Vickers Wellington serial numbers

33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
Does anyone have a reference book which lists the serial numbers of Vickers Wellington production?

I ask, because I was compiling into a spreadsheet the serial numbers of the Wellington as listed in the book Wimpy — A Detailed History of the Vickers Wellington in Service, 1938–1953 by Steve Bond. However, it quickly became apparent there were problems, because the total number built for some of the Wellington marks did not match the number of aircraft accounted for by the serial numbers listed for that mark. There were a few typos/misprints in the book, which I was able to resolve, but it seems some of the serial numbers were attributed to the wrong mark of aircraft. Usually I can fix that sort of problem by crosschecking with another reference, but unfortunately the Bond book is the only reference I have on hand which lists the production serial numbers (the others only list the total number constructed of each mark).

Hence my request. I can narrow down the serial numbers/aircraft marks, if that helps make things less complicated.

Below is an illustration of the mismatch of the amounts the serial numbers added up to versus the stated totals for each mark as given in reference books. The numbers are in the order of: the number of aircraft according to the serial numbers in bold, followed by the stated total build, both from Wimpy — A Detailed History of the Vickers Wellington in Service, 1938–1953 by Steve Bond, then Wellington Special by Alec Lumsden, and lastly Vickers Wellington — 1936 to 1953 (all marks and models — Owners' Workshop Manual by Iain R. Murray.

prototype = 1 -- 1 -- 1 -- 1
Mk 1/1A/1C = 3,125 -- 3,053 -- 3,053 -- 3,053
Mk 2 = 400 -- 402 -- 401 -- 402
Mk 3 = 1,498 -- 1,519 -- 1,519 -- 1,519
Mk 4 = 554 -- 220 -- 220 -- 220
Mk 5 = 1 -- 3 -- 3 -- 3
Mk 6 = 64 -- 64 -- 64 -- 64
Mk 8 = 365 -- 394 -- 394 -- 394
Mk 10 = 3,699 -- 3,803 -- 3,803 -- 3,803
Mk 11 = 194 -- 180 -- 180 -- 180
Mk 12 = 58 -- 58 -- 58 -- 58
Mk 13 = 832 -- 845 -- 844 -- 845
Mk 14 = 599 -- 840 -- 841 -- 840
Mk 18 = 74 -- 80 -- 80 -- 80

Total, all Mks = 11,464 -- 11,462 -- 11,461 -- 11,462

As you can see, some of the serial number totals are quite off from the stated build totals. (The Bond book, in its early listing of serial numbers, also combined the 1, 1A, and 1C marks, hence why they've been combined above. It'd be nice to separate those out too.)
 
Last edited:

33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
List of Wellington S/N's.

I'm aware of that, but I'd rather not have to look through hundreds of individual serial numbers to track down the errors if I can avoid it — a book reference has everything nicely collated. Plus, as the description for that feature on that site says, it has 12,683 entries for Wellington serial numbers, while stating only 11,461 were built. So there are problems there too.

There must be another book which details the Wellington serial numbers.
 

mjfur

Senior Airman
365
335
Sep 23, 2006
I'm aware of that, but I'd rather not have to look through hundreds of individual serial numbers to track down the errors if I can avoid it — a book reference has everything nicely collated. Plus, as the description for that feature on that site says, it has 12,683 entries for Wellington serial numbers, while stating only 11,461 were built. So there are problems there too.

There must be another book which details the Wellington serial numbers.
Sometimes you have to do your own research.
 

Geoffrey Sinclair

Senior Airman
416
753
Sep 30, 2021
A number of the RAF Commands Wellington entries are place holders, no data. Firstly the numbers, excluding the mark I prototype.

