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Old 18th March 2011, 21:52
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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German claim for a Wellington, April 20, 1941

Chris Shores is cleaning up details in the manuscript for the first volume of Mediterranean Air War. There is a German claim by Uffz. Hans Sippel of 1./JG 27 on April 20, 1941 at 0525 hours, for a Wellington west of Tobruk, that he is unable to match up with a corresponding British casualty, or combat. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have posted this on the Luftwaffe forum as well, in the hope that coming at it from the other direction will help solve the problem.


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Old 20th March 2011, 15:58
Martin Gleeson Martin Gleeson is offline
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Re: German claim for a Wellington, April 20, 1941

While I am sure Chris Shores has well and truly checked all the Wellington unit ORBs, and unfortunately I do not have access presently to ORBs for any of the bomber units operational in the Middle East at that time, might I put forward the following for consideration. Checking through several published works there are a couple of possibilities, or rather incidents that need to be ruled out definitively.
One is Wellington IC T2993 'E' of 38 Squadron RAF (P/O Slatter and crew safe) with the date of loss (or damage) as 21 April 1941. This crew took off from Fuka to bomb Benghazi, but bombed Burre instead. The aircraft was 'Struck Off Charge' on 26 April 1941, no reason given. All the above from 'RAF BOMBER LOSSES IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND MEDITERRANEAN, Vol. 1: 1939-1942' by David Gunby and Pelham Temple, and the Air-Britain 'RAF AIRCRAFT T1000-V9999' by James J. Halley. Could this have been damaged on the 20th ?
The second is Blenheim IV T2383 of 55 Squadron RAF waering the unit code of 'KQ'. It was apparently shot down by A/A fire at Derna and crashed nearby on 20 April 1941. Two crew were killed but oddly there is no mention of a third (POW ?, evader ?). This Blenheim was SOC on 21 April 1941. It had been fitted with a 20mm cannon for strafing. This loss is not included in the Gunby/Temple book but is in Graham Warner's 'THE BRISTOL BLENHEIM' (2nd edition). However much of the above detail comes comes from a July 2010 thread on the 'RAF Commands' forum, especially from Ludovico Slongo. The times involved - for both aircraft - are not known to me.
Incorrect identification of Sippel's target could be a problem here. Any chance it could have been an Italian aircraft ? Or perhaps Sippel just missed in his excitement ? It would be important to learn if any aircraft from any potential operating unit had been attacked by enemy aircraft that day in that general area. 45 Squadron RAF were certainly in action on 20 April 1941 against various targets.
It would be very interesting if someone could add to our knowledge of the fates of the above two aircraft.
Martin Gleeson.
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