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Old 14th June 2012, 09:43
Nick Hector Nick Hector is offline
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Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

Hi all,

A couple of questions I have regarding allied losses over Tunisia:

1) Was the Spitfire of Sgt. Arthur Lawrence Bellerby (81 sqn) shot down by Kurt Buehligen on 3.3.43 to become the 1st Spitfire IX downed over Africa. The commonwealth war graves website does list him for this date, but I cannot find the serial of the Spitfire anywhere.

2) On the same date, did Heinz Baer down Bernard Lawrence "Happy" McMahon of 92 sqn plus F/S Tilston of 601 sqn or did this actually take place on 5.3.43? Does anyone have the serials for these two Spitfires?

Hoping somebody can assist....

Nick
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Old 14th June 2012, 13:51
Revi16 Revi16 is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

This is close, http://www.spitfires.ukf.net/p035.htm
EN289 IX 3735 EA M61 FF 11-12-42 39MU 14-12-42 47MU 20-12-42 Southgate 30-12-42 Gibraltar 13-1-43 81S 'FL-R' ('FL-T'?) FTR ops 4-3-43

Here's 115 pages of Spitfire serial numbers. http://www.spitfires.ukf.net/production.htm

Use "Ctrl F", do a search for 92s & 601s and you will find each aircraft assigned to that squadron and what happened to it, or you can search by date.

Last edited by Revi16; 14th June 2012 at 14:22.
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Old 14th June 2012, 14:29
Thierry K Thierry K is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

BR284 UF-T, John Tilston
ER646 QJ-?, Lawrence McMahon (source Henk Welting )
lost on 5 March 1943.
Search :" Spitfire losses 5 March 1943 North Africa "and " McMahon "on the board
Thierry
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Old 21st June 2012, 13:40
Nick Hector Nick Hector is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

Thierry, Revi,

Many thanks to you both.

Nick
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Old 21st June 2012, 15:54
Henk Welting Henk Welting is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

Air Britain EA100-EZ999 (latest edition) for Spitfire IX EN289 (Bellerby) missing "3rd" March 1943 near Nefsa.
Regards,
Henk.
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Old 24th November 2014, 02:37
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

I'm trying to find out more information on the loss of Sgt. Arthur Lawrence Bellerby (81 sqn) who was shot down and killed on March 3,1943.

In the book "Blue Skies" by Bill Olmstedt has the following passage:" On March 3,we were flying high cover at 30,000 feet. On this trip I was leading a section and not in my usual position as number 2 to Gray [Colin Gray]. Suddenly a Fiat Cr 42 appeared diving very steeply. He was apparently trying to hit the CO,but he missed and hit Gray's No. 2,whose kite exploded.The pilot, Sgt. Bellerby...was killed instantly."

Are there any Regia Aeronautica claims for a Spitfire on this date? In the old "Fighters Over Tunisia", this was reported as a victory for Oblt. Buehlingen,II/JG-2 but he apparently did not claim any victories on this date.
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Old 24th November 2014, 08:19
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

Hi,

The No. 322 Wing ORB does not mention the identity of the attackers, while Colin Gray writes: "On the first sortie the bombs again fell right in the middle of Mateur, but 'blue' section was then attacked by Focke Wulf 190s of II./JG 2 from Kairouan, who shot down Sergeant Bellerby and disappeared before we could react." Gray's account is clearly influenced by information he learnt after the war. The rest of No. 81 Squadron landed after this mission at 11:00.

I could find no relevant Italian missions. The Germans claimed one Spitfire shot down and another probably shot down during scrambles in northern Tunisia on this day. Kurt Goltzsch was responsible for the Spitfire victory, at 07:43 south-east of Mateur.

So I could find no clear answers. Hopefully someone else can!

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - www.airwarpublications.com/earticles
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Old 24th November 2014, 11:16
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

Guys

Even if the stated service ceiling of a CR.42 was some 33000 feet, I would say that was both under ideal situations and very seldom tried. I am very doubtful that any CR.42 would be in such condition in 1943 to challenge Spitfires flying top cover at 30000 feet themselves.

Bill Olmstedt is probably mixing up aircraft types in his memoires.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 25th November 2014, 01:59
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

It must be but he clearly identified the victor as a CR-42? Another mistery.
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Old 25th November 2014, 09:04
Russell Russell is offline
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Re: Clarification of some allied losses over Tunisia

Hi all,

Mc202s claim 2 Spitfires in the El Hamma area that day as well as 2 P-40s. Bellerby left the aerodrome at 1020 in EP471, according to the Form 541, as part of top cover for B-25s bombing Mateur. This alone leaves the Italians out as the distance between these locations is vast.. Goltzsch would fit except for 0720 being somewhat early but in the right area. Shall try to investigate further for MAW Vol III which covers this day, and which is being worked on.

Cheers

Russell.
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