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Thread: 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

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    Default 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

    An Ebay listing mentioned on TOCH shows the crash site of 61 Sqn Hampden QR-U:
    https://www.ebay.de/itm/3x-Foto-engl...5/293975355250
    Although stated to be from 1942, it must be 1941 or earlier as the squadron had re-equipped with Manchesters by then.
    As it is from a German seller it seems reasonable to assume that this was an operational loss.
    Before I start digging into possible candidates, does anyone actually know the serial of QR-U please?
    Thanks,
    Andy

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    Default Re: 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

    Dear Andy
    Chris Ward's '5 Group Bomber Command' lists that 61 Squardon lost 28 Hampdens. Some 27 crashed in the UK either returning from operations or training. Other losses were: mining 7, rail target germany 2, Kiel 6, Mereseburg 1, Salzbergen 2, Rhur 1, Geestacht 2, Schwerte 1, Dortmund-Ems 1, Hamburg 1, Boulogne 1, Berlin 1, Dusseldorf 2, Mannheim 1, Cherbourg 1, Osnabruck 1, Monchengladbach 1, Frankfurt 1. Looking at these locations on a map and then comparing them with Katzenbusch as being the likey location of the wreckage, I would suggest that unless an aircraft was on a major detour, the only suitable candidate would be X2967 lost on 14-15/11/40 to Berlin. Having seen other photos with dates on them, the dates can be way out. This may have been the time it was put in the album, or possibly the date that the wreckage was found.
    I am very happy for someone else to prove me wrong or come up with other possibilities. The Hampden File by Harry Moyle gives the cause as 'shot down by flak, location not known. All the crew POW.
    Thoughts anyone....?
    Best wishes
    James

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    Default Re: 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

    I think it is a Manchester by the looks of the wing section with engine nacelles and is probably Manchester L7497 lost 25Mar42 at Wertherbruch.

    Ken

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    Default Re: 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

    Hello Ken,

    Am pretty sure that the right-hand image is looking over the horizontal stabilizer, along the left side of the fuselage towards a Hampden’s distinctive aft-facing gun position. Also, the fuselage roundel is wrapping around the fuselage, unlike on a Manchester, while the streamlined protrusion on top of the stabilizer is also a feature of the Hampden.

    Cheers:

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 29th January 2021 at 03:57. Reason: Typo

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    Default Re: 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

    Yes, the fuselage looks too "thin" to me to be that of a Manchester.
    James, thanks for the suggestion. I believe 61 Sqn had 56 operational Hampden losses. In slow time I am working through them. A lot can immediately be ruled out (crashed in the UK etc). I'll come back once I completed the list.
    Andy

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    Default Re: 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

    One other thing that has struck me is that presumably the Luftwaffe must have had a similar intelligence organisation to the RAF, ie one that went round examining crashed aircraft looking for information of note.
    One would have expected them to have recorded the serial number of the crashed aircraft. Does anyone know if any such information is known to have survived?

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    Default Re: 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

    Yes Andy, The Germans had an excellent and very effective set of records at Dulag Luft which were used during interrogations. I believe that some of the personnel files on US servicemen have ended up in US National Archives. I do not know if any records have survived on aircraft, squadrons or UK servicemen.

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    Default Re: 61 Sqn Hampden loss QR-U

    Hello

    Indeed the Germans had technical units to gather "technical intelligence" from downed aircraft, but the pictures sold on e-bay were taken by mere soldiers or airmen, with little knowledge or desire to have detailed captions on the back of their prints ! They were probably taking pictures at a slow rate, would give the roll of film to a local photographer (there was a French civilian one in Dunkirk who used to make extra prints for himself, unknown to the Germans !) or the unit's photographic service, and that could take a few days or weeks. Then write a proper caption on the back of the print (precise date and location, and additional détails), but the delay meant that some détails were lost.

    I've recently seen some pictures on e-Bay, showing a Halifax of No. 35 Squadron, lost on 3 June 1942 near Antwerp (Belgium), and the same seller had other pictures with the same date on the back, which were clearly showing a Wellington. That Wellington was lost in the same area, during the night 16/17 June 1942, but the captions on reverse say 3 June 1942 and are in error. We may consider that the photographer got his prints at the same time, and captioned the all the same, despite he had pictures 2 separate events / crashed planes.

    Joss

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