304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats


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The bombardier saw that 2 bombs first were 10 yards of the starboard deck of the U-boat.

Mariusz Konarski- Nr. 7106

The rest were thrown accurately on the middle of deck and port side. A member of the crew saw explosions and big smoke covering the diving U-boat. When the smoke was clear somehow, the U-boat was disappeared under water. The aircraft turned left immediately to attack the other U-boat that was diving already. After one minute the aircraft turned to the position that attacked the first U-boat and saw. Many pieces of the U-boat were reported. The aircraft did not leave but made another 3 turns around the position to confirm that the U-boat was sunk. At the second turn the oil spill was bigger than before.

At the last turn more oil could be seen and also other pieces on the surface. At the Polish aircraft left the position and continued her patrol. The opinion of the commander of squadron was positive. The attack was very successful, the crew did well by sinking a U-boat. British admiralty claimed that the attack was fatal, the large oil spill and the indicated that the U-boat was destroyed.

Coastal Command agreed with the Admiralty. For decades this attack has been attributed to the loss of U but now it is believed to have been sunk on 8 June by a British Liberator aircraft. U disappeared in the same waters and this could have been the cause of her sinking but this cannot be proved at this stage. The attack was considered to have been successful but was not confirmed. On 11 January another attack was made near Hebrides but no results could be established.

No confirmed results of the attack. Post-war Coastal Command records incicate that Polish aircraft attacked U-boats 31 times with the following results: 2 U-boats believed sunk U and [U claimed] 2 U-boats seriously damaged, 3 more probably damaged. Post-war operations On 14 June, the squadron was transferred to Transport Command where it operated until 18 December, when it was disbanded. Compilation by Milton Varvounis special thanks to Mike Ingham.

Naval History and Heritage Command

Allied events What happened on 22 September? Black and white photograph of a Halifax aircraft over the Caledonian Canal. Black and white photograph of RAF airmen. Black and white photograph of an airborne Halifax. Black and white photograph of an RAF Halifax crew. Black and white photograph of a surrendered U-boat. In all, therefore, the navigators of Coastal Command fulfilled a variety of tasks with skill and patient endurance, and the success of their efforts can best be measured by the few aircraft which were lost through errors in navigation and by the regularity with which convoys were duly met and escorted, often in conditions of appalling severity.

The work of the navigator was supplemented by that of the wireless operator-air gunner, and they interchanged their duties to afford some relief on long patrols. As radar sets were fitted to aircraft of the command, these men specialised in operating them, although in the course of a patrol all members of a crew might undertake turns of duty at the radar set. The work of the air gunner in Coastal Command was important, even when the aircraft was patrolling in an area where enemy aircraft were not likely to be encountered.

New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vol. I)

His duty was to watch the surface of the sea within his field of vision, and to report anything he sighted. Ships straggling from a convoy, derelict lifeboats and survivors on rafts or in dinghies were often discovered as a result of his vigilance. The wireless operator, on the other hand, saw little of what occurred page outside the aircraft. Crouched in a corner over his radio set, with earphones clasped to his ears, he remained alert, ready to transmit an emergency sighting report or to receive messages which might lead to a change of patrol, a diversion to assist in a search or attack, or instructions to land at a different base owing to weather conditions.

In the larger aircraft another important member of the crew was the engineer, whose duty it was to watch the behaviour of the engines, to check cylinder temperatures, oil pressures and petrol consumption.


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He also kept a record for each patrol so that any fault which became evident could be dealt with by the maintenance staff of his unit when the aircraft returned to base. Each member of a crew had his allotted task, and every patrol successfully completed was the result of efficient co-operation in carrying out their various duties. While many patrols provided little incident, there was always a report to be made after every sortie.

If there had been an encounter with the enemy or if anything unusual had occurred, each member of the crew would be called upon to give details of the events as he had seen them. The aircraft in which New Zealanders were now flying in the Battle of the Atlantic were some of them land aircraft and some flying boats. At the beginning of the war the main land aircraft had been the Anson, but by it had been almost entirely replaced by faster and larger aircraft. American-built Hudsons had been put into service as fast as they could be procured, and they did valuable work within the limits of their range.

