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Beaufighter of No.143 Squadron in Action

Beaufighter of No.143 Squadron in Action


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Beaufighter of No.143 Squadron in Action

A super picture of a Beaufighter of No.143 Squadron during an attack on German surface vessels on 18 April 1943.

Many thanks to Colin Bain, whose father Victor Albert Bain flew with No.143 Squadron, for sending us these pictures.


Beaufighter of No.143 Squadron in Action - History

No 141 - 144 Squadron Aircraft & Markings

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Contents

Origins Edit

The concept of the Beaufighter has its origins in 1938. During the Munich Crisis, the Bristol Aeroplane Company recognised that the Royal Air Force (RAF) had an urgent need for a long-range fighter aircraft capable of carrying heavy payloads for maximum destruction. [1] Evaluation of the Beaufort concluded that it had great structural strength and stiffness in the wings, nacelles, undercarriage and tail, so that the aircraft could be readily developed further for greater speed and manoeuvrability akin to a fighter-class aircraft. [1] The Bristol design team, led by Leslie Frise, commenced the development of a cannon-armed fighter derivative as a private venture. The prospective aircraft had to share the same jigs as the Beaufort so that production could easily be switched from one aircraft to the other. [1]

As a torpedo bomber and aerial reconnaissance aircraft, the Beaufort had a modest performance. To achieve the fighter-like performance desired for the Beaufighter, Bristol suggested that they equip the aircraft with a pair of their new Hercules engines, capable of around 1,500 hp, in place of the 1,000 hp Bristol Taurus engines on the Beaufort. The Hercules was a considerably larger and more powerful engine which required larger propellers. To obtain adequate ground clearance, the engines were mounted centrally on the wing, as opposed to the underslung position on the Beaufort. [1] In October 1938, the project, which received the internal name Type 156, was outlined. In March 1939, the Type 156 was given the name Beaufighter. [2]

During early development, Bristol had formalised multiple configurations for the prospective aircraft, including variations such as a proposed three-seat bomber outfitted with a dorsal gun turret with a pair of cannons, the Type 157 and what Bristol referred to as a sports model, with a thinner fuselage, the Type 158. [2] Bristol proceeded to suggest their concept for a fighter development of the Beaufort to the Air Ministry. The timing of the suggestion happened to coincide with delays in the development and production of the Westland Whirlwind cannon-armed twin-engine fighter. [3] While there was some scepticism that the aircraft was too big for a fighter, the proposal was given a warm reception by the Air Staff. [1]

The Air Ministry produced draft Specification F.11/37 in response to Bristol's suggestion for an "interim" aircraft, pending the proper introduction of the Whirlwind. On 16 November 1938, Bristol received formal authorisation to commence the detailed design phase of the project and to proceed with the construction of four prototypes. [1] Amongst the design requirements, the aircraft had to be able to accommodate the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine as an alternative to the Hercules and that it have maximum interchangeability between the two engines, which would feature removable installations. [4]

Bristol began building an initial prototype by taking a partly-built Beaufort out of the production line. This conversion served to speed progress Bristol had promised series production in early 1940 on the basis of an order being placed in February 1939. Designers expected that maximum re-use of Beaufort components would speed the process but the fuselage required more work than expected and had to be redesigned. [5] Perhaps in anticipation of this, the Air Ministry had requested that Bristol investigate the prospects of a "slim fuselage" configuration. [4] Since the "Beaufort cannon fighter" was a conversion of an existing design, development and production was expected to proceed more quickly than with a new one. Within six months the first F.11/37 prototype, R2052, had been completed. [2] A total of 2,100 drawings were produced during the transition from Beaufort to the prototype Beaufighter, more than twice as many were created during later development, between the prototype Beaufighter and the fully operational production models. Two weeks prior to the prototype's first flight, an initial production contract for 300 aircraft under Specification F.11/37 was issued by the Air Ministry, ordering the type "off the drawing board". [2]

Prototypes and refinement Edit

On 17 July 1939, R2052, the first, unarmed, prototype, conducted its maiden flight, a little more than eight months after development had formally started. [2] The rapid pace of development is partly due to the re-use of many elements of the Beaufort design along with frequently identical components. R2052 was initially operated by Bristol for testing purposes while it was based at Filton Aerodrome. [2] Early modifications to R2052 included stiffening of the elevator control circuit, increased fin area and lengthening of the main oleo strut of the undercarriage to better accommodate weight increases and hard landings. [6]

During the pre-delivery trials, the first prototype R2052, powered by a pair of two-speed supercharged Hercules I-IS engines, had achieved 335 mph (539 km/h) at 16,800 ft (5,120 m) in a clean configuration. [7] The second prototype, R2053, which was furnished with Hercules I-M engines (similar to Hercules II) and was laden with operational equipment, had attained a slower speed of 309 mph at 15,000 ft. According to aviation author Philip Moyes, the performance of the second prototype was considered disappointing, particularly as the Hercules III engines of the initial production aircraft would likely provide little improvement, especially in light of additional operational equipment being installed it was recognised that demand for the Hercules engine to power other aircraft such as the Short Stirling bomber posed a potential risk to the production rate of the Beaufighter. These factors had thus sparked considerable interest in the adoption of alternative engines for the type. [6]

Roy Fedden, chief designer of the Bristol engine division, was a keen advocate for the improved Hercules VI for the Beaufighter but it was soon passed over in favour of the rival Griffon engine, as the Hercules VI required extensive development. [7] Due to production of the Griffon being reserved for the Fairey Firefly, the Air Ministry instead opted for the Rolls-Royce Merlin to power the Beaufighter until the manufacturing rate of the Hercules could be raised by a new shadow factory in Accrington. The standard Merlin XX-powered aircraft was later called the Beaufighter Mk IIF the planned slim-fuselage aircraft, alternatively equipped with Hercules IV and Griffon engines, the Beaufighter Mk III and Beaufighter Mk IV respectively, were ultimately left unbuilt. [7]

In February 1940, an order was placed for three Beaufighters, converted to use the alternative Merlin engine. The Merlin engine installations and nacelles were designed by Rolls-Royce as a complete "power egg" the design and approach of the Beaufighter's Merlin installation was later incorporated into the design for the much larger Avro Lancaster bomber. [8] Success with the Merlin-equipped aircraft was expected to lead to production aircraft in 1941. [8] In June 1940, the first Merlin-powered aircraft conducted its first flight. In late 1940, the two Merlin-equipped prototypes (the third having been destroyed in a bombing raid) were delivered. [9] Flight tests found that the Merlins left the aircraft underpowered, with a pronounced tendency to swing to port, making take-offs and landings difficult and resulting in a high accident rate – out of 337 Merlin-powered aircraft, 102 were lost to accidents. [8] [10]

On 2 April 1940, R2052 was delivered to the RAF it was followed by R2053 two weeks later. [7] On 27 July 1940, the first five production Beaufighters were delivered to the RAF along with another five on 3 August 1940. These production aircraft incorporated aerodynamic improvements, reducing aerodynamic drag from the engine nacelles and tail wheel, the oil coolers were also relocated on the leading edge of the wing. [7] The armament of the Beaufighter had also undergone substantial changes, the initial 60-round capacity spring-loaded drum magazine arrangement being awkward and inconvenient alternative systems were investigated by Bristol. [11]

