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Thread: RAF claims two Potez 630s in 1944

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    Default RAF claims two Potez 630s in 1944

    I have just come across an article from 14 Feb 1944 about an RCAF pilot, F/O Harold Freeman, and an unnamed RAF pilot, presumably both from 198 Sqn, who claimed what was believed to be two Poetz 630s in a sweep over north eastern France on 12 Feb 1944.

    Freeman was killed a few months later (24 May). Can anyone guide me to more information on this incident?
    David

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    3. Claims:Enemy aircraft claimed as destroyed or probably destroyed by Typhoon pilots.


    Date:12 Feb 44
    Type: LeO 451
    No.: 1
    Sqn: 198
    Pilot: F/L John Niblett RAF( 655985/47516 )
    Aircraft: -?-
    Location: Near Arras

    Date: 12 Feb 44
    Type: LeO 451
    No. 1
    Sqn: 198
    Pilot: F/O Harold Freeman RCAF ( R/56849/J/22448 )
    Aircraft: -?-
    Location: Near Arras

    See:
    The Typhoon & Tempest Story
    Thomas,Chris & Christopher Shores
    London:Arms & Armour Press,1988
    p.187

    See also:
    Those Other Eagles.
    Shores,Christopher
    London:Grub Street,2004.
    p.198

    and...

    Aces High
    Shores,Christopher & Clive Williams
    London:Grub Street,1994
    p.462

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 30th December 2009 at 13:50.

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    Dave,
    Scans on way via email

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    Wow, that was quick. Thanks Col.

    Alan, your scans have already arrived,much appreciated.

    I will send a copy of the clipping to you.

    Now, my question is, what were the Germans doing flying these old crates around when they were such easy pickings?

    I was also curious as to why the Canadian Press put out this little story. It was probably a routine little piece that the Star picked up because it involved a Canadian.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 30th December 2009 at 13:27.
    David

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    Hi David,
    Clipping arrived, much appreciated.

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    There seems to be a discrepancy in these two accounts. Col, the documents Alan sent me say they were Potez 630s but your sources say LeO 451s. Any thoughts on which old kite is which here?
    David

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    Hi,
    I'll send copies to Col.
    Alan

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    Hi Dave/Alan,

    Whilst awaiting Dave's scan, I will quote the following:

    Cheval Lallemant, whom Paul Richey had persuaded to fly again after his collision in 609 Squadron, was now a flight commander in 198: On 12 February (1944), he flew a Ranger sortie to Reims and chased (a) Leo45 but lost it near Laon airfield. Lallemant led the Typhoons against the German base and two aircraft were destroyed on the ground. On the return flight he set fire to a barge, Flying Officer Harry Freeman shot down a Leo45 in flames into Arras town centre, while Pilot Officer Jimmy Allen damaged two barges nearby. Flight Lieutenant John Niblett, who had destroyed one of the aircraft on the airfield, later found another Leo45 which he forced to crash-land on fire near Doullens.

    See:
    Typhoon Attack
    Franks,Norman
    London:William Kimber,1984
    p.73

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 30th December 2009 at 15:14.

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    David;

    From memory, the Luftwaffe used a number of older French operational types at training units in France, roughly equivalent to OTUs. Given their small numbers, it is not surprising that Allied pilots and authors of ORBs could get identities mixed up. Both the Leo and the Potez were low wing twins, with radial engines and round twin tails. Take a look at http://membres.lycos.fr/wings2/3vues/leo45_1_3v.jpg

    and
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/df/Potez_630_isometric.svg/600px-Potez_630_isometric.svg.png

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    Thanks Bill. I can see how they could be mistaken - after all, according to the clipping, they thought they were tangling with a new style Messerschmidt.
    David

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