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B Flight 33 Sqdn RFC

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Stringfellow1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Feb 2014 at 23:46
Can anybody assist with serials of aircraft operated by B Flight 33 Sqdn based at Manton, Lincs.
Also seeking similar for the six  DH6 aircraft of  404 Flight RAF at North Coates Fitties  August 1918 to March 1919
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NickForder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 13:14
Have you checked Cole & Cheesman's 'The Air Defence of Britain 1914-1918 ?'
All sorties are listed with serials of aircraft and crews, though Manton is noted as Kirton-Lindsey. Kirton-in-Lindsey is the more normal listing for the airfield in most sources.

The BE2c/e s were replaced by FE2b/d, so the C&CI FE2 book should contain details also.

The FEs were replaced by Bristol F2B Fighters. Pending the long-promised publication of an Air-Britain book on the Biff, Chaz Bowyer's 'Bristol Fighter : King of Two-Seaters' might be worth cross-referencing Cole & Cheesman for any aircraft that slipped through the net.

404 Flight was formed at East Halton, Killingholme in May 1918 with Short 184s and didn't go to North Coates Fitties until 26.9.1918, disbanding there on 6.3.1919. Though listed as an 'RNAS' unit, 'Royal Naval Aircraft Serials and Units 1911-1919' doesn't list any DH6s. 404 & 405 & 453 Flights made up 248 Sqn which 'AirCo : The Aircraft Manufacturing Company' doesn't list as a DH6 unit, although the book is very good on serial and has  specific section on 'Marine Operations Units'.

'RAF Squadrons' lists 248 Sqn with Sopwith Babies, Short 184 & 320 seaplanes, formed at Hornsea Mere in August 1918, with a detachment (i.e. 404 Flt ?) at North Coates. 'Flying Units of the RAF' agrees.

I'd recheck your DH6 reference...

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Stringfellow1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stringfellow1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 16:42
Yes I have checked Cole & Cheesmans book but there is nothing that really helps. I will have to check with my local library for Chas Bowyers Bristol Fighter publication and the FE2 publication is still on my 'wants' list. Thanks for your help
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 16:51
Are you sure about Cole & Cheesman ? 

Choosing page 286 at random ;

"No 33 Squadron, B Flight, Kirton-Lindsey: BE2e 7226 (2nd Lieut JR Cudemore, 2nd Lieut HP Solomon) 22.20-23.20 hr (Scampton - i.e. landed there); FE2d B1882 (Capt DH Dabbs) 23.05-00.01 hr, returned early, pilot sick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stringfellow1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 17:02
I must have missed those, sadly I only borrowed the Cheesmans book and it has gone back now so I have nothing to refer back to
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 18:03
It's the closest we are likely to get to a definitive work on Home Defence units and sorties, and should tell you are you need. The other works may fill in only those gaps left by Cole & Cheesman because certain aircraft were not used operationally..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 19:08
B1186, C4698 & D8003 are the Biffs Chaz Bowyer lists for 33 Sqn
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Stringfellow1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stringfellow1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 19:28
Thanks every little bit helps
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Paul R Hare View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul R Hare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 19:44
you are welcome to borrow it again!
And, of course, I have the CCI F.E.2 book too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 19:52
War in the Air Appendices note that 33 Sqn had only 6 Biffs on charge on 8.6.1918, from an establishment of 22. The other two Biff HD Sqns had only 6 and one aircraft each.

33 Sqn received its first Biffs in June 1918, but by August they had gone to be replaced by 504K nightfighters. So, it is possible that 6 is all they ever had. One wonders if this was because of delays in delivering Arab-engine Biffs from NAF3 ? The only HD Sqn with its full quota of Biff on 8.6.1918 was 141
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