31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

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31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby rhagger » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:41 pm

Guesses regarding the code letter-ie EH - ?

Click on the bottom right thumbnail photo (sepia) and it should give a nice large image

http://www.31squadronassociation.com.au ... n-profile/

Under the undercarriage door the bottom of the fuselage 'EH' code can be seen. The individual letter for the aircraft appears to have a straight horizontal bottom.I've been trying to nut out what it may be. I have looked at the 31 Squadron records on the National Archives site but the squadron's aircraft serial numbers only were recorded

Neville Parnell's Beaufighters in the Pacific lists some codes. ( A8-6 and A8-13 were the first 2 Mk 21 aeroplanes to join 31 Sqn in Sept 1944). Around this time (Sept 1944 to feb 1945) he cites the following:
A8-2 = Z
A8-11 = D
A8-8 = A
A8-10 = T
A8-14 = J
A8-15 = P
A8-17 = X ("Macksville")
A8-20 = M
A8-24 = C
A8-25 = V
A8-37 = W
A8-44 = S
A8-60 = X (A8-17 above reduced to components Nov 44)
A8-89 = A
Joining the Sqn after Feb 1945-
A8-109 = I
A8-114 = A
A8-142 = L (which he queries)
A8-161 = S (which he queries)
A8-169 = Y
A8-174 = M
A8-192 = K
A8-196 = O
A8-198 = F

Not all a/c listed with 31 Sqn have accompanying codes. I have only listed the ones that do.
Parnell's book says A8-6 suffered a holed belly possibly by its own cannon fire in January 1945 , and 31 Squadron's Ops Record book
says A8-6 crashed in the sea in Feb 1945 , the navigator not being found. The ORB also however lists A8-6 as being operational up to August 1945 so I wonder if there serial of the crashed a/c was a typo.(edit-further reading of the records showed A8-16 crashed into sea)
It appears A8-6 participated in operations from Sept 1944 to August 1945, the first of these in alongside A19 serial beaufighters.
Parnell lists A19-181 EH-L ('L's a Poppin") as having a taxying accident on 22 August 1944.It wasn't destroyed as it went onto 5 OTU but as yet I don't know if it participated in further 31 Sqn ops.

If A8-6 carried the same code letter through all of this time , by excluding the above, it may have been EH-B, E, G, H, N, Q, U, or possibly L. (R was A8-21-photo in Britmodeller post-see link below)

Not many not these have a horizontal line forming the base of their character.

Comments anyone?

http://www.31squadronassociation.com.au ... n-profile/
http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/inde ... the-saint/

PS DK decals 1/72 sheet includes Winston nose art.

Cheers
Robert
Last edited by rhagger on Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby Tony Rigby » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:37 am

Robert,

The photo of "Winston" was donated to AWM by Reg Bowden, who was the armourer for the aircraft. In 2010 I built a model of Winston for Reg, and I gathered information from Reg, and Peter Demaine who was the Navigator. Peter provided the squadron code after referring to his logbook.

A8-6 (EH-K) was an Australian Mk21 delivered to 31 Sqn in September 44 along with A8-13 and was authorised to be repainted in the earlier Coastal Command camouflage scheme (green, grey and sky) by CO 31 Sqn after the pilot Dave Doughton visited 30 Sqn to see how they were using the Mk21 aircraft. He was stunned that the Foliage green aircraft were flown in close formation over the jungle in poor visibility and believed that mid-air accidents were inevitable. The aircraft was repainted in October 1944 and the photo was taken in Moratai in January 1945. Neither Peter or Reg could remember where exactly the repainting was done, but that it was unlikely to have been done at Coomalie Creek.

Dave Doughton was an anglophile hence the name "Winston" and the Bulldog's head on the nose, while every other aircraft in 31 Sqn had the Richmond Tiger painted on the nose. This came from the CUB workers donating the production cost of a Beaufighter. The Sqn painted the Tiger on the nose. The workers were so happy that they donated part of their traditional brewery workers daily beer to 31 Sqn. So the Squadron painted a Tiger's head on every aircraft. Dave was also a very forthright individual, hence getting his way in repainting an aircraft that was only six weeks old. He took Reg along on a number of missions so that he could reload the 20mm cannons after the initial strike. Reg sat on top of the reload ammunition during the approach and first attack, then reloaded and got to enjoy a second time over the target. His pay went from 6 shillings to 10 shillings per day every time he flew one of these missions, so the pay section hated him. Reg said that both the Japanese and the Pay section wanted to see him dead, but with the Japanese it was professional not personal.

Tony
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby rhagger » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:15 am

Thanks for the helpful and interesting reply Tony.
It seems my eye of faith was a tad off when looking at the photo and trying to make out any of the letter.
Regards,
Robert
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby RAAFBrat » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:09 pm

Tony Rigby wrote:Robert,

The photo of "Winston" was donated to AWM by Reg Bowden, who was the armourer for the aircraft. In 2010 I built a model of Winston for Reg, and I gathered information from Reg, and Peter Demaine who was the Navigator. Peter provided the squadron code after referring to his logbook.

