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Thread: Lancaster, err Wellington wreck

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyffe View Post
    Creaking Door,

    Re your post No 80, at 1645 on 2 Oct . Does this debrief refer to the raid launched on the 23rd, or is it another raid the following day (it refers to a raid on Turin on 24th)?
    The way I read it take-off would have been late on the 24th November and landing early on the 25th November. The unhappy debriefing taking place on the 25th November; immediately after landing from a bombing raid seems to have been the usual practice.

    For those interested in the route(s) flown during this raid notice the phrase used by this crew in this account for their return: ‘We then went down the coast of Sardinia.’
    WA$.

  2. #122
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    Fascinating thread, wonderful work, gents [Edit] and lady! A great example of where lots of different people can bring specialist knowledge to unravelling the story.

    Marco, I have your e-mail and will reply shortly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    great reconstruction, thank you. Does anybody know if it is possible to publish on an eventual essay these images, taken from Google Earth? I should look and see for its editorial policy.
    If you are publishing as an academic not-for-profit exercise, check for permission first, and they may well be OK. If it's to be published in a book or magazine 'for profit', then you may be requested to pay a fee (one that often exceeds any possible payment - let alone the 'profit' part - for publication, btw). However it is possible to get an artist to create a specially drawn map for you. Who know who might pop up here next!

    Regards,
    Last edited by JDK; 19th October 2009 at 11:39.
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  3. #123
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    Hi all,


    Today, I am going to write the first part of my tale.. Historical day! If I'd be able to publish it, it would be nice to translate it all in English, then to submit here on this forum or to make it downloadable, in order to allow you all to read it..

    Ok, coming down from the orbit, you right JDK. I already published two manuals, one concerning Ayas Valley and the second about MTB, and both the time we had to kindly ask for maps. They're strictly protected by copyright. Maybe I could find common maps, drawing by myself with Photoshop their probable course.
    Yesterday night I came to know an interesting detail. This plane never dropped its charge. Its.. charge was then made explode by partisans in 1944. They first had to look for these weaps under the remaining snow.

    Ok, the last thing I would do is this: that night, during this raid over Torino, some other planes went lost. The question is, where?
    Why? For bad weather, for fuel lack or what?

  4. #124
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    Marco.

    It was purely the awful weather. And as regards the bomb on the mountain it is mentioned in the first MRES/MREU report in Glenwright's file. If you wait for the ORB from the National Archives it might tell you what the bomb loads were, and which of the aircraft which managed to return jettisoned their bombs and possible locations. It should also contain more eyewitness accounts of the weather experienced by 142 Squadron crews on the operation.

    Time of take off for LN466 was 16.41 on the 24th November. I would expect that take off times for the other Squadrons would have been simpler.

    Regards,

    kev35
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  5. #125
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    Gentlemen - your collective expertise simply astounds me.
    A few very modest comments. There were two Oudna airfields (about 10 miles apart), 142 being based at Oudna No.2. The average speed assumed for a Wimpey X of 175 mph seems high. The Pilots Notes recommend airspeeds of (at medium altitudes) 155 mph fully loaded on the outward journey & 140 mph lightly loaded on the homeward journey. My father flying from Djedeida recorded 7 hours 40 minutes on this operation. And I complain on a 31/2 hour Thomson flight to Crete!
    Bill

  6. #126
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    Bill,
    Have you got the co-ords for the 'other' Oudna? And which was One and which was Two?
    TIA
    Resmoroh
    Meteorology is a science: good meteorology is an art.

  7. #127
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    Halley's Squadrons of the Royal Air Force lists 142 being based at Oudna but 150 Squadron appears as based at Oudna 2.

    It was purely a guess as to speed Ballykellybrat, so I'm happy to be corrected. Surprised to find that the speed fully laden is greater than that when lightly loaded?

    Marco.

    Just for interest, the digitised files show that F/Sgt Knapp had a brother serving in the RAAF. His name is given as C H Knapp and he was a staff pilot at 1 WAGS (Wireless and Air Gunnery School?) at Ballarat.

    I think there's a lot more to add to all this if the time and the will is there. Personal details, obituaries, where they are commemorated, maybe even photographs of them, but I get the impression Marco now has what the needs.

    Not bad really for what started out as a search for a Lancaster.

    Regards,

    kev35
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  8. #128
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    Marco, I have a good Italian friend who speaks perfect English and is a writer too. I am sure he would translate the history into English for you if that would help?

