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  #1  
Old 22nd October 2007, 14:18
Mikkel Plannthin Mikkel Plannthin is offline
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Blenheims in North Africa - squadrons?

I am looking for further information info the service career of P/O Gunnar Egebjerg (RAFVR 138883), Danish RAF and later USAAF pilot. He is supposed to have flown Blenheims in North Africa ca. 1942.

I am trying to establish which squadrons he might have been attached to in North Africa, and thus - for a start - which squadrons that were operational on Blenheims in North Africa at this point.

TIA,
Mikkel Plannthin
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Old 23rd October 2007, 13:03
stefaan stefaan is offline
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Re: Blenheims in North Africa - squadrons?

15 sqn SAAF flew Blenheim Mk V's at this time.
Stefaan Bouwer
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Old 25th October 2007, 19:19
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: Blenheims in North Africa - squadrons?

From Bristol Blenheim - A complete history by Graham Warner
11, 14, 39, 45, 55, 84, 113, 203, 223 and 459 were some of the squadrons that used Blenheims in the Western Desert in the end of 1941/beginning of 1942 but the number of quadrons decreased rapidly when several units were sent to the Far East and many others changed to other aircraft.

In the fighting following Operation Torch 13, 18, 114 and 614 squadrons used Blenheims V but suffered heavy losses.

Peter
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Old 25th October 2007, 20:28
Mikkel Plannthin Mikkel Plannthin is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Blenheims in North Africa - squadrons?

Thanks Peter, I got hold of another Blenheim book but it did not have the level of detail that I needed.

Mikkel
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Old 25th October 2007, 21:11
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Ludovico Slongo Ludovico Slongo is offline
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Re: Blenheims in North Africa - squadrons?

Dear Mikkel,

this is what I have on Bomber Squadrons in the Western Desert for the end 1941- Summer 1942 period. I'm not sure of those data that came from different secondary sources sometimes with contrasting pieces of info inside, but maybe they can supply you some useful hints.

Sources:
The Bristol Blenheim a complete story, Crecy Publishing, Graham Warner.
Blenheim Squadrons of World War 2, Osprey combat aircraft, Jon Lake.
Eagles Strike, Purnell, James Ambrose Brown.
The Mediterranean Air War volume II, Ian Allan, Christopher Shores.

45 and 55 Squadrons back in action since September 1941.
14 Squadron arrived from east africa in may and immediately sent to the front line.
113 Squadron back from Grece re-equipped and re-started operations on 1 June 41.

Beginning of Crusader front line composed by Blenheims of 11, 14, 45, 55, 84, 113 and 203 Squadron together with a detachment of 8, then 15 Squadron SAAF and Free French Squadron Lorriane. There were also Marylands from 39 Squadron and three SAAF Squadrons: 12 (Maryland),21 (Maryland) and 24 (Boston III). The striking force was completed by Squadron 37,38,70,108 e 148 ( Wellington) and a detachment of 90 Squadron (Fortress) plus the 60 SAAF (Maryland) that was a recon unit.

Squadrons: 45,14,84, Lorriane were possibly part of 270 Wing, then there was maybe another 252 Wing flying Blenheims (not sure and don't know the Squadrons) , then a 257 Wing on Wellington then a 261 Wing that maybe was the same of 3 SAAF Wing and it seems that 11 Squadron was part of it while 24 SAAF on Boston wasn't.

After Pearl Harbour : 113, 84, 45 ed 11 went in the Far East, 113 on December the other three between January and February (45 left on 9 February).
211 Squadron that was a training unit was sent in the Far East too.
223 Squadron (not mentionet in the above OOB) converted to Boston III ( or Baltimore I) on January 1942. According with other sources 203 and 39 converted to Marylands on February 1942 (conflicting info with the above OOB where it seems that the 39 already was on Maryland ).
55 converted on Baltimore on May 42 and 14 on July 42 and then moved to Marauders in August.
The 459 Blenheim formed from February for sea patrol duties converted to Hudson III on May. Lorriane retreated to Syria on July 42 and the Blenheim IV remained only in the ranks of 15 SAAF fighting in the desert in cooperation with the LRDG and in the 13 Greek Squadron .
In Aden there was still 8 Squadron flying Blenheims while 6 Squadron moved from Hurricane to Blenheim IVF on Novembre 41 then converting back to Hurricane Mk IID on April 42, while some Blenheims were still inside Squadrons 272 (that was still waiting its full complement of Beaufighters ) and 162.

That's all, it is only sparse info and I hope someone could correct them also to my benefit.
Ciao
Ludovico
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Old 4th November 2007, 14:33
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: Blenheims in North Africa - squadrons?

I´ve found the Squadron. He is mentioned in the book "Winged Promises" by Vincent Orange and Deryck Stapleton. It´s about 14 sqn:s history during WWl and WWll.

Sgt Egebjerg was captain on one of nine Marauders that attacked Melos Harbour 21 February 1943. It´s also mentioned that the squadron had Danish aircrew member in May 1942 when the unit used Blenheims.

Peter
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Old 4th November 2007, 16:30
Mikkel Plannthin Mikkel Plannthin is offline
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Re: Blenheims in North Africa - squadrons?

Thanks Ludovico and Peter! Excellent info. The Maurauder story corresponds with the info already at hand.

Mikkel
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Old 9th November 2007, 22:29
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Csaba B. Stenge Csaba B. Stenge is offline
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Re: Blenheims in North Africa - squadrons?

The 45 Squadron's history book, the Flying Camels is an excellent, very detailed work (pricey and rare book, but if you are interested in the Blenheim operations from this period, a must have)
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