Looking for a Whitley

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by Misterfriend, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Misterfriend

    Misterfriend New Member

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    Hello Everyone
    I'm wondering if anyone can help me find the fuselage code of a particular Whitley. I'm building a kit of the plane my Grandfather flew in WWII as a gift for my Dad.
    This is the info I have so far:
    His name was Pilot Officer Dennis Stevens, 10 Squadron. The plane was a Whitley V serial number P4935. It was lost, over the North Sea, early in the morning of 7th September returning from bombing the Salzhot oil depot, Berlin.
    I know the first two letters are ZA (10 Squadron code) and I have narrowed the last letter down to one of the following: C, D, G, I, N, S, T, V, W, X, or Z.
    Any information, even it confirms another letter that it wasn't would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Segan
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Humm... I'm not sure if the serial number indicates Whitley MK.V. Do you remeber the year of the crash?
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    It appears to be 1940, still looking.
     
  4. Misterfriend

    Misterfriend New Member

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    Oh yes sorry I missed that bit out it was 1940
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Not sure about the serial number either, although if it came from a Log Book, it's almost certainly correct. Whitley MkV serials began the the N**** range, and ended in the LA*** range, but also included the Z**** range! The P range serials were mainly (but not exclusively) used for fighters.
    It can always be difficult to pin down an individual code letter, as most entries in aircrew Log Books and Squadron ORBs showed either the serial number, the last three digits of the serial, or the individual code letter, very rarely both. Also, there would almost certainly have been, at some time, more than one aircraft with the same code letter, for example 'D', due to loss, replacement etc.
    I've had at look at my references, and so far, can't match the serial to an individual aircraft. Might be a case of choosing a letter, perhaps an initial from Grandfather's name, and using that as the individual code.
     
  6. Misterfriend

    Misterfriend New Member

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    The serial number is almost certainly correct. Here's the extract from W R Chorleys RAF Bomber Command Losses that someone sent me.
    stevens1940a.jpg
    I just finished reading "The Whitley Boys: The Story of No.4 (Bomber) Group's Operations in the First Year of WWII" by L Donnelly and he mentions a few Whitleys with "P" serials in 10 Squadron.
    I imagine I will just have to pick one of the letters and just go for it as Airframes suggested. Probably "D" for Dennis.
    Cheers for the help
    Segan
     
  7. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    Looking through "Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft," it looks as if 10 Squadron's I.O. might have been more meticulous than most, since virtually every serial no. has its aircraft letter beside it. There are P---- serials listed, unfortunately not yours, but, if you can give me time to have a look, during my next visit to the National Archives in Kew, I can check the ORB while I'm waiting for my other files to arrive. My car is being repaired, but, if things go according to plan, I could be in Kew within a week or two.
    Edgar
     
  8. Misterfriend

    Misterfriend New Member

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    Hello Edgar
    That would be brilliant if you could. Thank you so much for your help.
    cheers
    Segan
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff Edgar.
     
  10. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    Now, here's a funny thing; the ORB confirms P4935, but there's an appendix, which doesn't. That says that the serial was P5035, individual letter "K." It also says that Seed was an LAC, not a Sgt. Prior to your grandfather's loss, he flew in P5001 "S" on September 3rd., and P5018 "Q" on the 4th. I couldn't find any reference to P4935 anywhere in the appendix. It just serves to confuse; sorry about that.
    Edgar
     
  11. Misterfriend

    Misterfriend New Member

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    Hello Edgar
    How confusing! Thank you so much for all your help on this.
    Cheers
    Segan
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The joys of studying ORBs - can be really frustrating at times. Good work though Edgar.
     
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