16 Sqdn Spitfire PL896 147035 F/O John Robert Brodby crash Nijmegen 20Sept1944

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by hewasahero, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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    Hello there!
    This aircraft flew out of RAF Northolt on a photo reconnaissance mission. I'm looking to confirm the crash site, which was mistakenly given as 148-150 Dorpsstraat, Hees and has since been given both as 158-160 Dorpsstraat, Hees, and as 158-160 Dorpsstraat, Neerbosch.

    Links to another's research…

    Oorlogsdoden Nijmegen 1940-1945 > Frontstad, sept. '44 - Neerstorten vliegtuig Neerbosch 20 september 1944
    Oorlogsdoden Nijmegen 1940-1945 > J.R. Brodby

    The 16 Sqdn ORBs for 20 Sept 1944 don't call this a Spitfire 'IX', unlike the pink PL834 shot down near Wolfheze the same day.

    Thanks for any help you're able to offer!
     
  2. HBPencil

    HBPencil Member

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    Hi there,

    Doing some quick searches online and I found some stuff, most of it contradictory!
    Firstly, here's an eye witness report of a child living in Hees at the time (the incident is about half way down the page and he gives a different date): Nicolaas Lambrechtsen : New Zealand Netherlands Foundation

    As for the Spitfire itself, these two links say it was a PR.XI as was PL834. Interestingly neither claim PL896 was with 16 Squadron which operated PR.XIs and some pink FR.IXs although they have different claims about the fate of PL896:
    production page 088
    Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety WikiBase > ASN Aviation Safety Database results

    According to 2nd Tactical Airforce Vol. 4, 16 Squadron was based at B.48 Amiens/Glisy at that time.

    I hope these help although I suspect they might muddy the waters...

    HB
     
  3. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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    Hi there HB, and thanks for replying!

    Sorry, that should have read:
    "The 16 Sqdn ORBs for 20 Sept 1944 don't call this a Spitfire 'XI', unlike the pink PL834 shot down near Wolfheze the same day."

    Regarding the eyewitness account, the date seems to have been 'corrected' here, and now matches that in the 16 Sqdn ORBs…

    Warrant Officer William Cain : New Zealand Netherlands Foundation

    (under 'Dr. Nick Lambrechtsen')…

    With regard to PL896 flying out of RAF Northolt rather than 16 Sqdn's usual base of operations, the 16 Sqdn ORBs on 16 Sept 1944 say:
    "…F/O. G. Winter, F/O. Cadan, P/O. J.R. Brodby and W/Cdr. C.P.H. Webb flew to England and stayed there. F/O. Cadan, Brodby and W/Cdr. Webb will be staying a few days there on a special mission on detachment. F/O. G. Winter will return to-day."

    …and on 21 Sept 1944 they say:
    "…P/O. J.R. Brodby who for a few day past has been operating from Northolt, is reported missing. We trust soon to hear that he is alright."

    On 20 Sept 1944, his entry in the ORBs says:
    "Spitfire.PL.896. P/O. J. Brodby. 07.20. – 5" 20" V. Nijmegen. 16/1810. Airborne at 07.20 in poor visibility for the O2's near Nijmegen. Did not return. He was seen by F/O. Cadan at his area N. of Eindhoven and contacted by R/T."

    If this is grabbing your attention, can I put you in touch with the Dutch researcher who wants to confirm the crash site?

    Either way, thanks again!
     
  4. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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    Another correction: F/O Brodby's service number was 174035 (d'oh!)…

    Also, PL896 was a PR.XI, and painted blue.
     
  5. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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    Hello!
    There's a post on my blog about 16 Squadron and Jimmy Taylor, who bunked with John Brodby. Please take a look and say what needs adding or changing…

    hewasahero | hi! do you like puzzles?

    Thanks!
     