Bristol's proposed recoil-operated ammunition feed system was rejected by officials, which led to a new system being devised and tested on the fourth prototype, R2055. The initial rejection was later reversed, upon the introduction of a new electrically driven feed derived from Châtellerault designs brought to Britain by Free French officers, which was quite similar to Bristol's original proposal. [12] The initial fifty production aircraft were approved for completion with a cannon-only armament. The design of the cannons and the armament configuration was revised on most aircraft. The addition of six .303 Browning machine guns made the Beaufighter the most heavily armed fighter aircraft in the world, capable of delivering a theoretical weight of fire of up to 780 lb (350 kg) per minute the practical rate of fire was much lower due to gun overheating and ammunition capacity. [12]

Further armament trials and experimental modifications were performed throughout the Beaufighter's operational life. By mid-1941, twenty Beaufighters were reserved for test purposes, including engine development, stability and manoeuvrability improvements and other purposes. [13] In May 1941, the Beaufighter Mk IIs R2274 and R2306, were modified to the Beaufighter Mk III standard removing the six wing guns and two inboard cannons to install a Boulton-Paul-built four-gun turret behind the pilot, to overcome the effect of recoil and nose-down tendency when firing the usual armament but was found to obstruct the emergency egress of the pilot. [14] The fourth prototype, R2055, had its regular armament replaced by a pair of 40 mm guns for attacking ground targets, the two guns being a Vickers S gun mounted on the starboard fuselage and a Rolls-Royce BH gun mounted on the port fuselage these trials led to the Vickers gun being installed on an anti-tank Hawker Hurricane IID. [13]

Production Edit

Large orders for the Beaufighter were placed around the outbreak of the Second World War, including one for 918 aircraft shortly after the arrival of the initial production examples. [7] In mid-1940, during an official visit to Bristol's Filton facility by the Minister of Aircraft Production, Lord Beaverbrook, the minister spoke of the importance of the Beaufighter to the war effort and urged its rapid service entry. [7] While the aircraft's size had once caused scepticism, the Beaufighter became the highest performance aircraft capable of carrying the bulky early airborne interception radars used for night fighter operations, without incurring substantial endurance or armament penalties, and was invaluable as a night fighter. [7]

For the maximum rate of production, sub-contracting of the major components was used wherever possible and two large shadow factories to perform final assembly work on the Beaufighter were established via the Ministry of Aircraft Production the first, operated by the Fairey Aviation Company, was at Stockport, Greater Manchester and the second shadow, run by Bristol, was at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. [7] Output of the Beaufighter rose rapidly upon the commencement of production. [7]

Through 1940–41, the manufacturing rate of the Beaufighter steadily rose. [10] On 7 December 1940, the 100th Filton-built aircraft was dispatched the 200th Filton-built aircraft followed on 10 May 1941. On 7 March 1941, the first Fairey-built Beaufighter Mk I performed its first test flight the first Weston-built aircraft reached the same milestone on 20 February 1941. [10] The volume of production involved, along with other factors, had led to a shortage of Hercules engines being expected, jeopardising the aircraft's manufacturing rate. [7] The next variant, the Beaufighter Mk II, used the Merlin engine instead. [10] On 22 March 1941, the first production Beaufighter Mk II, R2270, conducted its maiden flight squadron deliveries commenced in late April 1941. [10]

By mid-1941, manufacture of the Beaufighter varied to meet the demands of RAF Fighter Command and RAF Coastal Command. [14] Early aircraft were able to be outfitted and perform with either command but later, the roles and equipment diverged, leading to the production of distinct models, distinguished by the suffixes F for Fighter Command and C for Coastal Command were used. [14] Often, one command opted for modifications and features that the other did not. This occurred with the bellows-type dive brake that became standard for Coastal Command Beaufighters for its usefulness in torpedo-bombing. [15]

Production of the earlier Beaufort in Australia and the great success of British-made Beaufighters by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), contributed to the Australian government deciding in January 1943 to manufacture Beaufighters under the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) organisation at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne, Victoria from 1944. [16] The DAP Beaufighter was an attack and torpedo bomber known as the "Mark 21". Design changes included Hercules VII or XVIII engines and some minor changes in armament. By September 1945, when British production ended, 5,564 Beaufighters had been built by Bristol and the Fairey Aviation Company at Stockport and RAF Ringway (498) also by the Ministry of Aircraft Production (3336) and Rootes at Blythe Bridge (260). When Australian production ceased in 1946, 364 Mk.21s had been built. [17] [18]

The Bristol Beaufighter is a fighter derivative of the Beaufort torpedo-bomber. It is a twin-engine two-seat long range day and night fighter. [19] The aircraft employed an all-metal monocoque construction, comprising three sections with extensive use of 'Z-section' frames and 'L-section' longeron. The wing of the Beaufighter used a mid-wing cantilever all-metal monoplane arrangement, also constructed out of three sections. [19] Structurally, the wing consisted of two spars with single-sheet webs and extruding flanges, completed with a stressed-skin covering, and featured metal-framed ailerons with fabric coverings along with hydraulically-actuated flaps located between the fuselage and the ailerons. [19] Hydraulics were also used to retract the independent units of undercarriage, while the brakes were pneumatically-actuated. [19]

The twin Bristol Taurus engines of the Beaufort, having been deemed insufficiently powerful for a fighter, were replaced by more powerful two-speed supercharger-equipped Bristol Hercules radial engines. These powered three-bladed Rotol constant-speed propellers both fully feathering metal and wooden blades were used. [19] The extra power had presented vibration issues during development in the final design, the engines were mounted on longer and more flexible struts, which extended from the front of the wings. This change moved the centre of gravity (CoG) forward, a typically undesirable feature for an aircraft, thus the CoG was moved back to its proper desirable location by shortening the nose, which was possible as the space within the nose had been previously occupied by a bomb aimer, a role that was unnecessary in a fighter aircraft. The majority of the fuselage was positioned aft of the wing and, with the engine cowlings and propellers now further forward than the tip of the nose, gave the Beaufighter a characteristically stubby appearance. [1]

In general, with the exception of the powerplants used, the differences between the preceding Beaufort and Beaufighter were minor. The wings, control surfaces, retractable landing gear and aft section of the fuselage were identical to those of the Beaufort, while the wing centre section was similar apart from certain fittings. The areas for the rear gunner and bomb-aimer were removed, leaving only the pilot in a fighter-type cockpit. The navigator-radar operator sat to the rear under a small Perspex bubble where the Beaufort's dorsal turret had been. Both crew-members had their own hatch in the floor of the aircraft. The front hatch was behind the pilot's seat. As there was no room to climb around the seat-back, the back collapsed to allow the pilot to climb over and into the seat. In an emergency, the pilot could operate a lever that remotely released the hatch, grasp two steel overhead tubes and lift himself out of his seat, swing his legs over the open hatchway, then let go to drop through. Evacuating the aircraft was easier for the navigator, as the rear hatch was in front of him and without obstruction. [20] [21]