ReportInv.Inv.Inv.Inv.BMASBMASBMASBMASMAPMAPMAPMAP
MarkBCWTotalBCWTotalBCWTotal
I
0​
3​
180​
183​
0​
3​
180​
183​
0​
3​
178​
181​
Ia
0​
17​
166​
183​
0​
17​
170​
187​
0​
17​
166​
183​
Ia DWI
0​
0​
4​
4​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
5​
5​
Ic
50​
1583​
954​
2587​
50​
1583​
1093​
2726​
50​
1583​
979​
2612​
Ic DWI
0​
0​
1​
1​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
Ic Torp
0​
0​
137​
137​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
137​
137​
II
0​
0​
399​
399​
0​
0​
399​
399​
0​
0​
399​
399​
III
780​
737​
0​
1517​
780​
737​
0​
1517​
780​
737​
0​
1517​
IV
0​
220​
0​
220​
0​
220​
220​
0​
220​
0​
220​
V
0​
0​
1​
1​
0​
0​
1​
1​
0​
0​
1​
1​
VI
0​
0​
64​
64​
0​
0​
64​
64​
0​
0​
64​
64​
VIII GR
0​
0​
29​
29​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
VIII LL
0​
0​
58​
58​
0​
0​
357​
357​
0​
0​
58​
58​
VIII Torp
0​
0​
271​
271​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
0​
271​
271​
X
1370​
2434​
0​
3804​
1370​
2434​
0​
3804​
1370​
2434​
0​
3804​
XI
75​
0​
105​
180​
75​
0​
105​
180​
75​
0​
105​
180​
XII
0​
8​
50​
58​
0​
8​
50​
58​
0​
8​
50​
58​
XIII
801​
0​
42​
843​
801​
0​
42​
843​
801​
0​
42​
843​
XIV
250​
538​
53​
841​
250​
538​
53​
841​
250​
538​
53​
841​
XVIII
80​
0​
0​
80​
80​
0​
0​
80​
80​
0​
0​
80​
Total
3406​
5540​
2514​
11460​
3406​
5540​
2514​
11460​
3406​
5540​
2508​
11454​

Inv. = Investigation of production reports, BMAS = British Military Aircraft Serials by Bruce Robertson, MAP = Ministry of Aircraft Production Statistical Review December 1945. B = Blackpool, C = Chester, W = Weybridge, GR= General Reconnaissance, Torp = Torpedo, LL = Leigh Light. DWI = Directional Wireless Installation = Magnetic Mine Sweep. MAP only have DWI I, Robertson splits the mark VI into 1 prototype, W5795, 28 VIa (Merlin 60) built January to June 1942 and 35 VIg (Mostly Merlin 62, /G for guard added to serials) built October 1942 to February 1943 but does not split the mark VIII into GR, Torpedo and Leigh Light.

The RAF Census of June 1944 gives total deliveries of all versions out of production by then, the mark I to VII and XI. This comes to 183 I, 187 Ia, 2,549 Ic, 138 Ic Torpedo, 400 II, 1,517 III, 220 IV, 58 VIII LL 336 VIII Torpedo and 178 XI, so yet more variations. It also reports 5 conversions away from mark I, 20 away from mark Ia, 86 away from mark Ic, 2 to mark II, 2 to mark X, 20 to mark XV and 82 to mark XVI. The mark I conversions are probably the DWI, the mark Ia becoming XV, the mark Ic becoming 2 II, 2 X and 82 XVI.

mark I: L4250 became mark II prototype, L4251 became mark III prototype

mark Ic: R3221 and T2545 (serial later changed to W5352) became mark II prototypes, P9238 became mark III prototype, R3298 and R3299 became mark V prototypes.

P2518, P2521, P2522 and P9223 the Ia DWI, HX682 the Ic DWI, W5796 was the sole production mark V.

As can be seen the differences are entirely at Weybridge and are entirely to do with the various mark I types and the mark VIII, with MAP missing 6 aircraft, a good chance these are mostly from the mark I L4311 to L4316 originally meant for New Zealand, only L4311 has a Contract Card, Serial Register entry and Form 78 aircraft card, 5 of the Wellingtons were officially exported but only as far as the RNZAF unit in Britain, L4311 arrived at the RAF in February 1940, the serials immediately before it arrived in April 1939 and those after L4316 in April/May 1939. Other reasons for a production aircraft not being counted include crashed on test and diverted to experimental work.