  6. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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    The plot has thickened on this one. The movement cards for PA893 and PL896 don't agree with the 16 Squadron ORBs. See this post on my blog…

    http://hewasahero.wo...-serial-number/

    Also, the fine book "One Flight Too Many" by Jimmy Taylor (see blog post)…

    http://hewasahero.wo...light-too-many/

    has on page 281 "…The sad news was received today that P/O J. R. Brodby is dead. His grave has now been located at Wychen in Holland. He was reported missing on 20.9.44 whilst on detachment at Northolt on special duties…".

    It's not at all clear why he would initially have been buried in Wijchen if he did indeed crash in Hees. The two are several miles apart.

    I'm putting out feelers to see if there are records in Wijchen which make reference to the crash, but so far we're still here…

    http://hewasahero.wo...-robert-brodby/

    If this is intriguing anyone else, please feel free to speak up. Fruitful collaboration welcomed.

    Thanks!
     
  7. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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  8. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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    That documentation for the unidentified airman in Wijchen is now linked to another name and plane,
    so still looking. It's possible that Wijchen is a red herring…

    Wijchen Airman Identified | hewasahero
     
  9. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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    Looks like the plane he crashed in couldn't have had the serial number 'PL896'. The many entries in the 542 Squadron ORBs far outweigh the single entry in the 16 Squadron ORBs. Also, the Movement Card for PL896 agrees with the former and not the latter…

    PL896 | hewasahero
     
  10. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    #10 Aozora, Oct 12, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
    Gidday hewasahero: According to this Spitfire production page 088
    PL834 was a P.R Mk XI and not a pink F.R Mk. IX conversion, as mentioned in your initial posting:

    PL834 PRXI ALD M70 6MU 14-5-44 Benson 20-5-44 16S 8-6-44 missing on PR mission to Arnhem 20-9-44

    Do you have a movement card for PL834?

    The last Spitfire XI that was delivered to 16 Sqn before 20 September 1944 was:

    PL913 PRXI M70 6MU 23-8-44 Benson 5-9-44 16S 14-9-44 FACB 17-11-44 HAL 1401Flt 16-1-45 engine cut force-landed Salzwedel 29-1-46

    A replacement for PL 834 was

    PL922 PRXI M70 6MU 10-9-44 Benson 21-9-44 16S 12-10-44 CAC ops 17-12-44 Swung on landing and tipped up Melsbroek 15-3-45 412RSU HAL recat E SOC 13-9-45

    All P.R Mk XIs after PL923 were built too late to be delivered to any operational unit before September 20.

    So far, a quick scan through PL prefixed Mk IX and XI serials (starting with PK991 on Spitfire production page 086 ) doesn't show an F.R Mk. IX that was shot down on September 20.

    Squadron ORBs can get serial numbers mixed up, as can pilot's log books; the most reliable sources are the aircraft movement cards.
     
  11. hewasahero

    hewasahero New Member

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    Hi there Aozora! Thanks for replying.

    Please see my next post after that one, where my error regarding PL834's model number is corrected:

    'Sorry, that should have read:
    "The 16 Sqdn ORBs for 20 Sept 1944 don't call this a Spitfire 'XI', unlike the pink PL834 shot down near Wolfheze the same day.'

    So you're fighting a 'straw man' there, as I don't contend that PL834 was anything other than a PR.XI. Painted PRU pink.

    In case you don't have the 16 Squadron ORBs to hand, please see the Form 541 screenshot here…

    Brodby’s Spitfire’s Serial Number | hewasahero

    I don't have the Movement Card for PL834, as I've not been chasing this one. RAF Museum London will have a scan of it they can email you but they're swamped with enquiries so patience required…

    Was at the National Archives yesterday re: Brodby's plane, and it looks like the serial number wasn't PL893 either…

    683 Squadron and PL893 | hewasahero

    Seems like this 16 Squadron chase is a prime example of your statement that:
    'Squadron ORBs can get serial numbers mixed up, as can pilot's log books; the most reliable sources are the aircraft movement cards.'!
     
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