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  #1  
Old 26th May 2014, 22:41
Brian Brian is offline
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Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Hi guys

A mystery man!

Apparently, according to his logbook, he claimed a Bf109 shot down off Le Havre while flying a Blenheim of 236 Squadron. If this is correct, might his air gunner have been Plt Off Colin Chrystall, a New Zealander who was credited with a Bf109 0n his first operational flight with 236 Squadron, circa July 1940?

Cotes-Preedy also claimed two Ju87s damaged on 23 July 1940.

These claims do not appear in 236 Squadron's records, as far as I know.

Any information welcomed.

Cheers
Brian
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Old 26th May 2014, 22:56
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

I have a copy of his logbook. There are a a number of things written in it which cannot be substantiated by 236 or CC records albeit he was quite an accomplished pilot. The only times that 236 met with Bf 109s were 20 & 21 Jul 40 and in both cases no claims were made
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Old 27th May 2014, 11:49
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Sgt Colin Chrystall #614569 is one of my pre May 1940 Bale-outs. He was a the air gunner of Bristol Blenheim L1452 that crashed at Gainsborough, Lincs killing Flt/Lt Percy Don Walker # 36115 and AC2 /Flt. Mech Benjamin France #620302. It appears that Walker and Chrystall were detached from 23 Sqn to 229 Sqn to get 229 operational

However, all indications I have is that Chrystall went from 23 Sqn to 235 Sqn not 236 Sqn and it was in 235 Sqn in July 1940


Bristol Blenheim the Complete History miss-id's France as 'Francis'
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Old 27th May 2014, 14:07
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Thanks Chris & Paul

Yes, I believe you are correct Paul - Colin Chrystall was with 235 Squadron and, I believe, was flying with S/Ldr Drew on his first operational flight, when he claimed a Bf109 shot down.

Chris, is there any indication of the Drew/Chrystall encounter with Bf109s in July 1940?

Cheers
Brian
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Old 27th May 2014, 15:26
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Brian:
Anything in the CC Intsum does not mention names until 1943 and I passed all such details to Andy Bird for his Blenheim book (which I am sure you must have). I do have the unofficial 235 Sqn diary but I am waiting for Andy to return it so you might like to PM him
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Old 27th May 2014, 19:44
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Hi,

I have a copy of notes made from Colin Chrystal’s Log book. These notes are not complete but includes highlights from his service as air gunner.

Chrystal flew his first operation with 235 Sqn in May 1940. Only one operation in July is mentioned:
4/7/40: Sgt Quelch (Pilot), Blen Z, Recco Hamburg and Bremen. Shipping etc (1220). Reached coast near moth of River Elbe. Saw 6 enemy fighter A/C flying along coast. Lost leader and turned back. Thick cloud at 4,000’.

He flew a total of 13 operations in July. During other months he was involved in several encounters with enemy aircraft but there is no claim for a destroyed Bf 109 in the notes.

Nevertheless I am very interested in this claim because I am researching all claims against enemy a/c by NZ air gunners. Brian what is the source for this claim?

Cheers,
Peter
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Old 27th May 2014, 20:13
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Peter

Very Interesting!

Do you have his log book entry for his parachute incident on 29-11-1939 ?

Thanks

Paul
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Old 27th May 2014, 20:20
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Paul

29/11/39 (1905): Blen MSL F/L Walker (Pilot) Searchlight Co-Op Crashed near Ravensfleet (Gainsboro'). Engine failure baled out. (.30)

Cheers
Peter
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Old 27th May 2014, 21:28
paulmcmillan paulmcmillan is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Peter Thanks for that just what I was after Paul
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Old 29th May 2014, 16:05
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Digby Cotes-Preedy 236 Sqn 1940

Hi guys

Egg on face situation (again)!!

I did not intend to write Colin Chrystall - I was thinking about Herbert CAPSTICK as the possible 236 Squadron air gunner who apparently claimed a Bf109 on his first operational sortie, possibly flying with Cotes-Preedy on 21 July 1940!!

With apologies

Brian
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