To sort things out the sources are the RAF Contract Cards, but they end for Weybridge at HF837, the RAF Serial Registers which are complete and the aircraft cards at Form 78 Aircraft Movement Cards – Bomber Command History with majority rules or the Aircraft Card is used if there is no majority. The Robertson list is also used and importantly is assumed to have the correct start and end mark VIII serials, no checking was done outside these serial ranges.

According to the aircraft cards mark VIII production began with 14 in May 1941 with another 4 by end September, production restarting in January 1942 but MAP says no production before March 1942, while the RAF reports the first squadron to receive mark VIII, number 221, did so in January 1942. Weybridge was building Ic and II In parallel in 1941, and clearly some VIII. In January 1942 it added mark VI to the production mix, in March the Ic torpedo version was added, while the VIII came I three versions, standard, torpedo and Leigh Light. Result 4 different marks, 6 or 7 different versions being rolled out in parallel. Examining the aircraft cards confirms the MAP figures of 58 LL mark VIII and 271 torpedo bomber mark VIII. What MAP misses is the 29 standard GR VIII, counting them as Ic.. Initial mark VIII production by serial is 23 GR, 4 LL, 6 GR, 17 Torpedo, with GR production ending and LL and Torpedo versions production starting in March 1942.

Mark VIII Serials Z8702, Z8703, Z8705 to Z8708, Z8710, Z8712, Z8713, Z8715, Z8717, Z8719, Z8721, Z8723, Z8725, Z8727, Z8902, Z8906, BB461, BB466, BB471, BB476, BB481, BB503, BB513, ES986, HF828, HF838, HF850, HF854, HF857, HF860, HF863, HF866, HF869, HF883, HF886, HF889, HF892, HF895, HF901, HF904, HF907, HF910, HF913, HF916, HF919, HF922, HX372, HX376, HX379, HX381, HX383, HX386, HX388, HX391, HX394, HX396, HX398, HX401, HX403, HX418 to HX420, HX422, HX424, HX426 to HX428, HX430, HX432, HX434, HX436, HX437, HX439, HX441, HX443 to HX445, HX448, HX450, HX452, HX466, HX467, HX469, HX471, HX473 to HX475, HX477, HX479, HX481, HX482, HX485, HX487, HX489, HX504, HX505, HX507, HX509, HX511 to HX513, HX515, HX517, HX519, HX520, HX522, HX524, HX526, HX528, HX530 to HX532, HX534, HX535, HX537, HX538, HX559, HX561 to HX563, HX565, HX566, HX568, HX570, HX572, HX574 to HX576, HX578, HX579, HX581, HX582, HX584, HX586 to HX588, HX590, HX592, HX593, HX595, HX596, HX598 to HX600, HX602, HX604, HX605, HX625, HX626, HX628 to HX630, HX632, HX634, HX636, HX638, HX640 to HX642, HX644, HX646, HX647, HX649, HX650, HX652 to HX654, HX656, HX671, HX672, HX674, HX675, HX677 to HX679, HX681, HX683, HX684, HX686, HX687, HX689, HX690, HX709, HX711, HX713, HX715, HX717, HX719 to HX721, HX723, HX725, HX726, HX728, HX729, HX731 to HX733, HX735, HX737, HX738, HX740, HX741, HX743 to HX745, HX747, HX749, HX751, HX768, HX770 to HX772, HX774, HX776, HX777, HX779, HX780, HX782 to HX784, HX786, LA964, LA966, LA967, LA969 to LA972, LA974 to LA977, LA979 to LA983, LA985 to LA987, LA989 to LA993, LA995 to LA998, LB111 to LB115, LB117 to LB119, LB121 to LB125, LB127 to LB130, LB132 to LB140, LB142 to LB147, LB149 to LB151, LB153 to LB156, LB169 to LB173, LB175 to LB197, LB213 to LB251
 

33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
Sometimes you have to do your own research.