The Beaufighter's armament was located in various positions on the lower fuselage and wings. The bomb bay of the Beaufort had been entirely omitted, but a small bomb load could be carried externally. A total of four forward-firing 20 mm Hispano Mk III cannons were mounted in the lower fuselage area. These were initially fed from 60-round drums, requiring the radar operator to change the ammunition drums manually—an arduous and unpopular task, especially at night and while chasing a bomber. [11] They were soon replaced by a belt-feed system. [12] The cannons were supplemented by six .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in the wings (four starboard, two port, the asymmetry caused by the port mounting of the landing light). [22] This was one of the heavier, if not the heaviest, fighter armament of its time. [23] [24] When Beaufighters were developed as fighter-torpedo bombers, they used their firepower (often the machine guns were removed) to suppress flak fire and hit enemy ships, especially escorts and small vessels. The recoil of the cannons and machine guns could reduce the speed of the aircraft by around 25 knots. [25]

The Beaufighter was commonly operated as a night fighter, such as during the Battle of Britain. Mass production of the type had coincidentally occurred at almost exactly the same time as the first British airborne interception radar sets were becoming available the two technologies quickly became a natural match in the night fighter role. As the aircraft's accompaniment of four 20 mm cannons were mounted in the lower fuselage, the vacant nose could accommodate the radar antennas needed, and while early airborne interception equipment was too bulky to fit in single-engine fighters of the day, it could be accommodated in the Beaufighter's spacious fuselage. At night the onboard radar let the aircraft detect enemy aircraft. The heavy fighter remained fast enough to catch up to German bombers and, with its heavy armament, deal out considerable damage to them. [1] While early radar sets suffered from restrictions in range and thus initially limited the aircraft's usefulness, improved radars became available in January 1941, promptly making the Beaufighter one of the more effective night fighters of the era. [10]

Introduction Edit

By fighter standards, the Beaufighter Mk.I was rather heavy and slow, with an all-up weight of 16,000 lb (7,000 kg) and a maximum speed of 335 mph (540 km/h) at 16,800 ft (5,000 m). The Beaufighter was the only heavy fighter aircraft available, as the Westland Whirlwind had been cancelled due to production problems with its Rolls-Royce Peregrine engines. [26] On 12 August 1940, the first production Beaufighter was delivered to RAF Tangmere for trials with the Fighter Interception Unit. On 2 September 1940, 25 Squadron, 29 Squadron, 219 Squadron, and 604 Squadron became the first operational squadrons to receive production aircraft, each squadron received one Beaufighter that day to begin converting from their Blenheim IF aircraft. [12] [26] The re-equipping and conversion training process took several months to complete on the night of 17/18 September 1940, Beaufighters of 29 Squadron conducted their first operational night patrol, conducting an uneventful sortie, the first operational daylight sortie was performed on the following day. [27] On 25 October 1940, the first confirmed Beaufighter kill, a Dornier Do 17, occurred. [10]

Initial production deliveries of the Beaufighter lacked the radar for night fighter operations these were installed by No. 32. MU based at RAF St Athan during late 1940. [10] On the night of 19/20 November 1940, the first kill by a radar-equipped Beaufighter occurred, of a Junkers Ju 88. [10] More advanced radar units were installed in early 1941, which soon allowed the Beaufighter to become an effective counter to the night raids of the Luftwaffe. By March 1941, half of the 22 German aircraft claimed by British fighters were by Beaufighters. During a raid on London on the night of 19/20 May 1941, 24 aircraft were shot down by fighters against two by anti-aircraft ground fire. [10]

In late April 1941, the first two Beaufighter Mk II aircraft, R2277 and R2278, were delivered to 600 and 604 Squadrons the former squadron being the first to receive the type in quantity in the following month. [28] The Mk II was also supplied to the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. [14] A night-fighter Beaufighter Mk VIF was supplied to squadrons in March 1942, equipped with AI Mark VIII radar. The Beaufighter showed its merits as a night fighter but went on to perform in other capacities. [1] As the faster de Havilland Mosquito took over as the main night fighter in mid-to-late 1942, the heavier Beaufighter made valuable contributions in other areas such as anti-shipping, ground attack and long-range interdiction, in every major theatre of operations.

On 12 June 1942, a Beaufighter conducted a raid which Moyes said was "perhaps the most impudent of the war". [16] T4800, a Beaufighter Mk 1C of No. 236 Squadron, flew from Thorney Island to occupied Paris at an extremely low altitude in daylight to drop a tricolore on the Arc de Triomphe and strafe the Gestapo headquarters in the Place de la Concorde. [16]

The Beaufighter soon commenced service overseas, where its ruggedness and reliability quickly made the aircraft popular with crews. However, it was heavy on the controls and not easy to fly, with landing being a particular challenge for inexperienced pilots. [29] Due to wartime shortages, some Beaufighters entered operational service without feathering equipment for their propellers. As some models of the twin-engined Beaufighter could not stay aloft on one engine unless the dead propeller was feathered, this deficiency contributed to several operational losses and the deaths of aircrew. [30]

In the Mediterranean, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) 414th, 415th, 416th and 417th night fighter squadrons received a hundred Beaufighters in the summer of 1943, achieving their first victory in July 1943. Through the summer, the squadrons conducted daytime convoy escort and ground-attack operations but primarily flew as night fighters. Although the Northrop P-61 Black Widow fighter began to arrive in December 1944, USAAF Beaufighters continued to fly night operations in Italy and France until late in the war. By the autumn of 1943, the Mosquito was available in enough numbers to replace the Beaufighter as the primary night fighter of the RAF. By the end of the war, some 70 pilots serving with RAF units had become aces while flying Beaufighters. At least one captured Beaufighter was operated by the Luftwaffe – a photograph exists of the aircraft in flight, with German markings. [31]

Coastal Command Edit

It was recognised that RAF Coastal Command required a long-range heavy fighter aircraft such as the Beaufighter and in early 1941, Bristol proceeded with the development of the Beaufighter Mk. IC long-range fighter. Based on the standard Mk I model, the initial batch of 97 Coastal Command Beaufighters were hastily manufactured, making it impossible to incorporate the intended additional wing fuel tanks on the production line and so 50-gallon tanks from the Vickers Wellington were temporarily installed on the floor between the cannon bays. [14]

In April/May 1941, this new variant of the Beaufighter entered squadron service in a detachment from 252 Squadron operating from Malta. This inaugural deployment with the squadron proved to be highly successful, leading to the type being retained in that theatre throughout the remainder of the war. [14] In June 1941, the Beaufighter-equipped 272 Squadron based on Malta claimed the destruction of 49 enemy aircraft and the damaging of 42 more. [16] The Beaufighter was reputedly very effective in the Mediterranean against Axis shipping, aircraft and ground targets Coastal Command was, at one point, the majority user of the Beaufighter, replacing its inventory of obsolete Beaufort and Blenheim aircraft. To meet demand, both the Fairey and Weston production lines were, at times, only producing Coastal Command Beaufighters. [14]

