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  #1  
Old 15th July 2005, 18:16
Jon Jon is offline
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238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

On page 352 on The Battle of Britain Then and Now there is a letter from Sgt Eric Bann of 238 Squadron. It looks to be dated before August 7th and after Mid July 1940 and only states it was written on a Friday !!
Sgt Bann says he took off with the C/O and two other pilots and engaged some bombers over the sea. He says quite clearly that he was shot down into the sea and after a long swim was picked up and landed at Portsmouth.
I can find no record of this incident at all.
Who shot him down ? what Hurricane was he flying ? date etc.....
All help appreciated.

Thanks
Jon
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  #2  
Old 16th July 2005, 08:18
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

I am hoping someone will post an answer to this query for it is something that has puzzled me for the past 25 years. There is nothing in 238 Squadron records to substantiate this account and my analysis of aircraft serials at the time failed to throw up anything that seemed to relate, hence the absence of a corresponding entry in my loss lists in BoBT&N.

Some time references for context - the squadron flew their first combat operation on 2 July 1940, and scored their first victories on the 11 July 1940 so, given the dates mentioned by Eric BANN in the footnote to his letter, my guess is the letter was written on either Friday, July 19 or 26, the incident having taken place some days earlier ? The No.238 Squadron ORB records engagements on 13, 20, and 21 July, but no mention of BANN being shot down as described. Nothing in RNLI records either but this is always a 'long shot'.

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  #3  
Old 16th July 2005, 23:54
nick de carteret nick de carteret is offline
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

My uncle (Squadron Leader 'Jimmy' Fenton) took over as C/O of 238 Squadron on 15 July 1940, flying his first operational sorties with 238 on 17 July. I have just checked his logbook and personal notes and can find no entry which appears to relate to the incident referred to in Eric Bann's letter to his parents.

I can only assume that the events he described happened earlier in July in the company of the previous C/O, Squadron Leader Cyril Baines who was posted out to the Middle East on 15 July. My uncle's log book does not record that he was involved in jointly shooting down a bomber until 21 July but that was a Do.17 downed over Dorset.

Last edited by nick de carteret; 17th July 2005 at 01:06. Reason: spelling
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  #4  
Old 18th July 2005, 04:17
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

Hello,

This may help.

I dont have the name of the pilot but there was a 238 Sqdn Hurricane downed on the 5th of July 1940, P3703, dived into the ground at West Tedworth, Wilts.
Fate and Name of pilot ?

The next Sqdn loss was on the 13th, not him.

From Men of the BoB there is a photo.

He completed his flying training and joined 238 Squadron at Tangmere in June 1940. On August 11 he claimed a He 111 and on Sept 21 he shared a Ju88.

He was killed on Sept 28 when he baled from V6776 and his chute failed to open.

Night

Alex
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  #5  
Old 18th July 2005, 05:42
nick de carteret nick de carteret is offline
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

Re: no238sq Battle Of Britain

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your PM.

Taken from my uncle's log book, he flew the following 238 Hurricanes in action during July 1940. These are the entries in his log for that month after joining 238 Squadron on 15 July.

15 July practice 3805 - 0.50
15 July practice 2827 - 1.05
16 July practice 2946 - 0.55
17 July to Warmwell 3805 - 0.20
17 July raid patrol 3805 - 0.55
17 July raid patrol 3767 - 1.00
17 July raid patrol 3767 - 1.25
17 July raid patrol 3767 - 0.35
18 July raid patrol 3805 - 1.15
18 July to Middle Wallop 3805 -0.15
19 July RT test 3805 - 0.10
21 July to Warmwell 3805 - 0.20
21 July NF landing 3805 - 0.15
21 July raid patrol 3805 - 0.45
21 July raid patrol 3805 - 1.20 Do.17 destroyed
21 July raid patrol 3805 - 1.05
22 July raid patrol 3805 - 0.10
22 July raid patrol 3805 - 0.40
22 July to Middle Wallop 3805 - 0.20
25 July to Warmwell 3805 - 0.20
25 July raid patrol 3805 - 1.15
25 July raid patrol 3805 - 0.50
25 July raid patrol 3219 - 0.40
26 July raid patrol 3219 - 1.00
26 July raid patrol 3219 - 0.55
26 July to Middle Wallop 3219 - 0.20
26 July raid patrol 3219 - 0.30
27 July raid patrol 3823 - 1.45
27 July raid patrol 3823 - 2.00 Bf.109 chased across Channel
27 July to Middle Wallop 3823 - 0.15
28 July to Warmwell 3805 - 0.20
28 July raid patrol 3805 - 0.40
29 July raid patrol 3805 - 0.40
29 July raid patrol 3805 - 0.50
29 July to Middle Wallop 3805 - 0.20
29 July test 3805 - 0.20
30 July to Farnborough 3219 - 0.20
31 July to Warmwell 3219 - 0.20
31 July raid patrol 4047 - 0.20
31 July R/T test 4047 - 0.30

I'll post this in the forum in case any one else is interested. Cheers Nick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve sheridan
Hi Nick,
Just read your link on Twelve O' Clock High regarding
your uncle who commanded NO238SQ, during the BOB.
I wondered if you could possibly help me , with my
research on this squadron, and tell me what serial or code letters your uncles aircraft wore during july 1940.