This is easier to do when the reference books are within reach. ;)

That said, I did find a Google Books preview for the book Vickers Wellington by Philip J. Birtles, and the preview included some of the pages showing the serial numbers. Crosschecking with that does show a couple of differences, yet at the same time, it repeats some of the same errors from the Bond book. For example, it lists the exact same serial number batch for a Mk 4 run, stating 242 built for that run (which in itself is a problem since supposedly only 220 Mk 4 were constructed in total), but the serial numbers themselves add up to 359 aircraft.

The serial numbers for the Wellington appear to be something of a mess.

(At least the Whitley, Manchester, and Hampden/Hereford serials were nearly trouble-free to compile when I went through those a few weeks ago.)
 

33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
A number of the RAF Commands Wellington entries are place holders, no data. Firstly the numbers, excluding the mark I prototype. . . .

[edited for brevity]

Thanks for the detailed post! I'll need a bit of time to go through that. :)


(I suspect I'm going to have to go through each Wellington serial number batch in a spreadsheet to track the amounts and marks in an attempt to clean things up.)
 

Geoffrey Sinclair

Senior Airman
416
753
Sep 30, 2021
The spreadsheet will give the Robertson results. There is a note about serial number changes needed to/from VIII.

Splits not provided: VII into GR/LL/Torpedo also between Ic and Ic torpedo. As a guide March to October 1942 Weybridge built 49 Ic, 137 torpedo 1c and I DWI Ic. If you see three sequential VIII serials the middle one is usually a LL, but there are others.
 

Attachments

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33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
The spreadsheet will give the Robertson results. There is a note about serial number changes needed to/from VIII.

Splits not provided: VII into GR/LL/Torpedo also between Ic and Ic torpedo. As a guide March to October 1942 Weybridge built 49 Ic, 137 torpedo 1c and I DWI Ic. If you see three sequential VIII serials the middle one is usually a LL, but there are others.

Thanks for that file! That'll be very helpful.

As it happens, last night I took the serial number list from Bond's book and split it all into individual serial number batches with (supposed) marks. I can use your file to crosscheck against that to, hopefully, pin down the errors that crept into the book.

I wonder to what degree conversions from one mark to another might be contributing to the serial number issues.
 

Alex Smart

Airman
81
45
Oct 25, 2018
Great work Geoffrey, maybe given some extra time you might include the Mk, and serial numbers that were cancelled .
 

Geoffrey Sinclair

Senior Airman
416
753
Sep 30, 2021
There were not that many conversions between marks, beyond the transport ones, but agreed how they are counted is part of the differences. Sorting out the contracts that produced aircraft has its problems and I have few documents about the (partially) cancelled ones. I would be copying people like Robertson or the Air Britain lists for them whereas I know the problems of the Robertson serial listing for the Wellingtons actually built. Another possible problem is what marks were on order when the contract was cancelled versus when the contract was signed.
 

33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
For general interest, the production numbers by mark according to data in Geoffrey Sinclair's post #7 and from four different books.

