View Full Version : 70 OTU and Habbaniya, 1942

13th Jan 2010, 14:08
I am doing some research on 2 of the smaller WWII units, 70 OTU at Nakuru, Kenya and the Iraq Comm Sqdn at Habbaniya. The dates I am looking at are from November 1941 to March 1942. 70 OTU operated the Blenheim I and IV, and I would like to know if anyone has a list of the serials of their aircraft at that time. I have a number already, and logbook references to others, either using the "last 4" (without the first letter) or even 2 digit serials, presumably codes. Anyone have anything on this, or know where I can get the data? I have tried Google, and not got far. Also I am looking at the fascinating Iraq Comm Sqd at Habbaniya. They had an amazing flight of museum pieces, even for that time, such as the Valentia, Gladiator and Audax, as well as a Tiger Moth or two. Any serial lists available? Again I have a number of "last 4"s.


Background Noise
13th Jan 2010, 14:34
Are you aware of the Flying Training School (No 4 FTS) which was at Habbaniya at the time? The CO, a chap called Tony Dudgeon, wrote a book about it - not sure it has ac numbers but it is a good read.

The book is Amazon.co.uk: Used and New: The War That Never Was (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/1853102563/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1263396601&sr=8-3&condition=all)

Obituary: Air Vice-Marshal Tony Dudgeon - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1451197/Air-Vice-Marshal-Tony-Dudgeon.html)

13th Jan 2010, 14:51
Yes, they were the ones who fought in the Iraqi uprising at Habbaniya in May 1941, with some Valentia "bombers" from 244 I think, and an Audax or two I think! However, I cannot find the serial list I am looking for. I can make a few guesses, but just in case anyone has a list .....


13th Jan 2010, 19:12
Have you tried the RAF Habbaniya Association?

index (http://www.habbaniya.org)

14th Jan 2010, 05:02
Yes, I tried that. A good site but not quite what I want.


14th Jan 2010, 15:28
Herewith a list of Blenheims, of all three marks, used by 70 OTU which I think is 99% accurate. I'm sorry if it is a bit long but they had a lot of Blenheims and broke two thirds of them!

All the best,

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

70 OTU Blenheims

K7094 K7099 L1383 L1498 L1499 L1528 L1536 L4830 L4919 L4923 L6631 L6648 L6659 L6664 L8435 L8445 L8464 L8467 L8473 L8481 L8510 L8525 L8529 L9298 L9400 N6241 T2392 V5469 V5539 V5575 V5576 V5630 V5693 V5694 V5724 V5867 V5869 V5879 V5880 V5944 V5966 V6089 V6136 V6141 V6186 V6187 V6190 V6191 V6192 V6198 V6199 V6220 V6223 V6234 V6235 V6241 V6242 V6245 V6247 V6269 V6292 V6297 V6299 V6300 V6304 V6308 V6326 V6327 V6329 V6330 V6362 V6363 V6463 V6468 V6494 V6499 Z5884 Z6042 Z6070 Z6152 Z6154 Z6158 Z6159 Z6283 Z6366 Z6369 Z6380 Z6382 Z6424 Z6430 Z6435 Z6450 Z7505 Z7519 Z7621 Z7649 Z7679 Z7707 Z7762 Z7765 Z7777 Z7844 Z7850 Z7894 Z9587 Z9593 Z9610 Z9678 Z9680 Z9738 Z9744 Z9800 Z9804 AZ923 AZ926 AZ933 BA110 BA148 BA172 BA196 BA202 BA240 BA243 BA247 BA250 BA258 BA262 BA291 BA295 BA302 BA303 BA379 BA385 BA404 BA409 BA588 BA615 BA666 BA673 BA679 BA722

