can help me !

    A looking for ANY materials ( documents , technical drawning , design , photos and s.o ) about Liberator Mk II ( series AL ) :

    1./ AL -523
    2./ AL - 616

    I looking too ,for ANY informations about ;

    3./ David F MacIntyre Collection ( owner Scottish Aviation Ltd at Prestwick )
    and about archive SAL's archive ( now BEA ) , information at wartime's production at SAL during 1940 -1942 .( first of all about design of rebuild Liberator for transport and technical date after rebulding )
    4./ All informations about AL-523 service in SAL and REA Farnborough since delivery date ( 16.X 41 ) until 23.V.42 , and then gone to SAL for rebuild for transport - and at 29.XI. 42 was ordered to 511 Sqn .
    5./ About REA Farnborough 1940 -1943
    6./ RAF Lyneham - Station of 511 Sqn and crews
    7./ Flight performance of Liberator Mk II by take -off

    Whichever information is so important for me and my book about TRUE REALLY TECHNICAL REASON Sikorski's plane crash at North Front .

    Thanks for all Mike

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    Default Liberator AL624

    This may not help you Mike but I will ask this out anyway, May 9, 2009.

    My father was posted to 1653 Liberator CU at Burn Yorks in August 1942 and that unit changed (I believe) into 511 Squadron at Lyneham. He left 511 Squadron in April 1943.
    It seems that my father was very lucky to be moved away from two Liberator Mk II AL that crashed.

    The serial numbers listed on Joseph F. Baugher site tell a lot of stories about my father's airplanes that he may never have known.
    According to my father's log book; on September 10 & 13, he flew in Liberator AL624.
    According to Joseph F. Baugher site; "AL624 ... Flew into hill in cloud, Millfore, Kirkcudbright Sep 14, 1942"
    http://home.att.net/~jbaugher2/b24_5.html

    On September 14, my father was lucky to be in AL635 and he may never have know that the very plane he was in the day before had been the one that crashed. He was maybe too busy, flying the next day, to have learned about it.

    For August 18, 1942 my father's log book lists his Liberator's pilot as P/O Betts and adds a note saying he was "Killed Sept 42 Lib. Crash".

    I am wondering if anyone can tell me if it was P/O Betts that was flying in that Liberator AL624 on September 14.

    Regards, Patrick.

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    Patrick,

    Yes, P/O. Betts was a member of the crew of AL624 when the aircraft was lost on 14 September 1942.

    The aircraft took off from Burn on a cross-country exercise when it flew into a hill near Millfore in Kirkcudbright.

    BCL Vol.8.


    Name: BETTS, IVAN HAROLD
    Initials: I H
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Age: 31
    Date of Death: 14/09/1942
    Service No: 109064
    Additional information: Son of Comdr. Ernest Edward Alexander Betts, C.B.E., R.N., and Grace Emily Betts, of Radipole, Dorsetshire.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Grave 607.
    Cemetery: KIRKINNER CEMETERY


    Regards
    Peter
    Last edited by peter; 9th May 2009 at 13:32.

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    Default Liberator I. AM911, Engine Trouble.

    Thank you Peter I have been doing a follow up letter but, I will slip this bit in, about Dad's 1st Gibraltar/Cairo trip in a Liberator.
    Hello Mike, May 11 - 16, 2009. I thought this Engine Trouble letter might be on the lines of your interest.

    I wrote you a little thing to your e-mail to the address you gave me and have not gotten any answer yet. It is a real shame that we can never trust e-mail anymore.
    - - - - - -
    The normal pilot of my dad's Liberators was P/O Chetlle (Father pointed him out in a picture back in the 1970s) for August & September of 1942 for 1653 Liberator CU at Burn Yorks. My father (T. W. Connolly) did no flying in October and November 1942.

    My father made the Gibraltar/Cairo trip only twice in Liberators for 511 Squadron from Lyneham. (He delivered a Wellington out that way in April 1942 to make it 3 three trips in all that he made [by the way his log notes a 2nd W/oP named 'Gregg' "Killed at Lyneham. Nov/42" in that Wellington so that loss may have been from 511 Squadron also].)

    This is on the lucky flight of the crew of Dad's December/January trip and Dad & crew flew AM911 a Liberator I. P/O Chetlle moved over to 2nd pilot, for F/O Saunders to be in charge of this long flight. This Flying Officer Saunders, it seems, had the clout to make the decision to turn back to Gibraltar when the Engine went "U/S" [- and I do not know what that means - if anyone can help me out? -] maybe one third of the way home. From what I interpret from Dad's Log book it must have been a scary trip but he never talked about this one.

