Author Topic: Air Force Lookups - if you need help  (Read 105175 times)

Offline charlotteCH

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #18 on: Thursday 03 July 08 10:13 BST (UK) »
KYT, Radar has been mentioned and that makes me wonder how commonly it was in use in Lancasters in 1944. Earlier you gave me the info below on Mission 3 and from this I concluded that haley had radar onboard.  the reason I amcurious about how widespread its use was  is that amongst his belongings is a ltter from our father congratulating him on being selected to trail some new radar gear.  Does this bring anything to mind for  you? Would this have been the fishpond Haley mentioned?
Any comments very much appreciated.. and thanks,
charlotte
~~~~~~~~---------
Mission 3 (page 130) – Berlin 24/3/1944. Pilot of  ND364. Waller is still MU Gunner. Took off 18.57 Landed 03.08. Pilot’s comments – “Coned* for 15 minutes in south (can’t make out name) area, and subjected to intense predicted accurate high flak. About two minutes after attacked by 3 fighters over 16 mins. Owe our lives to fishpond**”

*by searchlights
** fishpond was airborne radar to help in detecting enemy fighters
~~~~~~~~------------

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Offline kyt

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #19 on: Thursday 03 July 08 11:55 BST (UK) »
Fishpond was indeed a form of radar used on RAF bombers - it was an extension of a form of radar called H2S. H2S was used to "map" the ground to aid with targetting, and it was discovered that with a bit of additional equipment, it could also be used to warn of enemy aircraft approaching from below.

A favourite tactic of the Germans was to approach from below and attack the aircraft with upward firing cannons - usually aimed at the wings and the fuel tanks. The Lancaster was vulnerable to ths approach because it had no belly turrets and hence no one to warn the pilot of an impending attack.

H2S was first used in early 1943, and by 1944 was used widely on aircraft. However, it was still a specialised job given to the Radio Operator and those who had qualified before its wide usage had to go on special courses.

However, your brother was a pilot so neither H2S or Fishpond would have been his direct responsibility. He may have gone specialist crew training, as the system was being developed in 1943 whilst he was at his OTU. What is the date of the letter?

K

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Offline charlotteCH

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #20 on: Thursday 03 July 08 11:59 BST (UK) »
Will have to dig it out  and get back to you kyt. I remember having read the letter but finding it ... well that's another matter.
I knew about the german guns being aimed upwards and hitting the planes belly but didn't know the Lancasters were especially vulnerable.  And so many Lancs went on that raid.

Thanks,
charlotte

Offline kyt

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #21 on: Thursday 03 July 08 12:08 BST (UK) »
Lancaster belly guns had been trialed but not found to be very good. And for a long time the RAF authorities did not know what was happening to their aircraft and wouldn't believe the few survivors' stories. They carried on believing that the Germans were firing at the aircraft from below by climbing hard and pointing their nose guns (which meant that the aircraft would shoot past as it attacked and so the belly gunner wouldn't really get a good shot - in reality, the enemy aircaft crawled along below the Lancaster until in position, and had a lot more time to do it)

K

Offline charlotteCH

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #22 on: Thursday 03 July 08 13:24 BST (UK) »
Thanks for that kyt. 
My brother's plane seems to have been brought down by another type of shot--- after the war my parents went to Germany and met the girl and her father, the mayor of the town near which the Lancaster had come down and who had gone out that night to the downed plane.    They said my brother, in the cockpit, had been shot in the head, so the gun fire must have come through the cockpit windows.
charlotte

Offline Aulus

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #23 on: Friday 25 July 08 17:28 BST (UK) »
Hello kyt,

Just wondering if there's anything you can add to what I've already discovered/been told about my great uncle, William Edward Collis? 