15/02/41 L8467
14/03/41 L6664
14/03/41 L8464
05/04/41 L8445
20/05/41 L4919
21/05/41 L8481
31/05/41 L8525
06/06/41 L1498
12/06/41 L4830
16/06/41 L8473
16/06/41 L8477
20/06/41 L1536
07/09/41 V6242
19/09/41 Z6424
28/09/41 Z6366
30/09/41 V5880
12/10/41 V5694
16/10/41 V5693
24/10/41 V6297
04/11/41 Z6159
17/11/41 Z7505
19/11/41 V6463
21/11/41 V6308
24/11/41 Z6158
26/11/41 V6299
06/12/41 V6494
10/12/41 L9298
15/12/41 V6190
18/12/41 V5576
21/12/41 Z6435
27/12/41 V6329
30/12/41 Z9610
07/01/42 V5539
23/01/42 V6292
06/02/42 Z7649
08/02/42 V6234
13/02/42 N6241
21/02/42 Z7777
26/02/42 V5879
27/02/42 L6659
04/03/42 V6235
29/03/42 V5575
02/04/42 V6191
08/04/42 T2392
23/04/42 V6245
07/05/42 V6296
11/05/42 V6220
11/05/42 V6326
15/05/42 Z6369
02/06/42 V5469
05/06/42 V6223
05/06/42 V6304
06/06/42 Z9800
20/06/42 Z7707
23/06/42 Z6042
24/06/42 V6330
06/07/42 Z7844
13/07/42 V5869
31/07/42 V6187
06/08/42 BA148
19/08/42 L8510
19/08/42 V6327
26/08/42 V5630
23/10/42 V5966
25/10/42 Z9678
31/10/42 V5867
04/11/42 Z6382
16/11/42 Z7621
23/11/42 Z7679
22/12/42 Z5884
26/12/42 BA172
28/12/42 BA615
06/01/43 BA243
08/01/43 BA240
12/01/43 BA385
04/02/43 BA262
18/02/43 BA247
11/03/43 BA291
27/03/43 BA145
17/04/43 AZ926
06/05/43 V5724
07/05/43 BA666
07/05/43 BA679
08/05/43 BA250
01/06/43 V6363
16/06/43 V6269
12/08/43 AZ933
25/09/43 Z9738
01/11/43 V6241
30/11/43 Z9587
10/12/43 Z7894

14th Jan 2010, 15:37
Amazing L9172! Just what I want. I can now go through my last 4s and cross match them.
Did they carry "squadron" codes? Bowyer and Rawlings do not mention one for 70 OTU. I have logbook evidence of individual aircraft carrying codes between 1 and 72 in January 1942, mostly Mk IVs but number one was a Mk I it seems.


Union Jack
14th Jan 2010, 15:44
Very impressive L9172 - and you call yourself "a gentleman of leisure"!:ok:


PS Anything we ought to know about the origin of your monniker!

14th Jan 2010, 15:58
I just checked through the logbook of my friend. Everything tallies with your list, just needed the L, T, V, Z prefixes.
Except for one. He has "6634", a Mk I, as the first he flew at 70 OTU, on 16 and 17/11/1941. One to add to your list, or a misread?? I presume L6634.

I note that he flew some aircraft that were to be "lost" just a few days later!


14th Jan 2010, 16:36
Hi Laurence,

Im glad the information was of use to you and thanks for the note about L6634. This aircraft was a Blenheim Mk I that, as far as I am aware, served only with 211 Squadron and was struck off charge in March 1944. However, 211 was disbanded in February 1942 to be reformed in August 1943 with Beaufighters. So where L6634 was between February 1942 and March 1944 I do not know, possibly stored at an MU. It is possible that it went to 70 OTU but I have no trace of it there. If you have any more information, I would be delighted to learn about it. On the other hand the log book entry could be a simple mistake and the aircraft could have been L6631.

70 OTU did not carry a unit code, individual aircraft carried only a numerical code. For instance Blenheim IV Z6152 was coded 47 and Blenheim V AZ938 was coded 52.
* * * * * * * * * *


The moniker it was the serial of the Blenheim my father was killed in.


14th Jan 2010, 16:49
Hello L9172 again. Sorry to hear of your father and that Blenheim.
I can ask my friend about "6634", but his entry is quite clear in the log book, and he flew it on two separate days. I think it must be genuine.
I must dig out my very old Air Britain books on the L series, but it is so wet and cold until the snow melts here that I am leaving them in their "shed".
I would very much like to tie up the aircraft codes with the serials.
I don't want to clutter up the site with too many numbers, although some of us like them! So if needed we can continue by PM or email.
However, the codes I am looking for are 1,2,4,21,24,26,29,30,35,41,42,44,48,49,62,73.
Cheers, Laurence

15th Jan 2010, 07:14
I wonder if you have details of the "losses" you recorded for the following in 70 OTU:
V6494 on 6/12/41, V6299 on 26/11/41, V5879 on 26/2/42. I found a report on L6659 having a tyre burst on takeoff on 27/2/42.