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  9. #129
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    Can't be definitive but I reckon that Oudna No.1 is at 36.38.11.96N, 10.05.49.00E. No.2 is (probably) the current airfield at Bordj El Amri at 36.43.42.46N, 09.56.08.98E. It all seems to fit with Djedeida No.2 visible on Google Earth just to the North of Oudna No.2. 70 Squadron was at Djedeida No.1.
    HTH
    Bill

  10. #130
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    Hi all and thank you,


    Extremely interesting.
    Kev, you absolutely right, I started looking for a plane who never reached Issime, crashing somewhere over Milano.. And here what I found!
    I would like to ask you all some suggestions about contacting the families of there crewmembers. Would it be right or not? Would I only risk to re-open again, in 2009, a sad, old story they maybe forget? Would it be good to search for them, or not?

    Thank you Moggy, I also worked as translator, if possible I would be pleased to spend a whole month translating this eventual history in my best English or French.. There are no problems.

  11. #131
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    Bill,
    Tks yr info.
    We appear to be agreed that Oudna 1 was at 36.38.11.96N, 10.05.49.00E.
    Oudna 2 is (very possibly) at the current airfield at Borj el Amri. This, again, has a single runway (126/306 degrees True) fairly flat at about 100 ft AMSL, and about 1800m in length - there is nothing I can 'see' that indicates that it was ever any longer. I can 'see' from crop/soil marks no more than 20 hardstandings on a perimeter track on only the northeast side of the main runway (some may have been obscured by modern building). No problems in the circuit, or on approach.
    The runway at Jedeida is 020/200 degs True and 1800m in length (some tenuous indication that it might, at one stage, have been 2000m). Centre height 56ft AMSL (61ft at the southwest end, and 47ft at the northeast end). Again, the peritrack taxiway on both sides of the main runway with 50-odd 'banjo' type hardstandings. Looks like the US CBs had a standard pattern to work to.
    HTH
    Resmoroh
    Meteorology is a science: good meteorology is an art.

  12. #132
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    Kev,

    You asked earlier if there were any meteorological implications - there's not much that can usefully be added as the debriefs are consistent in describing typical active cold front conditions. That said there are a couple of things about the Flt/Lt Bill Turner's account (posted by CD on 2 October) that intrigue me.

    Firstly he quotes the aircraft flying at 120 mph (considerably slower than the speeds estimated by others (150-175 mph) in various posts in the thread. If the outbound leg was between 650 and 700 miles it would take between 5.5 and 6 hours to reach the target, which is consistent with the report from the lost aircraft that it was returning 6 hours after take-off.

    Secondly his quote refers to experiencing winds of 50-60 knots as being 'not good for aircraft flying at 120 mph'. I've been puzzling as to what he meant by 'not good'. Upper winds of that strength, associated with active cold fronts over the Mediterranean, are usually from between south and southwest, not from the northwest or north. I don't think he was referring to a headwind (definitely not good) nor a tailwind (which would have been useful), but rather a strong beam wind, especially as he notes the aircraft was blown off course.

    So I think those of you who are trying to plot the aircraft's actual track (as opposed to the planned one) should take into account the aircraft being east (possibly well east) of Portofino as it crossed the Italian coast.

    Brian

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyffe View Post
    Firstly he quotes the aircraft flying at 120 mph (considerably slower than the speeds estimated by others (150-175 mph) in various posts in the thread. If the outbound leg was between 650 and 700 miles it would take between 5.5 and 6 hours to reach the target, which is consistent with the report from the lost aircraft that it was returning 6 hours after take-off.
    I suppose it depends if 120 knots is their airspeed or groundspeed; since Bill Turner was navigator on this flight would it be unreasonable to assume he was quoting groundspeed because that would be what he would be using to follow the route and time turning points.
    WA$.

  14. #134
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    Lyffe.

    Thanks very much for that. The 175 mph was purely my spectacularly wild guess.

    Marco.

    I think you very much have the basic story behind LN466 but how far do you intend to go with it? Is this enough? Or would you like to explore the other avenues which may or may not be open? I'm thinking in terms of the following.....

    Using the ORB to track down how experienced each crew was.

    Discovering how many other operations they had completed and their targets.

    Trying to obtain photographs of them.

    Exploring the ways in which they are commemorated.

    Unearthing newspaper articles to provide further information.

    Possibly tracking down their families.

    All of the above are, to a greater or lesser degree, achievable.

    Your thoughts?

    Regards,

    kev35
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  15. #135
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    Guys,
    This is one of the most fashinating thread on here in a long time

    I´ve nothing to offer, but my thank you to all who have participated.
    Those who can.....do,
    Those who can not.....teach (that's me!)

