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Thread: Westland Lysander anomalies

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    Default Westland Lysander anomalies

    Finland received a total of 11 Lysanders out of 17 originally planned.
    Nine Mk IIIs were delivered by sea via Sweden in Feb/Mar40 (Finnish serials LY-114/LY-122). Their RAF serials were R8991/R8999, although they never saw any RAF service.
    Eight Mk Is were intended to be flown, but four were kept by the UK, leaving four to be delivered.
    According to the ABN serials book these four aircraft were transferred to Finland on 12Feb40:
    L4678
    L4681
    L4682
    L4703
    Finnish serials LY-123/LY-126 were allocated, but one of them crashed before delivery, so only LY-123/LY-125 were ever used.
    The other three set off from Yeovilton (Yeovil?) to Stavanger on 2Mar40 flown initially by British (civil) pilots, but one (LY-124) was lost in a forced landing in Norway on that day.
    The other two arrived in Finland on 8Mar40, and both lasted for just over a year:
    LY-123 was lost on 9Jun41
    LY-125 was lost in an air raid on Värtsilä on 5Aug41
    I am looking for the identity of the machine lost in the UK before the delivery had started, and also the correlation between the RAF serials and the Finnish serials.
    Could this lost aircraft have been on a flight-test with a Westlands pilot?
    Given that four aircraft were struck from RAF charge on 12Feb40, I assume that the loss must have been after that date, but before the delivery started on 2Mar40. Do records exist for such flights?
    Thanks,
    Andy
    Last edited by Andy Marden; 14th May 2021 at 15:00. Reason: sort out the formatting, which never appeared!

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    Default Re: Westland Lysander anomalies

    Andy

    With regards to L4682, according to 'The Secret Years - Flight Testing at Boscombe Down 1939-1945' by Tim Mason:

    "Five aircraft flew with the Special Duty Flight for Porton. L4737 and L4738 arrived in October 1939, the latter also being used for development of chemical apparatus, while L4682 and L4691 joined in February 1940, although L4682 was severely damaged following an engine failure the following March."

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Westland Lysander anomalies

    So is this tacit admission that "WE" were, at least, looking at planning the aerial delivery of Chemical Weapons (of whatever sort) in WW2 in the event that "THEY" should ever use them?
    I merely look for facts - as one who has, on occasion, spent many hours in the height of summer in Cyprus in tents in full NBC kit (not a pleasant memory!).
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Westland Lysander anomalies

    Hi Peter

    AT the risk of digressing, then there was this https://www.t6harvard.com/harvard-wa...-duties-india/
    1340 (SD) Flight, Cannanore

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    Default Re: Westland Lysander anomalies

    Quote Originally Posted by wwrsimon View Post
    With regards to L4682, according to 'The Secret Years - Flight Testing at Boscombe Down 1939-1945' by Tim Mason:

    "Five aircraft flew with the Special Duty Flight for Porton. L4737 and L4738 arrived in October 1939, the latter also being used for development of chemical apparatus, while L4682 and L4691 joined in February 1940, although L4682 was severely damaged following an engine failure the following March."
    Simon,
    Thanks. It appears that the Air Britain serials book made an error regarding this aircraft. I have since learned that L4682 eventually became an instructional airframe as 3175M.
    It is possible that only 3 aircraft were ever intended to be flown to Finland. I am investigating this through other avenues and will report back if anything of interest arises.
    Regards,
    Andy

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    Default Re: Westland Lysander anomalies

    With thanks to the Air Britain forum, I was pointed to a very useful article in Aeromilitaria spring 2009 which answered my questions.
    In a nutshell, it was intended to deliver 8 by air. The three that crossed the North Sea were:
    LY-123 ex L4703
    LY-124 ex L4678 - this one force-landed in Norway and finally reached Finland as a spares source
    LY-125 ex L4681
    Three more left Yeovil on 2Mar40. One force-landed almost immediately near Stonehouse and was damaged beyond repair:
    LY-127 ex L4735 - it was finally SOC from the RAF on 7Jul40
    The other two reached Wick, while the final two reached Squires Gate. All were held up by bad weather until the Russo-Finnish peace agreement of 12Mar40 scuppered any further deliveries.
    These four were ex L4704, L4732, L4733, L4736, order unknown.
    It should also be said that the tie-ups between the shipped batch LY-114/LY-122 and RAF serials R8991/R8999 is also unconfirmed. These aircraft were all Mk Is (Mercury XII engine), not Mk IIIs as is often stated.
    Andy

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    Default Re: Westland Lysander anomalies

    An entry in Alex's unaccounted airmen post for 17 May 40: http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...men-17-05-1940
    caught my eye:

    WOOD, Edward Ellis Alexander - F/O - 39771 - RAF - 4 Sqn.
    Lysander - P9064 - 4 Sqn.

    The date of the loss of P9064 is still unclear to me - 16 or 17 May 40.
    BoF says 16 May 40, specifically noting that the CWGC show the date as 17 May 40 (inferring that CWGC are wrong).
    The problem lies in the ORB and Summary of Events for 4 Sqn:
    AIR/27/47/8 (ORB May40) says 17 May 40: http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D8406771
    although the serial is incorrectly listed as P9062 - this did serve with 4 Sqn, but went on to be lost in India in Nov 42
    AIR/27/47/7 (summary Apr-May40) says 16 May 40: http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D8406770

    Having been an F540 compiler during my own time in the RAF, I am aware that the summary of events is often compiled some time after the event, so one might expect the actual ORB to be more accurate, but who knows?

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