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Thread: A/S Sweeps 10 OTU (Later POW with 57 Sqn)

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    Default A/S Sweeps 10 OTU (Later POW with 57 Sqn)

    I have a log book to a chap called Bailey who was shot down
    on the 8th July 1943 while on a raid to Cologne in Lancaster
    ED947 while with 57 Squadron.

    I have done some research into his time with 57 Squadron, where he
    completed 7 ops before being his last op mentioned above.

    I am however interested to find out more about some of his early
    flying. He was a Bomb Aimer and after leaving 19 OTU at Kinloss
    in February 1943 he (and the crew captained by Sgt Lewis) moved
    to 10 OTU at St Eval. Here they continued exercises, however they
    also carried out 7 A/S Sweeps as follows:

    29th Feb Whitley Z6971 8.55 hrs
    4th March Whitley BD287 10.25 hrs
    7th March Whitley BD289 9.30 hrs
    10th March Whitley Z9302 10.15 hrs
    13th March Whitley Z9321 10.10 hrs
    17th March Whitley BD226 10.25 hrs
    22nd March Whitley Z6830 7.00 hrs

    They then moved to 1654 Con. Unit before moving
    to 57 Squadron at RAFScampton in May 1943.

    I was wondering what A/S Sweeps were. I guess it stands
    for Air Sea, however what would this involve, and would
    these flights be classed as operations?

    I was also surprised by the length of the flights (some over 10
    hours long). Would this be usual for a Whitley?

    Any advice would be great.

    Johnnie

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    Hi Johnnie
    A/S = Anti-Submarine, the Whitleys of 10 OTU Feature in Coastal Command fairly regularly as the A/C were used for A/S patrols as part of the crew training for Bomber Command but clearly of use to supplement Coastal Ops. I believe that 10 OTU was based in the W Country for all the war, and was handy for the Bay of Biscay and the Western Approaches.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Thanks for that. I hadn't thought about anti submarine. Would they
    be given a target (or possible target) or just fly over a set area and
    hope for the best?

    Would these be classed as Ops, or simply as training flights?

    His book does state 10 OTU St Eval, so the south west is correct,
    so the Bay of Biscay and the Western Approaches would fit.

    Johnnie

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    Doug Cuthbertson Guest

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    Number 10 OTU were based at Abingdon from April 1940, with some of their Whitleys on detachment to St Eval.
    Doug.

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    Hi Johnnie
    I doubt whether they would have a "target" as such, most such work would have been searching areas where it was considered Subs, and occaisional Blockade runners, would be in transit and likely to be found.They would almost certainly have carried a "bomb load" with which to attack anything they found, but they would have been useful simply shadowing something like a merchant vessel and bringing up attack a/c and surface ships and even if a Sub simply submerged it would have been considerably slowed down underwater and delayed. As to whether such trips counted as Ops I don't know, remember they were still under training and at a stage where as a crew they were still incomplete. The full crew complement came later at the HCU. It would certainly have been useful experience
    Regards
    Dick

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    Johnnie,

    It was quite common at the time for crews training at Whitley-equipped OTUs to be be posted for a short period at the end of their course to the 10OTU detachment at St Eval for anti-sub patrols. And, yes, these were classed as operational sorties.

    Errol

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    Hi Johnnie

    The Coastal Whitleys were fitted with extra fuel tanks in the bomb bays to increase their endurance, so a trip of 10 hours seems reasonable.

    Any chance of details from your mans experiences on 19 OTUs Whitleys if you get the chance please?
    Elliott Smock
    ++ 44 (0)7890 892147

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    Default 10 Otu

    Hi Johnnie,

    I am in contact with the pilots of Whitley BD220 A L Benson DFM and R L Rennick. They were on their 7th anti-sub patrol when they came across U 564 and attacked it on the 14 June 1943. The sub was sunk with the loss of about half the crew but the Whitley was damaged and later had to ditch. They were picked up by a French fishing boat and returned to France and into "The Bag" to be pow's for the rest of the war. A good account is in Norman Franks book ' Search, Find and Kill' .

    Bob Rennick will be 90 in December.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Thanks for the recent replies.

    What kind of information were you after regarding his 10 OTU period?

    Johnnie

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    PM sent Johnnie
    Elliott Smock
    ++ 44 (0)7890 892147

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