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  #1  
Old 1st June 2020, 17:24
BrianC BrianC is online now
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Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

Hi guys

RAF Brize Norton was bombed on 16 August 1940, following which an unofficial Defence Flight was formed, armed with three cannon Spitfires allocated from 6 MU and instructor pilots from 2 Flying Training School.

Before being disbanded on instructions from Fighter Command, one of the pilots involved wrote "We got 4 enemy aircraft with this makeshift air defence".

Even if this was an exageration, it must be assumed that on four occasions at least, enemy aircraft were engaged. Can we determine dates? And who were the pilots? I've searched documents at TNA in vain.

Instructor pilots with 2 FTS at this time included:

Flg Off Derek Barrois de Sarigny (South African). I've been informed that his logbook may be at RAF Hendon

Plt Off John E. Boulton (to 310 Sqn and KiA)

Flg Off Surry 'Dicky' Bird (who claimed a Ju88 during the BoB)

I hope that one or more of our Battle of Britain experts may be able to add.

Cheers
Keep safe
Brian
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Old 1st June 2020, 17:46
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

Plt Off Charles 'Alec' Bird was with 4 Ferry Pool and collided with a Ju 88 on 25 Jul 40? Not the same? According to Men of the BofB, Boulton was attached to 310 Sqn from 2 FTS in July 40 and asked to stay on when they became operational, flying his first sortie on 20 Aug 40 only to be killed 9 Sep 40
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Old 1st June 2020, 21:23
BrianC BrianC is online now
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

Hi Chris

Two different Birds!

Cheers
Brian
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Old 1st June 2020, 22:12
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Faenor Faenor is offline
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

Hi Brian,

check this link, some photos and info about Plt Off John E. Boulton by 310. Squadron

https://fcafa.com/2016/08/26/john-boulton-310-sqn/

Faenor
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Old 1st June 2020, 22:48
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

Having done some work with Peter Cornwell on forgotten victories of the BofB, claims by Brize Norton did not figure.
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Old 3rd June 2020, 18:08
BrianC BrianC is online now
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

Thanks Chris

Nevertheless, there must have been odd operations yet to be 'discovered' or else the published account would have been a complete fabrication!

Perhaps you and Peter didn't dig deep enough!

Cheers
Stay safe
Brian
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Old 3rd June 2020, 18:56
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

I would disagree-we did try to dig deep enough (in Peter's case over many more years than me) and perhaps the silence from other Forumites would support this? Throughout my researching and writing career, I have come across such claims when, put under a microscope, do not hold true for one reason or another-some details had even been added to logbooks in biro afterwards! Why I cannot say. Surely one station, well away from the action in Kent, Essex, London and Sussex, would have got a glowing accolade for air to air four kills? However, Peter always said that we stand by to be corrected
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Old 22nd June 2020, 02:22
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

I would say that the silence is caused by another factor - very few researcher ever tried to look into records of training units, and those are often far from perfect. The question is if those claims did happen, and were recorded officially. I can imagine that a training unit, being out of the chain could not file the proper paperwork, or even never attempted to. Being a training unit they couldhave considered it a kind of private business, which could cause an anger of Fighter Command. They had to train pilots, and not to risk lives of precious instructors.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 03:54
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

If it's an obscure mention, it may just get lost in the reams of data and it may require pot luck to find.

http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showth...t=Spitfire+OTU

Here's an internal link to a thread discussing No7 OTU on Spitfires, using inherited cannon-armed Spitfire Is (ex-19 Sqn, IIRC). This "defence flight"was based at Hawarden (covering Liverpool area) and was involved in a number of combats and claims.

Brize Norton does seem a little out of harm's-way, though. 2 FTS and 6MU, I'm guessing Spitfires from the MU and a mixture of pilots from both. Would it be easier to trace the cannon-Spits? Far fewer of them and see what time-line they were at 6MU?

Thinking out aloud,
...geoff
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Last edited by bearoutwest; 22nd June 2020 at 04:00. Reason: Geographically-challenged in the UK
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Old 22nd June 2020, 08:03
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Re: Fighter Defence Flight, Brize Norton 1940

I have researched this subject & wrote about it for Britain at War. I identified all claims & losses and apart from the collision between an Anson & a He 111 nothing else was Brize connected or related
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