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Blenheim R3600 of No 110 Squadron

(Rus)    During the spring and summer of 1940 it was the Blenheims of No 2 Group which sustained the heaviest losses—nearly 6 per cent of sorties flown. Operating chiefly by day, they were used to support the withdrawal of British forces from France and then to harass ports where an invasion fleet might be assembled. In June their operations were extended to Germany with the intention of preventing the deployment of some Luftwaffe fighter units to the Channel coast. Maximum bomb load was 1,000 lb for a 600-mile radius of action. No 110 Squadron's R3600 is here being armed with 250 lb HE bombs and SBCs (small bomb containers) of 416 incendiaries at Wattisham in June 1940. Apparently it is being refuelled at the same time, ground crew attention is more numerous than usual and included is a squadron pet—all of which suggests a special display for the photographer. This aircraft survived until 6 May the following year when it was shot down while attacking a convoy. (IWM CH364)

By the time it was lost, it was credited with 48 operational sorties. Its last crew was

F/L Edward Nation Steel, age 24, RAF, Pilot

F/S Ronald Albert Freestone, RAFVR, Observer

Sgt Joseph Dennis Bramhall, RAFVR, WOp/AG (information from Sara Mosher)


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