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Storm-damaged EV991??, Salbani, 355 Sqn, 18 May 1944

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11 years 2 months ago #102 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole created the topic: Storm-damaged EV991??, Salbani, 355 Sqn, 18 May 1944
Hi, all,

The Oughton Lib book (not in front of me now, as I write this from work on a break) states that EV991 arrived in India on 23 May 1944 (or maybe the 22nd), went to 358 Sqn, and was struck off charge on 11 April 1946.

However, the book "Signed With Their Honour" by the 355/356 Squadrons Register gives a 355 Sqn monthly summary for May 1944, presumably taken directly from the 355 ORB, which states that EV991 received Category II damage on the ground on 18 May 1944. This was five or so days before its arrival in India, per Oughton!

More details, from the March 2003 355/356 Squadrons Register newsletter (repeating essentially what was printed in the book):

On the 18th May 1944 at approximately 18.00 hours a heavy thunderstorm broke over the aerodrome at Salbani. The storm was accompanied by heavy winds which increased to cyclonic force. Liberator VI aircraft EV991, undergoing a retraction test and loaded to 56000 lbs was being lowered and partially supported by its undercarriage when the winds sprang up. The aircraft jumped off the jacks and the subsequent heavy side loads imposed caused the port main wheel oleo leg to bend. A three ton lorry standing ten feet in front of the nose of EV991 was turned over and hurled against the port side of the nose causing extensive damage to the bombardiers compartment. In addition bending of main wheel oleo legs, through side loads imposed by the high velocity winds, occurred to Liberators BZ957, EV971 and EV940. All four aircraft were placed in category A/C and transferred to 135 R & SU.

Would Gary or someone else be willing to check the 355 Sqn ORB to see 1) what the serial number is, as printed in the May '44 monthly summary; 2) if prior to 18 May 1944 EV991 is listed in the ORB; and 3) what the three other damaged Libs' serials are?

Either the EV991 serial number is incorrect for 355 Sqn and this date, or else the Oughton book's EV991 individual aircraft history is erroneous.

Many thanks, friends,

Matt

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11 years 2 months ago #719 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: Storm-damaged EV991??, Salbani, 355 Sqn, 18 May 1944
Hi, all,

The Oughton Lib book (not in front of me now, as I write this from work on a break) states that EV991 arrived in India on 23 May 1944 (or maybe the 22nd), went to 358 Sqn, and was struck off charge on 11 April 1946.

However, the book "Signed With Their Honour" by the 355/356 Squadrons Register gives a 355 Sqn monthly summary for May 1944, presumably taken directly from the 355 ORB, which states that EV991 received Category II damage on the ground on 18 May 1944. This was five or so days before its arrival in India, per Oughton!

More details, from the March 2003 355/356 Squadrons Register newsletter (repeating essentially what was printed in the book):

On the 18th May 1944 at approximately 18.00 hours a heavy thunderstorm broke over the aerodrome at Salbani. The storm was accompanied by heavy winds which increased to cyclonic force. Liberator VI aircraft EV991, undergoing a retraction test and loaded to 56000 lbs was being lowered and partially supported by its undercarriage when the winds sprang up. The aircraft jumped off the jacks and the subsequent heavy side loads imposed caused the port main wheel oleo leg to bend. A three ton lorry standing ten feet in front of the nose of EV991 was turned over and hurled against the port side of the nose causing extensive damage to the bombardiers compartment. In addition bending of main wheel oleo legs, through side loads imposed by the high velocity winds, occurred to Liberators BZ957, EV971 and EV940. All four aircraft were placed in category A/C and transferred to 135 R & SU.

Would Gary or someone else be willing to check the 355 Sqn ORB to see 1) what the serial number is, as printed in the May '44 monthly summary; 2) if prior to 18 May 1944 EV991 is listed in the ORB; and 3) what the three other damaged Libs' serials are?

Either the EV991 serial number is incorrect for 355 Sqn and this date, or else the Oughton book's EV991 individual aircraft history is erroneous.