In 1941, to intensify offensive air operations against Germany and deter the deployment of Luftwaffe forces onto the Eastern Front, Coastal Command Beaufighters began offensive operations over France and Belgium, attacking enemy shipping in European waters. [32] In December 1941, Beaufighters participated in Operation Archery, providing suppressing fire while British Commandos landed on the occupied Norwegian island of Vågsøy. In 1942, long range patrols of the Bay of Biscay were routinely conducted by Beaufighters, intercepting aircraft such as the Ju-88 and Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor operating against Allied anti-submarine patrols. [32] Beaufighters also cooperated with the British Eighth Army during action in the Western Desert Campaign, often in the form of ground strafing. [16]

In mid-1942, Coastal Command began to take delivery of the improved Beaufighter Mk. VIC. By the end of 1942, Mk VICs were being equipped with torpedo-carrying gear for the British 18 in (450 mm) or the US 22.5 in (572 mm) torpedo externally observers were not happy about carrying the torpedo, as they were unable to use the escape hatch until after the torpedo had been dropped. In April 1943, the first successful torpedo attacks by Beaufighters was performed by 254 Squadron, sinking two merchant ships off Norway.

The Hercules Mk XVII, developing 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) at 500 ft (150 m), was installed in the Mk VIC airframe to produce the TF Mk.X (torpedo fighter), commonly known as the "Torbeau". The Mk X became the main production mark of the Beaufighter. The strike variant of the Torbeau was called the Mk.XIC. Beaufighter TF Xs could make precision attacks on shipping at wave-top height with torpedoes or RP-3 (60 lb) rockets. Early models of the Mk X carried centimetric-wavelength ASV (air-to-surface vessel) radar with "herringbone" antennae on the nose and outer wings, but this was replaced in late 1943 by the centimetric AI Mark VIII radar housed in a "thimble-nose" radome, enabling all-weather and night attacks.

The North Coates Strike Wing of Coastal Command, based at RAF North Coates on the Lincolnshire coast, developed tactics that combined large formations of Beaufighters, using cannons and rockets, to suppress flak, while the Torbeaus attacked at low level with torpedoes. These tactics were put into practice in mid-1943 and in ten months, 29,762 tons (84,226 m 3 ) of shipping were sunk. Tactics were further refined, when shipping was moved from port during the night. The North Coates Strike Wing operated as the largest anti-shipping force of the Second World War, and accounted for over 150,000 tons (424,500 m 3 ) of shipping and 117 vessels for a loss of 120 Beaufighters and 241 aircrew killed or missing. This was half the total tonnage sunk by all strike wings between 1942 and 1945.

Pacific War Edit

The Beaufighter arrived at squadrons in Asia and the Pacific in mid-1942. A British journalist said that Japanese soldiers called it the "whispering death" for its quiet engines, although this is not supported by Japanese sources. [1] [33] The Beaufighter's Hercules engines used sleeve valves, which lacked the noisy valve gear common to poppet valve engines. This was most apparent in a reduced noise level at the front of the engine.

In the South-East Asian Theatre, the Beaufighter Mk VIF operated from India as a night fighter and on operations against Japanese lines of communication in Burma and Thailand. Mark X Beaufighters were also flown on long range daylight intruder missions over Burma. The high-speed, low-level attacks were very effective, despite often atrocious weather conditions, and makeshift repair and maintenance facilities. [34]

Southwest Pacific Edit

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was a keen operator of the Beaufighter during the Second World War. On 20 April 1942, the RAAF's first Beaufighter IC (an Australian designation given to various models of the aircraft, including Beaufighter VIC, Beaufighter X, and Beaufighter XIC), which had been imported from Britain, was delivered the last aircraft was delivered on 20 August 1945. [16] Initial RAAF deliveries were directed to No. 30 Squadron in New Guinea and No. 31 Squadron in North-West Australia. [16]

Before DAP Beaufighters arrived at RAAF units in the South West Pacific Theatre, the Beaufighter Mk IC was commonly employed in anti-shipping missions. The most famous of these was the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, during which Beaufighters were used in a fire-suppression role in a mixed force with USAAF Douglas A-20 Boston and North American B-25 Mitchell bombers. [19] Earlier in the battle, eight Beauforts from No. 100 Squadron RAAF at Milne Bay had unsuccessfully attacked the Japanese troop convoy with torpedoes and scored no hits. 13 Beaufighters of No. 30 Squadron flew in at mast height to provide heavy suppressive fire for the waves of attacking bombers. The Japanese convoy, under the impression that they were under torpedo attack from Beauforts, made the tactical error of turning their ships towards the Beaufighters, which allowed the Beaufighters to inflict severe damage on the ships' anti-aircraft guns, bridges and crews during strafing runs with their four 20 mm nose cannons and six wing-mounted .303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns. [35] The Japanese ships were left exposed to mast-height bombing and skip bombing attacks by the US medium bombers. Eight transports and four destroyers were sunk for the loss of five aircraft, including one Beaufighter. [19] [25]

The role of the Beaufighters during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea was recorded by war correspondent and film-maker Damien Parer, who had flown during the engagement standing behind the pilot of one of the No. 30 Squadron aircraft the engagement led to the Beaufighter becoming one of the more well-known aircraft in Australian service during the conflict. [19] [25] On 2 November 1943, another high-profile event involving the type occurred when a Beaufighter, A19-54, won the second of two unofficial races against an A-20 Boston bomber. [19]

Postwar Edit

From late 1944, RAF Beaufighter units were engaged in the Greek Civil War, finally withdrawing in 1946.

Beaufighters were replaced in some roles by the Bristol Type 164 Brigand, which had been designed using components of the Beaufighter's failed stablemate, the Bristol Buckingham.

The Beaufighter was also used by the air forces of Portugal, Turkey and the Dominican Republic. It was used briefly by the Israeli Air Force after some ex-RAF examples were clandestinely purchased in 1948.

