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Old 16th January 2012, 00:32
Brian Brian is offline
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800 Sqn Hellcats Aegean 1944 friendly fire incident

Hi guys

In October 1944, four Hellcats of 800 Squadron operating from HMS Emperor sadly strafed four Coastal Forces MTBs in a bay on the Greek island of Skopelos. Three of the craft were damaged and there were casualties.

Can anyone provide information, please?

Cheers
Brian
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Old 22nd January 2012, 11:10
Observer1940 Observer1940 is offline
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Re: 800 Sqn Hellcats Aegean 1944 friendly fire incident

Brian

I am sorry, I can't help you with this one.

However, do you have an account of a ship with British pow on board hit by the allies and sunk, which is classed as friendly fire by some organisations.

This friendly fire account came to light when I was making enquiries about my Grandmother's Brother-in-Law who was a pow and had also worked on the Burma railroad. He was transferred to a hospital apparently and died on 23 July 1945. He is buried at Labuan.

1 Captured 15 Feb 42
2 Worked at clearing bomb and shell damage in Singapore until Oct 42
3 Sent to Thailand to work on the Burma Railway Nov 42
4 Returned to Singapore June 1943
5 Shipped to Labuan Aug 1943 to work on the airfield.
6 Some went to the East Coast of Borneo but those that died had their remains consolidated into the Labuan Cemetry which is quite large.

But some pow in other ships never made their trips and were killed by the allies in what is classed by some as friendly fire.

Mark

Last edited by Observer1940; 22nd January 2012 at 12:16. Reason: removed to "relative safety" and added timescale reference to Labuan
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Old 22nd January 2012, 11:58
Observer1940 Observer1940 is offline
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Re: 800 Sqn Hellcats Aegean 1944 friendly fire incident

Now found one of the emails. Regarding my pow enquiries, I received the following:-

"A thought from WW2 of the 57,000 British Military PoWS of the Japanese 17,000 died in captivity nobody mentions that 8,500 of these were courtesy of the US Navy who torpedoed the ships carrying them from SE Asia to Japan."

Regards Mark
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Old 22nd January 2012, 12:02
Allan125 Allan125 is offline
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Re: 800 Sqn Hellcats Aegean 1944 friendly fire incident

Quote:
Originally Posted by Observer1940 View Post
Brian

I am sorry, I can't help you with this one.

However, do you have an account of a ship with British pow on board hit by the allies and sunk, which is classed as friendly fire by some organisations.

This friendly fire account came to light when I was making enquiries about my Grandmother's Brother-in-Law who was a pow and had also worked on the Burma railroad. He was transferred to a hospital apparently and died on 23 July 1945. He is buried at Labuan.

But some pow in another ship never made their trips to relative safety and were killed by the allies in what is classed as a friendly fire incident.

Mark
Hi Mark

Sad to say this was not an isolated incident - a large number of PoW's were killed when their ships were sunk by the US Navy, to whom you can attach no blame. This is because of the atrocious way the Japanese carried PoW's between the various PoW camps and Japan etc., in unmarked "hell" ships and carrying war cargo in some instances. I would also take "transferred to a hospital" with a pinch of salt if you expect that hospital to have had reasonable facilities. Doctors did a heroic job with the totally inadequate facilities they had, virtually no drugs, no anaesthetics etc. etc.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_ship and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ese_hell_ships for example

Allan
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Old 22nd January 2012, 12:53
Observer1940 Observer1940 is offline
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Re: 800 Sqn Hellcats Aegean 1944 friendly fire incident

Alan

I expect some ships were unmarked as your quote suggests and therefore I am left questioning the term "friendly fire".

Friendly fire to me, is really a case, that when fire is opened, the person engaging the other party ought to have known.

However, I have a 1940 Court of Inquiry of an RAF bomber friendly fire incident and in the many pages of witness evidence attached to the form, basically the ground Controller was unaware that a new Bomber Station had opened in his Sector and the Pilot of the Blenheim said he thought the aircraft looked like a German aircraft.

In September 1940, the Air Ministry instruction in the file reminds RAF forces that fire will not be opened unless the other aircraft commits a hostile act and that it is better for a German aircraft to escape than to shoot down one of our own aircraft.

Therefore, it seems that many friendly fire incidents (although blame cannot always be attached) were incidents of fire against your own forces, despite not knowing in many of the cases.

Although, I have found a 1940 reference to an Admiralty complaint to the Air Ministry at TNA, Kew, asking why the Portland Anti Aircraft defences failed to take any action against British aircraft which were over the Portland prohibited area at night.

Mark
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Old 22nd January 2012, 12:59
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: 800 Sqn Hellcats Aegean 1944 friendly fire incident

Hi Mark

Yes, I will be covering these sad events in the relevant volume of the Blue on Blue series.

With regards to the 800 Squadron Hellcats incident, I will shortly have the relevant information.

Cheers
Brian
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