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Thread: Searby's Aircrtaft at Peenemunde?

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    Default Searby's Aircrtaft at Peenemunde?

    Please can anyone tell me the Squadron Ident letter and tail number for John Searby's "Master Bomber" Lanc on the Peenemunde raid in 1943?

    I know that 83 Sqn's code letters were OL but I don't know the aircraft ident letter or tail number.

    Many thanks,

    Jon

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    Hi Jon,

    According to his book 'The Great Raids - Peenemunde 17 August 1943'

    Lancaster JA928 -W 2052 - 0431 bombed 0024

    G/C J H SEARBY DFC
    P/O F A FORSTER DFM
    S/L N H SCRIVENER DFC
    F/O L G DAVIES
    F/O W G ROSS DFM
    F/O J H COLEY
    P/O I W PREECE CGM

    Mark

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    Default

    Hi Mark,

    Apologies for not responding earlier, but thanks very much indeed for the reply and for the extra detail.

    I've been looking for a copy of the book you mention and I've found a second hand one in the USA but I haven't recevied it yet.

    Lancaster JA928 -W 2052
    Sorry to be thick, but is the W the ident letter (i.e. OL-W)?

    Thanks!

    Jon

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    Default Sqn Ident

    Hi

    The W on the W2052 (although it is confusing with the JA928) was the identity of the a/c as it left the factory. It would tell you which factory made it and what mark etc... You are correct that the Sqn ID is OL. Will have a look in my two Lanc books and see if there is an explanation in either.....

    Dee

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    Default Searby's Lanc

    Dee, are you sure about all that?

    I read it as:

    JA928 is the a/c's serial number
    W was its invidual code letter (OL-W)
    20:52 - 04:31 were the take-off and landing times?
    and
    00:24 was the time that they bombed. Seems to be about half-way between the T/O and landing times, give or take (?)

    Just a thought

    Ian

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    Ian has it right. JA928 is the a/c serial number and its ID letter was "W".
    The first aircraft to take off on the Peenemunde raid did so at 2028 and that was a Stirling of 90 Squadron in 3 Group, so 2052 would be about right for the take off time of Searby's Lancaster which was considerably faster than a Stirling and taking into account the fact that the Master Bomber would need to be over the target before the raid actually commenced. The first markers went down on Peenemunde one minute early at 0010, so again, 0024 would be right for a marker release time by John Searby's aircraft given that he needed to try to correct an initial error in the marking.
    Incidentally, W2052 could not be a Lancaster serial number since serial numbers for Lancasters in the W range began with W4102.
    HTH
    Bill.

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    Default "w2052"

    Doesn't look like there was any RAF a/c serial W2052. According to the relevant Air-Britain 'Serials' volume, the previous one was W1904 and the next listed is W2622, both being Anson I's.

    W2052 is one of many other Ansons listed as having been delivered direct to the RAAF under the Empire Air Training Scheme.

    Ian

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    Dear All,

    Thanks very much again for all your help, its much appreciated.

    Jon

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