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Thread: PR Blenheims: P4899 and P4901; L1348

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    Default PR Blenheims: P4899 and P4901; L1348

    I am looking for records of which units two Blenheims (P4899 and P4901) served with. I think I have a photo of P4899 in France, with the detachment from the No.2 Camouflage Unit/Photographic Development Unit (the serial under the wing is hard to read). I want to be sure that they were transferred to the 2CU/PDU. I have a feeling these aircraft were used, much like the majority of the Unit's Lockheed Hudsons, as support aircraft for carrying film back for processing, etc.

    I am also very interested in modified Blenheim I, L1348, but I may have uncovered all that remains of its story. I would love to be sure that it was modified by/for Cotton's Unit. Graham Warner's Blenheim history states it was, as does an article in Air Pictorial and Air Reserve Gazette, Volume 16, 1954. I also have three photos of this aeroplane if people are interested (two are on the web if you look hard enough, the third isn't).

    Ben

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    Hi Ben,

    according to RAF serials by Air Britain:

    P4899 - Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), struck off charge 27.5.44
    P2901 - no unit given, only note: lost in France 6.40
    L1348 - RAE, 88 Sq - destroyed in air raid , Sydenham, 5.5.41

    Hope this helps a little

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hi Ben,

    P4899 did indeed serve with the PDU/PRU and made a number of transit flights backwards and forwards to/from France. It left the PRU on 09 Sep 40 for Farnborough, which ties in nicely with what Pavel says about the RAE.

    I've nothing on P4901 or L1348 being with the PDU/PRU/212 Sqn, though as I'm sure you are aware records of 212 Sqn are rather thin on the ground.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Thanks Pavel and Andy. It is great to have firm evidence for P4899 being with the PDU, as it ties in with the photo. The photo suggests that the speed-increasing modifications to the Blenheims that are discussed in all the books on the subject of the early PRU days in fact were only carried out on L1348.

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    Hallo all,

    Concerning P4901, there is an interesting photo on page 49 of the Summer 1999 issue of Air-Britain's 'AEROMILITARIA' magazine. It shows part of the RAF aircraft scrapyard at Bouguenais, near Nantes. The location had been under the control of No. 21 Aircraft Depot and the stripped fuselages of Blenheims and Battles are visible. Barely readable on the Blenheim in the centre of the photograph is P4901. There are no unit codes or letters. Based on the identifiable aircraft frames around P4901 one might speculate that it suffered its accident prior to 10 May 1940. Just my observation. The Air-Britain caption writer suggests it may have been damaged during its ferry flight, hence the lack of codes.

    A slightly cropped but less clear copy of this photo appears in 'BLITZED' by Victor Bingham.

    Hope this helps,

    Martin Gleeson.

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