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Old 6th March 2018, 04:06
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is online now
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti View Post
No idea, may be worth a thread on the Luftwaffe side of the forum.

Next case I am not sure of the date, either 21 or 22 November 1942, possibly both:

From the history of the American 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion (
"On the 21st [December 1942], the convoy reached its temporary destination, Souk El Khemis, Tunisia, in the heart of "Stuka Valley". Several hours later [possibly on the 22nd according to my search, see below], the Kraut planes came in fast and low and when the thunder of the fifties, the thrities, the 20 millimeters and the rifles, tommy guns ans spistols had quieted down, Michael Syrko, a harmless little guy who asked nothing more out of life than a chance to go back to his farm in Pennsylvania, lay dead in the Tunisian sand. Ten minutes later, the enraged Tank Destroyers shot down their first Spitfire."

Note: the Tunisian town of Souk El Khemis has since been renamed Bou Salem, and is situated about 20 km WSW of Beja.

According to the ABMC database, Pvt Micheal [sic] Syrko of 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion was killed on 22 December 1942.

According to the book "Fw 190 in Africa", on the 21st two Fw 190s of III./SKG 10 glown by Lt Graf von Westerholy and Fw Esau took off from Sidi Ahmed at 0900 hrs to attack targets of ooportunity in or around the town of Beja. Loaded with SD 250s, they found and bombed a cncentration of vehicles. AA fire was encountered but they were not hit. There was no other raid launched by this unit that day or the 22nd. The fighters of II./JG 2 flew unventful sorties on the 21st and escorted on the 22nd Stukas of II./StG 3 to attack tanks and vehicles south of Medjez-el-Bab.

According to the book MAW3, on the 21st six Spitfires of 152 Sqn and six of 93 Sqn took off at 1100 hrs to escort two Hurricanes over Beja and Oued Zarga. Sgt W A Dobson of 152 Sqn failed to return and it was reported that his Spitfire Vb ER721 appeared to have been hit by Flak south of Makin, when over Allied lines. Dobson was killed.
-> I have been unable to find a place called Makin, but "Flak" "over Allied lines" might be Allied AA fire ?

From the same book, on the 22nd, ten Spitfires of 111 Sqn escorted Hurricanes TacR sorties over the Allied advance to the height that will be named Longstop Hill at 0825 hrs. Over Pont de Trajan (some km south of Beja) they were fired on by the US troops' AA defences and three Spitfires were hit. The pilot of one, Plt Off H D Christian, having been wounded, undertook a forced landing "on a/d" ("on airfield" in my understanding), but died of his wounds next day. He was flying the Spitfire Vb ER605 (History of this aircraft in the Spitfire production list has two possible end: ER605 Vb CBAF M46 38MU 27-9-42 222MU 6-10-42 SS625 20-10-42 Gibraltar 6-11-42 CE ops 28-12-42 Engine cut bellylanded 5m E of Setif 16-11-43. So possibly the aircraft was considered as damaged beyond repair (CE) in December 1942, probably due to damage suffered on the 22nd, but if the next entry is correct was repaired and then wrecjed in another accident in November 1943)
Also on the 22nd, Hs 129 of 5.(Pz)/SchG 2 made 13 sorties over the Pont ud Fahs area, claiming a dozen vehicles destroyed.
Re: Plt Off H D Christian, actually, AUS400779 P/O (Pilot) Harold David CHRISTIAN RAAF.

I initially rejected Spitfire ER605 on account of its subsequent history, but later decided to accept that Christian was wounded in that aircraft.

Others I toyed with were:

ER602 - Wrecked by Allied AA 22/12/42
ER815 - C2 Ops 22/12/42
ER820 - C3 Ops 22/12/42
ER860 - FAC3 22/12/42

The following, from Tony Bartley's, Smoke Trails in the Sky (pp.124-5), might be of interest:

In the afternoon, we patrolled the road between Teboussouck and Mejez, while the army were very busy running up their supplies to the front line. Everything looked fairly peaceful on the ground and we didn't see any e/a. On the way back, the Americans opened up on us over Khemis, and shot down one of my boys.
Jimmy (Baraldi) took some of the boys over to see him in hospital and he seemed quite cheerful. He had been shot in the rectum with a .50 cal bullet, and was lying on his stomach awaiting an operation to remove the slug.

