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Old 14th January 2007, 22:40
Chris Going Chris Going is offline
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Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Ed

Just a note to thank you for your tireless efforts in sleuthing out significant photographs. One of the images you referred to under Aerial Photographs on January 8th (no 300067931493) is almost certainly the only known aerial image of the sinking of the Lancastria, the UK's most disastrous naval loss ever. Just thought you might like to know

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Chris Going
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Old 14th January 2007, 23:04
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Thank you for letting me know. One of my goals is to add to the historical record.


Regards,
Ed
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Old 15th January 2007, 21:36
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Are you sure? I thought the Lancastria was sunk off the coast of St.Nazaire and this shows a ship of the coast of La Rochelle.....

Cheers,

John.
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Old 16th January 2007, 01:01
Chris Going Chris Going is offline
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Thanks John, for putting me on my mettle -

Evidence for: the date of the photo, June 17th 1940 is the day the Lancastria was attacked. The ship was attacked in the afternoon. Time of photo, given as 18.52 hrs. The ship heeled over on its side, and lost much fuel oil which (it seems) GAF tried to set alight. Image shows ship on its ?starboard side, with leaking oil. German caption states ...passagierschiff (Truppentransporter). etwa 10000t. Lancastria was a passenger ship taken over as a troopship, but its grt was, I think c 16000t. Lastly some sources cite its loss as 'off La Rochelle'.

Evidence against: If location is St Nazaire not La Rochelle ship is not Lancastria. Ship is described as 10,000t rather than 16000t. If so then it's too small for Lancastria.

Google earthed both places but cannot work out where we are.

So -Jury has gone out again for the moment until we have a precise location of 1) photo, and 2) wreck.

I still find the coincidence of date, event, and subject fairly compelling, and think we really ought to locate this picture propery, wherever it actually is. I also take this opportunity to thank Ed West once more as without him this sort of debate would not be taking place.


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Old 16th January 2007, 20:43
Harri Pihl Harri Pihl is offline
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

After comparing St. Nazaire and La Rochelle on google earth to the picture, it seems that it's La Rochelle.
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Old 16th January 2007, 21:15
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Harri & Chris,

that's what I ment. The pictures shows clearly La Rochelle and not St. Nazaire. Therefore it's not the Lancastria....

But anyway, a marvelous pictures and these ones are really treasures.

Final question, if it is not the Lancastria, which ship is it???

cheers,

John.
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Old 16th January 2007, 22:06
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Could that be the troopship "Champlain" hit by a mine on that date and later on sunk by a torpedo at La Pallice /La Rochelle ?
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Old 16th January 2007, 23:11
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Yep, I think that's it. La Pallice is OK, you can clearly identify it on the picture and the date of loss is correct!

cheers,

John.
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Old 16th January 2007, 23:32
Chris Going Chris Going is offline
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Thanks for this folks. I think we have got there. Lancastria was 16250t; but Champlain was given as 28094t -a bigger ship by an order of magnitude. Luftwaffe Auswerter not very on the ball.

Chris.

Now, Ed, there's a colour cockpit photo on eBay.de right now which I am sure shows Heydrich flying a light plane.....
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Old 20th January 2019, 19:43
Roundway Roundway is offline
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Re: Ed West's invaluable service -Lancastria air photo found

Apologies for reviving this thread 12 years after the last post, but adding to what was written then the Lancastria slipped beneath the waves at approximately 1630 hours - 20 minutes after it was hit (Report, dated 1 July 1940, by W/C Macfadyen, a survivor,: copy in AIR35/190). Thus the time the German photo was taken, 1852 hours (even allowing for different time datums), was after the ship sank.

Brian
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