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Thread: The fate of Stirling IV LJ798

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    Default The fate of Stirling IV LJ798

    Hello,

    I work as a volunteer for for Second World War Experience centre in Leeds and have been cataloguing numerous pieces of a photo and letter collection assembled by a collector in the SE who unfortunately died and then was passed onto our organisation.

    Today I was studying photos belonging to an unknown RAF serviceman.One photo caught my eye because of what I could see in the background.It showed two RAF men sat on a Lancaster tyre.But what was interesting was the aircraft wreckage or remains behind the two men.

    I could see the black fuselage of an aircraft which looked like a what was once a heavy bomber.I could read its serial which was LJ978.

    This correlates to a Stirling Mark IV glider tug/ paratroop carrier.I could also make out what appeared to be D-day stripes,which suggests that there was a Stirling IV in the background.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Jonathan
    This raised these questions
    1)Did this Stirling crash and was brought back to an MU/RSU to be broken up?
    2)Was it simply Struck Off Charge after the war and cut up?

    Knowing anything about where LJ798 was taken/nroken up would help me to understand what the unknown serviceman was doing/where he was likely to be based.

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    Hello,

    I quote from "The Stirling Story" by Michael J.F. Bowyer, published by Crécy :
    LJ978 : 6 Maintenance Unit 20 May 1944, 4 OAPU (Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit) 4 June 1944, St Mawgan 21 June 1944, Mediterrannean Allied Air Command 23 June 1944, 624 Squadron , Struck off charge 31 August 1944.

    No mention of a crash but it's a very short career. Are you sure about the serial number ? Not sure from the basic details above that this Stirling took part in the D-Day operations.

    Joss

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    Here's the photo,The first letter is a bit hard to see.

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4142/4793648199_2803f3d166.jpg

    The Stirling's history seems to fit the man's military career fairly well.He ended up in Egypt and looks to have been in Italy beforehand.

    Maybe the 'stripes' I saw weren't invasion stripes after all?
    Last edited by JonF; 14th July 2010 at 19:54.

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    624 Sqn, Blida. 16 August. Swung badly on take off for a special duties drop in France, crashed and DBF

    P/O Wilson and crew uninjured.

    David

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    So i'ts possible that the phoograph was taken at Blida.

    Well,that's interesting and makes me wonder what unit our man was with.It would be nice to think that he could have been with 162MU my granddad's unit.But there were a whole host of S.E.s and maintenance units at Blida

    My dad said last night that the Stirling could be in the Blida aircraft dump which his own father mentioned when describing his wartime service.

    I have a group photo which includes the man I'm researching,It has a caption,but unfortunately its ambigious. It reads '420 1943 Aug 1'.I've marked him on with a red arrow

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4123/4795476121_8590aeb358.jpg

    I think it refers to a training course not an actual unit.Unless this is a section of 420 RSU men??

    The big hangar in the background looks a bit like the Cardington airship hangars but I can't tell properly
    Last edited by JonF; 15th July 2010 at 10:30.

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