Many Mark 10 aircraft were converted to the target tug role postwar as the TT.10 and served with several RAF support units until 1960. The last flight of a Beaufighter in RAF service was by TT.10 RD761 from RAF Seletar on 12 May 1960. [36]


Post-war [ edit | edit source ]

North Coates was closed in August 1946 and transferred to Maintenance Command, becoming a storage site for No. 25 Maintenance Unit, and was then transferred to No. 61 Maintenance Unit in October. In December 1946 the station was transferred to Flying Training Command, and in January 1947 became No. 1 Initial Training School. However the airfields isolation during the severe winter of 1947 meant that the Officer Cadets were soon relocated. Ώ]

In May 1948 it was transferred to No. 24 Group, Technical Training Command, and became the location of the School of Explosives Inspection and also No. 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron. In January 1953 the airfield again fell victim to the weather, being overwhelmed during the North Sea flood and was temporarily abandoned when flooded to a depth of 3 feet (0.91 m). In August 1953 the station became the home of No. 54 Maintenance Unit, tasked with breaking up redundant and crashed aircraft for spare parts, coming under No. 43 Group, Maintenance Command, in December 1954. Between February 1955 and October 1957 North Coates was the base of "B" Flight, No. 275 (Air Sea Rescue) Squadron flying Bristol Sycamore HR.14. helicopters. Ώ]

Bloodhound Mk II SAM, formerly of No. 85 Squadron

In April 1956 the airfield was selected as the site of the RAF's first Surface to Air Guided Weapons base, housing forty-eight Bloodhound surface-to-air missiles. In July 1956 work began on the construction of the missile facility, including missile pads, Tactical Control Centre, Missile Repair Section, and Servicing Hangar. In October 1957 No. 17 Joint Services Trials Unit was formed there to carry out operational trials of the Bloodhound Mk. II. The Bloodhounds remained at North Coates until mid-1990, and the station was finally closed in December, and the site transferred to the Defence Land Agency for disposal. Ώ]

In January 1992 the married quarters were sold off, and over the next few years most of the other buildings were sold or demolished, and the concrete runway, hard standings and the taxiways were removed and the land returned to agricultural use. One hangar is still used by the North Coates Flying Club, who laid a grass airstrip alongside the line of the old runway. Ώ]


By Pierre Kosmidis

Greece has seen a lot of action during WW2 and many wrecks of that period vividly demonstrate the fact that this rather obscure -compared to other fronts- theatre of operations played a crucial role in the final Allied victory.

Few aircraft wrecks remain nearly intact to this day, as most of the wrecks already found where either cannibalised and sold as scrap in the postwar period, or looted by unscrupulous persons and sold for personal profit, thus destroying vital WW2 evidence.

One such aircraft, possibly one of the few worldwide that remain virtually intact, is a Beaufighter close to the islands of Kefalonia and Ithaki.

Ithaki, known as the kingdom of Ulysses from Homer’s Odyssey, is also home to this exceptionally preserved Beaufighter.

Having survived looting and relic hunting for seven decades since it was shot down, we can still see the guns and even personal belongings of the crew, left behind when the aircraft was ditched!

BEAUFIGHTER SHOT DOWN!

Let’s take a time travel and.. fly back to September 1944, a month before the Germans evacuated Greece, as the Red Army was crushing the nazis in the East and the Western Allies were progressing towards the heart of the Reich from France and Italy.

In the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, east and west of mainland Greece, Allied aircraft choose targets of opportuniity and pound the retreating nazis, virtually isolating the garrisons, mainly in Crete, Rodos and Milos islands. Bristol Beaufighters were the main aircraft used for this purpose, as they could carry rockets, bombs and were armed with machine guns and cannons.

In the afternoon of September 12, 1944 the Beaufighter KV930 of 19 SAAF (South African Air Force) Squadron takes off from Biferno (Italy), along with three other aircraft.

Photo of Arthur Gater, donated by his granddaughter Julie Geater, to Makis Sotiropoulos.

On his first mission, pilot Arthur Geater was with navigator Stan Dellow.

Their target: “Enemy shipping – Search and destroy”

Geater along with the other three Beaufighters comb the area for Kriegsmarine ships:

They fly low over Preveza, then to Lefkada island and Kefalonia island with their mission taking them as far as Zakynthos island.

At approximately 17:05 hrs. they reach the northern tip of Ithaki island and observe a German “Siebel” ferry trying to hide in one of the fjord-like coves of the island.

The “Siebel” ferries, (“Siebelffähre” in German), were originally developed by the German engineer Friedrich Siebel for “Operation Sea Lion”, the cancelled invasion of England in 1940.

As the invasion never materialised, “Siebel” ferries were subsequently used in different fronts across Europe.

The Beaufighters started their attack, but were… greeted with strong anti-aircraft fire from the “Siebel”.

Map of the attack created by George Karelas

Geater’s Beaufighter was hit and both engines received multiple antiaircraft rounds. Oil and thick smoke coming out of the engines meant that the pilot had to safely ditch the aircraft or risk an uncontrolled crash.

The “Siebel” sustained heavy damage, according to German records and was beached to avoid sinking.

Photo of the attack by Squadron leader M.Moir.

Geater successfully managed to ditch the aircraft and both he and the navigator took to the inflatable dinghy to save themselves.

Locals who saw the aircraft fall off the sky rushed to their fishing boats to rescue the Allied pilots. As an elder local said, “we would row as fast as possible and would even get into a fight with the other Greeks rushing to the scene in order to reach the airmen first!”

Indeed, half an hour later the two airmen were saved by Greeks and led to Ithaki island, where they were provided with food and shelter.

Biferno in Italy

Despite their rescue from the sinking aircraft, being on the actual island of Ulysses, simply meant that their… Odyssey was not over.

While on their way to another hiding place in Ithaki, their fishing boat was stopped by Germans combing the area to locate the airmen and while Dellow, who did not know swimming, was arrested, Geater managed to dive at sea and escape.

With the help of the Greek resistance in Ithaki he eventually returned to Italy and continued his action as a Beaufighter pilot. Dellow survived the war after spending months as a POW at Sagan Camp (now in Poland).

Location of the aircraft wreck in Ithaki island, Greece

THE SEARCH AND DISCOVERY OPERATION
After years of research and with eyewitness information, Makis Sotiropoulos , an experienced deep scuba diver from Ithaki island, surveyed the area with a sonar, hoping he would find “the aircraft that fell out from the sky in 1944”, as a local elder, back in 1944 a young boy, told him.

Makis Sotiropoulos with his sonar equipment

After days of combing the seabed, at last Makis Sotiropoulos saw the distinct shape of an aircraft, sitting at the seabed.

Not only had he located the aircraft, but it also seemed to be intact!

Immediately, Makis Sotiropoulos donned his scuba diving equipment and went to see for himself what the sonar showed. Apart from a small part of the aircraft, probably dislodged when the Beaufighter hit the sea the aircraft was as if it was ready to take off, classifying it as one of the finest surviving aircraft of this type located at the seabed.

The aircraft wreck probably survived souvenir hunters because of its depth, lying at approximately 100 metres depth, which makes scuba diving there an impossible task for the average diver.

Makis Sotiropoulos (standing) and his Dive Buddies survey the sonar images

The exact position of the aircraft wreck is not shared publicly, as this would mean that thieves and looters would strip the aircraft clean of all its components.

As Makis Sotiropoulos said, “this aircraft should remain as it was on the day it was ditched. We have the moral obligation to keep the Beaufighter out of harm’s way, as many relic hunters and looters would make a fortune out of her parts, thus destroying History”.


War History

No. 31 Squadron was formed at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, within the command of Eastern Area, on the 14 th August 1942. It was to be a long range fighter squadron equipped with Beaufighter Aircraft, the first of which was received from No. 2 Aircraft Depot on the 23 rd August 1942. Squadron Leader B.F. Rose, D.F.C., was appointed to temporary control of the new unit, until Squadron Leader C.F. Read assumed command on the 1 st September 1942.