21st Jan 2010, 20:29
Hi Laurence,

Sorry about the delay, been rather busy. Here are short notes on the four Blenheims you queried specifically, I am still working on extracting from my lists the details of all the Blenheims lost at 70 OTU, and will send them to you by E-mail rather than clog up the PPRUNE site with lots of verbiage.

V6299 Mk IV. Served with 70 OTU. 26/11/41 with 70 OTU at Nakuru and crashed after hitting a tree near Kampiya Moto while on low flying practice. Sgt R.Hutton RAAF (flying solo) was killed and is buried in Nakuru North Cemetery.

V6494 Mk IV. Served with 70 OTU. 06/12/41 with 70 OTU at Nakuru and crashed in a forced landing at Engo Shura-Tembuki, 9 miles from Solat. Sgt Campbell was unhurt.

V5879 Mk IV. Served with 70 OTU. 26/02/42 with 70 OTU at Nakuru and crashed on take-off at base when the u/c collapsed.

L6659 Mk I. Served with 113, 55 Squadrons; 70 OTU. 27/02/42 with 70 OTU at Nakuru when a tyre burst on take-off at base, it swung and the u/c collapsed. P/O King (Instructor) and Sgt McDonald (Pupil) were unhurt.

22nd Jan 2010, 05:12
Thanks for these extra details. Beautiful work


14th Jan 2016, 17:25
I have just registered with PPrune because I saw your interest in 70 OTU and the list of Blenheim registration numbers from 1942. Are you still interested in these? I have some from my father's log book which didn't make your list.

15th Jan 2016, 04:44
Thanks for the offer pauldw. By all means publish your data.

15th Jan 2016, 14:08
I believe Tony Dudgeon's son is a retired wg cdr, and either Vice Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London. Same entry as me at the Towers. He might have info.

15th Jan 2016, 17:28
No - No - No ! Please don't take this awesome information exchange underground. Unless of course there's really private stuff.

These are not tedious or obscure cloggings. Information mining by you learned researchers is one of the the great attractions of Prune whether we bystanders have a personal interest or not.

Us amateurs who might aspire to occasionally offering something modestly useful or half accurate to these pages (see below for an example) iive in awe of threads such as this.

Here you have a respected and learned OP who appears to have exhausted this particular bit of research and within 24 hours, up comes the most comprehensive answer one might have wished for, plus what promises to be a further fertile source. It seems likely that neither source might have been "published" but for Laurence's original inquiry.

Two minor points to offer if I may - that may already have been covered or well known.

1. The National Archives at Kew appears to hold a file on 70 OTU - which you may well have tried http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C754446

2. An 'airframe number' (L1234 or PR123 etc) stays with the airframe during its entire life. Noting that 70 OTU appeared not to have a specific Unit ID Code (often a two letter code) the two digit 'side numbers' that in this case are used to identify different aircraft solely while on 70 OTU, would be painted on when the aircraft arrives on the unit and would be re-used when the aircraft leaves or is written off, crashed or SOC.

Thus it would be theoretically possible for L1234 with Side No 56, to be destroyed in the morning, replaced at lunchtime by L4321 from the MU on the other side of the field - painted No 56 in the afternoon and be on night flying as No 56, but as a completely different aircraft/airframe number. Thus it would be possible for Side No 56 to be written off and reused several times, though airframe L1234 could only be written off once and would not be reused except in exceptional circumstances.

Not all aircrew personal logbooks would show both the airframe and side number. Mine didn't because I couldn't write that small for the space provided, and because I didn't know any better at the time.


15th Jan 2016, 19:48
I concur that!

I've had great fun reading the long posting about 'The whistling wheelbarrow' and the one about transportation and on-site accomodation of military personel and their family.
Both is to imagine killed early by turning into personal messages but happily it didn't happen and I now know about Durbans 'Lady in White' and the multi-use of the Andover airlifting big loads!

