249 Sqdn Hurricane ace H.J.Davidson and Hurricat pilot search

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by N4521U, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    I am having a devil of a time finding anything on this BoB Hurricane ace pilot, 6 kills. He was part of the 249 group in Malta flying Spit Mk.Vb Trops in defense of Malta.

    He also flew Hurricats, from what I can gather from the CAM merchant ships. Either 285 Sqdn, which I can't find Anywhere, or 825 which was an FAA Sqdn. He was KIA 6 Oct 1942 but I cannot find which Sqdn he was attached to at the time.

    I am looking for everything and anything on the pilot. Plane pictures, both types. Service assignments, detachment dates, etc. I have a bunch of documents I have found, but nothing on details of his assignments, flights and shoot down dates, types, or pictures of aircraft he had flown.

    I have a Tamiya 48th Mk.Vb Trop I can build for my namesake, Davidson.

    I don't know if there could be any publications with RAF aces pictures.
    Any help would be appreciated. I could use it for the Aces Aircraft GB

    Bill
     
  2. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Battle of Britain London Monument - Sgt. HJ DAVIDSON

    Henry John Davidson, of Stretford, Manchester, joined the RAFVR about February 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on September 1st 1939 he arrived at 5 OTU, Aston Down on May 19th 1940. He was posted to 249 Squadron on June 9th. On August 7th Davidson claimed a Do17 destroyed, on August 15th and September 2nd he shared in the destruction of Me110’s, on the 5th he got a probable Me109, on the 7th claimed a Do17 destroyed and a Me109 damaged, on the 27th he shot down a Ju88 and shared a Me110 and on October 29th he destroyed a Me109.

    Commissioned in March 1941, Davidson went to the newly-formed Merchant Ship Fighter Unit (MSFU) at Speke on May 9th. He made the first experimental launch from the SS 'Empire Rainbow' on May 31st. After launching, the Hurricane dropped below the ship’s bow and the port wing touched the sea but Davidson regained control and landed at Abbotsinch. With modified equipment and changes in pilot technique, Davidson sailed for Nova Scotia on June 8th in the 'Empire Rainbow' but he saw no action on the voyage.

    Davidson was killed on October 6th 1942 as a Flying Officer with 285 Squadron, an anti-aircraft co-operation unit.

    He was 27 and was cremated at Manchester Crematorium.
     

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  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    A partially similar thing I have found in Osprey book Hurricane Aces 1941-1945.
     

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  4. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    #4 N4521U, Aug 26, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
    Thanks for that Wurger.

    I don't see any reference to Malta at all on the link, so I am guessing he went to the CAM operation as 249 went to Malta, or left Malta for the CAM project?

    (And looking back at the sqdn history, 249 moved to Malta in May, when H.J. went over to the CAM project, so he never flew the Mk.Vb in Malta. The 249 Sqdn was equiped with Spits first off then quickly fitted out with Hurricanes.
    )
     
  5. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Still cannot find any report of his circumstances in his loss in action while in the CAM operations?

    I looked thru the pages of the book "Aces 1939-1940" and couldn't find anything listed there, even tho he had 6 kills credited during his time with 149 squadron, which is shown in other lists of aces? Cannot find any pictures of this aces aircraft with 149? If anyone has this book could they make a little search of it for H. J. Davidson?

    Even tho he made the first CAM launch, I cannot seem to find any deffinative pictures of that launch? Seems very few mentions of this feat?

    Anybody on the forum able to find anything?
     
  6. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    I seem to be running into dead ends, no pun intended. I have been in contact with s great bloke from the RAF Historical Society in the UK, Malcolm, who has been more than accommodating to me regarding H. J. Davidson. He looked in his copy of Aces High, "A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the British and Commonwealth Forces of WWII". Davidson's count is listed, but none of his victories have a specific aircraft listed with them.

    He has suggested I join the RAF Commands forum, and put a request in there, which I may have to do to find something in the 249 Sqn records, or the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit records for plane serial and codes.

    Does anyone here have Volume 2? Could something be in there?

    My quest goes on!
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Somewhere, I've got a book covering the first 'CAT' trials, and subsequent operations. I think I'm fairly sure he is mentioned in the book, but I can't remember which bl**dy book it is ! It's actually someone else's autobiography from what I remember, with the trials being part of it, so if I can find which book it is, I'll have a look and let you know if there is any info.
     
  8. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    That would be bitchin!
     
  9. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    I CAN"T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have Actually found an aircraft for Henry!!! I may celebrate with a Bundy and coke!!!!

    On July 15th 1940 he crash landed a plane at Acklington RAF base in Northumberland, and there is an incident report!!!!!
    He was flying "L1715" Hurricane.......... now I just have to find the code assigned this plane.

    Now by camo assignment it would have been only One style for hurricanes??? Was there a scheme "A" "B"?
     
