Parts of A British Bomber found in Italy

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Kevino, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Kevino

    Kevino New Member

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    Hi all,

    Here goes with my first thread :)

    I was recently given a small box with some small pieces of wreckage passed down from a friend's father in Italy.

    There is a hand written note (from the father) stating that the pieces are from a British bomber that came down in the Italian town of Ceresole D'alba at 02:10 on the 16th of August 1940. I have tracked down an Italian news bulletin confirming that a bomber was shot down by antiaircraft fire over turin and subsequently crashed in Ceresole D'alba. The bulletin also states that some of the crew of 5 were killed whereas others captured.

    [​IMG]

    I also found a couple of english newspapers articles stating the same thing:
    [​IMG]

    Is there anyway of finding out more about this raid? I would love to be able to identify this plane and the squadron it was a part of.

    In the box of bits I also found a British propaganda leaflet:
    [​IMG]

    As this is my first post in this interesting forum I would like to apologise if I should have posted this question somewhere else.

    Kevino
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Welcome to the forum. Interesting stuff, especially with the provenance. The pic of the parts is showing up, but for some reason the pic(?) of the newspaper article and leaflet are not.
    Given that it is (was) a British aircraft, then it can probably be narrowed down to a Whitley.
    As you have the date and location, the RAF Museum might be able to provide details of losses on that date, and it's possible a member here might also be able to help.
     
  3. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Cool stuff especially the leaflet. Bet there arent many of the leaflets Bomber Command dropped still in existence seeing as how most probably ended up hanging from a nail in the outhouse ready for use.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I can see the other two pics now - good stuff, and I agree about the leaflet. They're relatively rare, more so those dropped on Italy.
     
  5. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    That's not a propaganda pamphlet, it's an order. It says:"Fifteen thousand extra large pizza supremes, no anchovies - to be picked up day after tomorrow. Signed, the British Eighth Army"
     
  6. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Would this bomber loss be in Chorley's 'Bomber Command Losses' series of books?
     
  7. Kevino

    Kevino New Member

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the replies :)

    I'll post another pic of of the leaflet as some seem to have difficulties viewing:

    Regarding Bomber Command Losses; does anyone in this forum have access to this? Or point me in the right direction to identify this bomber that went down in Ceresole A'alba on the 16th of August 1940.

    Here's a quick translation:
    To gain freedom and independence your forefathers fought the hated German invaders expelling them from Piemonte and Lombardi.

    Unfortunately today Italy is no longer a free and independent country. In this War, a War that you didn't ask for, you have become a nation with the sole purpose of serving Hitler.

    Why are you at War? Is it for a greater Italy? No it's not!! You are at war to make hitter stronger and more powerful than ever.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #8 nuuumannn, Apr 24, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
    Kevino, like Terry (Airframes) said, it's likely to be an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley (nicknamed The Flying Barn Door) twin-engined bomber. This type became the first to attack targets in Italy with the first raids being carried out in June 1940; Turin and Genoa were bombed on 11 June by Whitleys of Nos 10, 51, 58, 77 and 102 Squadrons, which refuelled in the Channel Islands. A further bit of info for interest's sake; Capitano Giorgio Graffer, flying a Fiat CR-42 became the first Regia Aeronautica pilot to carry out a night interception when on the night of 13/14 August he attacked a Whitley on a raid on Turin, but his guns jammed, so he rammed it. The stricken bomber escaped back toward the UK and plunged into the English Channel.

    Again, like Terry recommended, its worth contacting ther RAF Museum regarding info on the aircraft and raid, or alternatively, someone here with a copy of Bomber Command Losses could fish it out - which DoRIS staff are likely to refer to anyway, but Hendon also has a collection of propaganda leaflets.
     
  9. Kevino

    Kevino New Member

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    Thanks nuuumannn,

    I'll write to the RAF museum and see if they can help.

    Cheers,

    Kev
     
  10. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with your research, Kev.
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Let us know if you get any info.
     
  12. Kevino

    Kevino New Member

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    No luck so far...maybe they are busy :(
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Heck, it's only been ten days! Don't be surprised if it takes a month or more before you get a reply. The (limited) staff tend to investigate first, in order to be able to reply with even just basic info initially, rather than just reply with a "Thank you for your enquiry etc etc".
     
  14. Kevino

    Kevino New Member

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    My Mum always said I was an impatient brat :D
     
  15. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Once an enquiry is received by the museum research department, a response has to be produced within 20 working days, even if it is just stating that they have received your enquiry, so you could be waiting awhile before the actual information you seek is produced. On average they get around 20 enquiries a day - yep, that many, so they have a lot to do. There is a reading room at Hendon (if you are nearby) where you can request information from the archive and staff will fetch it for you.
     
  16. Kevino

    Kevino New Member

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    I recieved a reply today:

    This is the information on the Bomber

    Thanks to research through the RAF museum in Hendon I have been able to identify the plane and the fate of the crew.

    Whitley V - N1497 ZAB Op: Milano
    Sgt Green - POW
    F/O KH Higson - KIA
    Sgt HJ Davis - POW
    Sgt A Millington - POW
    P/O AEV Oliver - POW

    T/O Abingdon to Bomb an aircraft factory. Crashed in Italy after completing its mission. American sources in Rome Reported that the F/O Higson was at he controls when the bomber crashed and that Italian authorities allowed the crew to attend his military funeral

    May We Never Forget
     
  17. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Good result Kev.
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep. good stuff.
     
  19. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Yep, done good mate!
    Full respect for the crew, as long as you display the items they will not be forgotten.
     
  20. Kevino

    Kevino New Member

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    Hi all,

    I've bought a display cabinet for the purpose of displaying these parts of history and make sure they are never forgotten.

    I also found out a couple of things on one of the crew Henry Davis:
    Henry Davis was flying Ops to Milan in mid August 1940 when the aircraft failed to return, he was taken prisoner of War. In September 1943 he managed to escape and evade capture and return to England. As Warrant Officer he died on 28th October 1944 but the reasons surrounding his death are not known. He was twenty six years old and was cremated at Canley Crematorium, Coventry. He was married to Barbara Davis of Braddan, Isle of Man.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Davis escaped from the Italian POW camp of Sulmona in 1943
    [​IMG]

    Excuse the low quality screen shots.

    Regards,
     
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