16th Jan 2016, 12:17
I worked in Kenya from 1968 to 1976 and had no idea that the OTU at Nakuru was such a busy place. For what it's worth the remains of a Blenheim were visible in Lake Nakuru during the dry season but before all you restorers dash out there I guess the fact that it's a soda lake won't have done it much good. There was a good article in Aeroplane Monthly about a "recovery" of a Blenheim that crashed on Mt Kenya.
On a lighter note I had a "I learnt about flying from that" moment taking off from Nakuru in a Cherokee 180, four up with full tanks in nil wind conditions at high(ish) altitude. I reckon breathing in on rotation was the only thing that got us airborne.

17th Jan 2016, 11:40
Victor Golf..............

Remember the article in AM. Seem to recall it was John Romaine who visited the site but there was no large scale recovery. Most of the airframe still lies in the forest on Mt Kenya........war grave??

Kenya Blenheims
5th Oct 2016, 07:23
I note the very impressive list of Blenheims detailed by L9172 and in particular those that were lost, and was wondering if he could offer some assistance.

Last weekend a small group of us went for a yomp on the moorlands of the Aberdare Mountains here in Kenya in a quest to try and find the three Harvard bombers that crashed during the Mau Mau. We had three possible sites, but only made it to the first one which was something significantly larger than a Harvard.

Not much remains but there is the tubular steel framework onto which the undercarriage was mounted. There were two of these, with a pair of 'compressed air rams' about 7cm in diameter and about 1-1.2 meters long. I took various photographs and have sent the details to a friend in teh UK to try and get an ID on the plane itself. However looking at the size, and various photos I have a strong, albeit very amateur, opinion that it could have been a Blenheim.

On L9172's list, were there any Blenheims that were completely lost from 70 OTU, or any record of a plane that crashed at about 10,000ft below the peak at the northern end of the Aberdares not too far from Lesatima peak (aka Satimma/Satima)? And hopefully this might help us narrow down the search using the serial numbers of various bits of the plane.

Just to avoid any confusion, this plane is different to the one positively identified by John Romain (Z 7763) in 2002 -that was on Mt. Kenya and crashed in thick bamboo.

Any info would be most appreciated.

Thank you,


16th Oct 2016, 20:55
Hi Tom,

Just seen your post but am not able right now to look through my lists. Will have a look in a few days although my memory does not suggest anything that might be of value (but my memory is not of much value these days).


21st Oct 2016, 17:27
Hi Tom,

First I must mention that my knowledge of the geography of Kenya is minimal at best and therefore I may be making a complete hash of my guesses about where a particular location might be. But here is what I can offer about possible Blenheim crashes on or near Mount Satima.

It seems that Mount Satima is about 40 miles almost due east of Nakuru where 70 OTU was based and rises to almost 13,000 feet.

Any of the following Blenheims might be the one you are after:

V6187 31/07/42 with 70 OTU and crashed: details unknown.
Not much help I’m afraid but a possibility.

V6245 23/04/42 with 70 OTU and flew into high ground 36 miles from Naivasha, Kenya while on a Navex in bad weather. Sgt R.Daniel RAAF, Sgt J.Ahern RAAF and Sgt N.Peters RAAF were all killed and are buried in Gilgil War Cemetery, Kenya.
This aircraft seems a pretty good candidate as 36 miles north-north-east from Naivasha on my map would place the crash site just north of Mount Satima. However, my notes give no indication of the direction from Naivasha.

V6329 27/12/41 with 70 OTU and DBF when flew into high ground near Kampi ya Moto, Kenya, after an engine cut and it lost height. P/O G.Hanson RAAF and Sgt B.James RAAF were injured while Sgt V.Semler RAAF was unhurt.
A possibility I suppose, but Kampi ya Moto is about 50 miles from Mount Satima which seems a bit far for the location given for the crash. Also the condition of the crew would suggest that the impact was fairly light so I would imagine that recovery of the aircraft was not too difficult.

BA240 08/01/43 with 70 OTU when it collided with AZ926 and crashed 30 miles north-east of base. P/O H.Leach was unhurt.
30 miles north-east of base would have put this crash I think at the northern end of the Aberdare Mountains. We must assume that P/O Leach was flying solo. Another possibility I think. This aircraft was a Blenheim V.

There were other units flying Blenheims around Africa of course, and one of them may have provided the aircraft you discovered so I think it must now be up to you to sort out which of these aircraft might be the one you have found (or perhaps none of them but something else entirely).