  16. #136
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    Dear Galdri, you are absolutely welcome.
    It has been an incredible research for me, too. If you imagine that I was looking for the wrong plane..!!

    Dear Kev,

    you've done really important questions.
    In effect, I already have many details and I already started writing the first introductive pages of my "tale", during this weekend.
    I would like to know more, and I already found a very special witness, aged but more intelligent and active than me!, who is ready to tell me the "local history" of this old crash accident. In effect, I need to know who is the "doctor" who took the rests to the Issime Cemetery, who dismantled the plane.. and, if this would a perfect world, a photo of the wreck.

    I still do not know if it would be right to try to contact the Australian relatives and friends of these three crewmen. I asked for the ORB but still no answers from UK.
    Last edited by Marco S.; 13th October 2009 at 15:04.

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by galdri View Post
    Guys,
    This is one of the most fashinating thread on here in a long time

    I´ve nothing to offer, but my thank you to all who have participated.
    Can't agree more. Would like to nomimate this thread for the "best thread of 2009" award.
    Possunt quia posse videntur (They can because they think they can; motto RAF 19 Squadron)

    tracesofwar.com/

  18. #138
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    Marco, I don't think it has been mentioned before but I wonder if you know that a Memorial Certificate for each casualty can be printed off the CWGC website? This is the one for Sgt Ross.

    http://www.cwgc.org/search/certifica...sualty=2816774

  19. #139
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    Sgt Ross Carter, I should have written!

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco S. View Post
    ...I already found a very special witness, aged but more intelligent and active than me!, who is ready to tell me the "local history" of this old crash accident.
    Is it possible that any of the local witnesses remember the time of the crash? Although it would seem a lot to ask often it is easier to remember what time something occurred, but not the date.

    Quote Originally Posted by kev35 View Post
    Time of take off for LN466 was 16.41 on the 24th November.
    Thanks to Kev we have the exact take-off time and we have the planned route so it may be possible to work out something about how the aircraft came to be so far off course.
    WA$.

  21. #141
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    Hi all,

    GliderSpit, thank you!, I am really pleased of your appreciation.
    Atcham Tower, thanks, I already knew these pages, I would like to go and see for this cemetery, too. Working here in Milano I am sure to be able, someday.
    Creaking Door, mah!, I don't know. But this witness said to my friend, a doctor, that he saw the wreck. When I still believed in the Lancaster, as you remember, he already said "No, it crashed in November, just before the first snow". Maybe this weekend I'll go up there and hear a little more.

  22. #142
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    Marco.

    There is a lot of information to be found in the service records of the Australian crewmen if only you would care to read them.

    Regards,

    kev35
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  23. #143
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    Dear Kev,


    In effect, I am reading by night these documents, because I am actually very busy at work. I work from 9.00 to 20.00 without launch stop and this will continue until the end of October.

    Australian records, I immediately ordered and paid, are useful. I already read the ones concerning two of the three crewmen.
    Anyway, I would also ask as better as possible to the aged person who saw and heard this crash. I am looking for whatever source I could find. In the very few freetime I have.

  24. #144
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    Marco,
    You are accumulating a lot of documentary evidence (personnel files, etc).
    You are possibly going to get some more HUMINT (i.e. info from somebody in the place at the time).
    Had you thought of getting somebody from the Flight Simulator world to "fly" the route in the equivalent of a Wellington?
    I say this because a few years ago I "flew" the equivalent of a Halifax over a particular route. We were able (from times/heights/visibilities, etc, etc) to determine that it was highly likely that the taped reminiscences of a Rear Gunner were not actually possible!!!
    Just a thought!
    HTH
    Resmoroh
    Meteorology is a science: good meteorology is an art.

  25. #145
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    Hi Resmoroh,


    incredible - is it possible to use a flight simulator???
    I supposed that this kind of software was just a game..

  26. #146
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    Marco,
    It is indeed possible. If you can find a modern airframe that replicates (roughly) the performance characteristics (height, speed, etc) of a Wellington then it does not matter that you are using some modern airframe. The modern Flight Sim programs allow you to input (and change) the winds and weather - and then re-"fly" the route (again, and again, if necessary!!!).
    I am not a qualified Pilot, but I was taught how to handle an aircraft. I can see a lot of these problems not just from the Met Man's angle, but also the Pilot's angle. When you finish your hard day's work at 2000 get yourself down to your local Flt Sim Club. They will welcome you because you have a "real" problem. Do not blame me if you do not get to bed until the early hours of the morning. Investigations of this sort can become addictive, but just once in a while they throw up the answer to your problem.
    Good fun, as we say in UK
    HTH
    Resmoroh
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 14th October 2009 at 15:33.
    Meteorology is a science: good meteorology is an art.

