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  #131  
Old 22nd November 2005, 22:13
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Quote:
Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s
This is off topic, just an F.Y.I.
I was looking through The Royal Air Force of World War Two: In Color and chanced upon a color photo of Squadron Leader Skalski's Spitfire EN459. The picture was made sometime after the aircraft crash-landed at Gabes with Flight Lieutenant Horbaczewski at the controls. The photo shows the Spitfire with wings and front cowl removed; the fuselage was propped up on a stand and a few mechanics appear to be working on the engine or perhaps removing it.
Thanks for thinking of me. Actually, the photo held at IWM, is quite well known here. It was taken some time after Horbaczewski nursed the Spitfire back to own lines on 6 April 1943 and the aircraft seems to be put back together after some repairs. There are also some B&W photos taken at the time.
I am not sure if this is Freeman's book, if so, there is a colour photo of 309 Sqn Mustang taken at USAAF airfield and credited to the late Stan Wyglendowski. I think it was actually taken by a one of US correspondents and I would love to learn where to look for a better copy.
Quote:
... December 21, 1943 was a black day for the 78th because through poor aircraft recognition four RAF Typhoons were shot down by mistake in a bounce during a B-26 area support near Doullens, France. It should also be stated that in the same fight, RAF Spitfires also shot down one of their own Typhoons, making five in all lost to faulty identification.
I am awared of two Typhoons downed and one damaged (With US pilot at the controls!) of 609 Sqn and a single downed Spitfire of 501 Sqn. Another Typhoon was lost later that day due to malfunction. No information of any Typhoon downed by Spits.
Cheers
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  #132  
Old 23rd November 2005, 21:12
David Pausey David Pausey is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
Hi David

Correct date. Perhaps the claims were not allowed when the facts became known? But there should be details somewhere, or was it a complete cover up?

Cheers
Brian
Brian
I have looked at the 11 group ORB and the 78th F.G. claims are there but they give no pilot names. So would think you are right and they were not allowed. I have the report of the days missions 21-12-43 and 501 and 609 Sqns ORB, but I suppose you have these ? any way if you whant scans just let me know.
Cheers
David
PS I have no other details of the 78th FG BTW.
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  #133  
Old 23rd November 2005, 21:16
David Pausey David Pausey is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
David, they are in daily claims and casualties log. I presume that is what has been claimed until it was realised what they actually had shot down. I suppose some details must be somewhere but I am not sure where to look.
Cheers
All right Franek
Yes as allways you are right? I would think there may be a report of this in the U.S. or could it be at Kew ?
Cheers
David
BTW I have the info you whant, will send it soon.
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  #134  
Old 23rd November 2005, 22:15
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Pausey
I would think there may be a report of this in the U.S. or could it be at Kew ?
Theoretically at both places, as it was somewhat international incident. I suppose there is a file of correspondence between FC & 8 AF HQs or sth like that at Kew. There might be some sort of court of inquiry files but I would expect it somewhere in the US only.
Quote:
BTW I have the info you whant, will send it soon.
Many thanks and looking forward!
Cheers
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  #135  
Old 24th November 2005, 00:22
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Pausey
Brian
I have looked at the 11 group ORB and the 78th F.G. claims are there but they give no pilot names. So would think you are right and they were not allowed. I have the report of the days missions 21-12-43 and 501 and 609 Sqns ORB, but I suppose you have these ? any way if you whant scans just let me know.
Cheers
David
PS I have no other details of the 78th FG BTW.
After studying this problem, I got the impression that claims were made for eight aircraft destroyed, of which four were rejected after the investigation. To my knowledge, the following was credited to the 78th Fighter Group on December 21st, 1943:

Lieutenant Charles W. Silsby, 84th FS. One FW-190.
Lieutenant William F. Hunt, 84th FS. One FW-190.
Lieutenant Gray H. Doyle, 84th FS. One FW-190.
Captain John D. Irvin, 84th FS. One ME-109.

Silsby was later promoted to Captain, and was KIA on April 15th, 1944, with the 84th FS. Hunt was later promoted to Captain, and was KIA on June 10th, 1944, with the 84th FS. Doyle was later promoted to Captain, and was KIA on September 5th, 1944, with HQ, 78th FG. Irvin was later promoted to Major, and moved to VIII Fighter Command on March 17th, 1944. I was not able to determine the names of the four pilots who were drummed out of the group as a result of the disaster on December 21st, 1943.

Perhaps Frank Olynyk has other information.

Last edited by Six Nifty .50s; 24th November 2005 at 13:20.
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  #136  
Old 24th November 2005, 01:34
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Speaking of bad days, I am seeking to fill in the blanks on incomplete data regarding September 14th, 1940. Can anyone sort this out and tell us who did all the shooting:

RAF Hurricane P3209. 73 Squadron. Shot down by a Spitfire and made forced-landing at Gravesend. Sergeant Leng was not injured. See Francis Mason / Battle Over Britain, p.385. Serial number from Francis Mason / The Hawker Hurricane, p.221, and Winston Ramsey / The Battle of Britain: Then and Now, p.448.