A8-6 (EH-K) was an Australian Mk21 delivered to 31 Sqn in September 44 along with A8-13 and was authorised to be repainted in the earlier Coastal Command camouflage scheme (green, grey and sky) by CO 31 Sqn after the pilot Dave Doughton visited 30 Sqn to see how they were using the Mk21 aircraft. He was stunned that the Foliage green aircraft were flown in close formation over the jungle in poor visibility and believed that mid-air accidents were inevitable. The aircraft was repainted in October 1944 and the photo was taken in Moratai in January 1945. Neither Peter or Reg could remember where exactly the repainting was done, but that it was unlikely to have been done at Coomalie Creek.

Dave Doughton was an anglophile hence the name "Winston" and the Bulldog's head on the nose, while every other aircraft in 31 Sqn had the Richmond Tiger painted on the nose. This came from the CUB workers donating the production cost of a Beaufighter. The Sqn painted the Tiger on the nose. The workers were so happy that they donated part of their traditional brewery workers daily beer to 31 Sqn. So the Squadron painted a Tiger's head on every aircraft. Dave was also a very forthright individual, hence getting his way in repainting an aircraft that was only six weeks old. He took Reg along on a number of missions so that he could reload the 20mm cannons after the initial strike. Reg sat on top of the reload ammunition during the approach and first attack, then reloaded and got to enjoy a second time over the target. His pay went from 6 shillings to 10 shillings per day every time he flew one of these missions, so the pay section hated him. Reg said that both the Japanese and the Pay section wanted to see him dead, but with the Japanese it was professional not personal.

Tony


That's a great story Tony - and very Australian :D .
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter - Great Reference RAAF Publication 61

Postby Tony Rigby » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:47 pm

Just a note on a DAP Mk 21 Beaufighter reference in the National Library of Australia.

In 2010, I did some research at the NLA. There is a copy of RAAF Publication 615 Descriptive Manual Mk 21 Beaufighter (227 pages). Unfortunately when I got it, the contents were for an RAAF Beaufort Electrical Manual. So I requested a copy of the Beaufort Electrical manual and it had the contents of the Beaufighter manual. The librarian could not understand the problem, and have the loose leaf contents swapped over.

The Descriptive Manual publication (which is available commercially as a 22Mb pdf) has some fantastic drawings showing components and procedures. I just photocopied about 25 pages at the NLA reading room.

HTH
Tony
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby Sydhuey » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:24 pm

G'day Tony ,
Your story is what I have heard as well , just one slight variation I have been told , as the old timers simply called the colours , Green, Brown, Grey and Sky or Sky Blue, the subtleties of the true colours are slightly misrepresented, the first 54 Ic's were TLS - Temperate Land Scheme of Green (Dark Green), Brown (Dark Earth) and Sky, 30 Sqn was happy with these colours but 31 was not , as most post 54 came in the TSS- Temperate Sea Scheme ie: Coastal scheme of Green (Dark Slate Grey) and Grey (Extra Dark Sea Grey) over Sky 30 sqn operated in both schemes while 31 preferred the TSS scheme and at the least overpainted the Brown (Dark Earth) with Grey (Extra Dark Sea Grey), all good till the Aust Mk 21's came along in over all Foliage Green , once again 30 didn't care and had Beau's in all three scheme's, 31 didn't like the Foliage Green for over water ops and had a variation of the TSS, I have been told the 31 Sqn scheme was Dark Sea Grey applied over the Foliage Green in same pattern as the TSS aircraft over Sky Blue , to give a unique 31 Sqn version of TSS Green (Foliage Green) and Grey (Dark Sea Grey) over Sky (now Sky Blue).
When 31 joined 22 and 30 on Morotai as there aircraft went into the maintenance pool they were all slowly painted back to overall Foliage Green as all the other Beaufighters in 77 wing were painted.
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby Tony Rigby » Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:06 pm

Thanks Sydhuey,

Nice information. PM sent.

Tony
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby ozhawk40 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:34 pm

Some more information....

In relation to A8-6, there is an additional photo held in the photo archives of the AHMWA with reference P008710. It's a starboard side profile shot taken at looks like Coomalie. Rough respray in Camo. Equiped with rockets. Coded EH-N.

If you are after the Descriptive Manual for the 21, you can find it at this site as a free download.

http://ww2aircraft.net/forum/other-mechanical-systems-tech-/australian-beaufighter-21-descriptive-manual-21360.html

If you are after some Beaufort Manuals including the electrical and Descriptive, you can find them here.

http://ww2aircraft.net/forum/technical-requests/beaufort-manuals-required-42784.html

Cheers

Peter
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby rhagger » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:43 pm

Thanks for the further input gentlemen.
Considering the above information, it seems possible that the code letter changed at some stage-"K" from Peter Domaine's logbook and "N" from the photo Peter refers to-(maybe if out of service undergoing repairs?)
Peter, do you know if the AMHWA photo archives are accessible on line?
Cheers,Robert
PS- I'm not able to open the links you give for the manuals-"access denied message"
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Re: 31 Sqn Beaufighter A8-6 "Winston"

Postby GTX » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:04 am

rhagger wrote:Thanks for the further input gentlemen.

PS- I'm not able to open the links you give for the manuals-"access denied message"


Ditto
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