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Franek Grabowski 16th January 2005 15:32

SWP Friendly Fire
 
I have Boomerang A46-88 flown by F/O J Collier downed by AAA. Does anyone have a date, christian name and fate of F/O Collier and details of victorious US unit?
Also I have Kittyhawk of 78 Wg damaged while flown by Frederick Scherger , who went unscathed when attacked by USN aircraft in Finschhafen area. I am looking for a date, rank of Scherger, details of Kitty and anything regarding US pilot involved.
Thanks

Ota Jirovec 16th January 2005 16:33

Hello Franek,

F/O James Keith Collier of 4 Sqn RAAF was shot down and killed by US fround fire over Nassau Bay on 5 July 1943. Apparently it was the first Boomerang lost on operations.

source: www.adf-serials.com

You can try the same page to find out the deails of Scherger´s Kittyhawk (there are too many...).

Hope this helps a little,

Ota

Franek Grabowski 17th January 2005 12:05

Thanks Ota
Unfortunatelly there is no Kitty flown by any Scherger listed. Interestingly I have a Wirraway lost due to FF on 5 July 1943. Wondering if it is an error. Still a tip of iceberg I think! 49 FG had a lot of such incidents.
Best wishes

Six Nifty .50s 22nd January 2005 18:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Unfortunatelly there is no Kitty flown by any Scherger listed. Interestingly I have a Wirraway lost due to FF on 5 July 1943. Wondering if it is an error. Still a tip of iceberg I think! 49 FG had a lot of such incidents.
Best wishes

Compared to the ETO, not many planes were involved in friendly fire mistakes in the Pacific. Some incidents involving the Australians:

USAAF P-40E (41-5551) was shot down by Australian AA fire at Darwin, April 4th, 1942. Lt. Grover Gardner bailed out.

RAAF Beaufort (A9-225) mistakenly attacked a US Navy PB4Y Liberator, and the Beaufort was subsequently shot down by return fire from the Liberator, July 12th, 1943. (This has been corrected: originally, I wrote the wrong serial number of A9-224).

RNZAF P-40M (NZ3084) crashed after it was hit by a falling bomb dropped by a B-24 Liberator on August 30th, 1943. (This type of accident was fairly common, especially over Europe. Falling drop tanks was another hazard).

RAAF P-40N (A-29-688) was shot down by friendly fire (apparently hit by rockets from unidentified source) on October 13th, 1944, which killed the pilot F/O Peter Parkinson.

RAAF Beaufighter (A8-85) was shot down by the blast from its own rockets, and the pilot also misidentified the target. They sank a private yacht owned by the Rajah of Sarawak, but it was claimed as a Japanese Oil Tanker, August 7th, 1945. The crew survived the crash.

When RAAF P-40s first arrived overhead their new base in Port Moresby, Australian airfield defense units opened fire on them as they came in for a landing. Four Kittyhawks were damaged by AA fire, but I don't know the serials. In March 1944, RAAF P-40s from 78 Squadron and an RAAF Beaufighter from 30 Squadron attacked two US Navy patrol boats off New Britain -- PT 121 and PT 353 both exploded and sank. Eight men were killed.

In Europe, there were too many friendly fire accidents to count. During the Battle of Britain, at least thirty-six British aircraft were shot down in error by the RAF or by British anti-aircraft batteries. The Luftwaffe may have lost a higher total during Operation Bodenplatte.

Franek Grabowski 23rd January 2005 14:29

Thanks for the reply.

Quote:

Compared to the ETO, not many planes were involved in friendly fire mistakes in the Pacific.
I thin it is just only a matter of research and identification. White tails were not introduced without reason!

Quote:

USAAF P-40E (41-5551) was shot down by Australian AA fire at Darwin, April 4th, 1942. Lt. Grover Gardner bailed out.
Do you have units of both Gardner and AA?

Quote:

RAAF Beaufort (A9-224) mistakenly attacked a US Navy PB4Y Liberator, and the Beaufort was subsequently shot down by return fire from the Liberator, July 12th, 1943.
Are you sure of the serial? ADF site notes A9-224 survived the war. Any details concerning crews and units?

Quote:

When RAAF P-40s first arrived overhead their new base in Port Moresby, Australian airfield defense units opened fire on them as they came in for a landing. Four Kittyhawks were damaged by AA fire, but I don't know the serials.
Do you have any date for it?

Quote:

In Europe, there were too many friendly fire accidents to count. During the Battle of Britain, at least thirty-six British aircraft were shot down in error by the RAF or by British anti-aircraft batteries.
I have not that many written off RAF aircraft, around 20 I think, plus several more damaged. Have you got any list of them?

Quote:

The Luftwaffe may have lost a higher total during Operation Bodenplatte.
John Manrho should comment this! ;)

Six Nifty .50s 23rd January 2005 17:13

Gardner was from the 49th Pursuit Group. One of his mates was future ace George Preddy, whose diary entry confirms that Gardner's plane was hit by ack ack over Darwin. Preddy later crashlanded a P-51D after being fatally wounded by a .50 caliber bullet fired by the U.S. 12th Anti-Aircraft Group, December 1944.

The Beaufort was A9-225, not A9-224.

