Vickers Wellington Plane Identifier Squdron Code/Plane Letter for 458 Squadron

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by nickbert_81, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. nickbert_81

    nickbert_81 New Member

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    #1 nickbert_81, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
    Hi Everyone.

    I'm interested in getting a model made up of a Wellington Bomber flown by the 458 Squadron RAAF.
    My grandfather was in this Squadron, His name was H N L Bertram, I have managed to find some the Operational records and the plane identifier for some of his Sorties

    Is there a record or log that i can match the aircraft identification number to the Make squadron code / letter marked on the plane?

    There is an extract that I found on the internet of an incident where they had to ditch their wellington in the mediterranean. They have mentioned the Squadron Code "FU" but according to the Wikipedia the Squadron code for the time period he was in the 458 Squadron was "MD"

    Thanks in advance

    all the relevant details are on the attachment.

    View attachment Wellington Extract.pdf
     
  2. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    The FU code was being sported by 453 squadron spitfires when the squadron reformed in Europe in June of 42. Before then, 458 carried code FU so it seems you're correct that the MD code would have been around on your 458 machines in 43.

    There are others that will chime in on this but it seems to be generally difficult to match the aircraft code to the manufacturer serial number unless you have a clear photo or are lucky enought to be able to consult some records in England (forget what they're called) that may or may not make a connection.

    Interesting post and looks like you've done some digging already.
     
  3. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #3 nuuumannn, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
    Hi nickbert, As Crimea River indicates, go to the records in England that he's forgotten what they're called; the Department of Research and Information Services (DoRIS) at the RAF Museum at Hendon has Bomber Command loss cards as well as aircraft movement cards (Air Ministry Form 78 ) and accident record cards (AM Form 1180) which you can get a little info on. They might not necessarily reveal which squadron code the aircraft in particular wore, but you might find out something useful.

    Good luck with your research.
     
  4. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    458 had a strange existence, spending July 1941 to January 1942 in Yorkshire, coded FU-, then being sent to the Middle East, safely ferrying out 36 Wellington Ic to Egypt. Before the personnel arrived, their aircraft were issued to other Squadrons, and the aircrew posted elsewhere. 458 "re-formed" (though it had never been disbanded) in September, 1942, and flew Wellington Ic VIII, carrying MD codes. The marrying of aircraft to crews needs a look at the Operations Record Book (O.R.B.,) which is held in our National Archives, in Kew, London. There is always a problem with checking the ORBs, since the comprehensive (or otherwise) nature of the entries were entirely dependent on the amount of energy which the allocated (rarely a volunteer) officer was prepared to expend; I've seen serial nos (often,) code letters (rarely,) both (like hens' teeth,) nothing whatsoever (thankfully rare, also,) so you just never know. If your grandfather flew in BB457 it was MD-U, and HX519 was MD-F; others might be in the ORB, but it's pot-luck. I often visit Kew, so, when I get a chance, I'll have a look.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Great info Edgar!
     
  6. nickbert_81

    nickbert_81 New Member

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    Thankyou for the extra information.

    I was not sure what Crimea River meant.

    Much Appreciated
     
  7. nickbert_81

    nickbert_81 New Member

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    Hi Edgar,

    Thanks for your input.

    There is an attachment(Wellington Extract.pdf ) on the original original tread, I have added the Operations Records I found with his name (H.N.L Bertram)
    I have had the ORB's for quite some time.

    Each extract contains the serial number of the plane but no other information.

    27th Feb 1943 - Wellington B.B.481 (This is the plane on the record on the attached PDF) also another link below

    Crew members of a Vickers Wellington bomber from No. 458 Squadron RAAF being rescued at sea by the ship "SS Destro", after they were forced to ditch their aircraft. The airman climbing the ladder ...

    Other flight extracts from the 458 ORB's

    14th Mar 1943 - Arrived from 458 Squadron in Egypt
    02nd Apr 1943 - H.X.381
    03rd April 1943 - H.X 576 (Possibly 376)
    13th Apr 1943 - L.A.997
    17th Apr 1943 - H.X 391 (Possibly 381)

    If there was anyway of knowing the Squadron Code/Letter of the plane that went down in the Mediterranean that would be fantastic.

    Any information or further searching suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks Everyone
     
  8. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    The ORB doesn't take you much (any?) further forward; he was WAG in LA997 13/4 21-22/4 (which is odd - see later,) HX381 2/4 17/4, and HX576 5/4.
    The crew he flew with was Captain Sgt. R.G. Spencer, 2nd. Pilot Sgt. T. Davies, Nav. F/Sgt S.H. McKay, other WAGs Sgt. J.E. Flecknoe Sgt. J.M. Fischer.
    The odd 21-22/4 entry is because, according to the book, he was posted, on the 18th., to 21 P.T.C., for onward transfer to R.A.T.G. Salisbury for training as an Airman Pilot. It wouldn't be the first time an ORB writer got things wrong, of course.
    There are no mentions of codes in the ORB, which is par for the course.
     
  9. nickbert_81

    nickbert_81 New Member

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    Hi Edgar,

    I had not noticed that before.

    Thanks for looking into it for me, I have contacted the (DoRIS) and hopefully I get some good information back when they reply.

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  10. nickbert_81

    nickbert_81 New Member

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  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    See my reply in your other post. Edgar might beat me to the answers, but I'll post the pic when i get a chance.
     
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