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Thread: Beaufighter Squadrons in the Channel, September 1944

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    Default Beaufighter Squadrons in the Channel, September 1944

    Hello,

    I'm looking for the Beaufighter Squadrons involved in operations against the German Navy retreating from Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer ports, in the last days of August 1944 and first days of September 1944. There's a mention about one of them in No. 119 Squadron ORB witnessing the Albacores crew night attacks.

    Thanks in advance for any tip.

    Joss

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    Hi Joss,
    If this action included 24th August, 10 Beau's from 236 and 10 from 404 RCAF were involved.

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    Hello Alan,

    I can't tell about 24th August, the limited amount of information I have is mostly about the 1st of the September, the following night and the following day. So by expanding my search to a few days before, when the Germans were in their full retreat (both on the ground and by sea), I hope to strike lucky.

    I'll put 236 and 404 Squadrons ORBs in the list. I'm not very knowledgeable on the Beaufighters attacks, living more 'inland', but in this case, I'm helping a friend who is researching a book about Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer in September 1944, so any snippet of information is good to pick up. I want to narrow down the list of possible units, not knowing from where these Beaufighters may have based.

    Thanks for your help.

    Joss

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    Joss,
    Nothing on operations, but here is disposition of Coastal Command Beaufighter squadrons as at 1st September 1944 (from RAF Narratives, RAF in the Maritime War), all equipped with Beaufighter Mk. X. You will have to check on location of their bases with other sources. Note that standard establishment of a CC Beaufighter Sqdn at this time was 20 aircraft.

    With 16 Group:
    Manston:
    143 Sqdn (cannon only), strength 18, available 15.

    Strubby:
    144 Sqdn (RP), strength 19, available 17.
    404 RCAF Sqdn (RP), strength 18, available 14.

    North Coates:
    236 Sqdn (RP), strength 16, available 14.
    254 Sqdn (Torp), strength 19, available 8.

    Langham:
    455 RAAF Sqdn (RP), strength 17, available 14.
    489 RNZAF (Torp), strength 23, available 5.

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    Joss,
    Nothing on operations, but here is disposition of Coastal Command Beaufighter squadrons as at 1st September 1944 (from RAF Narratives, RAF in the Maritime War), all equipped with Beaufighter Mk. X. You will have to check on location of their bases with other sources to show their proximity to your area of interest. Note that standard establishment of a CC Beaufighter Sqdn at this time was 20 aircraft. You will have to check with other sources as to why 254 and 489 Squadrosn had such low availability at this time.

    With 16 Group:
    Manston:
    143 Sqdn (cannon only), strength 18, available 15.

    Strubby:
    144 Sqdn (RP), strength 19, available 17.
    404 RCAF Sqdn (RP), strength 18, available 14.

    North Coates:
    236 Sqdn (RP), strength 16, available 14.
    254 Sqdn (Torp), strength 19, available 8.

    Langham:
    455 RAAF Sqdn (RP), strength 17, available 14.
    489 RNZAF (Torp), strength 23, available 5.

    David D

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    Joss,
    Forget my post, the attack i refer to was in the Gironde Estuary.

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    Hello,

    Thanks David and Alan for your help. I have noted a reference at Kew for a History of No. 16 Group (CC), but I have to read it first, hoping to find useful information in it which would enable me to go one step further. If I have to "digest" the information at home, that'd mean accessing the Squadron's ORBs during the following visit to Kew. The idea is to have a prepared short list of units ORBs difference, so I can pick up what I need, after reading the Group History.

    No. 143 Squadron was "in my sights", so thanks for the confirmation. Manston is the closest location, but Kent was a busy place at the time, if not to say "overcrowded".

    I was considering North Coates as a departure airfield too. I'll check the locations of Strubby and Langham airfields.

    Many thanks again

    Joss

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