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Thread: Lockheed Hudson anomalies

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    Default Re: Lockheed Hudson anomalies

    Robert,
    The best I can do is to quote from page 250 of "RAF Flying Training and Support Squadrons since 1912 (Sturtivant & Hamlin):
    No.3502 SERVICING UNIT
    Formed 3.7.42 ex Fleet Air ARM MU in No.16 Group at GOSPORT originally for the servicing of Coastal Command aircraft being transferred from operational Coastal Command squadrons to OTUs; During 1944 equipped Halifaxes with "Met" modifications and prepared fortresses for service in the Azores; 7.45 THORNEY ISLAND to at least 11.45. (when Moved) LEUCHARS. Disbanded 1.8.48.
    Aircraft Handled: Hudson, Halifax, Fortress, Wellington.

    As regards Hudson AM795 ...
    The Ferry Command assignment cards of the squadron's returning aircrew make no mention of Hudson AM795. If it was repaired and then flown back (which I think unlikely) it must have been by another ferry crew.
    Tony Broadhurst

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    Default Re: Lockheed Hudson anomalies

    Andy,
    As regards the allotment of AM795 to 3502 SU. It may be just a paper allotment.

    The saga of the returning Hudsons and their crews is not well covered in the Squadron ORB.
    On 18th November 1942 the Squadron received the order to return Quonset Point R.I., and be ready to leave the USA for UK by 15th December.
    From the Squadron ORB:
    Quonset Point
    Dec 12 Sea Party sailed. Aircraft at Quonset preparing for trans-atlantic flight. Spare aircrew at Montreal.
    Dec 30 Sea party arrived Gourock, Scotland.
    31 Dec Sea party arrived Davidstow Moor.
    Davidstow Moor
    Jan 43 Squadron Non-Operational. ground staff being built up to establishment at Davidstow Moor, aircraft flying back from USA, proceeding direct to Gosport, aircrews proceeding on leave then returning to Davidstow Moor. No Operational flying.
    31 Jan Five aircraft have arrived back in the UK, all at Gosport, and unit being built up to new Establishment, WAR/OC/178b dated 1.10.42.
    13 Feb ... five complete Whitey crews posted to this unit on re-arming with Whitley aircraft. All Hudson aircrew, except five to be posted away (Operationally expired).
    Docking
    18 Feb Hudson PZ/Z and PZ/W arrived Docking Ex. Canada ..... All Hudsons prior to these two aircraft had been flown to No. 3502 Servicing Station Gosport for overhaul and allotment away.
    Bircham Newton
    27 Mar F/O Puckridge & crew arrived on return from USA. [V9096 PZ-P]
    8 Apr F/Sgt Badger & crew arrived on return from USA. This is the last of the squadron and completes the move, all aircraft and crews completing the journey successfully.

    [Badger & crew actually ferried across a new Hudson, FK633 from Dorval to Prestwick, arriving there on 7 April 1943.]

    The reasons for the delayed return can be found in the Ferry Command ORBS. It seems a lot of overhaul and repair work was found to be necessary before their Hudsons could make a trans-atlantic crossing.
    I have looked at each of the RAF record cards relating to the Squadron's Hudsons. AM795 is the only non-returnee alloted to 3502SU. According to the record cards a number of those which returned were alloted to 3502 SU. You can see how this might fit in the the description of 3502 SU given in "RAF F.T. & S. Units since 1912". It is also recorded on the IARCs that shortly after the returned squadron Hudsons were allotted to a contractor with the Civil Repair Organisation, either Cunliffe-Owen and T. MacDonald & Sons.

    It is worth mentioning that the Hudson's upper turret were removed whilst in Trinidad to improve range and endurance, etc. Perhaps this servicing and overhaul included replacing the missing turrets.
    Tony Broadhurst

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    Default Re: Lockheed Hudson anomalies

    Tony,

    Thanks for the 3502 SU extract. My thought was that an airframe didnít need to be at Gosport to be considered in the care of the unit, notably if an accident or disposal at another location was an issue.

    The ref to outfitting Halifaxes with Met equipment is interesting. The Fortresses took on the same role and were noted on their Form 78s as assigned to the Gosport Pool from where they were dispatched to the three Fortress Met squadrons - I wonder if the Halifaxes were recorded in the same way. Either way, it seems likely the Fortresses would also have been fitted with their Met equipment by 3502 SU at Gosport.

    One correction to the book entry: the 206 and 220 Sqn Fortresses were prepared for service in the Azores by 3502 SU at Thorney Island from as early as mid-1943 and were ferried to Lagens in October of that year. They took on the Met role starting in November 1944.

    Robert

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