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Thread: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

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    Default Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Hi

    I have been researching my Grandfathers RAF record, and generally getting an understanding of his service. I came across these images in a family album, which has the caption, the one he walked away from.

    My grandfather was a tail gunner, sand got shot through the shoulder in this incident. Not sure he ever flew in a Wellington bomber squadron so this may have been a training unit incident.

    Having looked carefully it looks like a Wellington bomber, with a partial serial number.

    Can someone confirm it is a Wellington bomber - thank you
    Also if it is any help with trying to find a AIR81 for that aircraft... have searched but RAF commands currently is upto 1942, so maybe after that.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bphnluzysi...e%201.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/h9suetuy9d...e%202.jpg?dl=0

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Looks like a Wellington, and possibly Wellington III BK499...? Served with 429 Sqn as AL-J:

    http://www.429sqn.ca/429sqnacidwell.htm

    Served with No. 429 (B) Squadron, RCAF, coded 'AL*J'. Flew mining operation to the Frisian islands January 21/22, 1943. Brought mines back, couldn't locate aiming point. Bombed Wilhelmshaven on 19 February 1943. Bombed Cologne on 26 February 1943. Mining operation to Nectarine 1 area on 27 February 1943. Bombed St. Nazarine on 28 February 1943. Mining operation to Nectarine on 2 March 1943. Bombed Hamburg on 3 March 1943. Bombed Essen on 12 March 1943. Completed this mission despite mid-air collision, landed at East Streathan on return [sic - East Wretham?].

    How does that fit in with your grandfather's service record?
    Regards

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

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Hello The initial post refers to his grandfathers RAF record. The rear gunner on Wellington BK-499 was a RCAF chap by the name of D. Wiley.

    Richard.k

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard.K View Post
    Hello The initial post refers to his grandfathers RAF record. The rear gunner on Wellington BK-499 was a RCAF chap by the name of D. Wiley.

    Richard.k
    Hi All

    Thanks for replies. Grandfather was
    Donald Marshall Clark
    Served with 77 / 300 / 550

    thanks

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Further to this, I found a mention in the the 77 orb (17/8/1943) where he was in an aircraft Halifax JB911 that was shot and hit by another aircraft. When the records was pulled there is a note sayin he was shot in the back during this mission. So now a bit confused about the image in the album.

    Also does anyone have a source for info on the repairs to that aircraft (JB911) or a way of getting an accident report.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Not quite my thing but until someone else comes along...

    The Bomber Command History/Lancaster Bombers site has collections of
    AM Form 78 Aircraft Movement cards
    and
    AM Form 1180 Accident Record cards
    along with a key to abbreviations.

    Assuming the Ops Record Book entry is correct (date, Type and serial), the
    Form 78 image for Halifax II JB911 is here:
    http://lancasterbombersinfo.ipage.co...ile/index.html [leaf forward to image 80]
    It seems to record events requiring repair on 16 Sep 43 and 19 Nov 43 - no 17 Aug 43 entry
    And for whatever reason, there is no corresponding Form 1180 for 17 Aug 43 in
    http://lancasterbombersinfo.ipage.co.../Part-1/1.html [leaf forward from image 87]
    Nor for the other Form 78 dates, assuming I've interpreted them correctly.

    The alternative is to ask the RAF Museum Enquiry Service for a copy of the AM Form 1180:
    you need the give correct date and aircraft type, as explained here:
    https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documen...5-Aircraft.pdf

    Further, the 77 Sqn Ops Record Book Form 541 Record of Events
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8454134
    confirms Halifax II JB911 'X' with P/O DM Clark as rear gunner on 17/18 Aug 43
    But as far as I can see, makes no mention of the aircraft being hit by enemy fire, nor of injury to crew, the a/craft returning safe at 0428hrs.
    Confirmed for aircraft 'X' in Form 540 Summary of events 17 Aug at https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8454133

    Some other member may be able to advise more.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 29th December 2022 at 10:32.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Hi Don

    Thanks for the info.

    I realised the info re orb was actually handwritten on the orb - my apologies. But in the orb there is mention of another aircraft opening fire from dead ahead on JB911

    Here is the orb
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jby8p1itrq...20Orb.png?dl=0

    The mission finished on the 18th, but the 1180 records still dont show the repair. Will follow up suggested links

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Thank you.