Air Marshal Sir Charles Read

The squadron recorded its first casualties on the 21 st September, when Beaufighter A19-61 crashed at Cootamundra, New South Wales, killing Flight Sergeant Jenkins and Sergeant Sutherst. The arrival of the squadron at Batchelor in the Northern Territory on the 27 th October improved the R.A.A.F.’s fighting potential in North Western Area. After a few weeks of intensive training and familiarisation flights, No. 31 Squadron moved to its operational base at Coomalie Creek on the 12 th November.

Beaufighters, later to be known to the Japanese as “whispering death”, joined the offensive for the first time during the early hours of the 17 th November, when two flights of three aircraft each strafed Moabisse and Bobonaro in Timor. In the latter attack, Squadron Leader Riding and Warrant Officer Clarke were casualties, when their aircraft crashed into the sea while evading an enemy fighter a few miles off Cape Batoe Poeti.


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Beaufighter of No.143 Squadron in Action - History

Pilot F/Sgt Colin Esbert Wein, 414975 (POW, executed March 5, 1944) Gayndah, QLD
Navigator
F/Sgt Donald Clarence Kirkwood, 21714 (POW, executed March 5, 1944) Smithfield, NSW
Crashed December 17, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Bristol in the United Kingdom. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufighter serial number A19-141. Assigned to 30 Squadron.

Mission History
On December 17, 1943 took off piloted by F/Sgt Colin Esbert Wein on a mission over New Britain. No emergency or message of any kind came to other aircraft on the same mission. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Fates of the Crew
In fact, both crew bailed out before their aircraft crashed inland from Hoskins Airfield. Afterwards, both were captured by the Japanese and became Prisoners Of War (POWs) and were transported to Rabaul. During early March 1944 detained at Tunnel Hill POW Camp. On March 5, 1944 both were executed with a group of Allied prisoners to Tanoura at the edge of Talili Bay during the Tunnel Hill Massacre (Tunnel Hill Incident, Talili Bay Massacre).

Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the graves of both crew were located and recovered by Australian forces.

Memorials
Both crew were officially declared dead on March 5, 1944. Both are buried at Bita Paka War Cemetery. Wein at A. A. 16. Kirkwood at collective grave E. C. 5-ll.

Wreckage
On April 25, 2005, the crash site of this Beaufighter was discovered by timber workers, about 19km inland from Hoskins Airfield.

Cecilie Benjamin adds:
"When I identified A19-141 about 19 kms inland from the sea end of Hoskins runway. They were off hunting birds during their mid day break. I got into the wreck on the 27th April. The timber workers arrived to a scene where all the guns, ammo, ammo boxes, wireless wires, absolutely everything was there. It had never been disturbed. I have my theories about that. The two crew members even though they were some distance apart were captured by the Japanese, taken to Rabaul and a couple of months later executed by the Japanese along with about 30 USA airmen and 8 other Australian air crews. The Allies came into the Hoskins area not long after these men were most likely turned in by locals. The elders probably told everyone that particular area was a "ples masili" (full of spirits) and this kept people away to keep the aircraft not found by the Allies and no questions about what happened."

References
ADF Serials - Beaufighter A19-141
The Siege of Rabaul (1996) by Henry Sakaida pages 94 (Rabaul's Military Prisoners - Kirkwood), 96 (Rabaul's Military Prisoners - Wien)
Thanks to Cecilie Benjamin for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?


68. peruť RAF [1941-1945]

This post has not been translated to English yet. Please use the TRANSLATE button above to see machine translation of this post.

Personál 68. perutě ke dni zrušení, t.j. k 20. dubnu 1945

Velitel perutě W/Cdr Gill William Leonard George, DSO
Velitel letky A S/Ldr Mansfeld Miloslav Jan, DSO, DFC
Velitel letky B S/Ldr Wright John Douglas, DFC
Velitel Nav/Rad letky A F/Lt Janáček Slavomír Augustýn, DFC, DFM
Velitel Nav/Rad letky B F/Lt Matson Cecil
Pobočník vel.perutě F/Lt Cartwright James Denis
Vedoucí lékař F/Lt Murray Cyril Victor
Technický důstojník F/Lt Lewis Leonard „Lew“
Zpravodajský důstojník F/O Kohler Leslie William
Piloti Navigátoři/Radaroperátoři
F/O Adam Josef P/O Bailey Henry
F/O Boulton Kenneth Frank F/O Baker Frederic Fatles
F/O Cookson Kenneth Randolph W/O Bednařík Karel
F/Lt Cox Cameron John F/O Bentley Jack
W/O Gibbon J. F/O Cliffe Cedric Artur Lewis
F/O Gibson George T. F/O Croft Peter Lionel
F/Lt Gough William John, DFC F/Sgt Duffy John George
F/Lt Haskell John Henry P/O Eastwood Ernest
F/O Holloway Eric Joseph F/O Edwards Leslie Watson
F/O Horák Václav W/O Gemrot Fridolín
F/O Humphreys H.Knowlen F/O Goodwin Frederick John
F/Lt Irvine John W/O Gravell W.J.
F/O Kudláč Pavel F/Sgt Hayes T.J.
P/O Loveland Eric William F/O Hobdey Ralph Henry James
F/Lt Miles Richard Burr W/O Hoile R.T.S.
P/O Neal Leslie William F/O Husár Rudolf
F/Lt Pendrey Kenneth William F/O Hutchinson Desmont Charles
F/Lt Phillips Valentine G., DFC F/Sgt Kružík Bedřich
F/Lt Sloman Albert Edward F/O Lack Brian Martin
F/O Štandera MiroslavF/O McCulloch William Hutchinson
F/Lt Talbot Bryan Hervey P/O Nečas Zbyšek
F/Lt Taudy Jaroslav, AFC F/O Pollard Denis Sydney, DFC
F/O Trice Sidney Geor F/O Robertson Patrick Alexander
F/Lt Vopálecký Josef F/O Stafford Richard George
F/Lt Wild Gilbert Sgt Wallen Lincoln E.
F/Lt Wills Bernard, DFC W/O Willson K.A.

