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Brian 10th October 2005 10:26

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Hi Kyrre

Thanks for the stream of incidents. However, I do have note of all mentioned, but please keep me advised of any others you may come across. Don't work too hard - it makes me feel guilty!!

Have a nice one


Laurent Rizzotti 10th October 2005 13:22

Re: Friendly fire WWII

Originally Posted by Brian
Hi guys

Laurent - among my many failings is an inability to read French very well - are you able to translate for me the incidents mentioned in Arnaud Gillet's book? If this is too great a task, may I ask you to provide further details of the book to enable me to purchase a copy? Many thanks.


Hi Brian, I have currently connexion problems at home but as soon as possible I will post here a list of the friendly fire occurences listed in the book. Then I will translate details of any case you may be interested in. I will have to translate them in English one day or another anyway.

Here is a case of air-to-sea friendly fire I would like to know more about:

On the night of 1 October 1944 destroyer USS DD-492 Bailey was on picket duty under a full moon off the Palaus, 06°59'N, 134°13'E, when one or more torpedo planes made two severe strafing attacks on her, killing three officers and 6 enlisted men (two of them were BM1C Charles P Mason and Cox William A. Knauss) and wounding 16 other enlisted men. Later reports were that it was Allied pilots who mistook her for an enemy craft (according to a member of the crew). Damage was extensive and she limped back as far as Manus of the Admiralty group where a tender repaired her sufficiently to return to the states, arriving 28 October at to Mare Island for permanent repairs.
Veteran registry:

Brian 10th October 2005 15:22

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Thanks Laurent, I look forward to your generous offer.

I regret that I am unable to provide you with the informaion you seek re USS Bailey. Since my study will be in two volumes, I have concentrated most of my efforts to Volume I, which covers the ETO. If and when I find anything useful re your request I will contact you. Apologies for the time being.



Juha 12th October 2005 09:01

Re: Friendly fire WWII
if You got 3 incidents (LW's Schumacher vs DH 89, Karu vs. He 111 and Nissinen vs. Ju 188) those were all I can remember from recent years that were discussed on that board. If You want more info on the Nissinen vs. Ju 188, please send a PM.


Laurent Rizzotti 12th October 2005 12:31

Re: Friendly fire WWII
The list below, listing cases of friendly fire where French aircraft were involved from September 1939 to June 1940 (known to me) is drawn from the following sources:
Martin's book about Armée de l'Air losses ("Ils étaient là")
Gillet's books on French victoires (tome 1, 10-15 May, tome 2, 16 May-4 June)
AéroJournal n° 3 (about night fighters Potez 631, often identified as Bf110) and n° 18 (about Aéronavale)

16 Oct 1939: Mureaux 115 GAO 1/520 damaged by 1 Morane 406 over Saar Valley. Pilot wounded

22 Nov 1939: Bloch 131 GR I/36 shot down by Morane 406 GC II/2 over Aisne. 2 KIA, 2 WIA

21 Dec 1939: Potez 637 GR II/33 shot down by 2 Hurricanes over Meuse. 2 KIA, 1 WIA

14 Apr 1940: Dutch submarine O10 bombed in error off Dutch coast by two V.156F of AB3. No damage

10 May 1940: bomber claimed shot down by 3 pilots GC III/1 over Termonde was probably Blenheim L9246 57 Sqn RAF.

12 May 1940: Fairey Fox 7/III/3 (Belgium) shot down by GC III/2 & GC III/7 near Huy. Crew unhurt.

13 May 1940: two Potez 631 ECMJ 1/16 damaged by Hurricanes near Betheniville. No loss.

14 May 1940: four Battles 142 Sqn RAF shot down by GC III/7 in Sedan area. 5 KIA

15 May 1940: Bloch 152 of GC II/1 possibly shot down by friendly fire (in fight, another pilot of the same unit fired on an aircraft that he was unable to identify and saw him crash, no German loss in the area).

17 May 1940: three Blenheims 82 Sqn RAF shot down by GC I/4 and AC2 off Ostend. 9 KIA

18 May 1940: LeO 451 GB II/31 shot down by French AA near Meaux. 1 KIA
18 May 1940: Potez 631 ECN 2/13 hit by He 111, Bf 110, French AA and Morane 406 near Creil, returned to base.
18 May 1940: two Potez 631 of AC2 shot down by Blenheim 248 Sqn RAF off Nieuport. 3 KIA, 1 WIA
18 May 1940: Blenheim 235 Sqn RAF shot down by GC II/8 off Ostende. 3 KIA (shot down by Spitfire/Hurricanes according to RAF)

19 May 1940: L-N.411 of AB4 shot down by French AA at Etreux. Pilot KIA.

20 May 1940: Potez 631 ECN 2/13 damaged by D520.

21 May 1940: D520 GC II/3 shot down by return fire of Potez 631 ECN 4/13 (during 4th attack) over Oise. Pilot KIA

23 May 1940: Potez 631 ECN 3/13 shot down by Bloch 152 GC I/1. 1 KIA, 1 WIA
23 May 1940: French ships opened fire against a formation of V.156F of AB1 off Boulogne

24 May 1940: two Martin 167F GB I/63 shot down by Allied AA (probably British) near Lille. 5 KIA, 1 survivor
24 May 1940: Hurricane landing at Rouen attacked by a "French Curtiss" (?)

