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Thread: Stirling XT-W of 1657 HCU

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    Default Stirling XT-W of 1657 HCU

    A common picture shows a Stirling of 1657 HCU, together with its crew, who were all killed in the loss of 218 Sqn's BK716 on 29/30 March 1943 - this is the aircraft currently the subject of salvage by the Dutch authorities. The photo can be seen here for example:
    https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2020/0...tirling-bk716/
    It shows XT-W, with serial ending 22.
    Given that the crew was lost in March 1943, I think there are only 12 candidates (aircraft after the batch EF327/EF369 were delivered later). A look into Air Britain's "Stirling File" shows that 10 of these had no known service with 1657 HCU: N6022, N6122, R9322, W7522, BF322, BF522, BK622, BK722, EF122, EF322
    This leaves these two aircraft which did serve with the unit:
    N3722
    W7622 - the codes section of the book shows this as XT-M, then XT-S
    Can anyone positively confirm the identity of XT-W please?
    Thanks,
    Andy

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    Default Re: Stirling XT-W of 1657 HCU

    Hi Andy,

    https://www.lancasterbombers.net/for...ds/stirling-8/
    AM Form 78 (Aircraft Movement Card) says:

    just confirmation what do you have already
    N6022 no service with 1657 CU
    N6122 no service with 1657 CU
    R9322 no service with 1657 CU
    W7522 no service with 1657 CU
    BF322 no service with 1657 CU
    BF522 no service with 1657 CU
    BK622 no service with 1657 CU
    BK722 no service with 1657 CU
    EF122 no service with 1657 CU
    EF322 no service with 1657 CU

    N3722 with 1657 CU since 2.10.42, Cat E 8.7.43
    W7622 with 1657 CU since 25.1.43, Cat E 25.6.44

    As for the picture I will bet on N3722 as it seems to me I can see the tip of "7" in front of "22". But it is only guess.

    Pavel
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 24th May 2021 at 05:53. Reason: typo
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Re: Stirling XT-W of 1657 HCU

    Pavel I agree that number cannot be a 6

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    Default Re: Stirling XT-W of 1657 HCU

    Thanks for the input. The same photo is on the excellent 218 Sqn website, which also shows the rear of the photo, dating it as Feb 43:
    https://218squadron.wordpress.com/flying-officer-john-frederick-harris-and-crew/
    Both of the candidate aircraft were with 1657 HCU at that time. But I agree that it does indeed seem that we are looking at N3722.

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    Default Re: Stirling XT-W of 1657 HCU

    Maybe Steve Smith, the admin of the website you mentioned, who is member of this forum may be able to give us clue?

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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