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  #1  
Old 4th November 2018, 14:32
David Layne David Layne is offline
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Question for Spitfire experts

Can anyone identify the aircraft flown by Roger Simmons? He was seconded to SAAF and joined 1 Squadron 13th November 1941 as a Pilot Officer. Fought in Operation Crusader. Transferred to 238 Squadron R.A.F. in May 1942 and returned to 1 Squadron 2nd July 1942 taking part in 1st Alamein, Alam Halfa and El Alamein. Flying in his Spitfire he was shot down and wounded by flak on 24 March 1943 strafing Gabes Airfield Tunisia.
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  #2  
Old 4th November 2018, 18:29
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

This one is tricky David

Not mentioned in MAW 3 and nothing in 85 years of SAAF either.
Only mention I have is in Springbok Fighter Victory Vol 3 by Schoeman.

Simmons and some others went down to hunt enemy fighter about to land at the airfield, not strafe it as such. Simmons was hit and became a PoW.
Unfortunately no aircraft listed, but at the time No 1 Sq used Mk Vs.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 4th November 2018, 19:12
David Layne David Layne is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

OK thanks
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Old 5th November 2018, 02:51
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

Hello David,
You may like to try the NA for the squadron orb.
For the 25/03/1943 the name Simmons is not mentioned as far as I could see.
So perhaps he was still presumed to be a 238 Sqn man ?

As for the a/c and pilots for the 25th, they were - in order

Spitfire V's
Serial numbers
525,303,541,211,116,233.
A/c letters
X,S,B,Z,N,H.
Pilots
Viljoen, Tyrrell, Gilson, Quin, Robinson, Rossouw.

Second flight
Spitfire V's
Serial numbers
525,381,188,576,941,590,211,390,193,476,983.
A/c Letter
X,A,F,C,E,M,Z,B,V,W,Y.
Pilots
Gaynor, Wikner, Lanham, Van der Merwe, Brebner, Van Nus, O'Farrell, Smith, Drummond, Chapel, Hillary.

A/c tie-ups are possibly -
ER525, EP303, 541, ES211,ER116,JK233.
and
ER525, 381, 188, 576, ER941, 590, ES211, BR390, 193, 476, ER983.

Smith was in collision with an Mc202.
Also Tyrrell was killed.

No mention of Simmons at all.

So perhaps as I suggest 238 Sqn may give up a serial number ?

Alex

Last edited by Alex Smart; 5th November 2018 at 05:03.
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Old 5th November 2018, 04:47
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

Hello David,
Just an update re R.G.Simmons.
He is recorded in the reports for 13/12/42 and if the same procedure was followed as seen in my earlier post re a/c letter/serial/pilot was used it looks like he was Flying A/c "AX-M" serial number EP666, later "AX-O", and again for the 6th March 43 when he was in A/c ER473 a/c letter " AX-M ".

Alex
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Old 7th November 2018, 17:51
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

David

We have a possible match.
I asked this question on the Air Britain Forum and Geoffrey Negus came up with that EP659 is reported as lost with 1SAAF on 24 March 1943.

It was transferred from 225 (RAF) Sq to SAAF on 14 Dec 1942.

Alex
Can you please advise if the aircraft you list for the 25th are with 238Sq or 1SAAF??

Cheers
Stig
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Old 7th November 2018, 19:25
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

I also have to make an apology to the MAW team.

The incident is mentioned, but in Vol 2 on page 550, but still without a s/n.

It seems I have a clear problem remembering when and how the dates (books) overlap each other.

Sorry about that....

Cheers
Stig
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Old 7th November 2018, 20:55
David Layne David Layne is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

Thank you
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  #9  
Old 8th November 2018, 01:57
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

Hello David,
Ac serials, a/c code letters and pilots names are all 1 SAAF for the two flights on the 25 th.( post 4 ).
The details I also gave for Simmons on the earlier dates ( post 5 ),with a/c serial numbers and a/c codes are also from the 1SAAF ORB which as I had earlier pointed to as available at the NA. They can be downloaded for a small fee, ( a few years ago they could be downloaded for FREE ).
Re: EP659. This derail number is not listed in "Spitfire International" or "85 Years of SAAF"" as a SAAF a/c .
However AB's EA100 to EZ999 (old edition ) has on -
page 75 " EP659 - 92/225 - Lost 14.12.42 "
while the ( new edition ) has on -
page 89 " EP659 - 92/225/1SAAF - Missing 24.3.43".
So looks very like it could be the one. Wonder what prompted the "Lost 14.12.42 ? Maybe the date transfered to SAAF ?

Strange that Simmons and the a/c serial number and a/c code letter is not included in the ORB.
As I noted, he is mentioned for earlier dates, perhaps a process of transfer back to the RAF was the reason ?

I will look to see if "659" is records and if the a/c code letter is given, if so will get back to you.

Alex
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  #10  
Old 8th November 2018, 11:21
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Question for Spitfire experts

Alex

Indeed the second edition (2010) states the aircraft in fact was transferred to SAAF and also the date of its demise

I suppose research in dusty files is a never ending business and Brent's book is not final by any means. There are many other Spitfire serials not listed for instance.

Actually it was me who was interested in your 25th March list. A bit unforunate that whoever wrote their ORB considered the letters in front of the serial digits as "trash" and made no notes of them. Since the SAAF own system only consisted of digits it is understandable though....

We can also see that ORBs are not 100% reliable either or at least create questions. A bit odd, to me at least, that both flights on the 25th operate aircraft 525 coded X and 211 coded Z.

Finally comparing your interpreted serial numbers with Brent's book (2005), the following are not listed: ER525, ES211, ER116, JK233, ER941, ER983, EP666, while they are all in Spitfire International (2002). Seems pretty clear Brent had no access to the latter book when he compiled his details.

How (and when) EP659 was discovered as having been transferred to 1SAAF is beyond me, but it feels likely to have been between 2005 and 2010...

Cheers
Stig
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