  27. #147
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    Dear Resmoroh,


    Thank you: this is a fascinating idea. I will try to find some simulator's fan and I will provide him\ her the most detailed infos on this kind of bomber, course, weather and so on.

    I underlined that I am obliged to read and study this material only by night to answer to Kev, who suggested me to read better the NAA documents. I just want to say that this search for me is a real pleasure, and whatever amount of paper to be read will never reach the risk, the fatigue and level of attention requested to reach the crash point.
    I would also like to repeat, as already done in this topic and elsewhere, that all my sources (persons, archives, titles of books and so on) will be clearily showed, if I will publish my essay. This is out of question.

  28. #148
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    Good luck Marco.

    I hope your research reaches a satisfactory conclusion.

    Regards,

    kev35
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  29. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resmoroh View Post
    Marco,
    It is indeed possible. If you can find a modern airframe that replicates (roughly) the performance characteristics (height, speed, etc) of a Wellington then it does not matter that you are using some modern airframe.
    How about this chaps?

    http://www.flightsim.com/main/review/wellngtn.htm

  30. #150
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    This should provide a bit more, the extracts from the Operations Record Book for No.142 Sqn.

    The crew had flown a few operations since arriving in mid-October 43 and had already lost a crewman, their Navigator.

    No.142 Squadron, Oudna:

    October 17th 1943, “The following replacement crew posted to this Unit w.e.f. 16/10: SGT J.G. WADE (P), P/O S. POTTS (NAV), SGT A.C. GLENWRIGHT (B/A), SGT J.F. KNAPP (W/OP), SGT K.R. CARTER (A/G).

    October 21st 1943, “The crew missing last night were: F/S CLOSE S.M. (P), F/S WILLIAMS R.C. (B/A), W/O CRANER J.J. (W/OP), SGT SMITH P.L. (A/G) and F/O POTTS S. (NAV) who was navigator in SGT WADE’s crew. F/S ROBINS navigator in F/S CLOSE’s crew is sick.”

    November 24th 1943, “Fifteen a/c were detailed to bomb the Fiat Ball Bearing Plant at Turin. One a/c (a 4000lb) went to advance base at KIMAS/SARDINIA but did not take off owing to refuelling difficulties. One aircraft returned early with engine trouble. Eight aircraft landed safely at BASE. Five aircraft are unaccounted for and must be presumed missing. Owing to extremely bad weather conditions N of CORSICA six aircraft were forced to turn back. Two aircraft reached the target area but were unable to identify owing to 10/10 low cloud. One of the eight accounted for was acting as illuminator for 231 Wing but was forced to turn back by the weather conditions. The weather was fair up to G.CORSE then deteriorated rapidly with 10/10 medium from 2-5000’ and another layer of 10/10 from 6000 to over 11000. Rain and icing was encountered above 7000. From the whole Group nineteen aircraft are unaccounted for.”

    November 24th 1943,
    “Wellington X
    P. LN466

    F/S Wade J. P
    A.410323 F/S Glenwright A. N
    A.415664 F/S Knapp J. B
    Sgt Carter K. W/Op
    Sgt Lawrence K. RG

    Up: 16:41

    6x500, 2x250
    ETA message sent – returning bad weather. No further news”

    November 29th 1943, “Squadron Stand-Down. One of the crews missing on the night 24/25.11 (F/S BRYANT and crew) are now known to be safe, having made their way to BASTIA/CORSICA. The crew now unaccounted for from the night 24/25.11 are: F/S R.C. TYASS (P), SGT SUMMERS F. (NAV), SGT KNIGHT W. (B/A), SGT LE BOLDUS J. (A/G) – SGT WADE J.G. (P), F/S LAWRENCE L.E. (NAV), SGT GLENWRIGHT A.C. (B/A), SGT KNAPP J.F. (W/OP), SGT CARTER K.R. (A/G) – SGT HETTS R.H. (P), SGT HURNELL P. (NAV), SGT SMITH S.F. (B/A), SGT BOWMAN C.T. (W/OP), SGT BARTON S.A. (A/G) – SGT OULLETTE S.J. (P), P/O MAIR C.M. (NAV), SGT ARMSTRONG G.P. (B/A), SGT BOWERING G. (W/OP), SGT TOPP G.U. (A/G) – SGT SMITH A.D. (P) was flying as second Pilot and SGT CLARK H.A. (W/OP) as Wireless Operator in F/S TYASS’ crew.”


    The National Archives file reference is AIR 27/974

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