    I gave the TNA links to both the Form 541 and Form 540 ops record pages and read both pages for that op and aircraft carefully.

    The Form 541 Details, as I read them, report that the other aircraft "opened fire from dead ahead" but do not in fact say that JB911 was the aircraft being fired upon (nor hit).
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Hello,

    From "Summary of Aircraft Damaged by Enemy Action at Night - No. 18 16 Aug - 1 Sep 1943" the only No. 77 Squadron Halifax damaged (flak) on 17/18 August 1943 was BB284 "B"

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: Help with image - Confirm it is Wellington and Maybe info on aircraft

    Donald Marshall Clark
    Flight Sgt Donald Marshall Clark 911391 RAFVR was commissioned as
    Pilot Officer (prob'n, emergency) Donald Marshall Clark (148038) RAFVR
    as per London Gazette (Supplement 17 Aug 43) wef 19 Jun 1943.
    See https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/3685

    Acting Flight Lieutenant DM Clark 148038 RAFVR of 550 Squadron RAF
    was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (notified London Gazette (Supplement 23 Mar 1945)
    No citation, and among a considerable roll of like (that is, non-immediate) awards
    (that is, those made, broadly speaking, for sustained courage and devotion to duty on operations eg after completing one or more ops tour/s).
    See https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/1597
    Another member may have details of the recommendation or citation from Air Ministry sources.

    77 Sqn 17/18 Aug 43
    Just for completeness, light flak damage to Halifax BB284 'B' confirmed by Form 541 Details, previously cited.
    Note: RAF Ops record dates in form as shown indicate
    night T/O [/I]before midnight (17) +
    return after midnight (18).
    Not to be taken as any uncertainty as to actual date/s.
    Further, 77 Sqn never operated Wellingtons. Halifaxes of various Marks from Oct 1942 to Aug 1945.

    300 Sqn
    Re-equipped with Vickers Wellington aircraft from Oct 1940, successively Marks IC (to Dec 41), IV (from Aug 41-Jan 43), III (Jan 43-Apr 43), X (Mar 43 - Apr 44).
    The two images are certainly a Wellington: fin, fuselage+fabric cover, geodetic airframe members all agree - Wellington with no doubt.
    Mark cannot be assessed from this angle, but both show heavy damage to the rear fuselage of the aircraft fwd of the turret.
    To my (inexperienced Bomber Cmd) eye, the damage looks more like a heavy cannon fire than collision, but open to correction by more experienced eyes.
    Serial certainly ending in 999, possibly but not certainly _Y999: another member may be able to cite likely serial ranges.

    550 Sqn
    Formed Nov 1943, operated Lancaster I and III aircraft from then until disbanded 31 Oct 1945.

    Summary
    Though without dates for his 77 Sqn, 300 Sqn or 550 Sqn service, from the above it seems very likely the images show a 300 Sqn Wellington.
    Suggest these things:

    1) Either ask a member here with knowledge of Wellington Serial groups to check the relevant Air Britain RAF Aircraft serial books for _ _ 999 Wellington aircraft of 300 Sqn or just possibly an OTU, (then the db here, once full serial known).
    and/or check the TNA Ops Record Book for 300 Squadron Form 541 sets, throughout his period of service, for a Wellington serial ending in 999 (if shown)
    and/or revisit the Form 1180 collection cited above and leaf through Wellington aircraft records for a 300 Sqn aircraft ending in 999

    2) If not done, and assuming your Grandfather has died (& with NoK permission if in last 25 yrs) , apply for copy of RAF Record/s of Service.
    Costs 30 pounds. Details (follow them closely) are here:
    https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military...-elses-records

    Sources
    Halley Squadrons of the RAF & Cwlth 1918-1988 AB 1988
    London Gazette online search
    TNA 77 Sqn Ops Record Book 1943 as cited previously

    Notes
    I should perhaps add that I am no relation to Donald Marshall Clark DFC

    Correction
    Partial serial ends 499 - a big oops on my part, eh.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 31st December 2022 at 12:17. Reason: Oops!
    Toujours propos

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