čs. the airmen in the squadron during the 2. world war I

period name note
01.07.1941-23.10.1941 F/O a Hatter, JosefKIA - crash when returning from an operational flight
Beaufighter Mk.IF R2099 WM-Y (RO Sgt Joseph Klváček)
07.07.1941-23.10.1941 Sgt Klváček, JosefKIA - crash when returning from an operational flight
Beaufighter Mk.IF R2099 WM-Y (pilot F/O Josef Hatter)
18.07.1941-15.05.1943
10.10.1943-20.04.1945
S/Ldr Mansfeld, Miloslav
18.07.1941-15.05.1943
10.10.1943-20.04.1945
F/Lt Janacek, Slavomil radaroperátor
15.09.1941-01.06.1942F/O Nettle, Josef
15.09.1941-22.04.1942P/About Prchal, Eduard
15.09.1941-05.09.1942F/Sgt Kovanda, Jaroslav radaroperátor
KIA - crash after launch to the operational flight
Beaufighter Mk.IF X7842 WM-P (pilot W/O Charles
Richter)
15.09.1941-20.12.1943
01.01.1945-20.04.1945
P/About Husár, Rudolfradaroperátor
20.09.1941-26.05.1942P/About Chábera, František
20.09.1941-01.06.1943
08.02.1944-20.04.1945
W/About Bednařík, Karel radaroperátor
01.12.1941-01.04.1943
20.10.1943-12.01.1944
S/Ldr Vesely, Vlastimil
13.12.1941-08.11.1943
14.12.1944-11.04.1945
P/O Nečas, Zbyšek radaroperátor
09.01.1942-28.04.1942F/O Juchelka, Karel a radar technician, he graduated from several operational flights
10.02.1942-04.08.1943
02.02.1944-31.07.1944
F/About Bobek, Ladislav
09.02.1942-08.11.1943
15.05.1944-20.04.1945
W/O Gemrod, Frydolínradaroperátor
09.02.1942-08.11.1943W/O Kaňovský, Oldrich radaroperátor
09.02.1942-23.08.1943
02.02.1944-04.09.1944
F/O Kovarik, Bohuslav radaroperátor
21.02.1942-08.02.1943F/O Jiroudek, Miroslav
21.02.1942-2.12.1943
01.01.1945-20.04.1945
F/Lt Vopálecký, Josef
21.02.1942-13.09.1942Sgt Vašata, Františekradaroperátor
KAS - crash during training flight
Beaufighter Mk.IF X7703 WM-B (pilot P/O Frantisek Glauder)
05.03.1942-10.10.1943S/Ldr Sykora, Frantisek
11.05.1942-08.11.1943
15.05.1944-20.04.1945
F/O Adam, Josef
05.06.1942-05.09.1942W/O Richter, KarelKIA - crash after launch to the operational flight
Beaufighter Mk.IF X7842 WM-P (RO F/Sgt Jaroslav Kovanda)
05.06.1942-05.11.1943P/O Šerhant, John
19.08.1942-13.09.1942P/O Glauder, FrantišekKAS - crash during training flight
Beaufighter Mk.IF X7703 WM-B (RO Sgt Francis Vašata)
01.09.1942-10.01.1943F/Lt Hanuš, Josef
30.10.1942-10.06.1943F/Lt Klán, Jan
22.12.1942-27.06.1944F/Lt Čapek, Josef
22.12.1942-22.06.1944F/O Cupák, Vladimír radaroperátor
22.12.1942-22.04.1943F/O Menšík, JosefKAS - crash during training flight
Beaufighter Mk.IF V8567 WM-B (RO P/O Rudolf Sliva)
22.12.1942-22.04.1943F/O Greengage, Rudolfradaroperátor
KAS - crash during training flight
Beaufighter Mk.IF V8567 WM-B (pilot F/O Josef Menšík)
20.07.1943-21.01.1945F/Lt Gray, Charles
20.07.1943-21.01.1945F/O Hradský, Drahomírradaroperátor
08.02.1944-20.04.1945P/O Horák, Václav
08.02.1944-20.04.1945F/Sgt Kružík, Bedřichradaroperátor
08.02.1944-18.03.1945F/A Miroslav Štandera
11.07.1944-11.04.1945F/Lt Taudy, Jaroslav
11.07.1944-04.01.1945F/Sgt Doubek, Charlesradaroperátor, own name of Jan Smudek
12.04.1945-20.04.1945F/O Kudláč, Paul

pos. - rank correspond to the time of departure from the squadron. KIA - killed in action, KAS - died in service

source:
J.Rajlich, J. Get - Cat-eyes, Modelpres, Prague 1993, 1. edition, ISBN 80-901328-2-0
J. Rajlich: The sky proud Albion, 7. part - Black chronicle čs. the air force in RAF 1940-1945, World of wings, Cheb 2004, ISBN - 80-86808-12-2

date machine crew adversary
17.06.1941 F/Lt Pain
F/O Davies
1 Heinkel He 111 destroyed
12.10.1941 Beaufighter Mk.IF
R2248 WM-S
P/O Mansfeld
Sgt Jones
2 Heinkel He 111 destroyed *
1 Heinkel He 111 damaged *
22.10.1941 F/O Winward
Sgt Wood
1 Junkers Ju 88 destroyed
25.10.1941 Beaufighter Mk.IF
R2185 WM-X
W/O Welch
P/O Bennett
1 Junkers Ju 88 damaged
01.11.1941 F/O Shipard
Sgt Oxby
1 Heinkel He 111 destroyed
08.03.1942 P/O Newhouse
P/O Matson
1 Heinkel He 111 damaged
27.03.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
?7555 WM-Z
W/O Welch
P/O Bennett
1 Heinkel He 111 damaged
29.04.1942 Sgt Jenkinson
Sgt Kindell
1 Heinkel He 111 destroyed probably
29.04.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
X7583 WM-T
W/O Poop
Sgt Kovarik
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
29.04.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8252 WM-U
S/Ldr Vesely
P/O Montgomerie
1 Junkers Ju 88 damaged
30.04.1942 S/Ldr Howden
F/Lt Quittenden
1 Heinkel He 111 damaged
01.05.1942 W/Cdr Aitken
F/O Higham
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
01.05.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8256 WM-H
P/O Mansfeld
Sgt Jones
2 Heinkel He 111 destroyed
1/2 Dornier do 217 damaged
01.05.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8253 WM-W
S/Ldr Vesely
F/O Montgomerie
1/2 Dornier do 217 damaged
01.05.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
R2248 WM-S
P/O Vopálecký
Sgt Husár
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
29.05.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8283 WM-H
W/O Poop
Sgt Kovarik
1 Junkers Ju 88 damaged
30.05.1942 P/O Marshall
P/O Haigh
1 Heinkel He 111 destroyed probably
1 Heinkel He 111 damaged
30.05.1942 W/Cdr Aitken
F/O Higham
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
1 Junkers Ju 88 damaged
30.05.1942 S/Ldr Howden
F/O Montgomerie
1 Junkers Ju 88 destroyed
30.05.1942 F/Lt Winward
F/Sgt Wood
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
05.06.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8255 WM-F
P/O Welch
P/O Bennett
1 Junkers Ju 88 destroyed
24.06.1942 P/O Gough
F/Sgt Tate
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
25.06.1942 P/O Cleaver
F/Sgt Nairn
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
23.07.1942 S/Ldr Howden
F/O Longden
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
23.07.1942 W/Cdr Aitken
F/O Higham
1 Junkers Ju 88 destroyed
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
23.07.1942 Sgt Truscott
Sgt Howarth
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
23.07.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8349 WM-J
W/O Poop
F/Sgt Kovarik
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
24.07.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8254 WM-
S/Ldr Vesely
Sgt Necas
1 Heinkel He 177 destroyed
28.07.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8253 WM-W
W/O Poop
F/Sgt Kovarik
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed probably
28.07.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8255 WM-F
P/O Welch
P/O Bennett
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed probably
30.07.1942 F/O Raybould
F/Sgt Mullaly
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
31.07.1942 P/O Ward
Sgt Wilson
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
31.07.1942 F/O Allen
F/O Wiseman
1 Junkers Ju 88 destroyed
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed probably
01.08.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8254 WM-W
W/O Poop
F/Sgt Kovarik
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
03.08.1942 S/Ldr Howden
F/O Higham
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
03.08.1942 F/O Allen
F/O Wiseman
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
07.08.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
X7583 WM-G
F/Sgt Adam
Sgt Gemrot
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed probably
08.08.1942 P/O Cleaver
F/Sgt Nairn
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
12.08.1942 F/O Allen
F/O Wiseman
1 Heinkel He 111 destroyed
16.08.1942 F/Lt Winward
F/Sgt Wood
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
22.08.1942 P/O Gough
F/Sgt Tate
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed probably
16.09.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8283 WM-M
W/O Poop
F/Sgt Kovarik
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
19.09.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8283 WM-M
W/O Poop
F/Sgt Kovarik
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
19.10.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8254 WM-
S/Ldr Vesely
Sgt Necas
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed probably
19.10.1942 F/Lt Winward
P/O Wood
1 Junkers Ju 88 destroyed
19.10.1942 F/Lt Winward
P/O Wood
1 Junkers Ju 88 damaged
24.10.1942 F/O Raybould
F/Sgt Mullaley
1 Dornier do 217 damaged
10.12.1942 Beaufighter Mk.IF
V8253 WM-W
F/Lt Mansfeld
P/O Jones
1 Dornier do 217 destroyed
18.02.1943 P/O Gough
P/O Matson
1 E - boat destroyed
1 E - boat destroyed probably
18.02.1943 Beaufighter Mk.VIF
V8569 WM-
S/Ldr Sýkora
F/O Oakley
1 E - boat destroyed probably
18.02.1943 Beaufighter Mk.VIF
V8562
F/Lt Mansfeld
P/O Jones
1 E - boat destroyed probably
12.03.1943 Beaufighter Mk.VIF
V8656 WM-U
F/O Vopálecký
F/Sgt Husár
1 Junkers Ju 88 destroyed
15.03.1943 Beaufighter Mk.VIF
V8562
F/Lt Mansfeld
P/O Jones
1 Junkers Ju 88 destroyed
18.03.1943 Beaufighter Mk.VIF
V8619 WM-D
F/O Allen
F/O Bennett
2 Dorniery To 217 destroyed

