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Thread: Flt Lt Clive Birbeck, 501 Sqn 1944

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    Default Flt Lt Clive Birbeck, 501 Sqn 1944

    Does anyone have the 501 Sqn ORB for August-December 1944, please? I have 108990 Flt Lt Clive Birbeck leaving 41 Sqn for AFDU on 26 July 1944, then joining 127 Sqn at Woensdrecht NL from 84 GSU on 6 January 1945.

    However, Chris Shores in 'TOE' and Brian Cull in 'Diver!' both have Birbeck claiming V1 victories in the nights of 12/13 and 25/26 October 1944 with 501 Squadron. New to me!

    Does anyone therefore have the 501 Sqn ORB, or details otherwise, on when Birbeck joined and left this unit, please?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Steve

    In Fear Norhing (David Watkins), Birbeck is included in a table of V1 kills headed 'by this time the squadron score sheet read'. The 'by this time' appears to be towards the end of August 1944.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Hello,

    Could he have done a few flights with 501 Squadron while still a member of A.F.D.U., to remain "sharp" ? That leads us back to the Squadron ORB for more details...

    Joss

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    More from Fear Nothing

    "In early August the squadron moved to Manston, only to disband; it was , however, immediately reformed as a night fighter squadron, designated to operate against the V1s from the Kent coast to the North Downs, and maintaining a sectior patrol from Manston to Folkestone.
    The crews for the new 501 Squadron were drawn mainly from the FIU which had formed earlier at Manston for the purpose of developing techniques for the interception of V1s at night using the Tempest V. Suitable pilots with night-flying experience were selected from Fighter Command squadrons; numerous crews were drawn from Mosquito night-fighter units, with others coming from day-fighter squadrons but with higher than average night flying hours to their credit."

    Further on

    "On 10th August, S/L Gary Barnett was posted from 501, together with twenty other pilots, to the other side of the airfield to command 274 Squadron who were also in the process of re-equipping with the Tempest to counteract the V1 threat.
    The following day (11 August) S/L Joe Berry of the FIU immediately assumed command of the squadron, bringing with him five other pilots of the same unit who had achieved some success against the flying bombs."

    DaveW

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    Steve
    I have a note in my files that Birbeck was with 501Sqn from July 44 - Dec 44. Can't confirm the source but I think it was from the ORB of 501Sqn.
    He joined 127 Sqn in early Jan 1945. The exact date is not recorded in the ORB but he is not ia a squadron photo taken on 28 December and flew his first op on 14 Jan 1945.
    Regards
    Andy

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    Thanks Gents

    This would appear to suggest that Birbeck was posted to 501 Squadron on 11 August 1944 and remained there until December, when he was posted to 84 GSU at Thruxton.

    If anyone has a copy of the 501 Squadron ORB - or an opportunity to do a look-up at the NA - I would apprciate exact dates, if possble, please.

    Thanks all; this has been of great help, as I was previously unaware that Birbeck was with this Squadron at all.

    Cheers
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Steve
    I have the ORB from Jan 43 thorugh to Dec 45 at home. I'll have a look this weekend.

    regards

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Steve
    I have found no posting date for him in the ORB. The first time he is mentioned is in a Form 541 entry for the 02/03.10.44, where he takes of at 1850 in SD-H on an anti-diver patrol.

    The Form 540 for this squadron at the time is really very operational in that is records specific details on the action against V1, but no information on postings. The last of these is when S/L Berry arrives on 10.08.44 taking 5 pilots with him from F.I.U.

    But since your man is not mentioned in the ORB until 2.10. I think it is unlikely that he arrived at this point.

    Regards

    Mikkel Plannthin
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    For DaveW, I would be interested to know if there is any mention of Fl Lt Walter Raymond in Fear Nothing, and in what context? Regards, Terry

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    Terry,

    are there any clues about date? The book is not indexed.

    regards

    DaveW

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