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  #11  
Old 29th October 2020, 12:34
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Lancaster supply drop to Yugoslavia

Stirlings were being introduced to replace the Halifaxes, as the standard type for SOE, but I think the date a little early for this.
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  #12  
Old 29th October 2020, 12:44
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Lancaster supply drop to Yugoslavia

I wouldn't have any confidence in any USAAF fighter pilots' recognition skills, going on the published record which to be fair does tend to stress the mistakes rather than everyday ordinary getting-it-right! Particularly when it comes to RAF night bombers which cannot have been any regular sight - and in the case of the Lancaster a never-seen sight. Being stuck on a hard seat for a long and uninspiring escort, someone might well have noticed that the fins were different, that one had a nose turret lacking on the other - so if they were different what else could they be? You certainly can't expect them to be au fait with differences between a Halifax Mk.II series 1(Special) and a Halifax Mk.II series 1a.

A bit thin perhaps, but this clearly was a recognition mistake of some kind and this does seem to be the likeliest option (and perhaps the kindest). I think it a bit early for the other type to have been a Stirling... and a US pilot probably can be relied upon to know a B-24.

OOPs, no nose turret by this time. Only out by (at least) a couple of years.

Last edited by Graham Boak; 29th October 2020 at 22:39.
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  #13  
Old 29th October 2020, 12:49
Zoran Petek Zoran Petek is offline
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Question Re: Lancaster supply drop to Yugoslavia

Hello gents,
Of course there were Lancasters in MTO, but no operational sqn was based there. During 1943 Bomber Command flew shuttle raids to Blida, and 617 Sqn also flew some missions. There was also a mention of a Lancaster delivering leaflets and newspapers from Egypt to SD squadrons Italy. Also after the war Italy was full of Lancasters durig Operation Dodge.
But this one supply dropper I look for (if existed) was probably one-off, possibly damaged during a raid to north Italy or Germany and landed in Italy, that could be repaired and put to some use, and I'm looking for documents that can (disa)proof that.
Zoran
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  #14  
Old 29th October 2020, 12:54
Zoran Petek Zoran Petek is offline
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Re: Lancaster supply drop to Yugoslavia

No 148 Sqn had some Stirlings, but I found no evidence in dosuments that these were used over Yugoslavia. No 624 Sqn used Stirlings over France, and one ended in the Adriatic on unauthorised flight.
Zoran
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  #15  
Old 29th October 2020, 13:05
MW Giles MW Giles is offline
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Re: Lancaster supply drop to Yugoslavia

Rather than speculating that some stray Lanc landed in Italy or North Africa in 1943 and got co-opted into clandestine ops by a squadron equipped with Halifaxes

The squadron records state that two Halifaxes were sent out for the op. The escorts escorted two aircraft. Why do we have to look for a strange conspiracy or very secret shannanagins to account for why a fighter pilot could not tell one black four engined bomber from another.

The Luftwaffe often could not tell the difference, hence the claims for Lancs at the time of Arnhem on daylight resupply missions. Why should the Americans be any better

Sorry, its been a long day and is only 11:00

Martin
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  #16  
Old 29th October 2020, 13:10
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Lancaster supply drop to Yugoslavia

A matter of timing - the Stirling was to replace the Halifax and so examples would be expected early for crew familiarisation. I'd have expected some around in theatre by April 1945, but published dates for re-equipment may not reflect such individuals. By April 1945 even the newest-delivered Halifaxes would have been getting tired, and a mid-1943 build one even more so.

If you are looking for a Lancaster diverted from a mission, then which mission would this have been? If there was such a Lancaster mission carried out in this period then you may have a candidate. Otherwise the only evidence is this identification which would be demonstrably incorrect.

I suspect however if a Lancaster flew such a mission then it would have been in the squadron records. It is fair to say that the average BC pilot would not be familiar with the territory nor style of operations, but an experienced pilot could have been added to the crew.
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  #17  
Old 30th October 2020, 12:25
Pat Atkins Pat Atkins is offline
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Re: Lancaster supply drop to Yugoslavia

removed my post as it's now irrelevant - for some reason my browser doesn't always load messages in real time!
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  #18  
Old 30th October 2020, 12:41
Pat Atkins Pat Atkins is offline
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Re: Lancaster supply drop to Yugoslavia

I'm with Martin: 148 had 2 Halifaxes in the area on this date, and Occam's razor suggests we go with this unless other evidence crops up. The squadron did have few Stirlings, and were scheduled to convert to the type, but I don't believe these were used operationally - though some caution is required here, as the records are not necessarily 100% complete. They continued to fulfill the supply/personnel dropping role with their clapped-out Halifaxes until VE Day.

Incidentally, the 148 ORBs confirm that all their Halifaxes in the air on that day were MkIIs .
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