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Thread: 804 Sqn, FAA collision 28 Dec 1939

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    Default 804 Sqn, FAA collision 28 Dec 1939

    Hi,

    On 28th December 1939 a 804 Sqn, FAA Sea Gladiator, N5504 suffered a mid-air collision. Would anyone know who the Sea Glad pilot was and what he collided with?

    Cheers,

    Alex

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    Alex

    Sky Over Scapa records that Capt RT Partridge RM abandoned N5504 of 804S after a formation collision at 6000 feet 28/12/39. There is no mention of the id of the other a/c or pilot.

    FAA A/c 1939-1945 records that N2265 was coded RTP (personal initials of Capt RT Partridge, 804 squadron CO) 11/1939 to 7/1940. However Squadrons of the FAA says that Partridge was CO for less than two weeks in Nov-Dec 1939 after which he served with 800S as CO between April and May 1940 (or possibly June) in the Norwegian campaign with Skuas. He was taken PoW after L2995 was shot down during an attack on the Scharnhorst 13/6/40. He also force landed at Sumburgh in L3025 17/4/40 where he may have been injured leading to the squadron leadership being temporarily filled by Finch-Noyes.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Hi Alex,

    Pilot of N5504 of 804 Hatston,Orkney,was Lt/Cmdr J.C.Cockburn who was in a collision with another Gladiator (Serial & pilot n/k) in a formation flight, he baled out at 6,000ft and landed safely. aircraft cat.W.

    I so far haven`t found the other aircraft involved, but as there is no mention in FAA book with details of N5504 I reckon it must have landed OK with only minor damage?

    If I find out latter info I will pass it on, likewise I would be interested to hear if you find anything on this.

    Regards
    Dave.

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    So could it be that Cockburn was in N5504 and collided with Partridge in N2265 (assuming he flew his own aircraft) ?

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    Hi Dave W,

    In Gregor Lamb`s revised 2007 of `Sky Over Scapa` I see he has Cockburn as the pilot, and I note from `Sqns of FAA` Sturtivant that Cockburn took over Command of 804 Hatston on 11 Dec 1939 from Partridge who was former C.O. 30/11/39 - 11/12/39.

    I don`t have official documentation and don`t know if it still exists but Station Log for Hatston or 804 Log would varify this.

    Regards
    Dave

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    Hi Paul,

    I considered that Cockburn could have collided with Partridge but it seems a bit odd and a bit of a risk having two station commanders in the same formation flight. I think only way to know for sure is a look in the archives at Kew or Yeovilton, provided they still survive?

    Regards
    Dave

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    Cockburn was BoB pilot don't suppose Wynn 'Men of BoB' has anything on him does he?

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    I have a copy of Operation Skua, the autobiography of R T Partridge but oddly it makes no mention of this incident. He was at home over Christmas 1939 on sick leave but gives no date for his return to Hatson.

    FAA Aircraft, Ships and Units 1920 to 1939 confirms that both aircraft belonged to 804 Sqdn and that N5504 was w/o as a result of a collision on 28 December but no other details.

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    Hi,

    Thanks for all your replies.

    I see that the NA has 804 Sqns diary from December 1939-June 1944.

    I'll try and order a copy for December and see what it says. Although the last few times I've ordered something I get told it's beyond their search time.

    Alex

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    Default Sea Gladiator 28 December 1939

    The 804 NAS diary (ADM 207/8) refers to 'CO, Smeeton [Lt R M Smeeton RN] and Taylor [Sub-Lt W E G Taylor RNVR] night flying, two a/c mid-air collision in formation, N5504 uncontrollable, so CO baled out at 6,000ft and landed OK.' So the other pilot must have been Smeeton or Taylor, who presumably made it home OK.

    Keith

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