Then, during , the Hudsons were gradually supplemented by British Whitleys and Wellingtons and by a few American Liberators and Fortresses. These were bomber aircraft which had been converted for reconnaissance work and they were used for both day and night patrols. The main type of flying boat was the Sunderland, which was an adaptation of the pre-war civil aircraft.

Sunderlands had been flying at the outset and were to continue in operations till the end.

Squadron Leader Leslaw Miedzybrodzki, AFC, RAF | Scottish Saltire Branch | Aircrew Association

In the Sunderland was the largest aircraft used by Coastal Command. Meals could be cooked on board in the galley and there were. Another flying boat which had come into use early in was the American-built page Catalina. While less roomy than the Sunderland, it was notable for its endurance and had, on occasion, flown patrols of over twenty-four hours.

Newark Cemetery 304 Squadron Polish Airmen crew of Wellington Bomber HX384 Tribute

Catalina aircraft had played an important part in the events leading to the sinking of the Bismarck. The submarine campaign during , serious though it was, had failed to achieve the success hoped for by the enemy, and by the end of that year the counter measures in the Western Approaches appeared to be gaining the ascendancy. Therefore, the formal entry of the United States into the war in December provided the German U-boat Command with new and welcome theatres of operation.

Allowing for the time spent in crossing the Atlantic , the ton U-boats could spend at least three weeks off the coast of the United States and the tonners about the same period in the Caribbean. Both areas provided a rich harvest. For apart from heavy commitments in the Pacific , the United States had to protect an extensive network of traffic on other routes so that the anti-U-boat forces, both air and surface, available on the Atlantic seaboard were inevitably very limited.

Furthermore, the few aircraft that could be employed had neither the special equipment for detecting submarines nor crews with the requisite training and experience. There was another reason for the concentrated German attack upon ships in American waters. Except for the convoys which had to be fought through to the beleaguered fortress of Malta with heavy loss, the Mediterranean was virtually closed to shipping; and with Japan in possession of the sources of oil in Borneo and the Dutch East Indies and with Japanese surface raiders and submarines in the Indian Ocean threatening supplies from the Persian Gulf, the provision of oil to Britain from the East by means of long voyages round the Cape of Good Hope was precarious in the extreme, and totally insufficient for her needs.

Thus a stream of tankers passed out of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and up the east coast of the United States before crossing the Atlantic in convoy. The Germans realised that if this vital pipeline was cut at or near its sources, the war would be virtually won by the Axis. When the campaign commenced in January , the enemy had six U-boats in American waters, but on achieving immediate and considerable successes he quickly reinforced them until, by the end of February, there were some twenty boats operating in page that area.

Mariusz Konarski- Nr. 7106

Avoiding the few escorted convoys, the U-boats concentrated all the venom of their attacks upon such focal areas as Hampton Roads, North Carolina, and Cape Hatteras. Spending the days on the bottom, the U-boats worked mainly at night, using their high surface speed to overtake and choose their targets. When torpedoes ran short, ships were often attacked by gunfire.

It was a holocaust. In the last 19 days of January 39 ships, totalling nearly , tons, were sunk. Sixteen of them were tankers. Then, in February, the larger U-boats entered the Caribbean to attack the oil traffic at its source. They sank a further 23 tankers, and the total sinkings in the Western Atlantic for the month rose to over , tons. This offensive in the Caribbean slackened during March, but off the American coast heavy sinkings continued and losses through U-boat action reached a new monthly peak figure of more than half a million tons; in all, 94 ships were lost in March, of which a substantial number again were tankers.


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  8. In April the number of merchant ships lost showed a slight reduction, but unfortunately this was not brought about by the success of any counter measures. It was due to the melancholy expedient of curtailing sailings and to the fact that the enemy could not immediately replace his U-boats on patrol.

    http://businesspodden.se/feminismo-movimiento-social-o-ideologa-totalitaria.php The United States commenced running its first coastal convoys in May but the effect was at first negligible, since the U-boats withdrew to focal areas where convoy was not in force and the dismal tale of shipping losses continued unabated. In the Gulf of Mexico and in the Caribbean the enemy continued to play havoc with the tanker traffic.

    304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats 304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats
    304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats 304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats
    304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats 304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats
    304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats 304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats
    304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats 304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats
    304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats 304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats
    304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats 304 squadron : Wellingtons against the U-boats

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