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Thread: Fairey Battle anomalies

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    Default Fairey Battle anomalies

    I've just been looking at two 12 Sqn Battles both lost in May 40:
    L4949 lost 10 May 40
    L4950 lost 14 May 40
    Both seem to have been delivered new to 12 Sqn
    Both are shown in the ORB as being code V.
    Assuming the ORB is correct (not always, as we know), L4950 must have had another code until replacing L4949 as PH-V after the loss of that aircraft.
    Does anyone know what that code was please? Given the stresses of stemming the German advance at that time, I'm surprised they had time to recode any aircraft....

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    Default Re: Fairey Battle anomalies

    An Ebay photo "discovered" on TOCH caught my eye.
    https://www.ebay.de/itm/324686688154...wAAOSwJjlg0acg
    As Paul McMillan noted there, it clearly shows L5248/RH-B of 88 Sqn being looked over by German troops.
    However, BoF quotes L5248 as being lost on 6 May 40, saying:

    "Crashed at Villiers-Charlemagne, east of Houssay, during endurance test; cause not stated. Sergeant N.F.F. Giddings and LAC C.J. Goddard killed. Sergeant Adcock injured. Aircraft a write-off"

    That does not look like an aircraft in which two crew lost their lives to me. I think we are looking for another serial for the 6 May 40 loss.
    The 88 Sqn Record of Events just records the loss, having being compiled in September (the unit's records were destroyed on evacuation from France).

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    Default Re: Fairey Battle anomalies

    Hello Andy,
    The photo link in your post . The serial number is shown on the fuselage and also the rudder.
    The "8" could have been missidentified. It could be seen to be a '9". So L5249 after all ?
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 24th June 2021 at 12:55.

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    Default Re: Fairey Battle anomalies

    Alex,
    Thanks. I presume you are referring to the possibility of it being L5249? However, this was lost with 12 Sqn as PH-D, also in May 1940.
    looking at the photo again, it sure looks like L5248, both on the fuselage and the tail.
    Andy

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Andy Marden For This Useful Post:

    Alex Smart (24th June 2021)

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    Default Re: Fairey Battle anomalies


  7. The Following User Says Thank You to paulmcmillan For This Useful Post:

    Alex Smart (24th June 2021)

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    Default Re: Fairey Battle anomalies

    Andy,

    The Battle lost on 6 May 1940 was L5243. Confirmed by the AIR 81/2061 casualty file for this crew. The wreck was recovered and brought to 21 Air Depot at Chateau Bougon. I have seen at least one photo of the tail unit of L5243 in the scrap dump there with the serial visible.
    The new photos are definitely of L5248 RH-B, abandoned - I believe - at Herbouville on 14 June 1940. Again I have seen clearer photos leaving no doubt as to the serial.
    Cannot help with the L4949/L4950 PH-V problem. It has puzzled me for a long time too.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Default Re: Fairey Battle anomalies

    Gents,
    Thanks for the further input.
    There is a photo of an 88 Sqn Battle captioned as L5243 on Page 294 of BoF. It does indeed look like a good candidate for the loss on 6 May 40.
    Andy

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    Default Re: Fairey Battle anomalies

    Thanks for the second picture it shows definitely L5248

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    Default Re: Fairey Battle anomalies

    That photo on page 294 of 'The Battle of France, Then & Now' is definitely not L5243. Note the German soldier in the photo. L5243 was salvaged by an RAF recovery team and dumped in the scrapheap at Chateau Bougon before the evacuation from France.
    I have been unable to identify that photo on page 294 with any certainty, but I now believe it could be L5233. Many photos have surfaced of the burnt L5233, apparently at Mourmelon-le-Grand airfield, under the wing of an intact Bloch MB200. There are some similarities in the damage between the photo on page 294 and the others. It seems likely to me that the first photo shows L5233 where it was initially destroyed on the edge of the airfield but all the others show it after it and other aircraft were all moved to a central scrapheap before final disposal by the Germans. This needs to be confirmed - or disproved - and I would welcome any input that would do so.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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