note: * - originally granted as a Junkers Ju 88, the credits listed in the order of pilot - radaroperátor

source:
forum.12oclockhigh.net
forum.12oclockhigh.net
www.laarbruch-museum.net
https://www.starduststudios.com/original.htm
Rajlich, J., Got J.: The cat's eyes, Modelpres, Prague 1993, 1. edition, ISBN 80-901328-2-0
Warren Thompson, Chris Davey: American Nightfighter Aces of World War 2, Osprey publishing 2008, ISBN: 9781846033063
Vraný, Jiri - Hurt, Zdeněk - Hornát, George - Skala, Stanislav: the Illustrated history of aviation Bristol Beaufighter, MiG-19, Letov Š-328, Our Troops, Prague 1991, ISBN 80-206-0203-8 .

This post has not been translated to English yet. Please use the TRANSLATE button above to see machine translation of this post.

Chybí tam pravděpodobný sestřel 1 JU 188 ze dne 17.3.1945
Mosquito NF.Mk.30 (NT321,WM-O) F/O Loveland - Sgt Duffy
vis. https://www.starduststudios.com/original.htm

30.7.1944 F/O Adam - W/O Gemrot sestřelili 1V1 na
Mosquitu NF.Mk.XVII (HK243,WM-A)
vis. Log book F/O Adama


připomínky zapracovány do příspěvku o sestřelech během 2. sv. války - edit agnes 8.9.10

This post has not been translated to English yet. Please use the TRANSLATE button above to see machine translation of this post.

Now for his 68sqn claims. The place of combat is quite vague as the info is taken from his log-book. However, due to their patrol radius, I am assuming most occurred over the channel.

25/10/41 In Beaufighter 'X' R2185 from High Ercall, pilot W/O Welch, 1 Ju88 Damaged.

26/3/42 In Beaufighter 'Z' 7555 from Coltishall, pilot W/O Welch, 1 He111 Damaged.

4/6/42 In Beaufighter 'F' V8255 from Coltishall, pilot P/O Welch, 1 Ju88 Destroyed.

27/7/42 In Beaufighter 'F' V8255 from Coltishall, pilot P/O Welch, 1 Do217 Destroyed, 1 Do217 probable.

18/3/43 In Beaufighter 'D' V8619 from Coltishall, pilot F/O Allen, 2 Do217's Destroyed.
Note: One of these 217's claims are mentioned in "The Men Who Flew the Mosquito"- a Do217E of 6/KG2 flown by Hptm Hans Hansen. No mention of the other.

vis. Help with a 68/96 sqn RAF nightfighter claims?
forum.12oclockhigh.net

připomínky zapracovány do příspěvku o sestřelech během 2. sv. války - edit agnes 9.9.10


Beaufighter of No.143 Squadron in Action - History

Pilot P/O Langusch D. Langusch, 405744 (KIA) Maryborough, QLD
Navigator Sgt Norman E. Greasley, 205761 (KIA) Ascot Vale, VIC
Crashed August 5, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Bristol. Assigned to the Royal Air Force (RAF) as serial number T4931. Instead, disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia.

Wartime History
In April 1942 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufighter serial number A19-12. Reassembled by No. 2 Aircraft Depot (2 AD) at Bankstown Airfield. During June 1942 assigned to No. 30 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On August 5, 1942 took off from Richmond Airfield piloted by P/O Langusch D. Langusch on a flight bound for Laverton Airfield. After a short stop-over at Benalla in Victoria, this Beaufighter went missing.

Search
When this Beaufighter failed to arrive it was reported as missing and a search was initiated.

Wreckage
On April 8, 1942 the crash site was found spread over a wide area near the peak of Mount Disappointment. Both of the crew were found killed in the crash. Any usable components were recovered to No. 1 Aircraft Depot (1 AD).

Wreckage
As the crash site is located near a road in the area, there are no longer any visible signs of aircraft remains, though it is still clear that the crash took place. Burnt and cut trees are still visible, and vegetation has not regrown where oil had been split.

Memorial
Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, both crew were buried at Springvale Botanical Cemetery in Victoria. Langusch at 1.P.C.6. Greasley at C. of E. Portion. Compt. D., section 7, grave 23.

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Comments:

  1. Nic

    This is a very valuable answer

  2. Lambrett

    It is the mistake.

  3. Dijinn

    Understandably, thank you for the information.

  4. Wynchell

    I do not believe.

  5. Wethrby

    Can you tell me where I can read about this?

  6. Theomund

    I agree with you!



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