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Thread: 110 Squadron Blenheims, 27 May 1940 - Losses ?

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    Default 110 Squadron Blenheims, 27 May 1940 - Losses ?

    Hallo all again,

    One problem leads to another ! My recent question on the fate of Blenheim N6207 was neatly solved but pointed me towards another query on the same squadron.

    'The Bristol Blenheim' (2nd edition) and the Air-Britain RAF Registers for L1000-N9999 and P1000-R9999 both show Blenheims L8736 and R3774 of 110 Squadron as lost on 27 May 1940. The fate of the former is merely "FTR from a sortie to St.Omer" and the latter "FTR from reconnaissance sortie". No further details such as crew names or fates are given. Bill Chorley's 'RAF Bomber Command Losses, 1939-1940' only lists R3774 as a loss and that on a mission to St. Omer and again no crew names.

    Peter Cornwell's 'The Battle for France, Then and Now' does not include these two serials anywhere. I assume he found no solid evidence to support their inclusion as losses ? In 'Valiant Wings' I could only find one reference to L8736. It flew on a mission on May 14th and returned safely. For May 27th he briefly notes that 110 Squadron flew a 6-aircraft mission that day with all planes returning safely. No serials or crew names here.

    It would appear from their entries in the Air-Britain registers that these two Blenheims had no subsequent histories. So could they possibly have been lost during the French Campaign ? Perhaps written off as per N6207 after return to England in a damaged state but without crew casualties ?

    Any help very welcome as I am unlikely to see the 110 Sqn ORB in the near future.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Default 110 Squadron Blenheims, 27 may 1940 - Losses ?

    Source: Bell, Flight Lieutenant Elwyn D. "Hyderabad Squadron: The Story of No 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron Royal Air Force". Air-Britain.

    L8736 Allotted: 10 May 1940, Disposal: 27 May 1940, Remarks: Struck off charge
    R3774 "J" Allotted: 25 May 1940, Disposal: 31 March 1942, Remarks: Struck off charge

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    Hallo Sara,

    Thank you for the information from the 110 Squadron book, one I do not have in my collection.
    Since my original post I have obtained copies of the Form 78 Aircraft History Cards from the RAF Museum for these Blenheims. Unfortunately they contain nothing extra beyond what you have provided by way of their ultimate fate. They are quite a mystery. Perhaps they were written off after a mission ? I am sure someone will find out.

    Regards and thanks once more,

    Martin.

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    Hi Again Martin,

    F/Lt Bell's history of 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron also confirms the following:

    May 25, 1940 - Bridges south of Gravelines were attacked and reconnaissance of the area was carried out.

    May 27, 1940 - Two anti-aircraft batteries near St. Omer were the target.

    I haven't found any crew KIA on those dates, although I do have a few days earlier (but no serial numbers):

    On the evening of May 22, six Squadron aircraft are sent to bomb an anti-aircraft battery near St. Pol. The first four aircraft are able to identify and bomb the target but the other two, unsure that the target is the enemy, do not bomb. That day the Squadron loses the following airmen who were airborne at 16.15 from Wattisham and shot down by flak near Abbeville (Somme), France:

    S/L George Freeman Hall, age 26, RAF, Pilot
    Sgt Kenneth Frederick Quarrington, age 19, RAF, Observer
    LAC Charles Scott Torrance, age 18, RAFVR, WOp

    Airborne at 16.18 on the same day, Flying Officer G. O. Lings and his crew of Sergeant Martin and Aircraftman Bingham return to Wattisham but crash land with their undercarriage shot away.

    Sara

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    Hallo Sara,

    Thanks for the further information. I have made no more progress on the fates of these two Blenheims. However I hope to travel to The National Archives in Kew over the next month or so - volcanic ash permitting - and all going well I may be able to check the 110 Squadron ORB.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    Hi Martin,
    Chorley has Hall, Quarrington and Torrance as being aboard L8761
    and Lings, Martin and Bingham on N6207.

    Bill

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