View Full Version : Book - Battle Axe Blenhiems 105 Sqn

24th September 2010, 16:07
does anybody have a copy of this book? I am interested to know if P/O I.M. Shirlaw is mentioned in the text, before or when he was killed on 22nd March 1941 when his Blenhiem flew into a barrage ballon cable near Birmingham.

Thanks in advance,

24th September 2010, 16:59

Stuart Scott's Battle Axe Blenheims : ISBN 0750911263 mentions P/O Shirlaw as having attacked Dusseldorf on 28th. November 1940. He was flying "T1932:T and along with another Squadron aircraft, started fires in the docks area".

On 31st. December 1940, he piloted "Blenhiem T1848:V and tried to reach an oil refinery in Bremen but had to give up because on lack of cloud cover".

The book also indicates the loss of P/O Shirlaw by the following "There was no sign of Q-Queen T1892. P/O Shirlaw and his crew P/O Dugdale (Observer) and F/O Mair (W/Op/AG) failed to return". The aircraft is recorded as "having hit a balloon cable at Pilton Hackett, SW of Birmingham". The crew is mentioned in the Squadron Roll of Honour and had service numbers 81054, 84034 and 78277.

For all the Blenheim types on the forum, I would thoroughly recommend this book.

Best wishes


24th September 2010, 17:04

I have the book. Shirlaw is mentioned 3 times in the names index :

page 28 : "Nevertheless Sgt Wilson in L8788:N and P/O Shirlaw in T1932:T started fires in the docks area of Dusseldorf.". That should account for a raid on 27th November 1940.

Page 30 : "On the last operation on the 31st [December] [...], P/O Shirlaw in Blenheim T1848:V, tried to reach an oil refinery at Bremen but once again without cloud cover the two crews gave up and began their return trip."

Page 34 : "On the 21st [March 1941], Lorient, home of the submarines, was to be the target. Six aircraft took off, led by W/C Arnold Christian and his crew who took off in V5828:R at 20:25 hours. The last back after a successful raid was Sgt King and his crew in Z5903:D at 01:25 hours. There was no sign of Q-Queen, Blenheim T1892. P/O Shirlaw and his crew, P/O Dugdale (observer) and F/O Mair (WOp/AG) failed to return. In a similar incident to that of 20 October the previous year, when F/Sgt Richardson clipped a balloon cable over Harwich, a ballon cable had been hit at Pilton Hackett, south west of Birmingham. But his time tragdy had struck : Q-Queen had crashed and the crew were killed."



25th September 2010, 04:50

very many thanks for the information, most appreicated.