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Thread: Loss of Lancaster ED936 - July 1944

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    Default Loss of Lancaster ED936 - July 1944

    I'm hoping that someone might be able to provide a few further details on the loss of this Lancaster, one of the modified variants used on the dams raid.

    It was extensively damaged on that operation, but upon return, was repaired and generally flown by Pilot Officer Geoff Rice on practice flights. Its history after the end of 1943 is a bit vague, but it is recorded on its movement card as being Struck Off Charge on July 28th 1944 after being categorised E1 (Aircraft is a write-off but considered suitable for component recovery), suggesting it was something like a crash landing, where no fire broke out and many parts were able to be retrieved.

    Unfortunately the loss card and accident card dont appear to survive anywhere, so I am at a loss to know the reason for the SOC. It seems it was still with 617 Squadron, who were then based at RAF Woodhall Spa. However, nothing appears in the Woodhall ORB about its loss. Some of the modified Lancs had been flown to RAF Metheringham but nothing appears in the ORB for that station either to indicate it happened there, and I've found no record to confirm it was flown there. Also, I have no record of and fatalities or casualties amongst any crew.

    Can anyone confirm any details of its loss or know where the Loss or accident cards might be?

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    The only reference I can find to the loss of this aircraft simply states, "Crashed, 21/7/44". No further details.

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    Thanks Bill

    Thats pretty much as far as I got. Strangely, neither the RAF Museum nor MoD seem to hold accident or loss cards for the incident...?

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    Hello,

    Appendix V - 617 Squadron Aircraft.

    Lancasters.

    ED936 Letter H

    To 617Squadron 12/5/1943
    Damaged on Dams Raid
    Returned to 617 Squadron 17/7/1943
    Crashed at Woodhall Spa 22/7/1943 (65 hours only).

    See:
    Beyond the Dams to the Tirpitz:The Later Operations of 617 Squadron.
    Cooper,Alan W.
    London:William Kimber,1983
    p.236

    Cautionary note: Cooper is not renowned for his accuracy, though, if correct, the amount of hours are interesting.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th December 2010 at 13:27.

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    Thanks for that Col. Yes, I know what you say about Mr Cooper. He is definately a year out with his date, I have log - book entries for several pilots flying it in September 1943 amongst other dates!

    If flown at the same rate as many of the others post - dams raid, it would have ammassed 65 hours by about the end of November or so. Although it did'nt do much in the first half of 1944, I'm sure that figure is incorrect.

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    Aircraft letter 'H' is also confirmed in the Lancaster File complied by JJ Halley and published by Air Britain. Only other mention in this book was the aircraft was SOC 28/7/44.

    Douglas

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    Hi Douglas

    The code 'H' is probably correct. It carried that letter on the Dams raid ('AJ - H'), although some of the dams Lancaster's were later partially converted to standard, and as such were taken on strength of 617 squadron as standard aircraft with 'KC' Squadron codes, which they received at the end of August 1943 upon their move to Coningsby. Some of those that were, received a new individual letter (for example, Les Knight's ED912, was 'AJ - N', but became 'KC - S'), so its possible ED936 went this way, although I've nothing on record to show it was reconverted.

    Thanks to all who have contribnuted so far, its all much appreciated.

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    In Francis K. Mason's, "The Avro Lancaster", ED936 is listed as AJ-H on the Dams Raid with Geoff Rice as skipper.
    The aircraft was seriously damaged when the "Upkeep" weapon was torn off on the outward flight. Interestingly, Mason does not show any further major operations for this aircraft, so the 65 hrs on the airframe may well be correct, especially if it was not converted back to standard configuration. There is no mention either of ED936 being re-coded. It might be interesting to see if any pilots whose logbook entries refer to this Lanc are for operations or training flights?
    I note also from Mason's book that some of the other un-converted dams raid Lancasters were stored at MU's. Could this have been the case with with this one?

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    The use of ED936 is sketchy after the dams raid, but log entries do confirm it was used numerous times on training exercies after it had been repaired, those repairs taking several weeks. I'll have to tot up the totals I have in the log - books, but in the case of those dams aircraft lost on the raid, the times mentioned by Mr Cooper in his 'Men who Breached the Dams' are inaccurate.

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