Born 25 May 1918 in Forest Gate, London

CWGC info:
Name: COLLIS, WILLIAM EDWARD
Initials: W E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (Obs.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 57 Sqdn.
Age: 24
Date of Death: 20/06/1942
Service No: 930440
Additional information: Son of James William Collis, and of Rosetta Florence Collis. of Ilford Essex.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Grave 2.
Cemetery: HELLENDOORN GENERAL CEMETERY

Lostbombers.co.uk info:

Wellington Z1611 Information
Type    Wellington
Serial Number    Z1611
Squadron    57
X1D    DX-R
Operation    Emden
Date 1    19th June 1942
Date 2    20th June 1942

Further Information

"Serial Range Z1592 - Z1626. 35 Wellington Mk.111 Part of a batch of 440 Wellington Mk/1C/1V/111. Z1040-Z1054; Z1066-Z1115; Z1139-Z1181 108 Mk.1C delivered by Vickers (Chester) between May41 and Mar42. Z1071; Z1150 converted to Mk.XV1. Z1182-Z1183; Z1202-Z1221; Z1243-Z1292; Z1311-Z1345; Z1375-Z1424; Z1459-Z1496 195 Mk.1V delivered by Vickers (Chester) between Jun41 and Mar42. Z1562-Z1578; Z1592-Z1626; Z1648-Z1697; Z1717-Z1751 137 Mk.111 delivered by Vickers (Chester) between Nov41 and May42. Airborne 2345 19Jun42 from Feltwell. Shot down by a night-fighter (Oblt Viktor Bauer, 111./NJG1) and crashed 0237 20Jun42 near Rhaan (Overijssel), 5 km N of Hellendoorn, Holland. At 24 years of age, Sgt Collis was the eldest; his skipper, Sgt Ashworth was the yougest in the crew, being aged just 19. Sgt D.W.Ashworth KIA Sgt W.E.Collis KIA Sgt B.Chadwick KIA Sgt H.A.Payne KIA Sgt C.J.Morgan KIA "
Lancashire: Stevenson, Wild, Holden, Jepson
Worcs/Staffs: Steventon, Smith
East London & Suffolk: Guest, Scrutton
East London: Palfreman (prev Tyneside), Bissell, Collis, Dearlove, Ettridge
Herts: Camac, Collis, Mason, Dorrington, Siggens
Marylebone & Sussex: Cole
London & Huntingdonshire: Freeman
Bowland: Marsden, Noble
Shropshire: Guest

Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline kyt

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #24 on: Friday 25 July 08 18:58 BST (UK) »
Hi Aulus

I don't have much more than you have at the moment.

The Bomber Command Diaries states:

185 aircraft of 5 types attacked.

8 aircraft - 3 Wellingtons, 2 Stirlings, 1 Halifax and 1 Lancaster were lost

Only part of the bomber force identified the target. Emden reports about 100 houses damaged and 1 person injured.


I shall have look to see if I can add anything more

K

Offline kyt

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #25 on: Friday 25 July 08 19:23 BST (UK) »
Just to add that the attacker was more likely to be Herbert Lutje not Bauer. Lutje made a claim for a Wellington over Raalte, which is very close to the crash site, a few minutes before the crash.

Viktor Bauer was a famous ace but mainly on the Eastern front. And he made claims for some Mig-3s on that date, which places him in the wrong place. Lostbombers seem to have confused him with Martin Bauer of NJG1, who also made a claim for a Wellington that night.

Lostbombers has a number of mistakes and one needs to be careful in using it.

K

Offline kennyg

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Re: Air Force Lookups - if you need help
« Reply #26 on: Friday 25 July 08 20:05 BST (UK) »
Hi Kyt,

Thanks for offer.

I am trying to track down more information on my Great Uncle - John David Gibb.
 
I believe he died as a Pilot Under Training at 22 AS in Vereeniging on 29th February 1944.  His service number was 1672288 suggesting he enlisted at RAF Padgate in 1941.  He is listed on the CWGC site as David John Gibb.

Family stories suggest he hit power lines.  I'd like to be able to track down his service record and to confirm the circumstances of his death.

Anything you can tell me would be gratefully received!

Kenny