Mark
BMAS
INV
MAP
SB
PJB
AL
IRM
Prototype
1​
1​
1​
1​
1​
1​
1​
Mk 1
183​
183​
181​
181​
181​
181​
181​
Mk 1A
187​
187​
188​
187​
187​
187​
187​
Mk 1C
2,726​
2,725​
2,749​
2,685​
2,685​
2,685​
2,685​
Mk 2
399​
399​
399​
402​
402​
401​
402​
Mk 3
1,517​
1,517​
1,517​
1,519​
1,519​
1,519​
1,519​
Mk 4
220​
220​
220​
220​
220​
220​
220​
Mk 5
1​
1​
1​
3​
3​
3​
3​
Mk 6
64​
64​
64​
64​
64​
64​
64​
Mk 8
357​
358​
329​
394​
394​
394​
394​
Mk 10
3,804​
3,804​
3,804​
3,803​
3,803​
3,803​
3,803​
Mk 11
180​
180​
180​
180​
180​
180​
180​
Mk 12
58​
58​
58​
58​
58​
58​
58​
Mk 13
843​
843​
843​
845​
845​
844​
845​
Mk 14
841​
841​
841​
840​
840​
841​
840​
Mk 18
80​
80​
80​
80​
80​
80​
80​
Total
11,461
11,461
11,455
11,462
11,462
11,461
11,462

Legend

BMAS = British Military Aircraft Serials by Bruce Robertson (post #7)
INV = Investigation of Production Reports (post #7)
MAP = Ministry of Aircraft Production Statistical Review (post #7)
SB = Steve Bond, Wimpy — A Detailed Illustrated History of the Vickers Wellington in Service, 1938–1953 (Grub Street, 2014)
PJB = Philip J. Birtles, Vickers Wellington (Fonthill Media, 2022)
AL = Alec Lumsden, Wellington Special (Ian Allan Ltd, 1974)
IRM = Iain R. Murray, Vickers Wellington — 1936 to 1953 (all marks and models) — Owners' Workshop Manual (Haynes Publishing, 2016)


The books all have very similar figures, with a difference of just one in the totals for a few of the marks. The book figures are also in most instances similar to the figures from the 'official' sources, differing by only one to three, with the exception of the Mk 1C and Mk 8 where the differences are larger.
 

33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
Mark VIII Serials Z8702, Z8703, Z8705 to Z8708, Z8710, Z8712, Z8713, Z8715, Z8717, Z8719, Z8721, Z8723, Z8725, Z8727, Z8902, Z8906, BB461, BB466, BB471, BB476, BB481, BB503, BB513, ES986, HF828, HF838, HF850, HF854, HF857, HF860, HF863, HF866, HF869, HF883, HF886, HF889, HF892, HF895, HF901, HF904, HF907, HF910, HF913, HF916, HF919, HF922, HX372, HX376, HX379, HX381, HX383, HX386, HX388, HX391, HX394, HX396, HX398, HX401, HX403, HX418 to HX420, HX422, HX424, HX426 to HX428, HX430, HX432, HX434, HX436, HX437, HX439, HX441, HX443 to HX445, HX448, HX450, HX452, HX466, HX467, HX469, HX471, HX473 to HX475, HX477, HX479, HX481, HX482, HX485, HX487, HX489, HX504, HX505, HX507, HX509, HX511 to HX513, HX515, HX517, HX519, HX520, HX522, HX524, HX526, HX528, HX530 to HX532, HX534, HX535, HX537, HX538, HX559, HX561 to HX563, HX565, HX566, HX568, HX570, HX572, HX574 to HX576, HX578, HX579, HX581, HX582, HX584, HX586 to HX588, HX590, HX592, HX593, HX595, HX596, HX598 to HX600, HX602, HX604, HX605, HX625, HX626, HX628 to HX630, HX632, HX634, HX636, HX638, HX640 to HX642, HX644, HX646, HX647, HX649, HX650, HX652 to HX654, HX656, HX671, HX672, HX674, HX675, HX677 to HX679, HX681, HX683, HX684, HX686, HX687, HX689, HX690, HX709, HX711, HX713, HX715, HX717, HX719 to HX721, HX723, HX725, HX726, HX728, HX729, HX731 to HX733, HX735, HX737, HX738, HX740, HX741, HX743 to HX745, HX747, HX749, HX751, HX768, HX770 to HX772, HX774, HX776, HX777, HX779, HX780, HX782 to HX784, HX786, LA964, LA966, LA967, LA969 to LA972, LA974 to LA977, LA979 to LA983, LA985 to LA987, LA989 to LA993, LA995 to LA998, LB111 to LB115, LB117 to LB119, LB121 to LB125, LB127 to LB130, LB132 to LB140, LB142 to LB147, LB149 to LB151, LB153 to LB156, LB169 to LB173, LB175 to LB197, LB213 to LB251