    Liberator AM911 must have seemed an old crate with its short nose (and Dad must have felt much safer in the newer AL624, a Liberator II) and Dad never said, or never would have thought to boast or know to say 'I flew the second Liberator to come off the assembly line from England to Cairo'. Now some of us serial number freaks can look back and say that Liberator AM911 was maybe the second Liberator to come off the assembly line. We can maybe boast "my father flew the second Liberator to come off the assembly line (really a 'prototype aircraft') from England to Cairo on a dangerous night flight that suffered engine trouble and survived. The crew listed in Father's log for the flights is the only one that does not have any members noted as 'KILLED'.

    My transcript from Dad's Log book;

    Dec. 19 1942 14:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Air test. Day 01.05.
    Dec. 22 1942 04:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Lynham - Gib (1730 Mi). Day 07.05 /Night 02.00.
    Dec. 24 1942 18:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Gib - Cairo (2500 Mi). Day 02.35 /Night 10.30.
    Dec. 29 1942 23:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Cairo - Gib (2560 Mi). Day 06.30 /Night 07.00.
    ............................
    Jan. 2 1943 01:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Gib - Lynham (Retuanet to Gib. Engine U/S). Day 00.55 /Night 06.00.
    Jan. 5 1943 11:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Air Test (Recco Pt Lyrutey). Day 02.05.
    Jan. 6 1943 01:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Gib Lynham (Landed Chivenor) Day 03.00 /Night 06.20.
    Chivenor - Lynham. 00.40.

    Dad's December/January trip crew list from his Log book;

    F/L Sanders - Pilot
    P/O Chetlle - 2nd Pilot
    F/S Tucker - Nav.
    W/O Connolly - 2nd Nav.
    Sgt. Humphries - W/oP
    Sgt. Barras - W/oP
    Sgt. Greethan - Eng.

    Regards, Patrick T. Connolly.
    Last edited by Patrick; 16th May 2009 at 14:13.

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    Default

    U/S = unservicable

    The two aircraft were not that far apart on the production lines, so I doubt that the Mk.I will have been regarded as old or unsafe. Only 119 aircraft between them, out of 18,000.

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    Default

    Patrick.

    A little info on AM911

    Contract No.... F-677
    USAAC Model....B-24A
    USAAC Serial No....40-2350
    British Model....LB.30B
    Arrived UK....16 May 1941
    Route Flown....St.Hubert - Gander - Prestwick

    As you will see AM911 was a model LB.30B . This early Liberator type was designated Liberator I when modified to Coastal Command configuration.

    The following is taken from the Liberators Form 1180 (Accident record Card)

    Carrying passengers from Gibraltar to Malta, No.3 engine caught fire on take-off. Landed heavy and fast due to maximum weight being carried, port tyre burst and undercarriage collapsed. there were no casualties. (23 May 1943)

    I have a photo of AM911 taken at San Diego in March 1941. If you are interested could you please PM me with an email address and I'll send it on.

    Regards
    Peter

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    Patrick, do you have any photos from the squadron?
    Franek

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    Default Limped to Gibraltar on 3 Engines

    Thank you All. May 19, 2009.
    We have a photo of one crew and perhaps it is one of those flyers that we have, in a couple of photos my Dad & he snapped, with each other.
    Thank you Graham - In the dawn on January 2, 1943, AM911 would have limped back to Gibraltar on three engines, then, - we should not guess too much about what people would have thought. Dad was from a small town and in his youth, if an airplane flew over, it was the main topic of conversation for the next day.
    Thank you Peter - it is a nice site and leads to the Wikipedia write up;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberator_B_Mk_I
    Thank you for sending the photo. I will look into No.120 Squadron RAF Coastal Command.
    Since AM910 crashed in April 42, AM911 would have been the oldest Liberator around when my Dad flew it.
    You say AM911 went to No.1425 Flight on 26 October 1941. You and others say No.1425 Flight changed into 511 Squadron but I do not understand about 1653 Liberator CU at Burn Yorks. Is 1653 Liberator CU the same as 1425 Flight or are they 2 different units that went together to make the new Squadron?

    Regards, Patrick.
    Last edited by Patrick; 19th May 2009 at 13:39.

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    Default Sikorski's AL523's only navigator

    On my father's 2 Liberator flights to and from Lyneham and Gibraltar (from December 1942 to February 1943) there were 2 navigators on the plane. My father alternated in calling himself "Navigator" and "2ND Navigator".
    Yet it seems General Sikorski's Liberator (AL523) only had one navigator according to David Irving's book "Accident: the death of General Sikorski". On page 188, only 'Warrant Officer L. Zalsberg,' is listed as 'Navigator'.

    Does anyone know if two navigators were necessary on these flights or if having two was a training thing?

    Regards, Patrick.

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    Patrick
    Somehow I have missed your previous post. Anyway, one navigator was fully sufficient for such flights, and this may have been a training flight indeed. It will be worth to check if one of the navigators was a fresher in the unit.
    Do you have personnel photos only?
    Franek

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