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Old 6th October 2008, 01:08
Martin Gleeson Martin Gleeson is offline
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Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

Hallo all,

Ed West has recently posted links in the Luftwaffe section ('Photos 9-30')to two more tantalizing photos of RAF Hurricanes and Battles from the French campaign. Both pose questions of identification and I hope by starting a new dedicated thread here that more information may come to light for the benefit of all.

The photos each show a Hurricane and a Battle, but different aircraft. They have been loaded by the Germans on railway flatcars for reclamation presumably. All wings and tail units have been removed for transport. The location is probably in, or originated from, the Reims area due to the units involved.

http://cgi.ebay.com/wseBayISAPI.dll...m=390000486618
This shows a Battle marked '.Q-V' , 'L54..'. This must be a 226 Squadron aircraft ( MQ ) and probably L5418 ? This was the only L54.. -serialled Battle abandoned at Reims on May 16th when 226 Squadron withdrew. The accompanying Hurricane is too small and unclear to be identified. As 73 Squadron left Reims on the same day and abandoned 5 Hurricanes it could be one of these ? Any comments welcome.

http://cgi.ebay.com/wseBayISAPI.dll...m=390000486785
Now for the fun one ! The other photo shows a Battle, GB-O, of 105 Squadron and a Hurricane with the individual letter C. While the O on the Battle is somewhat hidden in this shot a better image from another angle was also found by Ed West in August I think. This latter photo clearly shows it as GB-O, but no serial is visible or readable on either. Any ideas ?

It is the Hurricane also in this photo which may be the most exciting aspect of this find. The letter C behind the roundel is clear, but there is no trace of a squadron code, even making allowances for a missing panel. Very like 73 Squadron practice from photo evidence in many publications. The entire tail unit is missing. The serial, though somewhat blurred, appears to me to be P2975 or P2976. Can anyone enhance the serial ?

P2975 is not recorded in Peter Cornwell's book The Battle of France, Then and Now. The RAF Aircraft P1000-R9999 from Air-Britain records it as passing on to other units after 73 Squadron and being converted to a Mark IIA in 1941 before going to the Soviet Union in 1942. Don Minterne in Part 1 of The History of 73 Squadron gives its individual letter as Q and confirms it returned the UK on 18 June 1940. So clearly the Hurricane in the photo is not P2975.

Now to P2976. This is listed nowhere in the BOFT&N, The Battle of Britain Then & Now, Twelve Days in May or Don Minterne's work. The afore-mentioned Air-Britain volume shows P2976 only serving with 242 Squadron and crashing into the North Sea on 20 August 1940. Going back to The BOBT&N (4th/5th edition) for that date shows P2967 as crashing in the sea while attached to 242 Squadron !
But the same Air-Britain volume shows P2967 as having been shot down near Milstead, Kent on 27 September 1940 with 242 Squadron. So again returning to The BOBT&N we find on 27 September 1940 that 242 Squadron lost a Hurricane (serial unknown) at Milstead in Kent.

I am inclined to believe this Hurricane, P2976, belonged to 73 Squadron. It is worth noting in Don Minterne's extensive listing of 73 Squadron Hurricanes from 1938 to October 1940 that he does not seem to have a TP-C or C before July 1940. This raises the serious possibility in my mind that the C in this photo could be a 73 Squadron aircraft, along with the probability that it was found in the Reims area.

Furthermore I speculate that P2976 could be the 5th and missing serial from the 5 Hurricanes abandoned or destroyed at Reims by 73 Squadron on May 16th when they left this airfield along with 226 Squadron.

The nett result of the above - for me at least - is to confirm the fates of P2967 and P2976 as outlined in The BoBT&N and to correct those entries in the Air-Britain RAF Aircraft P1000-R9999. I realize this will not be news for the experts like Peter Cornwell. et al. But now perhaps we also have a candidate for the missing 73 Squadron Hurricane on page 293 of The BoFT&N ? (Pity we cannot identify the lost Hurricane of 242 Squadron on 27 September 1940 ?).

I hope this this post provokes some good discussion.

Martin Gleeson.
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Old 6th October 2008, 12:02
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

I too hope that this thread provokes some useful discussion but regret that I've little to offer beyond what is already published & as noted by Martin. However, according to my notes, four aircraft in the L5400 range were assigned to No.226 Squadron in France these being: L5418, L5438, L5450, & L5461. Also, could that Hurricane serial be P2973 ?
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Old 6th October 2008, 15:38
Bernard Bernard is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

Hello Martin and Peter,

I am not at home at the moment and can' t check my files, but one thing for sure is that the Hurricanes indeed abandonned on Reims airfield on the 16th of may 1940 were burnt ( and this was well done ) by british personel.

I don' t think that the Battle and Hurricane seen on these photographs were loaded on board the train by the German but were captured in this situation.

Best regards.

Bernard.
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Old 6th October 2008, 19:12
simong simong is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

Hello Martin,

Battle MQ-V seen loaded on french railway wagon is L5461. I have a clear side on shot of this aircraft as confirmation. The two RAF servicing and repair units used the railway system to move damaged aircraft to the depot at Nantes. This train was obviously overrun.

Regards,
Simon
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Old 6th October 2008, 20:05
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

I am afraid not very much on the subject, but I have some problem with a Hurricane of 501 Sqn still flying after its loss in the Channel. I think some grain of salt is needed, when researching such subjects, especially if records were lost.
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Old 7th October 2008, 00:42
Martin Gleeson Martin Gleeson is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

Hallo all,

Thanks for the responses so far. It is always good to obtain other viewpoints and this post certainly proves that. I admit it never occurred to me that the train had been captured already loaded. That casts a different light on those photos.

Combining the entries in The BoFT&N and The Battle File along with the photo of MQ-V L5461 seems to tie up neatly the fate of this aircraft.

Re. P2973 ? Peter I can still only see a 5 or a 6 as the last digit, but may yet be proved wrong ! One would really need a clearer image.

Regards for now,

Martin.
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Old 8th October 2008, 20:46
Iain Torrance Iain Torrance is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

Agree the train was en route to Nantes.
MQ- V is L5461 recorded as to 6RSU on 6 June
The Hurri beside MQ-V on the train is P3403 - to RAF Tangmere on 3 June 40 then next recorded as 'presumed struck off charge'
Pretty sure that GB-O is the photograph at page 65 of Battle File, wrongly attributed, my candidates are P2176, K9186 or P2248
Appreciate any positive ID on GB-O or other suggestions for Srl no. of GB-O
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Old 9th October 2008, 13:28
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

Playing with contrast and shadows with the Huricane I only see P2976
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Old 9th October 2008, 22:26
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

How about P2967 on 20.8.40 in North Sea, and P2769 (SOC 30.9.40 'with 79 Sqn') for loss 27.9.40 - both with 242 Sqn
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Old 13th October 2008, 17:14
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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Re: Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940.

No bites on this....

P2976 lost in France while with 73 Sqn

How about P2967 on 20.8.40 in North Sea (lost off Winterton while on Patrol Mid P J Patterson FAA killed (missing) with 242 Sqn), and P2769 (SOC 30.9.40 'with 79 Sqn') for the loss 27.9.40 "F/O M G Homer DFC killed, shot down by Bf109's over Sittinbourne Kent"

What could also be confusing is that P2796 was with 73 Sqn! this was lost 11th September Sgt HG Webster safe. Aircraft crashed over Sheppey and exacavated in 1976

Paul

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