I was crosschecking the Robertson file against the serials in the Bond book, and there are 27 Mk 8 serials that do not appear in the above. These serials are:

W5615, W5619, W5623, W5631, W5645, W5647, W5649, W5651, W5653, W5655, W5657, W5659, W5661–W5662, W5671–W5672, W5674, W5676, W5678, W5725, W5728, and W5730–W5735.

I checked the Form 78 Aircraft Movement Cards from the Bomber Command History website you mentioned. They all show the above as Mk 8 aircraft, with the exception of W5651 and W5728, whose cards were not available. The proviso is that all the cards had Mk IC crossed off and Mk 8 written above. Whether that is due to correcting typos or because these were later conversions to Mk 8, I don't know.

If you can shed any light on this, that would be great. :)
 

Geoffrey Sinclair

Senior Airman
416
753
Sep 30, 2021
The obvious thing to do when confronted with extras is to go and find even more. I see the 27 W serials and raise by 6 T serials and another 3 Z serials. Not sure how I missed the Z serials, probably a case of seeing what I expected, not what was really there.

T2919, officially built Feb-41, but Director General Research & Development Vickers in Dec-40, this says prototype to me. (serials around this one were built in Nov-40) IC/VIII.
T2977, Dec-40 IC/VIII, 221 sqn Apr 41
T2979, Jan-41 IC/VIII, 221 sqn Apr 41
T2982, Feb-41 IC/VIII, 221 sqn Apr 41
T2988, Feb-41 IC/VIII, 221 sqn Apr 41
T2998, Jan-41 IC/VIII, 221 sqn Apr 41

Z8892, Sep 41 VIII
Z8895, Feb 42 VIII, build month from Contract Card, should be Sep 41, as 32 MU Sep 41, 221 sqn Dec, Middle East 3 Jan 42
Z8898, Sep 41 VIII

The serial registers look like Ic has been over written by VIII like the aircraft cards for everything up to Z8906, the contract cards have VIII replacing Ic or are ambiguous/hard to see if there was an over write until Z8892 to Z8906 which are clearly VIII, which suggests the change was made by September at the factory. There was no mark VIII production in August. I cannot narrow this down any further as the relevant Coastal Command Strength returns simply say Wellington. Note 221 Squadron officially received mark VIII In January 1942, given it already had the type much earlier it suggests the change from Ic to VIII made it to the squadron level more like January 1942 than September 1941. Having made the decision the aircraft cards, serial registers and contract cards were altered to reflect the change, the aircraft cards having the word standard added for the non Leigh Light and non Torpedo versions.

The mark VIII had the same engines as the mark Ic, the main early difference is it was fitted with ASV mark II radar, the Leigh Light could be fitted in the mid under turret position and others could carry torpedoes. The Wellington Biography AVIA 46/121 states the Ic weight was 30,000 pounds, range 1,805 miles with 2,750 pounds of bombs, speed 235 mph at 15,000 feet, while the VIII was 30,500 pounds, 1,580 miles with 2,700 pounds of depth charges, speed 205 mph at 15,500 feet, with the VIII production starting in March 1942

The Ministry of Aircraft Production decided to only count as mark VIII the Leigh Light and Torpedo capable versions, 271 torpedo, 58 Leigh Light, total 329. The RAF census decided anything without a Leigh Light was torpedo capable, 58 Leigh Light, 336 torpedo, total 394. The contract card summary notes for the Weybridge built Wellingtons between W5612 and HF922 state 59 B VIII, 271 TB VIII and 58 LL VIII, so bomber, not General Reconnaissance, along with another note that (Big Ink Blot) IC to be Mk VIII plus 6 from previous contract. That contract, serials between T2453 to T3000, simply has the note 294 Ic and 6 VIII on the summary card, but the note on the final card after T3000 says 300 Ic built.

