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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 1st February 2005, 00:59
Larry Larry is offline
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Did 138 Sqn or 161 Sqn RAF use RAF Christchurch in 1943-44?

An old Fleet Air Arm contact of mine who was based at RAF Christchurch, Hampshire (now Dorset!) from November 1943 till VE-Day remembers seeing black painted Westland Lysanders on the airfield on a few occasions. Could it be that this airfield was a forward base for SOE ops over the Cherbourg Peninsula, in the same way that Tangmere was also a forward base. Some people have suggested these arrivals & departures were to do with the SOE training base at Beaulieu, at Lord Montague's Mansion but they could just have easily used RAF Beaulieu! And from what I have read of SOE & 138 & 161 Sqns, the trained SOE agents were usually taken to RAF Tempsford in great secrecy, rather than be picked up on the way by an aircraft coming down south to get them!

The only other explanation for this sighting is that there was some other RAF Sqn that operated black painted Lysanders for some other purpose!

Has anyone studied the ORB for either Sqn & seen reference to RAF Christchurch?
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Old 1st February 2005, 13:56
Smudger Smith Smudger Smith is offline
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No.161 & 138 Sqdn

Hi Larry,

I have both 161 & 138 Sqdn ORB. I will check both over the next few days and let you know. I'm sure however you will have had a reply by then from Bob Body. His great site www.161squadron.org is well worth a visit.

Regards

Smudger

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Old 1st February 2005, 23:50
Larry Larry is offline
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138 & 161 Sqns

Thanks Smudger.

I am greatful for your help
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Old 2nd February 2005, 08:26
brewerjerry brewerjerry is offline
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black lysanders slightly O/T

Hi,
They were operating from Harrowbeer and Exeter and think they operated out of a cornish airfield, Seems the books might only replect what was officially recorded.
I think in reality, You would probably find that they used most of the coastal airfields.
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