Many thanks, friends,

Matt

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11 years 2 months ago #721 by Gary
Gary replied the topic: Storm-damaged EV991??, Salbani, 355 Sqn, 18 May 1944
Hi Matt
I'll not be able to look until the weekend (works been keeping me too busy and I'm feeling shagged out). I think that's it's already been agreed that some of the data from Oughton's book is erroneous. Apparantly its still a good source of info but I don't have a copy myself.
It appears that Oughton got his info from the same place I did, the same date is listed on this site. My data's been the same for the past 10 years and really needs some updating done.
Gary

'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'

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11 years 2 months ago #722 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: Storm-damaged EV991??, Salbani, 355 Sqn, 18 May 1944
Hi, Gary,

Hoping the pressure eases for you fairly soon.

Thanks for offering to check the ORB when that time comes. It would satisfy my curiosity about this serial. My hunch is that "Signed With Their Honour" matches the ORB. I am curious to learn, though, if the book info has a serial number typo.

I want to figure out this serial to add to my compilation of Oughton Lib book errors/discrepancies. I'm trying to reach a point where a version of this can go on-line...and I'm a week or so away, I think.

I mentioned two or three months ago that I intended to have this on Robert Quirk's website, but I've reconsidered and think your site is a valuable place for this info, as well. The list I'm compiling doesn't just correct obvious errors. It also compares/contrasts details printed in Oughton's book with unresolved discrepancies found in other sources such as ORBs and logbooks. Sometimes I have found that the ORBs and logbooks are without a doubt in error, but in many instances I don't know whether Oughton or the other sources are correct. Often Oughton has errors of ommission, essentially - such as in an individual aircraft history where I have found a missing reference to a squadron or flying unit.

So in a week, maybe two, I'll send you something for the site. It's about 45 pages long, right now, and concentrates on Far East Liberators.

Cheers,

Matt

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11 years 1 month ago #728 by Gary
Gary replied the topic: Storm-damaged EV991??, Salbani, 355 Sqn, 18 May 1944
I'll have the answers for you within the next couple of days, I forgot and then something else entered my brain, I sometimes feel like Homer Simpson.
Gary

'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'

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11 years 1 month ago #732 by Gary
Gary replied the topic: Storm-damaged EV991??, Salbani, 355 Sqn, 18 May 1944
18th May: 1067878 F/S K.R. Price - WOP/AG posted to unit from 1673 HCU. Liberator VI aircraft EV932 received on allotment from No 308 MU. Liberator VI aircraft EV940 received on allotment from 135 RSU.

At approximately 1800 hours a heavy thunderstorm broke over the aerodrome accompanied by heavy winds which increased to cyclonic force. Liberator VI aircraft EV991, undergoing a retraction test and loaded to 56000 lbs was being lowered and partially supported by the undercarriage when the gale sprang up. The aircraft jumped off the jacks and subsequent heavy side loads imposed caused port oleos to bend. A three ton lorry standing ten feet in front of the nose was turned over and hurled against the port side of the nose causing extensive damage to the bombardiers compartment. In addition bending of oleos occurred through side loads imposed by the high velocity winds to Liberators BZ957, EV971 and EV940. All four aircraft were placed in category A/C and transferred to 135 R & SU. The winds also caused extensive damage to building and thatching - completely de-roofing several.

Weirdly enough the next entry in the ORBs was the following day when my Grandfather was posted to the Squadron from BHQ Calcutta.

19th May: 1814183 Sgt L.R. Green - F/Eng, 1823111 Sgt N.J.B. Paterson - F/Eng, 1806622 Sgt A.G. Fowkes - F/Eng, 1806133 Sgt R.S. Pilcher - F/Eng and 1812100 Sgt F.G. Humphries - F/Eng posted to unit from BHQ Calcutta. Liberator VI aircraft EW181 and EW124 received on allotment from 135 R & SU.

Sorry this took so long mate but at least we got there, I hope it helps :D
Gary

'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'

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