Any help would be most appreciated.

Regards,
Steve Sheridan
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  #6  
Old 18th July 2005, 19:58
Jon Jon is offline
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

Thanks for the responses so far.

Does anyone have details on the 5th July shoot down, also if the aircraft landed in wiltshire is it possible the pilot ( Sgt Bann ) could have landed in the sea far enough out to require a long swim ??

I also ask the more experienced researchers if the lack of information recorded on incidents like Sgt Bann going into the sea are common ? I appreciate it was happening every day at this time and we were more concerned about the expected invasion than perhaps ensuring all was logged correctly?
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Old 20th July 2005, 16:13
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

Jon, is it possible Mr Bann was shooting a line, or making someone else's story his own?
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  #8  
Old 20th July 2005, 18:36
nick de carteret nick de carteret is offline
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

Hi Franek

Herewith some quotes re. the Poles in 238 during the Battle from his memoir :-

First on returning from sick leave:

"The battle was still very much at it's height and, after a medical I was quickly back in the old routine. We were becoming short of pilots but the Poles and Czechs began to arrive and were like manna from heaven. What they lacked in English, they more than made up in experience and spirit and it is amazing how quickly we all became firm friends. The only snag was that, after an engagement, and not being very good on the R/T, they were liable to land at various other airfields in southern England so I could never be sure of what casualties I had until it had been sorted out. Most of them were regulars in their own services and more experienced than our crowd.
Vernon Simmonds had usually flown as my No.2 but now led a section himself so I drafted in Sgt. Marrion Domagala, a Pole into the position and found it reassuring to have a man of his determination and ability on my wingtip. I remember an incident a month or two later. We were together trying to intercept a German 'Recce'. There were huge thunderstorms and inside one my airspeed indicator iced up and failed as the heater was on the blink. I could keep straight but went up and down violently. All this time Domagala stuck to my wingtip like glue!
For some months I flew with Domagala (Polish) and Bernard (Czech) on each side and reckoned I had the finest section in the Command".


And from the Appendix at the end of his book re. 238 Squadron:

" In 238 Squadron during the Battle of Britain in the few months we lost eighteen pilots - an appalling figure. This was not any reflection on skill or training, as many were able and experienced. If we had had time to get together and do some tactical training, it could have helped but that was not possible until the winter when the battle was over.
I suppose it was a little more bearable because I knew so many of them for such a short time. The sort of dialogue could be, " Glad to have you with us; you'd better fly with me today". A typical example was a likeable Pole, Jan Steborowski. He joined 238 on August 5th and was killed on the 11th having himself shot down a Bf 110 on the 8th, the day I was shot down myself so I did not know about it until later. Both Flight Commanders, Walch and Turner, were killed in early August - I had taken over less than a month before.
After the battle, first Charles Davies and later Pearson and Ray Sellers were lost. By then we had had time to become close friends and I felt their loss bitterly.
Now only a few of the originals remain; Vernon Simmonds, Gordon Batt, Jackie Urwin-Mann, Brian Considine and 'Covey' Covington. Marrion Domagala died early this year (1991)".
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  #9  
Old 20th July 2005, 19:56
Jon Jon is offline
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

Hi Franek and Nick

I have looked through the copies of Sgt Banns letters i own and he also mention the Poles in particular Domagala who he says often spoke of the Germans machine gunning Polish civilians in the streets !!
I also have a copy of the original 238 Squadron kill chart compiled by the Intelligence officer in 1940, it lists the whole squadron with his personal kills. Of interest are :

Sgt Jeka......4 110's 2 HE111's 1 JU88.......confirmed.
Sgt Domagala... 2 110's 2 109's......Confirmed.
S/L H Fenton.....1 DO17 (shared with Bann) 4 110's 1 HE111...confirmed.
Sgt Bann............1 DO17 (shared with Fenton) 1 110 2 HE111 ( i now know one of the HE111 was infact a JU88 )

Regards
Jon
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  #10  
Old 20th July 2005, 20:04
Jon Jon is offline
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Re: 238 Squadron pilot in the sea 1940

Hi Andy.

As for Sgt Bann line shooting, i suppose it is very possible he might have, but i hope it is simply a case of the information not being logged down !!

I have also now finished my research on who Sgt Bann shot down and also the pilots who could have killed him on 28/07/40. If interested i can post it here.

Thanks
Jon
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