Looking for something in the RAF "249th at War" book

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by N4521U, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,633
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    reduced to all around slobbing
    Location:
    Miranda, NSW
    I have exhausted every source looking for the code letters on Hurricane L1715 of the 249 Squadron 1940/41. It was flown by Henry Davidson in which he had a little mishap landing in 1941. I have a copy from the net of the accident report, but have not been able to find the GN*_ code. He was an ace in Hurries. He later went to the CAM project and made the first test launch from a catapult in a Hurricat. He later stalled and in 1941 crashed in a B-P Defiant, dying later from his injuries.

    This is a part of my Davidson group I want to build and it's pretty frustrating not to be able to find a simple thing like code letters.

    Thanks,
    Bill
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Only one way to find it Bill, and even that's not certain. The Form 68, Aircraft Movement Card, held at the NA in Kew, London, might show the individual code letter, or the Squadron ORB might include it. Very unlikely though, as aircraft were swapped around, not just within a Squadron, but between Squadrons.
    When I was looking for similar info for the Bob Cross Hurricane build, I saw very, very few individual codes listed, and those that were, were as a result of photographic evidence.
    It seems a simple thing, but, unless the serial number and individual code letter were recorded in a pilot's Log Book, there was no, and no need, for an official record of the information. As long as one of these pieces of info was recorded, and the serial number was more important, then all was as required. Very often, most pilots recorded either the letter or the number, not both.
     
  3. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,633
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    reduced to all around slobbing
    Location:
    Miranda, NSW
    #3 N4521U, Sep 30, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
    Aw crap!

    *You would think Somewhere there would be a released picture of the First launch.
    Even a picture of him in L1715 since he was credited with 7 kills presumably in this aircraft.
    It's a bit of a bummer.
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    This may not be precisely what you want but, according to "249 Sqn At War", Davidson flew Hurricane P3579, US-Y, when credited with half a kill against a Me110 on 2 Sep 40. It's the only airframe for which both the serial and code letters are known. Most of his kills were seemingly obtained flying Hurricane V6594 but the individual code letter is not identified.

    Sorry I can't be more help.

    Cheers,
    B-N
     
  5. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,633
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    reduced to all around slobbing
    Location:
    Miranda, NSW
    Nut, it's plenty help..............
    That's what I need. Just looking for a serial and code associated with him.
    It works for me........

    Many thanks.
     
  6. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    You're welcome, Bill. What's not clear is why this airframe wore 'US' as its squadron code letters when 249 Sqn's codes were GN throughout the Battle of Britain. Just another of those mysteries that could simply be mistakes made by historians post-war...but I don't know.
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #7 Airframes, Oct 1, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
    Not really a mystery. I forgot to add that bit! When 249 rotated back 'down south', to relieve 56 Squadron, the squadrons swapped aircraft, with 56 Sqn flying away North in the aircraft of 249 Sqn. For around the a week, 249's Hurricanes still bore the 'US' codes of 56 Sqn, as there wasn't time to re-paint them at first. (Another example being serial number V6610, US-C, flown by PO George Barclay on 7th September, when he shot down a Bf109.)
    This is a good example of how confusion over serial numbers within a squadron can arise, especially when a photo showing XXX Squadron aircraft has a serial number visible, know to have been seen, or recorded, on another squadron.
    It's possible, although of course not definite, that only the 'US' letters were overpainted and replaced with 'GN', leaving the individual code letter as before.
    Hope this helps.
     
  8. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    Ahhh!! Alles klar! Thanks Airframes. No wonder it's so difficult for us to tie code letters to serials.
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Sie welkomen! Always a problem, particularly during that period - only photo evidence/log book/ORB info can confirm this bl**dy tiresome thing!
    Tsk tsk, what? No 'erk' kept records, in between 26 hour days, bombing, casualties etc - I, er, wonder why?!!
     
  10. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,633
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    reduced to all around slobbing
    Location:
    Miranda, NSW
    Well, now I understand. Kleerley! Perhaps it clears this issue up for others as well, am sure.
    At least now I have something to associate with Old Henry.
    I may try and get one going for the Aces GB as an extra. I have seen some builds of the US*Y plane.
    And, in looking for L1715 I have run across two more Davidson pilots. Even one from 1918! So many planes, so little time.

    Thanks to all,
    Bill Davidson! no relation to any of them.
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    You're welcome Bill. BTW, found a bit more about his 'Hurricat' experience, written by a very illustrious pilot/hero of WW1 and WW2, who was in charge of the development of the system, but not much more than you already know.
     
  12. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    I entirely concur with your comments - even in peacetime, records are often patchy so expecting archival precision during combat is ridiculous. It was possible, with determination, a willingness to write lots of letters, and a lot of luck, to use unpublished records (like pilot logbooks) to plug a number of the gaps, particularly if concentrating on one unit. However, the opportunities to do even that hard research are becoming very few as that marvellous generation disappears.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Very true.
     
  14. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,633
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    reduced to all around slobbing
    Location:
    Miranda, NSW
    Well, I was wrong about seeing US*Y builds. In fact I can't find a Hurricane US*Y photo. Found one air to air photo of a group including US*Y, but they were Typhoons.

    I have left a question about L1715 with the 249 Sqn Association regarding code attached. So we shall see if anything comes of that.

    You guys are great. Thanks for all the responses. Lots of food for thought and future reference.
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Bill, the formation shot of Typhoons coded 'US' is of 56 Squadron. They used this code on the Hurricane, Typhoon, very briefly on Spitfires before changing to tempests, again with 'US' codes, then Meteors, before the post war changes of codes came about.
     
  16. garyeason

    garyeason New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    freelance
    Home Page:
    Hi
    I tried to follow up something Bill said above about code letters - "For around the a week, 249's Hurricanes still bore the 'US' codes of 56 Sqn, as there wasn't time to re-paint them at first. " as I'm doing research for a picture of 'Butch' Barton's aircraft on 5 September. I messaged Bill but he hasn't replied. Does anyone else know how definite this timing is? A week would cover the 5th easily so I'd be correct to use US-K ... but clearly if the timing is vague I could get it completely wrong!
    Thanks
    Gary
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Hi Gary. The aircraft would have still worn the 'US' code letters of 56 Sqn on 5th September. The Hurricanes were 'taken over', far as I remember, on 1st September, and Barclay scored his victory on 7th September, in an aircraft still wearing the 56 Sqn codes.
    I have the dates of the move 'down south' somewhere, but it would take time to find them, but 249 still had the 56 Sqn codes at the time you are looking at. Definite dates for the change to the correct codes are vague, but certainly after September 7th, and probably completed by around the 9th, with a few maybe still being re-painted a bit later.
     
  18. garyeason

    garyeason New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    freelance
    Home Page:
    Thanks very much Terry. What's the source for that info, is there a photo or a log entry or something?
    Gary
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    It was included in an article in a BoB anniversary 'special edition' magazine, I think from the 60th anniversary (hence my slight uncertainty about specific dates!), with a painting depicting a particular action. If you can PM me an e-mail address, I'll find and scan the article, and send it to you.
     
  20. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,633
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    reduced to all around slobbing
    Location:
    Miranda, NSW
    Well now, don't that just take the cake. Harry had his first Victory on Sept-2-1940 in plane code "Y", as the Code was entered in his log book without serial number..
    So this now means it was in US*Y?

    Did I miss this in an earlier post?
    Damn.
     
Loading...

Share This Page