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Thread: 1949 - RAF or Who?

  1. #1
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    Default 1949 - RAF or Who?

    Greetings,

    Rather out of my usual WW2 queries. I received this question the other day, interesting, if it is true:-

    ‘7 January 1949. RAF pilots reportedly left Egyptian airspace by accident when they were on a reconnaissance flight – taking photographs of Israeli positions.
    3 were shot down in the morning and 2 in the afternoon by Israeli forces’

    To me the story appears quite strange, for example, RAF? all deviated by accident, morning and afternoon?, the numbers shot down?

    Perhaps someone knows where this account originated? I was demobbed from the ME sometime earlier than the above date so never heard of it until now.
    Thanks,
    Digger.

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    Arthur, I think you are refering to an incident on that day when four Spitfire F18s of 208 Sqn from Fayid were shot down. They had been engaged on a recce along the Egyptian/Israeli border when they came under AA fire. One aircraft was brought down by that. The remaining three orbitted the area and were then engaged and shot down by Spitfires of the Israeli Air Force.

    When reports of this engagement were received, 17 aircraft of Nos 6 & 213 Sqns were scrambled to the area. They were then engaged by another force of Isreali Spitfires, culminating in the loss of Tempest FB6, NX207, and its pilot. It seems the Tempests were unable to defend themselves as, although their guns were loaded, they had not been cocked before takeoff and could not be fired!

    RAF losses for the day; 4 Spitfire F18s and 1 Tempest FB6. Two of the pilots (one Spitfire and one Tempest) were killed and two others were taken prisoner by the Israelis.

    Sorry, but I have no details of timings. Perhaps someone else can assist there.
    Last edited by lauriebe; 20th January 2008 at 06:01.

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    Default IAF victories against RAF

    Hi Arthur,

    there was actually more than one such incident during the (Israeli) War of Independence.

    On the 20th November 1948, an IAF Mustang flown by Wayne Peake shot down an RAF Mosquito from 13 Sqdn, along the north-western coast of Israel (Peake was an ex-USAAF pilot - he was one of a large number of foreign, non-Jewish, mercenary pilots (a.k.a. "volunteers") that helped form an experienced backbone to the fledgling IAF).

    The incidents on 7th January 1949 involved three more mercenary pilots flying Spitfires for the IAF. John McElroy shot down two of the 208 Sqdn Spitfires, while Chalmers Goodlin shot down the third. Later in the day, Bill Schroeder shot down a 213 Sqdn Tempest. All of these pilots were serving with 101 Sqdn, IAF.

    Am excellent web-based account of all of these actions, providing all of the specific details that you requested, can be found at:

    http://www.spyflight.co.uk/iafvraf.htm

    McElroy was an ex-RCAF ace (see 'Aces High', Shores et al), while Goodlin, an American, was ex-RCAF and an ex-USN test pilot, who had flown the Bell X-1 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalmers_Goodlin & http://history.nasa.gov/x1/goodlin.html for some general information).

    Cheers

    Rod
    Last edited by RodM; 20th January 2008 at 10:12.

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    Hello Rod & Laurie,

    Thanks so very much for your most interesting replies to my posting.

    I shall now have a good read and then pass it on to my contact. At first I was rather suspicious of the whole affair and your words have enlightened me quite a bit.

    Thanks again,
    Cheers,
    Digger. (Digger is my family nickname circa 1926 and most my friends use it)

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