With the usual ambiguity about the prototype but counting it as a standard VIII we now have the 29 standard from the investigation, plus 27 W serials plus 6 T serials and another 3 Z serials, total 65 standard, 58 Leigh Light, 271 torpedo bombers, total 394 VIII. So adjust the Weybridge INV mark Ic total down by 36, VIII regular up by 36. Thanks for doing the check, it has hopefully finally solved the mysteries of the VIII. Not sure why the card for W5651 is missing, but W5728 was used for experimental work.

W5651, Feb-41, at 8 MU Mar 41, then 221 sqn
W5728, Apr-41, Special Duties flight, Coastal Command Development Unit, Telecommunications Flying Unit.

Vickers gave the type number 423 to Wellingtons able to carry a 4,000 pound bomb, the contract cards have Z8361, Z8363, Z8365, Z837 and Z8372 marked as type 423, they were built July to September 1941 and seem to be the first type 423, from Weybridge anyway.
 

33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
The obvious thing to do when confronted with extras is to go and find even more.

There may be a few more. I've put all the Bond and Robertson serial number batches, as well as your Mk 8 numbers, into the same Excel file and have a check set up to flag any batches which differ in either serial number or aircraft mark.

I have figured out why the Bond book had so many excess Mk 4 serial numbers: several batches were mistakenly designated as Mk 4 instead of Mk 14, which is what they actually were. Presumably a typo or misprint when the book was done. Others should have been listed as Mk 10, which is a less understandable error.

I will say spreadsheet apps sure help a lot in this. It'd be positively painful if one had to track batches and totals purely by hand on paper.


Thanks for doing the check, it has hopefully finally solved the mysteries of the VIII. Not sure why the card for W5651 is missing, but W5728 was used for experimental work.

I wasn't planning to go this deep into the matter, as it is beyond what I need the numbers for, but I figured I might as well keep going since I started it. When I've finished the Excel file comparison I'll post something up noting the differences I've come across.


Vickers gave the type number 423 to Wellingtons able to carry a 4,000 pound bomb, the contract cards have Z8361, Z8363, Z8365, Z837 and Z8372 marked as type 423, they were built July to September 1941 and seem to be the first type 423, from Weybridge anyway.

I understand there were existing Wellingtons modified to carry the 4,000-lb bomb. Do you have any rough estimates of how many Mk 3 and 10 Wellingtons ended up with the capability to carry the 4,000-lb bomb?
 

33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
807
1,098
Jan 31, 2021
I completed going through the Excel file I set up. However, there are several serial number batches I couldn't crosscheck because the Form 78 Aircraft Movement Cards at the Bomber Command History website is missing the serial batches (the NC, PG, and RP series). Below are the mismatches between the Bond and Robertson lists remaining to be settled.

Bond
NC433 = 1 x Mk 13
NC434–NC439 = 6 x Mk 10
NC440 = 1 x Mk 13
Robertson
NC433–NC440 = 8 x Mk 13

Bond
NC472–NC481 = 10 x Mk 10
NC482–NC489 = 8 x Mk 13
Robertson
NC472–NC480 = 9 x Mk 10
NC481–NC489 = 9 x Mk 13

Bond
NC503 = 1 x Mk 13
NC504–NC509 = 6 x Mk 10
NC510 = 1 x Mk 13
Robertson
NC503–NC510 = 8 x Mk 13

Bond
NC563–NC570 = 8 x Mk 10
NC571–NC576 = 6 x Mk 13
Robertson
NC563–NC571 = 9 x Mk 10
NC572–NC576 = 5 x Mk 13

