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Thread: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

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    Default Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Hello, Forumites.
    I wonder if anybody can help. Wellington Z8703 was lost on an op. over the Mediterranean on the 23rd December 41. AB serials say it was under the ownership of OADU, and the RAF Form 78 states it was en route to the ME.
    The crew were from 221 and 220 Sqns. 221 at that time was based in the UK, but foreseen to be transferred to the ME in early 42
    What was the story behind this, and where did it operate from?
    Tia
    Andy Wis

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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Hi Andy,

    I would bet for the AM Form 78 option - in those period it was quite common to fly new aircraft (I have researched at least two Wellington cases) with crew which was supposed to be posted to the ME too.

    HTH

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

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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Hello,

    221 Sqn had operated a detachment at Luqa, Malta, since September, 1941.

    29-30/9/ 1941.

    Lt.Cdr. J. G. Hunt arrived from the U.K. to take command of 830 Squadron viz Lt Pain, while new aircraft arrivals included a detachment of 'special' Wellington VIIIs of 221 Squadron, three aircraft under the command of Flt.Lt. A. Spooner. These aircraft were also fitted with ASV radar and were to undertake night reconnaissance sorties in conjunction with the Swordfish of 830 Squadron, a number of which had just been fitted with special receivers for the purpose.(p.305)

    23-12-41.

    On this date one of the 'Rooster' Wellingtons (Z8703) of 221 Squadron detachment, which was flown by Sgt W. D. Reason, failed to return from a special search. (p.354)

    Malta: The Hurricane Years 1940-41.
    Shores,Christopher, Cull,Brian & Nicola Malizia.
    London:Grub Street,1987,
    pp.305 & 354.

    Not sure about any connection, but -

    Tuesday, 23 December 1941.

    Serg Magg Gianni Bianchelli in his G.50bis of 159 Squadriglia, 12 Gruppo CT, reported that on patrolling over the coast near Tripoli, he spotted and pursued a Blenheim which he claimed to have shot down into the sea 30 miles off the coast. No aircraft of this type was reported lost in this area by the RAF (p.506).

    A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945 - Vol One. North Africa June 1949 - January 1942.
    Shores, Christopher et al.
    London:Grub Street,2012.
    p.506.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th June 2021 at 13:33.

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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941


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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Andy,
    Do you have any details of the 220 Sqn crew members?
    Robert

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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Paul,

    Are you referring to the ‘221.35’ notation? Believe that’s total aircraft flying hours at time of loss: ‘F. Hrs 221.35’.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 4th June 2021 at 14:49.

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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Robert

    Ah yes probably good catch - But defo not with OADU as it has post unit movements Paul

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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Robert:
    According to the AIR81 records on this site, there were two crew from 220 squadron - Sgts Reason and Reid. Other crewmen, from 221 Sqn, were Sgts Kingston, Gulliver, Hunt and F/Sgt Woolley Also in the aircraft was a S/Lt RH Cardwell, RN
    Like many of the Form 78 entries on aircraft going overseas, there was rarely any inter- theatre assignments stated as to where they went after leaving the UK…

    Thank you everyone for your inputs.
    Andy

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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Andy,

    Will see if I can find earlier service for Reason and Reid with 220 Sqn but feels suspect that they are identified with that unit and wonder if these two assignments are typos.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 5th June 2021 at 00:36.

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    Default Re: Wellington Z8703 - OADU/221 Dec. 1941

    Robert
    Could they have been on detachment to 221, but still officially on 220?
    Andy

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