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  #621  
Old 25th October 2012, 17:24
Bruce Dennis Bruce Dennis is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Hi Brian, hope you are both well.
I have the HMSO publication Mark mentioned, and you are welcome to borrow it. I confess to dozing off on this, as I had forgotten that it has a set of tables showing losses including a column marked 'Own Forces'. As Mark says, the rest of the book will be needed to tie up the losses. Of course, in some cases you will be able to correct the HMSO publication.


By the way, your PM box is full.

Regards, Bruce
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  #622  
Old 26th November 2012, 15:34
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

A new one for me: on 13 September 1943, as the HMS Britomart and Russian destroyers were escorting some British transports in Kola Bay, the convoy was attacked by German aircraft. Ltn. Günter Eichhorn of 7./JG 5 shot down a MBR-2 of 118 MRAP covering the convoy, killing the three crew. A Soviet Hurricane flew too close of the convoy during the attack and was shot down by the British transport Empire Fortune. The pilot, Mlaadshi Leytenant Nikolaev, was rescued. No unit is listed for him

Source:
http://www.halcyon-class.co.uk/SBNOreports/sep_1943.htm
German claims and details of Soviet losses from my files

Edited: more on the subject, about two other former cases of friendly fire, with no precise date:
http://www.halcyon-class.co.uk/SBNOreports/dec_1942.htm
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  #623  
Old 26th November 2012, 18:23
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Hi Laurent

Excellent! More 'new' information. I've posted an enquiry for further info.

Keep it coming!

Many thanks
Brian
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  #624  
Old 26th November 2012, 19:31
Allan125 Allan125 is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Hi Brian

HMS Britomart was of course involved in another friendly fire incident - this time being the subject of unwanted attention by Typhoons on 27 August 1944.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Britomart_(J22) for the history of HMS Britomart.

Allan
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  #625  
Old 26th November 2012, 21:00
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Thanks Alan

I have that tragic incident recorded.

Cheers
Brian
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  #626  
Old 29th November 2012, 13:40
Observer1940 Observer1940 is offline
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Low Flying Incident killing 10 boys 15th May 1943

Brian

Not sure if you have this, if you have, there might be some more details. Apparently there is a report in The Times 2nd June 1943.
LOW FLYING: DOWNSIDE ACCIDENT.

HL Deb 10 June 1943 vol 127 cc1032-42

“LORD WINSTER had the following question on the Paper: To ask His Majesty's Government whether a statement can now be made concerning the recent deaths at Downside School caused by the low flying of, a Fleet Air Arm machine” …

“As regards the matter of an inquiry, an inquest has been held but that inquest, of course, was, of necessity, directed only to establishing the cause of death. It could not be directed to establishing the cause of the accident, and the facts leading up to this disaster have not yet been made known authoritatively to the public.” …

“What alarms them is the feeling, when they know that something has gone wrong, that the facts are being concealed from them.” …

“I am informed that none of the parents of the boys killed or injured has received any letter expressing regret from any naval authority, and in fact no naval authority has called at the hospital where these injured boys are or has made any inquiries.”

“The last point that I want to mention is a point of public interest—namely, this question of low flying. One can only ask the question, how much longer is this criminal thing to go on, and can no stop be put to it? In the present instance, the Father Abbot of Downside had done everything that he possibly could by official means to put an end to this practice. It was an evil of long standing at Downside. The Father Abbot has called twice at the Air Ministry; he has written two official letters; he has telephoned to the authorities; he has given the official numbers of the aircraft which were at fault. Even that has not stopped it, and, even since this tragedy at Downside, this low flying has occurred again at the school. Before the tragedy this was a regular nuisance at Downside; it was a persistent practice, which was affecting the nerves of the boys.”

THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY (LORD BRUNTISFIELD)
… “With regard to the general question of low flying, I do not want to go into this particular accident in detail, for the simple reason that further proceedings are pending. There is a court martial involved, and obviously it would be highly improper for me to say anything which may in any way affect the trial of the officer concerned.” …

“In general, however, I should like to say that, in common with the Air Ministry, the Admiralty views all forms of dangerous and low flying as in the worst possible taste and as the height of bad manners. The strictest regulations exist, which are frequently brought to the notice of flying officers, to prevent the occurrence of this exceedingly deplorable practice.” … – Crown Copyright

Inquest
Resumed Inquest at the Downside School Gymnasium 1st June 1943 - Plane Crash at Downside School Playing Ground on May 15th 1943 during a Cricket Match, killing nine of the boy spectators.

The Headmaster of the School was Dom Christopher Butler.
Rev. John Bernard Orchard, House-master
Police Detective Constable Fisher
Very Rev. R. S. Trafford, Abbot of Downside

Pilot Sub. Lt. A. C. McCracken, Australian, of the Fleet Air Arm also killed

Mr A. Myddleton-Wilshere appeared for Sub Lt. John B Leeming, Pilot of the other plane, flying in the company with McCracken
Mr J. McKenna appeared for the Admiralty

Boys were;
Hugh Michael Dearlove (14), son of Group Captain Dearlove killed early in the war and Mrs C. M. Dearlove, Horris Bank of Newtown, Newbury, Berkshire;
David Hugh Lowndes (16), son of Mrs G. W. Bishop, Ennismore, Gardens, London;
Lawrence John McNabb (15), son of Wing Commander and Mrs McNabb of ParkTown, Oxford;
Brian Richard Patrick McSwiney (14), son of Dr and Mrs S. A. McSwiney of Caton, The Golfs, Eastbourne, Sussex;
Michael Bagot Quinlan (15), son of Mr & Mrs P. B. Quinlan of Ealing, London;
Philip Humphrey Peter Rose (15), son and Heir of Sir Philip Rose, Bart, Hazlemere, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire;
Keith Edward Charles Stokes (15), son of Mr and Mrs C. A. Stokes, The Croft, Clarence Road, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset;
David M Jennings (10½), son of Lt. Col. G. W. D. Jennings, R. E., and Mrs Jennings of Budleigh Salterton, Devon;
Graham Norman Letts (13) son of Mr and Mrs H. Norman Letts of West Common, Lindfield, Sussex.

