Mosquito: Fabric on main plane torn by icing.

JDCAVE

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Aug 17, 2007
The ORB (Form 541) for 5-March-1945 for W/C R. Bannock, Mosquito MM.747, records: "Scrambed to escort returning bombers. No hostile contacts. Fabric on main plane torn by icing. Broken 10/10's cloud. [Note the bombers were returning from raids to Chemnitz and Bohlen. Dad was on the Chemnitz op].

Pardon my complete ignorance! What part of the wings of Mosquitoes was made up of fabric? Or is fabric a generic term for the "skin" on the wings. I had thought that the wings of the mosquito were made up of a spruce plywood composite material. What am I missing here?

This is an interesting entry for two reasons. First it corroborates the statements in dad's ORB entry that the icing conditions were severe over the French coast. Second, this is the first time I have seen a record of mosquitoes used in an escort role from the channel to bases in England. Two days earlier, the Nachtjagd followed the bombers home from a raid Ladbergen and Kamen. 22 Bombers were destroyed and eight aircraft were damaged over eastern England and the North Sea in the "Operation Gisela" air battle. 21 Ju.88's were lost and 11 damaged. 46 German aircrew were killed.

Jim
 

Wurger

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And a couple of shots showing the fabric covering damaged ...

on the fusealge ...
mosquito damages.jpg


on the fuselage, wings and tails. The canvas remnants can be noticed on the fin ...
mosquito damages1.jpg


damages like in the image above ...
mosquito damages2.jpg

the pic source: the net.
 

EwenS

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Oct 19, 2021
This is an interesting entry for two reasons.....Second, this is the first time I have seen a record of mosquitoes used in an escort role from the channel to bases in England. Two days earlier, the Nachtjagd followed the bombers home from a raid Ladbergen and Kamen. 22 Bombers were destroyed and eight aircraft were damaged over eastern England and the North Sea in the "Operation Gisela" air battle. 21 Ju.88's were lost and 11 damaged. 46 German aircrew were killed.

Jim
These operations fall under the category of Bomber Support and first Beaufighters and then Mosquitos had been carrying them out since 1943. The term included intruder type sorties but also sorties to tackle Luftwaffe night fighters attacking the bomber stream. 141 squadron used a device called Serrate, which homed on Luftwaffe night fighter radar emissions, alongside AI Mk.IV for this purpose.

In Nov 1943 100 Bomber Support Group was formed. Better known for its radar and communications jamming activities, it included night fighter squadrons as well, eventually building up to 7 Mosquito squadrons by late 1944.


After Sept 1944 the RAF night fighter squadrons in Air Defence of Great Britain / Fighter Command joined the 100 Group squadrons in operations over the continent, because there was little trade for them in British skies. 406 squadron led by Russ Bannock was one of these.

Note the use of the term “escort” in this context, is not the same as for the protection of bomber formations in daylight with large formations of fighters operating close to the bombers. Each Mosquito night fighter was operating independently, along the route of the bomber stream, usually a few miles distant to avoid cluttering the radar screen with multiple “targets” from the bombers themselves. The objective was to intercept enemy aircraft before they got mixed up with the bombers. If they operated too close they would themselves become targets for the bomber gunners.

The Luftwaffe didn’t put as much effort into intruder work as the RAF. You might find this book of interest
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