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Thread: 6 july 1941, circus over Lille

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    Default 6 july 1941, circus over Lille

    Hi,

    The Free French Bernard Dupérier, posted with n°242 squadron, claims a 109 on 6 July 1941. The mission was an escort of Stirling over Lille.

    Alas the “FCWD” of J. Foreman doesn’t cover this part of 1941. According to “Fighter Command 1939/1945” by Ian Carter, there is a print of Hurricane of 312 escorting Stirling d 5 July during circus 33.

    Could it be circus 34 for 6 july 1941 ?

    TIA

    Bertrand

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    Default Fcwd 1941

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertrand H View Post
    Hi,

    The Free French Bernard Dupérier, posted with n°242 squadron, claims a 109 on 6 July 1941. The mission was an escort of Stirling over Lille.

    Alas the “FCWD” of J. Foreman doesn’t cover this part of 1941. According to “Fighter Command 1939/1945” by Ian Carter, there is a print of Hurricane of 312 escorting Stirling d 5 July during circus 33.

    Could it be circus 34 for 6 july 1941 ?

    TIA

    Bertrand

    Hello Bertrand

    My copy of FCWD Vol 2 - Sept 1940 - Dec 1941 has this to state about 6 July 1941

    Day: The non-stop offensive continued with Circus No. 34, another two part operation. Twelve Stirlings took part, six being escorted to Yainville and the rest to Lille. It also confirms 242 squadron taking part in the list of 3 Hurricane squadrons, with a "score" of 1 P.D. (probably destroyed) and 1 damaged - no doubt this P.D. is the claim by Bernard Dupérier.

    Hope this helps?

    Allan
    Last edited by allan125; 27th January 2008 at 21:47. Reason: mistyping - dyslexic fingers!!
    Allan Hillman

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    Default Bernard Dupérier

    Salut Bertrand


    Here is an extract from Hugh Halliday's thrilling book entitled: '242 Squadron The Canadian Years'.

    "Another sweep on July 6th produced good results. No. 242 was escorting six Stirlings raiding the Lille steelworks. Shortly after the bombs had been dropped, Bf-109's operating singly and in pairs began attacking. In a head-on pass, Duperier fired a burst that crumpled the tailplane of his opponent, he claimed a "probable" that was later upgraded to "destroyed". Mehre damaged a 109. Two other pilots fired without success, among those was Sergeant Prosser, one of the Canadians.

    Note 1 : Mehre was Norwegian Lieutenant Helge O. Mehre. He survived the war and eventually promoted to Major-General.

    Note 2: Duperier went on to write a book entitled 'La Vielle Equipe'.

    As well, on page 72 of the book entitled "RAF Fighter Command Victory Claims of World War Two there is the following gen.

    6th July 1941
    242 Sqn Hurr FC F/L B. Duperier
    Bf109 prob. dest near Lille 1500 (*It means the time-15:00 Hours)

    Note: on the following page (73) there is a photo of a Stirling from No. 15 (B) Squadron formating with a Hurricane escort. ww2images.com

    Cheers...Chris

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    Default

    Thank you both for your precise replies.

    My "FCWD" for 1941 was in fact "The turning point" !

    Bertrand

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    Default

    hello Bertrand,

    The picture refered to by Chris seems to be the same as in page 73 (funny to see it's the same page number ?!) in "The Stirling story" by Michael J.F. BOWYER. Caption is "a trio of Hurricanes protect N3658 LS-E during a Circus". No information about the origin of picture (IWM, RAF Museum or else). That could give the day when the picture was taken...
    The Hurricane are in the background and it's not possible to tell to which unit they belong. There were still a few Hurricane IIs front line squadrons at the time, No. 71 (Eagle), 258, 306 (Polish) 312 (Czech) 242 to name just a few.

    I have the form 540s for 242 Sqn for July 1941 (no form 541s alas) in case you need them, but not as useful as the 541s.

    Joss

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    Hello Bertrand,

    The picture appeared in another Carter´s book - Bomber Command 1939-45, page 47. Without mention about the 312 Sqn. This picture C 2027 is from IWM collection, and you can see it in the IWM Online Collections too.
    The date is noted as 5th July. No. 312 took part in Circus 33 in Kenley Wing formation, as Close Escort. It fought and claimed 0-1-0 as only one Hurricane Squadron. There is almost impossible to see details on Hurricanes from the book´s photograph but on the nearest a/c to Stirling it looks there is a small light point/dot. If my eyes are good it could be Czechoslovak emblem what the 312 Squadron used on their Hurricanes in that time. So the date should be the correct one.
    I do not have 312 Sqn ORB for that period but I can check a copy of Log Book one of senior airmen of the Squadron. And there are entries for ... 5, 7 ... July, not for 6th. Our boys were on readiness or led a dance WAAFs on the ground possibly.

    Amicalement,
    Michal

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    Paul Berson Guest

    Default

    Hello

    I think this action occurred during Circus 35.
    Close Escort: 71, 222, 242 and 306 Sqn at least.
    Escort Cover Wing: Biggin Hill with 74, 92 and 609 Sqn at least
    Target Support Wing A: Hornchurch with 603, 611 Sqn at least
    Target Support Wing B: Tangmere with 145, 610 and 616 at least
    Target Support Wing C: Northolt

    Summary for Circus 35 at 14.00 on 6th July 1941 to Lille. Fighters taking part: 18 squadrons, 218 sorties, 11-6-5 claimed for 6 lost. Bombers taking part: 6 Stirlings of 3 Group.

    Paul

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    hello Pavel

    I have a couple of pages of No. 312 Squadron ORB for early July 1941 and I can confirm the Squadron took part in Circus 34 on July 5 (11 pilots and planes), circus 35 on July 6 (12 pilots), Circus 36 on July 7 (12 pilots) followed by Circus 37 later on the same day (11 pilots).

    Sorry, no dance with WAAFs

    Bertrand sent me a scan of the picture he wanted to caption. slightly different angle of view compared to the picture in "The Stirling story" but definitely from the same origin. I'm just wondering if these are pictures or stills from a film that could have been made by the Film Production Unit, with a cameraman aboard one of the Stirlings ?

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 29th January 2008 at 12:31. Reason: typo

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    Hi,

    I wonder whether if the best number of this Circus could be 34,5… [joke].

    May be the FCWD is too much old to be the best reference and that the ORB is better…

    Thanks Joss, Michal and Paul for your participation.

    Bertrand

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    Salut Joss,

    I know I am not so often here like my colleague Pavel but my wife and other still title me Michal . :-)

    Kind regards to Nord,
    Michal

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