On 1st June 1943, nine others were still in hospital.

Summary
Five cricket games were going on and 200 people were watching and playing.

House-master Rev. John Bernard Orchard, said he saw before the crash two aeroplanes circling the ground closer to the tree tops than he had ever seen before. The aircraft approached the playing field from different directions at different times.

Dom Orchard saw the boys scattering on the banks as one of the planes approached and the boys would have been clearly visible to the pilots flying a hundred feet or more from the ground. Plane had passed but made a hairpin turn.

Mr Wilshere for Mr Leeming says he only circled the field once that day. A question was asked – Are you quite sure he was over the field at all?

Rev. Michael Benet Innes who was umpiring said he estimated the planes passing at about 30 to 40 feet on three or four occasions … “I took the number of one plane because I thought such low flying was distracting and dangerous.”

Richard Kirkpatrick Hutton a schoolboy saw the planes circling the field, saying they crossed it more than once in direct lines, turned and came back.

Commander A.F. Black, in control of a Royal Navy air station, said that in excellent visibility Sub-Lieutenant J. B. Leeming and Sub-Lieutenant A. C. McCracken took two sea Hurricanes on exercises. Both exercises were individual attack and follow-my-Ieader, with the instructor, Leeming, carrying out steep turns, dives, and "zooms," and the pupil, McCracken (who was killed), attempting to keep on the leader's tail. They should not have flown below 2,000ft. Downside was just out­side the limited area permitted for the exercises.
McCracken had eight months' experience of flying in Britain. Leeming, who had 500 hours' flying since 1941, was an experienced instructor. No technical defects had been found in the crashed plane. To have flown over the playing fields at less than 100ft., would have been a gross breach of regulations.

The Coroner Mr M. Pullibank told the jury they had to decide whether Leeming could be held respon­sible for the actions of McCracken.

Mark

Last edited by Observer1940; 29th November 2012 at 14:15.
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  #627  
Old 29th November 2012, 16:34
Observer1940 Observer1940 is offline
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Sub Lt. J. B. Leeming

Further to my tragic summary of the Downside School crash.

I have found the Devonport Court Martial report released to the press for John Birch Leeming, an Instructor, who pleaded "Guilty" to three charges arising out of the aeroplane accident at Downside School, Somerset on May 15th 1943.

Accused of:-
1. Flying outside a local training area
2. Flying at less than 2,000 ft. without authority or due cause and
3. Flying in the neighbourhood of Downside School in a manner likely to cause accident or annoyance to persons or damage to property.

Leeming was an Instructor who was carrying out an exercise with Sub-Lieutenant A. C. McCracken, a New Zealander, in another aircraft. McCracken's aircraft crashed and he was killed.

A "circumstantial" letter outlined the case for the prosecution stating:-
the aircraft was 4 miles outside the limit of a local training area.

While the cricket match was in progress he flew in a follow my leader exercise with A. C. McCracken a New Zealander at a height between 50 and 100 feet.

His aircraft came over again and the second aircraft following hit the ground, striking the boys.

The prosecution felt that there was enough evidence that Leeming in the leading aeroplane showed wilful disregard for Admiralty Fleet Orders relating to low flying.

Leeming
Leeming had become an instructor at the station on May 12 and immediately demanded a low flying area. He felt that low flying should be taught. No low flying area had yet been allocated, and meanwhile either instructors failed to give pupils low flying practice or broke the rules and hoped for the best. Leeming preferred to take the risk of being reported for low flying so that he might impart his knowledge to his pupils.

Leeming had an extremely good flying record. He was a pupil who became an instructor and was required to take up an appointment for which he had insufficient experience. It was not he who was to blame.

Captain M. S. Thomas described Leeming as a very keen and conscientious officer and a pupil of above average ability. Other Officers also spoke of Leeming's ability.

He was sentenced to be dismissed his ship and severely reprimanded.
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  #628  
Old 20th December 2012, 12:33
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

19 September 1944: a Coastal Command Liberator sank a Soviet submarine.
I am sure you have this recorded, but the following link, despite being Wikipedia, has more details than what I had read elsewhere (including AIR files number used as sources):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Fisanovich
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  #629  
Old 20th December 2012, 13:22
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Thanks Mark and Laurent

I had notes relating to both incidents but not such detail. Excellent!

Cheers
Brian
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  #630  
Old 20th December 2012, 19:51
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Brian,

From the 100th ID website (www.100thww2.org) this item under 898th AA Arty Bn (Automatic Weapons):

"Neither the 898th nor the 100th had seen their last aerial “friendly fire” incidents, however. On 22 January and again a week later, Century Division positions around Petit-Réderching, Bining, Enchenberg, and Montbronn were subjected to strafing and even bombing attacks by P-47s and P-51s; Battery D was awarded official credit for shooting down one of a flight of four Mustangs which attacked 397th Infantry positions around Petit-Réderching on 29 January!"

Mentioned village is near Bitche, NE France

The division had been mistakenly under attack by USAAF fighters on several occasions earlier in the month (Jan 45) as well, especially during the first days of Operation Northwind (Vosges).

Regards,

Leendert
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