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Thread: 404 Sqn Beaufighters in fighter affiliation exercise 1943

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    Default 404 Sqn Beaufighters in fighter affiliation exercise 1943

    Can someone tell me what kind of fighters would be involved in a Coastal Command affiliation exercise with Beaufighters in Nov 1943?

    I have read that it could have been Mosquitos, Spitfires or even Mustangs.

    Beaufighter LZ289 of 404 Sqn (at RAF Wick at the time) crashed during such an exercise on 3 Sep and I would also like to know how they were equipped. Did they have the rockets or were they using bombs?
    Last edited by dfuller52; 11th March 2010 at 21:02. Reason: added crash date
    David

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    David,

    The exercise that led to the loss of LZ289 involved Spitfires.

    For the first three months of 1943 404 provided long-range fighter escort for anti-submarine aircraft. From about April they flew escort to torpedo carrying Hampdens and Beaufighters engaging and neutralizing flak ships using mg and cannon fire. June saw the first installation of RP rails and all the squadron aircraft were so equipped by the end of August.

    From the 404 SQUADRON HISTORY

    Ian Macdonald

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    Thanks Ian. I have been reading Forgotten Offensive, which is quite a detailed account of the ant-shipping campaign from a military history standpoint, although it does not contain any crew names or aircraft details.

    In it, the author describes how effective the 25-lb head projectiles were in penetrating ships at the waterline, as opposed to the 60-pound heads and the more expensive torpedoes.
    David

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    David,

    I have Beaufighter T.F.X. LZ289 lost as follows:

    17-11-1943
    No.404 Sqn
    Beaufighter T.F.X LZ289: EE-R

    Stalled and spun in at Stepster ?, near Wick, during evasive action.

    CAN J/20615 F/O (Pilot)* Norman Earl LONG RCAF +
    132715 F/O (Nav.) James Harper Greig HORNE RAFVR +

    * Not Nav. as listed on the CWGC.

    Long buried Wick Cemetery, Horne buried Laurencekirk Cemetery.

    Can someone confirm details of this loss?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 12th March 2010 at 11:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    David,

    I have Beaufighter T.F.X. LZ289 lost as follows:

    17-11-1943
    No.404 Sqn
    Beaufighter T.F.X LZ289: EE-R

    Stalled and spun in at Stepster ?, near Wick, during evasive action.

    CAN J/20615 F/O (Pilot)* Norman Earl LONG RCAF +
    132715 F/O (Nav.) James Harper Greig HORNE RAFVR +

    * Not Nav. as listed on the CWGC.

    Long buried Wick Cemetery, Horne buried Laurencekirk Cemetery.

    Can someone confirm details of this loss?

    Col.
    Hi,

    I checked with the ORB of 404 Sqn but did not find anything regarding aircraft identity and location. Info on crew seems to be correct.
    "Pilot Officer (now Flying Officer) N.E. Long" and "J.H. Horne" crashed during fighter affiliation with Spitfires from Fighter Affiliation Unit in the morning. "The aircraft was observed by one of the Spitfire pilots to go into a spin to the right at approximately 5000 feet from which it failed to recover before striking into the ground.

    Peter Hasselgren

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    Thanks Col and Peter, do you know which FAU the Spits were with?

    My note says "Killed in a flying accident.... spun out of control and crashed at Stemster House, Caithness, Scotland."

    Long was one of my boys of Malvern Collegiate and, oddly, his grave marker says "Air Bomber", which probably just reflects the CWGC error. I will check his personnel file at home to confirm what his training was.
    David

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    I am sorry but the ORB just mentions Fighter Affiliation Unit without any further info.
    Peter

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    Col,
    For LZ289 have: pull out manoeuvre (evasive action ?), spun in and crashed Stemester House, Caithness on fighter affiliation exercise.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Thanks Henk, I have reviewed Long's file and yes indeed he was the pilot. He had over 400 hours flying time and about 85 on type. He apparently tried a manoeuvre at low speed which put the a/c into a spin. He almost recovered at 2,000 ft but then lost it again.

    The inquiry faulted his handling of the a/c, unfortunately.

    The Spitfire pilot involved was F/L Virgin of AFDU. Can anyone confirm that it was the same fellow as this

    VIRGIN, NORMAN ERNEST HAROLD
    Initials: N E H
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Flight Lieutenant
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
    Age: 25
    Date of Death: 13/11/1945
    Service No: 40961
    David

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