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  #1  
Old 1st August 2014, 20:27
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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159 Sqn Liberator damaged 23 July 1942

Hi,

During an attack on shipping in Benghazi 23 July 1942 was one Liberator from 159 Sqn damaged in combat with enemy fighters.

I have the following information from Tavender's: The Distinguished Flying Medal Register
Banks, Raymond Victor. Aus.404463 Sgt, RAAF, 178 Sqn (L.G. 27 Apr 1943)
“He has participated in 9 daylight attacks in which he acted as fire controller. On daylight attack carried out on shipping in Benghazi on 23rd July 1942, the formation in which his aircraft was flying met with heavy anti-aircraft fire and was broken up. He coolly directed the fire of his aircraft which was then subjected to concentrated enemy fighter attacks and one enemy fighter was shot down. He then assisted in the stopping of riddled petrol tanks which enabled the aircraft to reach friendly territory.”

Unfortunately is there no information about Middle East operations by 159 Sqn in the ORB during this period. Is it possibly to identify the aircraft and the other crew members via damage report or any similar documents? According to A History of the Mediterranean Air War, Vol 2 Liberator A1534 was lost on this date but as 3 crew member became PoWs I assume this was another aircraft.

Thanks in advance,
Peter
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Old 2nd August 2014, 02:42
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: 159 Sqn Liberator damaged 23 July 1942

Hello,

AL534, Liberator II, Operation to Benghazi, 23rd July 1942.
Details of this loss and crew fates can be read on page 165 of Vol 1: 1939-1942 of "RAF Bomber Losses in the Middle East and Mediterranean" by David Gunby & Pelham Temple.
Two crew killed including one RCAF, five crew pow including one RCAF.

No Banks in the crew.

Most likely as you state, it was another Liberator which made it back over allied territory before crashing, therefore not "lost" as position was known, and crew returned.

Alex
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Old 2nd August 2014, 22:09
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: 159 Sqn Liberator damaged 23 July 1942

Hello Alex,

Thanks for the reply. Eliminates AL534 as an alternative.

Regards,
Peter
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Old 23rd January 2015, 17:18
David Layne David Layne is offline
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Re: 159 Sqn Liberator damaged 23 July 1942

I am trying to get a photograph of all the POW's named in my father's POW "Wartime Log."https://wallyswar.wordpress.com/pow-log/

One of those prisoners is Charlton, J. Allen R.A.F. 9 Dick Road, Kilmarnock crew member of 159 Squadron Liberator AL534 as mentioned in this thread. I am hopeful someone can come up with a photo of this airman to add to the others.

So far of the 50 prisoners named I have 20 photographs, my efforts so far can be seen here, https://wallyswar.wordpress.com/other-pows/
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Researching my father Walter Henry Layne, 50 Squadron, 97 Squadron, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357, Stalag Luft III.

http://wallyswar.wordpress.com/
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