  10. Truebrit

    Truebrit New Member

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    Re your search on Davidson, I have been researching a JU88 (3Z+DB of Stab. II./KG77) which was shot down by Davidson on 27th September 1940. In my search for details on him, I found out that Davidson was not actually KIA as we would expect, he died on 6th October 1942 at RAF Calveley, Cheshire. But apparently crashed after stalling his Boulton Paul Defiant (coded AA297) while in the circuit after an AA co-operation exercise. Both Davidson and his passenger were killed. So a sad end to a BoB ACE...

    If you would be able to share details of that crash report, I'd be very greatful - or anything else on him you may have for that matter?

    Many thanks
    TB.
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good to see you've found something at last Bill. I still can't find out which book the details are in, or where it is, but I'll keep looking.
    Quite a coincidence, as I grew up in the north east of England, and used to spend the summer holidays only 3 or 4 miles from Acklington. An uncle was in Air Traffic there too, so I got to see the around the place, with the lovely Hunters, a number of times, as well as the annual (then) BoB air show. It closed in the late 1960s, and is now a prison, with the 'field itself reverted back to agriculture.
    The other station, Calveley, is only about 12 miles from where I now live !
    The airfield has gone, with a motorway spur running alongside, but a couple of hangars and other buildings are still there, used, I believe, by a transport company.
     
  12. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    #12 N4521U, Sep 6, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
    TB I think we have too many Davidsons to keep track of.

    The accident report I am referring to here, L1715 was a Hurricane crash which (H.J.) Davidson, of 249 sqn survived. Looks like the plane was taken out of service for repair and then assigned to 691 sqn. On 17 April 44 the plane had a throttle jam, crash landed at Harrowbeer, the pilot was killed.

    I haven't come across a Defiant pilot named Davidson. Can you send me anything on this bloke? As I understand it tho H.J. was killed in an AA co-op, but he was flying Hurries in 249 Sqn before going to Hurricats until 1941. Then died the year after it was disbanded. Have you got anything on this?

    The Defiant build I have going for the BoB pilot was Kenner, gunner, Johnson.

    I am still looking for the plane code letters for Hurricane L1715.

    Here is the link to the accident report for you.
    http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=21938
     
  13. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Boy am I thick.......................... Hawk, it just didn't register about 285 Sqdn....
    Then when Truebrit posted the Defiant thing, I was still looking for him to perish in a Hurricane.
    I have found the accident report..... and you are both correct. He stalled his Defiant in the circuit approaching Calveley, Chesiree. He was the single occupant and was flying AAC0-Op with 285 Sqdn, serial AA297......

    Now I've been looking for the Sqdn Code for That plane....ould have been VG*?

    Sorry for all the jiberish beforehand..... Bill
     
  14. karenmaf

    karenmaf New Member

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    I have just come across this forum while researching my grandfather Flying Officer H J Davidson. I am in possession of his log book etc and would be willing to share any info with interested parties
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Hi Karen, welcome aboard. Please share anything you would like to, we would love to read it!

    A big :salute: to your grandfather!
     
  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Welcome karen, and great news on the Log Book. It may shed some light on Bill's questions.
     
  17. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    #17 N4521U, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
    I have been away and have just logged on on my mobile.

    I doubt if I am a relation, but have been gathering Davidson pilots from WWII. Your grandfather happened to be one of them.

    By chance the latest Aviation Classics magazine features the Hurricane and there happens to be a photo of one of the CAM tests on a ground catapult, aircraft serial number Z4936. I wonder if this aircraft is in his log book? Your grandfather made the first catapult test flight sometime in 1940 as memory has it, and I can't trust it right now. He later sailed on one of the CAM ships, I can't recall if he made a flight off this (?) Rainbow ship. My information is in another location as to the name of the ship.

    Our Group Build #22, but not until May thru August 2014, includes planes launched from sea going vessels and I would like to build H. J's A/C. I have two Davidson flown A/C so far, a Typhoon flown by a Canadian GB-8, and am building a B-24 flown by an Aussie Davidson in the Pacific.

    You are most generous. If it's possible could you scan that part of the log book as I would love to see the entries for these CAM ops he flew.

    Many thanks for the offer. Bill Davidson.
     
  18. karenmaf

    karenmaf New Member

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    Cant find aircraft Z4936 in his log book, the first CAM flight was in V7129. I'll try and upload the scanned page plus a photo of Harry on a CAM mission, bear with me I'm new to this! If anyone wants any more info please ask.

    Now a request - Harry joined 285 squadron 1st/2nd Oct and wasnt supposed to be on duty the day he died (6th). Has anyone any info on the accident they would be happy to share? Log book entry.jpg Harry on cam mission.jpg
     
  19. karenmaf

    karenmaf New Member

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    OOps pictures are huge, sorry, promise to try harder!
     
  20. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    The pictures aren't That big. Done good. Just what I am after. Actually more than I could have hoped for. You're efforts are much appreciated. Thanks so much.

    Just Plane Bill
     
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