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  #1  
Old 5th August 2008, 20:26
Mark McShane Mark McShane is offline
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FW 200 Interceptor Units

Gents,

Is anyone aware of RAF sqaudrons that were used to intercept the FW 200 that were flying from France and operatinf west of Ireland and the North West Approaches. I have read some info that perhaps others may know more about

In the file a propsal was made to use a same Spitfire that the PRU squardons were using, with some more mods to make it suitable. From what I can gather it never got any further than just being proposed, but does anyone know if a trial was carried out or mods made to a frame to see if it was feasible?

There are also propsoals for search areas in the North West Approaches and also along the route the FW 200 were taking from their base in France for Beaufighter squadrons to search and try and intercept the FW 200. For the NW approach flights the aircraft were coming from Northern Ireland and for the intercept along the known flight routes they were to fly from Lands End. Does anyone know if any of these flights were actually operated, what units and for how long? I can't find info relating to the shooting down of A FW 200 by any of these RAF aircraft, although they could very well have shot down other German aircraft types during these patrols.

As I only had a quick glance through it all over the weekend and I don't have the refernce in front of me I can't elaborate any further for now.

Regards,

Mark
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  #2  
Old 5th August 2008, 20:45
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

The prime mod of a PRU Spitfire is to take out the armament and fit a leading-edge fuel tank in its place. That's why PR Spitfires are refuelled from the wingtip. So however has spread this story doesn't understand the PRU mods, which makes it unlikely to be genuine. Or whoever thought it up in the first place.... Not all ideas are good ideas.

Armed long range Spitfires would require tanks in the leading edge inboard, as were introduced on the later Mk.VIII. Additional tanks could be provided aft of the pilot but this was severely destabilising and would have required a larger tailplane with reinforced fuselage: not a simple mod. An aft tank did come into use with the Mk.XIV, because the heavier engine permitted more weight behind the pilot, but this only served to counteract the increased fuelflow of the Griffon.

The Beaufighter idea is much more sensible, and fighter patrols over the Bay of Biscay are well recorded. However, I don't think the Fw 200's route came within close range of either Northern Ireland or Lands End, being a track around the Irish Free State and ending up in Norway.
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Old 6th August 2008, 10:17
Vraa84 Vraa84 is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

Hello

Coastal's beaufighter had a few brushes with the Kondors.
According to Beaufighter Aces of WWII, Flt Lt Bill Riley of 252 sqn scored a kill on the April 16th, off Scotland.
The victim was FW 200C-3 Wk-Nr 0039, coded F8+AH of 1./KG40.

235 sqn. claimed two FW 200s damaged in May operating over the Bay of Biscay. And claimed one destroyed during June.

I think I read somewere that the Beaufighter was introduced in Coastal to counter the long range recon flights, but am not absolute sure off it.

Kind regards
Nicolaj
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Old 16th August 2008, 08:52
brewerjerry brewerjerry is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

Hi
this is just from memory,
my notes still packed....
But I think 263Sq whirlwinds were used from cornwall, for FW200 hunting and E boat hunting in late 40/early 41, No successes.
I think spitfire IIa LR's ( 66Sq?) were based in cornwall for fw200 hunting etc, early '41 ?
And likewise I think beaufighters ( 125 Sq?)operated from wales.
Only attack I recall reading about was 247Sq over cornwall, ( nr RAF portreath )
cheers
Jerry

PS there was also a fighter flight on the isles of scilly , 1449 flt ?

Last edited by brewerjerry; 16th August 2008 at 08:57. Reason: typo
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Old 18th August 2008, 14:02
niallc niallc is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewerjerry View Post
I think 263Sq whirlwinds were used from cornwall, for FW200 hunting
Quite so. 10 Group issued an Operational Instruction on 27 January 41 calling for 263 Sqn to increase its detachment at St. Eval from 4 Whirlwinds to 8 specifically to counter KG40s Fw 200s operating from Bordeaux. Radar plots showed the Condors flying no closer than 40 miles off the coast, so, since there was an edict in force at the time prohibiting single-engined fighters from operating more than 20 miles out to sea, the task fell to the Whirlwinds almost by default.

As you note no Fw 200s were found during their patrols from St. Eval although Davy Stein claimed an 88 damaged during one such patrol.

Niall
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Old 18th August 2008, 14:19
niallc niallc is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewerjerry View Post
I think 263Sq whirlwinds were used from cornwall, for FW200 hunting
Quite so. 10 Group issued an Operational Instruction on 27 January 41 calling for 263 Sqn to increase its detachment at St. Eval from 4 Whirlwinds to 8 specifically to counter KG40s Fw 200s operating from Bordeaux. Radar plots showed the Condors flying no closer than 40 miles off the coast, so, since there was an edict in force at the time prohibiting single-engined fighters from operating more than 20 miles out to sea, the task fell to the Whirlwinds almost by default.

As you note no Fw 200s were found during their patrols from St. Eval although Davy Stein claimed an 88 damaged during one such patrol.

Niall
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  #7  
Old 25th August 2008, 21:03
Mark McShane Mark McShane is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
The prime mod of a PRU Spitfire is to take out the armament and fit a leading-edge fuel tank in its place. That's why PR Spitfires are refuelled from the wingtip. So however has spread this story doesn't understand the PRU mods, which makes it unlikely to be genuine. Or whoever thought it up in the first place.... Not all ideas are good ideas.
Graham,

The initial proposal (made on 12/03/41)to use PRU Spitfires to intercept FW 200 came from Wing Cdr Tuttle, CO PRU. He proposed fitting leading edge tanks for additional range with the .303 also fitted in the wings but firing through the tanks by specially designing the tanks.

The memo was circulated and various notes made, most concerning take off weight, strength of under carraige and how much alteration would be required. With the alteration to the wings being quite big a propsal was put forward to consider fitting upwards or downwards firing guns on the PRU Spitfire.

A final note on 03/04/41 seems to have put the idea to rest, with the author (Group Captain, PLANS) stating that "I do not think there is much purpose now in our pursuing the proposal to use long range Spitfires for the purpose".

I have no further info and it does not seem that any trials were carried out, no info posted so far.

Regards,

Mark
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  #8  
Old 25th August 2008, 23:38
Tony Kearns Tony Kearns is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

Mark, would it be possible for you to quote the file that you are referring to?
Regards
Tony K
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  #9  
Old 25th August 2008, 23:48
Mark McShane Mark McShane is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

Tony,

File reference is AIR 15/172 from TNA, Kew.

Regards,

Mark
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  #10  
Old 26th August 2008, 00:50
Tony Kearns Tony Kearns is offline
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Re: FW 200 Interceptor Units

Thanks Mark.
Tony K
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