Don't know the exact date when the Kittyhawks were damaged by AA fire at Port Moresby.

The number of RAF planes shot down in error during the Battle of Britain (36) was quoted by Stephen Bungay who was interviewed in a TV documentary series called SPITFIRE ACE. I recorded this program and watched it again today.

There is no doubt that some friendly fire mistakes were covered up. One of the RAF pilots interviewed was Iain Hutchinson of 222 Squadron, who said that he was shot down by another Spitfire and then bailed out with burns. The official version of the story, as far as I can ascertain, was that Hutchinson's Spitfire (R6772) crashed after combat with an Me 109 on September 18th, 1940.

Franek Grabowski 23rd January 2005 19:31

Thanks for the next reply.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
The number of RAF planes shot down in error during the Battle of Britain (36) was quoted by Stephen Bungay who was interviewed in a TV documentary series called SPITFIRE ACE. I recorded this program and watched it again today.

I am curious what was his source, nonetheless I believe the number was actually much higher.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
There is no doubt that some friendly fire mistakes were covered up. One of the RAF pilots interviewed was Iain Hutchinson of 222 Squadron, who said that he was shot down by another Spitfire and then bailed out with burns. The official version of the story, as far as I can ascertain, was that Hutchinson's Spitfire (R6772) crashed after combat with an Me 109 on September 18th, 1940.

Well, they were covered quite well. I have a case of a shot up RAF Mustang but ORBs of all Mustang Squadrons say there were no sorties that day!
Hutchinson, have not had this one and I suppose his Spitfire was possibly credited to a RAF pilot as a Me 109 as there are some claims in the approximate time and area.

Six Nifty .50s 25th January 2005 05:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Thanks for the next reply.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
The number of RAF planes shot down in error during the Battle of Britain (36) was quoted by Stephen Bungay who was interviewed in a TV documentary series called SPITFIRE ACE. I recorded this program and watched it again today.

I am curious what was his source

Hello Franek. Bungay said that he examined the record personally. He probably tapped into several sources for information.

What reference are you working from?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Quote:

Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
There is no doubt that some friendly fire mistakes were covered up. One of the RAF pilots interviewed was Iain Hutchinson of 222 Squadron, who said that he was shot down by another Spitfire and then bailed out with burns. The official version of the story, as far as I can ascertain, was that Hutchinson's Spitfire (R6772) crashed after combat with an Me 109 on September 18th, 1940.

Well, they were covered quite well. I have a case of a shot up RAF Mustang but ORBs of all Mustang Squadrons say there were no sorties that day!

I have another candidate. Maybe you have read that the L-5 observation plane carrying General George S. Patton came under attack by an RAF fighter on April 20th, 1945. According to his diary entry (see THE PATTON PAPERS) the RAF pilot made several passes and on the last, failed to pull out of a dive and crashed. Patton wrote that the plane appeared to be a Spitfire, and that the pilot may have been a Polish flyer with one of the RAF squadrons.

BTW you might want to read the following article about E.J.B. Nicolson, the only fighter pilot to win a Victoria Cross during World War II. Certain parts of his ordeal during that mission were omitted in the official accounts of his award, but they are mentioned here:

http://www.commandsite.net/Units/Tan..._nicolson.html

Franek Grabowski 25th January 2005 15:28

Hello

Quote:

Bungay said that he examined the record personally. He probably tapped into several sources for information.
What reference are you working from?
Well, I have not found any statistics nor anything in that kind but my access to ex-PRO is quite limited, so I did no extensive search there. Procat did not return too many matching documents, however. My sources are publications and such documents like ORBs or PCRs.

Quote:

I have another candidate. Maybe you have read that the L-5 observation plane carrying General George S. Patton came under attack by an RAF fighter on April 20th, 1945. According to his diary entry (see THE PATTON PAPERS) the RAF pilot made several passes and on the last, failed to pull out of a dive and crashed. Patton wrote that the plane appeared to be a Spitfire, and that the pilot may have been a Polish flyer with one of the RAF squadrons.
No Polish fighter was lost on 20 April 1945 but I recall a story by a Pole who could have been the pilot. His comment was - he was bl**dy lucky I was not an American.

Quote:

BTW you might want to read the following article about E.J.B.
Nicolson, the only fighter pilot to win a Victoria Cross during World War II.
Yes, I know the story but not sure if it fits into my table. Another well known pilot killed similar way was Ortmans and I recall there was a well known French pilot killed in 1940 by a Belgian(?) shuttle operator.

Six Nifty .50s 25th January 2005 19:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Well, I have not found any statistics nor anything in that kind but my access to ex-PRO is quite limited, so I did no extensive search there. Procat did not return too many matching documents, however. My sources are publications and such documents like ORBs or PCRs.


Even if statistics were available from the RAF, it would still be wise to check other sources. On August 16th 1940, the same day that M.A. King and E.J.B. Nicolson were mistakenly shot by British soldiers, Hurricane P3173 (Pilot Officer J.F.D. Elkington) was shot down by British anti-aircraft batteries at Portsmouth, according to Francis K. Mason, THE HAWKER HURRICANE.

Other reference works, e.g. THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN: THEN AND NOW, lists Elkington as shot down over Thorney Island, with no cause given.


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