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Thread: What was 18 Sqn doing from Apr to Oct 1942

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    Default What was 18 Sqn doing from Apr to Oct 1942

    No. 18 Sqn was reformed in England in March 1942 after service in the Middle East and resumed operations in April. Can anyone tell me what they were doing during that summer until they shipped out again in November for Algeria?
    David

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    They seem to have been stationed on Malta, http://www.rafweb.org/Sqn016-20.htm
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    I think that was 1941 Al. By early Jan 42 they were down to five a/c, which they left in Egypt. They were reformed in Scotland from a base of ground crew in April 42. Ross has them in the UK as of May 42 and at Wattisham by 20 May and West Raynham by 23 Aug.
    David

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    Hello,

    This Squadron is the subject of a 64 pages book by Air-Britain, "With courage and Faith". In the Appendix section, it's explained that the Squadron went to Fuka, Egypt on 14th February 1942, then on 21st March 1942, it was absorbed by other units. Next entry is Dundonald Ayrshire on 13th May 1942. Other stations used were Ayr, Wattisham, West Rayham, and "left for North Africa" on 31th October 1942, in Blida 11th November 1942.

    The main body of the book shows that No. 18 Squadron resumed operationsfrom 26th April 1942, while at Wattisham : targets were the drydocks in Dunkirk and Langerbrugge power station. The Squadron now had two roles : night intruder and bombing raids, an cooperation with the Army by day. Targets during May were Schipol and Leeuwarden airfield, togethere with Eindhoven and Soesterberg. They trained in combined operations and also took part in the Cologne raid as diversionary tactics.

    18th August 1942 was the last operational sortie of No. 18 Squadron before leaving for North Africa. Sgt Rounding was bound to bomb Leeuwarden but couldn't find it so bombed Borkum's instead. Then the Squadron moved to West Raynham and exchanged its Blenheim IVs for Vs (also known as Bisley). There followed a period of Army Co-operation. On 24th August 1942 the Squadron stood down. Half the Squadron remained with the CO for the North African Campaign, the rest was posted. The next few months were spend practising local flying with two types of Blenheim aircraft, formation flying, consumption tests and army co-op exercises. This engaged the Squadron until embarkation leave between 7 and 17 October, and the rest of the month was spent carrying out further formation tests with the new Blenheim Vs.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks Joss, that's excellent. There are several explanations in there about what my man, F/O Russell A. Davis, RCAF, was doing. I was looking for an explanation of why he didn't go to Algeria with the squadron. He was obviously one of those posted. My earlier thought that he might have done a tour is obviously not correct. He was posted to 1482 Flt. probably flying target tugs.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 27th December 2009 at 16:29. Reason: spelling
    David

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    One of their last accidents in the UK occurred on 18 July 1942 when Blenheim IV Z7304 crashed into a radar pylon at Stoke Holy Cross (Poringland), Norfolk whilst flying in poor visibility on an air test. All the crew, plus a civilian Met man were killed. The pilot, P/O P H Lowther, survived the spectacular crash-landing of a 1444 FTF Hudson at Arminghall, Norfolk, earlier that year, and while it is only conjecture, we suspect he was hoping to show the crew where his near-death experience took place.

    BC

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    Default Stoke Holy Cross

    Wow I used to live in Stoke Holy Cross but I didnt know that they had had a radar there? Where was the nearest airfield other than over the other side of Norwich?

    Dee

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    Dee:

    RAF Horsham St Faith was probably the nearest at the time of the crash. Most of the cluster of bomber airfields subsequently used by 2nd Division B-24 Bomb Groups, i.e. Seething, Hardwick, Hethel and Old Buckenham, etc., were still under construction at the time. The Chain Home radar site at Stoke Holy Cross played a minor role in the BoB, but the radar was improved as the war went on. It almost had the dubious honour of being the only radar station to bring down TWO Allied aircraft when a B-17 on a practice flight for the low-level food-drop over Holland whacked into the top of one of the pylons in poor visibility on 2 May 1945. A wing flap and other non-essential parts were left behind, but the B-17 RTB safely.

    Send me a PM if you want more info.

    Regards,

    BC

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