RAF Hurricane L2039. 73 Squadron. Shot down by a Spitfire near Tonbridge. Squadron Leader M. W. S. Robinson was injured bailing out. See Francis Mason / Battle Over Britain, p.385. Serial number from Winston Ramsey / The Battle of Britain: Then and Now, p.448, and Norman L. R. Franks / RAF Fighter Command Losses, vol. I, p.82.

RAF Hurricane; serial unknown. 73 Squadron. Shot down by a Spitfire near Maidstone. Sergeant J. J. Griffin bailed out without injuries. See Francis Mason / Battle Over Britain, p.385.

RAF Hurricane V7209. 73 Squadron. Damaged in attack by a Spitfire over Tilbury. Aircraft hit in the radiator and Flight Lieutenant M. L. ff Beytaugh made a forced landing at West Malling without injury. See Francis Mason / Battle Over Britain, p.385, and Winston Ramsey / The Battle of Britain: Then and Now, p.448.

RAF Hurricane L1981. 73 Squadron. Damaged in attack by a Spitfire. Pilot landed without injury, his name withheld. See Winston Ramsey / The Battle of Britain: Then and Now, p.448.

RAF Hurricane; serial unknown. 73 Squadron. Damaged in attack by a Spitfire. Pilot Officer R. A. Marchand landed without injury. See Francis Mason / Battle Over Britain, p.385.

Last edited by Six Nifty .50s; 24th November 2005 at 13:20.
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  #137  
Old 24th November 2005, 09:48
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Thanks David, Franek and Six Nifty for your responses - excellent, and surely we now have the identities of the four pilots involved.

Regarding your query re 73 Squadron on 14 September 1940, I have a note that the squadron responsible was probably 603. I have to invesigate further. This is what I have:

14 September was an unlucky day for 73 Squadron operating from Castle Camps, its Hurricanes having been attacked by Spitfires in error – possibly aircraft from 603 Squadron - over Tilbury just after 1600. Flt Lt Mike Beytagh force-landed V7209 at West Malling after his aircraft had been hit in the radiator, while Sgt Maurice Leng managed to force-land his damaged machine (P3209) at Gravesend. This was Leng’s second incident, having been shot down by ‘friendly fire’ the previous month. The Hurricanes flown by Flg Off Don Scott (L1981/TP-B) and Plt Off Roy Marchard (P2869) both returned to base with damage inflicted by the Spitfires, but Sgt John Brimble failed to return. It was believed that he had also been shot down by one of the Spitfires and his aircraft (P2543/TP-D) crashed at Parkhouse Farm, Chart Sutton near Maidstone. Bristol-born Brimble was killed. One of the few to escape the onslaught was Flg Off Smudger Smith, who reported that he had seen a Spitfire breaking away following an attack on a Hurricane, which fell away obviously damaged. Smith pursued the Spitfire down to 3,000 feet but could no catch up with it. On the same date, Flt Lt John Freeborn and his section from 74 Squadron scrambled and intercepted a Bf110, which was chased through cloud as the Spitfires manoeuvred to carry out individual attacks. In the confusion Plt Off Bob Spurdle (P7355) accidentally fired at Freeborn’s aircraft (P7366), inflicting slight damage only and Freeborn was not hurt.

You will note that the identities of those involved differ to your list, Six Nifty.

Cheers
Brian
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  #138  
Old 24th November 2005, 10:30
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Gentlemen!
Your combined expertise promptly provided answers to the 20/12/43 tragedy, so how about these:

9 August 1943: B-26 41-31634 555BS/386BG was shot down by an RAF Spitfire. Has anyone identities and fate of crew? Identity/squadron of Spitfire pilot? I have just 'discovered' that 1/Lt Dick A Tucker and his crew were killed.

3 December 1943: B-17 554BS damaged by friendly fire and 2/Lt John B. Kennedy was wounded. What type of friendly fire (apart from being unfriendly) and location of incident?

23 March 1944: Two P-47s attacked RAF launch HSL2706 in mistake for German E-boat off Dutch coast. Who were the pilots? What squadron/group?

Over to you, guys.

Cheers
Brian

Last edited by Brian; 24th November 2005 at 14:10.
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  #139  
Old 24th November 2005, 13:44
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Six Nifty .50s
Re: Friendly fire WWII

Thanks Brian. Were you able to figure out why Francis Mason, Norman Franks, and Winston Ramsay all reported different results for the same day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
23 March 1944: Two P-47s attacked RAF launch HSL2706 in mistake for German E-boat off Dutch coast. Who were the pilots? What squadron/group?
On that date, Lieutenant James R. Cook and Flight Officer Shirley J. Green (360th FS) were said to have damaged an E-boat in the North Sea. See p.31, Miller, Kent. The 356th Fighter Group in World War II: In Action over Europe with the P-47 and P-51 (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Books, 2003).

Last edited by Six Nifty .50s; 24th November 2005 at 15:27.
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  #140  
Old 24th November 2005, 14:14
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Friendly fire WWII

Sorry Six Nifty - I am not privy to the workings of minds of great men!!

Thanks for the note re 360FS, Please note that I now have details of the crew and their fates regarding the B-26 downed on 9/8/43 - but not the identity of the RAF pilot responsibe.

Cheers
Brian
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