In the evening, we heard from the field hospital that my pilot had died on the operating table, and I blew my top. I determined to hold an investigation, and told our Doc to go over to the hospital, first thing in the morning, and bring a damn good explanation from the surgeons, or else. What else, I hadn't figured out, so Doc poured me stiff whisky and told me to cool it. (Thanks Roy[Nixon]).

Harold Christian's medals (1939-45 Star, Aircrew Europe Star, British War Medal and Australian Service Medal) were auctioned by I S Wright (Ballarat, Vic.), in Postal Bid Sale No.42 (Item 2069) c.March, 1996. The reserve was AUS$125.00), never got the results of the auction.

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Old 6th March 2018, 11:07
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Thanks Col, Bartley's book pinpoints the place where US AA fire hit the Spitfire as Khemis, where 601st TD Bn was.

I wonder if the 111 Sqn ORB will give more details about the aircraft serials, and total losses this day.
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Old 21st April 2018, 19:13
CookJunior CookJunior is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Hello Brian,
I have recently joined as my Daughter was researching a naval uncle of mine who was killed before I was born and somehow came across this forum.
You have been seeking information about an incident that happened on 15th Feb 1944 involving Sgt R.V. Cook. I am his son and am in possession of his log book. The entry in it states that the type and number of aircraft is 800, that the pilot was W/O Dills, the duty was Ex3 and under remarks the following is noted. 'did not complete shot at by A.A. fire landed at Scunthorpe. At the top of the pages is written Beaufighters and Little Snoring.
The story that he told us was that they flew into a no fly zone, were shot at with the shell exploding very close resulting in the door being blown off (or opening, I cant remember) and that the pilot grabbed him to stop him falling out.
He received lacerations to his forehead which left him with a noticeable scar but he did not have to bale out.
The next date that he flew was April 5th but on 10th April he was again flying in aircraft number 8000, so I guess that it was not too badly damaged.
I hope that this information is helpful to you. Please let me know if you want any other information
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Old 26th July 2018, 17:19
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

On March 14, 1945 IL-2 ground attack planes of 17 VA, 136 ShAD (mainly from 210 ShAP) attacked T-34/85 tanks of the 18 Tank Corps, 170 Tank Brigade at Seregélyes-NE in Hungary in 27 missions. (They dropped 85 FAB-100, 14 FAB-50, 40 AO-25, 6080 small AT PTAB bombs, fired 9090 23mm cannon shells and 14 RS-82 unguided rockets. Claimed 17 tanks for the loss of 5 IL-2: 18886107 18842110, 18881124, 12293, 18874124.)

Despite of the instant radio warnings and flare signals, the soviet IL-2s destroyed 4 soviet tanks with many crewmembers, includind some old and experienced war veterans:

T-34/85, turret No. red '536', chassis No.: 4121531, engine No.: 105712, - л-т Талызин Александр Васильевич platoon-commander (KIA)
T-34/85, turret No. red '544', chassis No.: 4121616, engine No.: 105589
T-34/85, turret No. red '545', chassis No.: 4121591, engine No.: 105126
T-34/85, turret No. red '575', chassis No.: 0412228, engine No.: 4090656

Some remains of these destroyed tanks have been recovered recently along with some SU-76M self-propelled guns. At least one T-34/85 burned so heavily, that their 85 mm shells sank into the melted aluminum of their "liquid" transmission... Fuel tank exploded of course, see its rusty cap and some tags from their tracks.

Attached Images
File Type: jpeg T-34 (1).jpeg (95.8 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpeg T-34 (2).jpeg (134.3 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpeg T-34 (3).jpeg (88.1 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg T-34 (4).JPG (143.3 KB, 20 views)
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Old 1st October 2018, 19:27
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Two incidents of friendly barges being strafed by US fighters in Solomons.