25 May 1940: 2 pilots GC II/3 wounded by French AA

26 May 1940: two Martin 167F GB I/62 shot down by GC II/3 in Amiens area.

28 May 1940: two Skuas 806 Sqn FAA reported attacks by Curtiss off Dunkerque. 1 lost, crew saved, another returned to base with gunner fatally wounded. No trace in French claims.

1 Jun 1940: Bloch 152 GC II/8 damaged by Hurricanes off Dunkerque

2 Jun 1940: Potez 631 ECN 1/13 hit by French AA over Lassigny. 1 WIA
2 Jun 1940: two Potez 631 ECN 4/13 hit by French AA over Villers-Coterets. 1 force-landed and lost. 3 WIA.

3 Jun 1940: confused battle between 501 Sqn RAF, GC I/8 and 7./JG 53 in the morning. Only two Hurricanes shot down, one possibly by a French pilot.
3 Jun 1940: Potez 631 ECN 1/13 attacked by French AA, 7 Bf 109s and 1 Bloch 152 during German raid on Paris. Pilot reported the Bf 109s were the less dangerous.
3 Jun 1940: two Potez 631 ECN 4/13 fired on by French AA (of their own airfield) during German raid on Paris.

4 Jun 1940: L-N.411 of AB4 shot down by a Polish pilot of Romorantin defence patrol. Pilot wounded.

10 Jun 1940: Laté 298 of T2 hit by AA of French ships off Honfleur and sank after landing. Crew OK.

12 Jun 1940: Bloch 152 GC I/8 shot down "in error", no more details, between Chaumont and Troyes. Pilot lightly wounded.

22 Jun 1940: CAMS 55.10 of 4S1 shot down by Morane GC III/5 near Cape Zerbib, Tunisia. Pilot wounded

17 French losses (and one more possible) to "friendly fire"
1 Belgian aircraft and 8 British one shot down by French pilots, 3 more British aircrafts possibly shot down by French pilots

For most of the cases above, more details are available

Smudger Smith 12th October 2005 21:28

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Regarding “friendly” fire, two that automatically spring to mind, the first is the VC awarded to Flight Sergeant Arthur Aaron, VC, DFM of No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron. He was mortally wounded when the rear gunner of another Short Stirling opened fire on his aircraft while attacking Turin on 12/13th August 1943.

Another example again involved a 218 Squadron aircraft. On the night of 1/2nd January 1945, a damaged Avro Lancaster was returning from a raid on Vohwinkel, Germany when hit by US flak near Namur, Belgium. There was only one survivor.

Two examples, both tragic.

SMF144 14th October 2005 20:47

Re: Friendly fire WWII

I just came across this incident that occurred on August 26, 1943. Nos. 403 and 421 Squadrons RCAF were taking part in Operation STARKEY, NO.5, Part I when the following was observed.

F/O J.F. LAMBERT and F/O H.J. DOWDING of 403 had excellent bursts at extremely close range, but cloud obstructed accurate view of results. 10 minutes later, 421 in the CAEN area, dived on an ME.109 and a Fw.190, which were flying in line astern. The Fw.190 obviously confused, opened fire, the Me.109 diving steeply in flames right into the ground. This E/A is claimed destroyed by 421. WING landed at 1940 hrs.

Incidently, I have supplied Hugh Haliday with several examples in which he has passed on to you several months back.

All the best,


Jon 14th October 2005 21:11

Re: Friendly fire WWII
I once was friends with an old Airgunner in Gloucester, England.
He was shot down only the once in the war, in a Wellington at night onthe way home from a raid. They had gone off course , flew over a Royal Navy ship that fired four shots at them.....Three hit ! and Mr Bircher had no choice but to leave his Wellington at 10,000 feet.
He always said it was the best shooting of the war ???

Jon 14th October 2005 21:19

Re: Friendly fire WWII
I cant remember the details but i am sure another member will !
A USAF Mosquito with a high ranking officer on board flew in a raid to observe the bombing over Europe.
I think as the formation was attacked by Luftwaffe fighters they flew into the formation for protection a Twin engined aircraft often not seen by US gunners was shot down within seconds. I think the US officer and his pilot survived.

mhuxt 14th October 2005 23:34

Re: Friendly fire WWII
4 April 1945, 25 Group. April 4: Wesendorf airfield - The airfield was bombed with good results.

Colonel Troy Crawford, 446th CO, was flying in an RAF Mosquito as an observer. While trying to join with the group, 2 ME 262 fighter jets flew along side Colonel Crawford's plane. The RAF Mosquito, like a German ME 262, was a twin engine aircraft and, from a distance, they look a bit alike. When the crews saw what they thought were 3 ME 262's coming at them, they opened fire and did their job well, knocking the Mosquito out of the air. Colonel Crawford and his pilot parachuted to the ground and were taken prisoner. In just a week and a half, their POW camp would be liberated.


MACR 13948



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