Bond
PG286–PG287 = 2 x Mk 10
PG288–PG293 = 6 x Mk 14
PG294–PG326 = 33 x Mk 10
Robertson
PG286–PG297 = 12 x Mk 10
PG298–PG303 = 6 x Mk 14
PG304–PG326 = 23 x Mk 10

Bond
PG350–PG355 = 6 x Mk 10*
Robertson
PG350–PG355 = 6 x Mk 18

Bond
RP538–RP590 = 53 x Mk 10
Robertson
RP538–RP561 = 24 x Mk 10
RP565–RP590 = 26 x Mk 10

*I expect Robertson is correct in this instance as this seems a probable typo/misprint in the Bond book
 

ThomasP

Tech Sergeant
2,192
3,033
Apr 17, 2017
midwest USA
I may be wrong, but the 423 was a Modification Number not an airframe Type number. So any Wellington Mk II/III with the Modification No. 423 done on them would still be listed as the original Type number. Is this incorrect?

I do not know if they used the same Modification Number for the Wellington Mk X.

There was also a small batch of Wellington Mk IC that had a similar Modification performed on them, but my notes list it as Modification No. 453 (could be wrong).
 
Last edited:

Geoffrey Sinclair

Senior Airman
416
753
Sep 30, 2021
Bond
NC433 = 1 x Mk 13
NC434–NC439 = 6 x Mk 10
NC440 = 1 x Mk 13
Robertson
NC433–NC440 = 8 x Mk 13
Serial registers agree with Robertson (NC434 to 438 to French Air Force in 1946)

Bond
NC472–NC481 = 10 x Mk 10
NC482–NC489 = 8 x Mk 13
Robertson
NC472–NC480 = 9 x Mk 10
NC481–NC489 = 9 x Mk 13
Serial registers agree with Bond (NC482 to 486 to French Air Force in 1946) so +1 X, -1 XIII to Robertson totals

Bond
NC503 = 1 x Mk 13
NC504–NC509 = 6 x Mk 10
NC510 = 1 x Mk 13
Robertson
NC503–NC510 = 8 x Mk 13
Serial registers agree with Robertson

Bond
NC563–NC570 = 8 x Mk 10
NC571–NC576 = 6 x Mk 13
Robertson
NC563–NC571 = 9 x Mk 10
NC572–NC576 = 5 x Mk 13
Serial registers agree with Bond so -1 X, +1 XIII to Robertson totals, reversing the earlier change.

Bond
PG286–PG287 = 2 x Mk 10
PG288–PG293 = 6 x Mk 14
PG294–PG326 = 33 x Mk 10
Robertson
PG286–PG297 = 12 x Mk 10
PG298–PG303 = 6 x Mk 14
PG304–PG326 = 23 x Mk 10
Serial registers agree with Robertson

Bond
PG350–PG355 = 6 x Mk 10*
Robertson
PG350–PG355 = 6 x Mk 18
Serial registers agree with Robertson (and you)

Bond
RP538–RP590 = 53 x Mk 10
Robertson
RP538–RP561 = 24 x Mk 10
RP565–RP590 = 26 x Mk 10
Serial registers agree with Robertson

Where Robertson disagrees with the serial registers a double check confirms they are in the book and are not due to an incorrect transcription.

Vickers Aircraft since 1908 by C.F. Andrews, the type number list notes type 423: Wellington, all marks to carry 4,000 pound bomb, Conversion. Looking through the list type 406 was for the production Wellington II but other type numbers assigned to the various test mark II include 298, 416, 419, 439, 445, 450, 470 and 486. The type 453 was the VC-2 project, four Rolls Royce Dart engines. Wellingtons in Bomber Command dropped 1,931 4,000 pound bombs from 650 day and 36,762 night bombing sorties. It looks like only the early Ic from Weybridge modified to carry 4,000 pound bombs have their contract card entries marked type 423, so no idea of the number of later marks modified.
 

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