On 5 December 1943 a former Japanese barge now used by New Zealanders after capture was being used to transport a padre to Tambama to visit his parishioners and conduct the SUnday service, but became grounded at Suanatalia, off Vella Lavella. A large American flag had been draped across the deck and a large white star painted on the roof of the wheelhouse. Five New Zealanders had gone over the side to push the barge off the coral reef when two American Corsair fighters appeared and commenced a strafing run. Two soldiers, Sapper F. L. Knipe and Corporal J. J. Todd, were killed, and another, Sapper A. T. Quirke, was wounded. The dead men were from 20th Field Company, and the death were flet very keenly.
An inquiry was later held, and the explanation given was that the flight leader had simply been test-firing his guns and his wingman had followed suit. Major Generam Harmon acknowledged that there had been a flagrant breach of safety regulations and gross neglicence. He informed the New Zealanders that one of the pilots had been killed in combat, while the other had received forfeiture of hald a month's pay and a formal reprimand.
Source: book "The Battle for Vella Lavella: The Allied Recapture of Solomon Islands Territory, August 15-September 9, 1943" by Reg Newell

On 16 October 1943, a US barge left Matu Suroto for Wataro with the intention of delivering supplies and gear to New Zealand troops. At 0915 hrs, when the barge was in open water just south of Mundi Mundi, four Corsairs were sighted. One peeled off, dove straight at the barge, and opened fire. It killed the coxswain, N. Blackmore, USNR, and wounded C.W. Sorrels, USNR, and two New Zealandes, Pte Lincoln and Pte N D Kingon, both of 16 MT Cpy ASC. Lincoln's arm had to be amputated, and he later died. "Lt L.T? McMillan and the coxswain had a marvelous escape, the steerting wheel being splintered and the barge well peppered." They were the only ones left uninjured, so he immediately headed back to Matu Suroto at full speed. The New Zealanders were perplexed by the attack, since no enemy barges had been seen in daylight for at leats three weeks prior to the attack.
In order to prevent further casualties, orders were issued that "in view of the Air Force practice of testing guns on wrecked barges round the coast, wrecks will be given a wide berth and it is forbidden to visit them."
Source: book "The Battle for Vella Lavella: The Allied Recapture of Solomon Islands Territory, August 15-September 9, 1943" by Reg Newell

The above text is a near-complete summary of the book and the contradiction between the US coxswain being killed in one sentence, and the coxswain and a NZ Lt surviving unhurt in another is in the book!

Regarding the second incident, the two dead were probably:
1) F2C Merlin Dale BLACKMORE, a crew of USS Fuller (APA-7). Source:
2) Pte William Franck Lincoln. Source:

An American report describes this attack from the air, available here:
(no more time to retype it there, Brian ask if you don't have access)
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Old 3rd October 2018, 13:14
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Iron Dog Iron Dog is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Hi everyone!

Here is a report from Soviet Air Defense – 9th IAK PVO on P-38 shot down over Kiev.

JUNE 26, 1944
At 09.10 AM on a patrol over Kiev pilots from 39th GVIAP PVO senior lieutenant Grishin and junior lieutenant Vitchenko encountered an American P-38 Lightning fighter at 9,500 m 25 km SE of Vasilkov. The aircraft showed no recognition signals. Misidentifying the aircraft as hostile, the fighters attacked and shot it down. The Lightning set on fire, pilot bailed out.

June 26 is a date when American planes participating in Frantic II set for return mission from Ukraine. As P-38s did not participate in the first two shuttle missions I suppose this could be an F-5.
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Old 6th October 2018, 12:04
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

This is also confirmed by US sources, though it is stated that the F-5 was downed on June 15. The pilot was First Lieutenant David K. Rowe. The Soviets misidentified his plane as a Ju 88 they had been chasing.
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Old 14th May 2019, 23:53
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

In "Sensi Sosho vol 3", the volume of Japanese official history describing the invasion of the Dutch East Indies, there is a mention of a deadly friendly fire on 20 December 1941 near Davao, Mindanao:
"The Miura Detachment, assigned to seize the airfield in a night attack and then capture the city of Davao, and the naval landing force, assigned to capture the oil storage facilities at Lanang in a night attack, each reported that they had successfully made surprise landings at 0400.(87, 89, 90) When Detachment Commander Sakaguchi came ashore in the second transport and advanced toward the airfield believing that the airfield had been secured in the night attack by the Miura Detachment, he only found that the Miura Detachment had not been able to launch a predawn attack, that some fifty soldiers had been killed when our naval planes mistakenly bombed them while they were preparing for an attack after daybreak, and that this had put the detachment in a difficult position for carrying out the attack. He also found that the naval landing force, which should have captured the oil storage facilities at Lanang in a night attack, had not been able to carry that out either and was moving toward the airfield."
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