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Blehheim L6800/ WV:Q of No 18 Squadron

(Rus)  No 18 Squadron, a Blenheim unit with No 6 (Training) Group at the outbreak of war, was sent to France to engage in strategic reconnaissance for the Air Component. Many operations were for the purpose of building intelligence files on Germany's war industry. Departing from the French base, these sorties, if successful, often terminated at a Bomber Command base in England. Squadron aircrew who distinguished themselves in these risky operations were, in late March 1940, assembled in front of a Blenheim for what had become the typical pose in all air forces. Left to right are Sgt A. C. Thomas, one of the most operationally active pilots in the unit; Sgt F. С Miller; Flt Lt G. Wyatt; and Sgt G. Hawkins. Wyatt had just been awarded the DFC, the others the DFM. Hawkins distinguished himself on 31 October 1939 by aiding the success of a sortie despatched from Meharicourt to cover the Hamm—Hannover area, withdrawing over the North Sea to land at Watton. Sgt Thomas died of wounds received during an operation on 11 May 1940. Blehheim L6800/ WV:Q appears to have flown only one combat sortie with No 18 before being transferred. It was written off in a landing accident at Upwood on 25 July the following year. (IWM C943)


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