Wellington bomber W5417

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by SimonM, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. SimonM

    SimonM New Member

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    Just came across these forums while trying to research a Wellington that crashed in 1941.

    My friends grandfather was a front gunner (he survived this, and two other crashes, and is still spritely in his 80's right now).

    I have a copy of his logbook in front of me stating that his aircraft crashed on 15th May 1941 after operations at Cuxhaven. They crashed near Malton.

    However there is a problem. This logbook is no doubt completely accurate. The trouble is that after looking up W5417 on the internet I can only find references to it being lost without trace after operations over Emden in 1942.

    I am double checking to make sure that the aircraft wasn't repaired and put back into service. However at the moment I am being assured by my friend that it was a total write off after the Malton crash.

    does anyone here have an access to any other records that might shed some light on this confliction?
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Can't help directly, Simon, but I have experienced this sort of problem before regarding serial numbers related to lost or active aircraft. One suggestion is to first double-check the, presumably handwritten, entry in the log book, just in case the serial number might appear to read as you have quoted; it may be, for example, that the figure 5 could actually be a figure 8, and so on, if you see what I mean. Given that the log book entry is correct, then the only thing I can recommend is to try the Public Records Office at Kew, where you will be able to access the relevant Record Card for the aircraft, as well as the Squadron diaries and Operations Log. I'm afraid I can't help you much on the procedure for this, as I have used a friend who lived in London to do the work for me, as I am in the north! However, I know that it is much easier and quicker nowadays, due to the computerisation of indexes (indices?) and the Freedom of Information Act etc.
    Hope you find what you are looking for, good luck!
     
  3. SimonM

    SimonM New Member

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    Many thanks for the suggestion of Kew.

    The serial is correct as he flew in the plane twice, so there are two entries. The handwriting is also very neat and clear.

    Another thing I am finding confusing is that for most of the log book the serial number of the plane is given. But later on the planes are only described as Welling "R" or Wellington "E" etc. These were during special duties, mostly over the North sea and Danish coasts.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yes. I've seen that before, regarding Special Duties. It's normally security related. Also, sometimes the person who's log it is, especially if aircrew other than a pilot, has just entered the individual aircraft letter; this is especially common where that crewmember has no permanently allocated aircraft, and flies ops on a number of A/C.
    You might also find that the use of a single letter is because the serial was not known, due to not being noticed at the time, but it's normally a security related issue.
     
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