Kenya Blenheims
30th Oct 2016, 22:20
Dear Hugh,

Many thanks for your reply. I have been doing lots of rummaging since I made that first post. Whilst I don't yet have a copy of Graham Warner's book, I am told that it records V6192 crashing near Satima on 4th July 1942 resulting in the deaths of Rusk, Tzamatis & Geyer (all SAAF). The plane was only discovered on 9th Jan 1943. I think this is probably it... however many thanks for your thoughts and no worries about your geography of Kenya.

My guess is that they got caught with not enough lift/power, and ended up flying into the valley there, and it got tighter and they couldn't make it out the top of the valley and nor could they turn as there was no space. Whilst the valley is quite wide there (is 500m wide enough for a Blenheim to turn?), typically July in Kenya, the weather is fairly foul and thick low cloud is common so even if they could have turned. they may not even have been able to see it.

If this is the plane, then it was from 72 O.T.U. (RAF Nanyuki)

On Tuesday last week a group of us got down after a hard three-day trek on Mt. Kenya trying to relocate Z7763 with the plan of collecting the mortal remains which were gathered together by John Romain and the British Army team in 2002. This is so that they could be re-interred at Nanyuki War Cemetery. It was the second trip we had made to try and re-find the plane as it had crashed in thick bamboo and with several coordinates it made for a difficult quest to say the least. When we got to the most likely site, we searched the area for about an hour and failed. We concluded that that was that as we had a deadline to get off the mountain -all rather glum we set off on an elephant trail and 50m down it we literally tripped over some pieces of aluminium littered around the place, and there was our plane -so lucky, but a very good indication of how thick the bush is there and why it took 60 years to find the plane.

We re-found it 74 year 3 months and a day after it had crashed!

Hopefully the ceremony for the re-interrment will happen on 16th July 2017 with reprsentatives of all the deceased's families coming from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Botswana, however there are few hurdles to jump before this can happen -one of which is getting the headstones ready in time and through Kenyan customs.

SABC will be producing a documentary of the trip on a programme called Fokus in ten days or so and will be on Youtube... the commentary will be in Afrikaans, but all the interviews are in English, if you are interested.

The crew of Z7763 were very unlucky -the plane had flown full tilt into the side of a very steep valley -not that there was anything for us to see, but apparently one of the rudder pedals was moulded around the pilots foot, such was the level of impact. And the starboard engine was thrown about 30 meters. Had they been 30ft higher they would have skimmed into some thick bamboo and may have survived.

In terms of Blenheims in Kenya -what is interesting, is that thus far I have 155 Blenheims that I know of that came here of which 113 had accidents. And of those 101 were from 70 O.T.U. (RAF Nakuru). The balance were from RAF Nanyuki which was established for a shorter period, but still a significantly better record. Thier combined record was a plane accident every 5-6 days whilst they were in Kenya -which is one hell of a set of stats. My next task is to do an analysis and see what were the reasons (pilot error, mechanical etc) and see where the problem lay... and then when Warner's book arrives hopefully I can get some comparative stats for other O.T.U.s... and then hopefully it will become clearer why there was such a problem here.

The logic of the powers that be was that Kenya was an excellent place as there was no possibility of enemy aircraft to contend with during training.

What would be very interesting indeed is to see if I can find anything more on 70 & 72 O.T.U. -would anyone have any leads there or further information on either of these OTUs?

Returning to V6192 -the crew of this plane were left on the crash site. I am not sure why, and also I do not know what the RAF protocol was either and that might explain why they were not brought off the mountain. In the meanwhile the Ebo Trust (the South African equivalent of the CWGC and the driving force behind the Z7763 project led by Maj. Gen. Gert Opperman) are interested in this as well and there may be an opportunity to do the same for that crew in Nanyuki. I do not want to jump to conclusions at this stage, as Gen. Opperman will have to look into the case and make sure all the ducks are in a row there before we can move. And if so it will mean we have taken off 7 names out of the 3000 or so off the Alamein memorial.

Many thanks,


15th Dec 2016, 23:07
Hi L9172, I came across this forum whilst doing some family research for a very close friend regarding their great uncle, Sgt Fred Barber, a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, who sadly lost his life in a training accident on the 8th May 1943 aged just 20. He is commemorated in the Nakuru North Cemetery. Assuming he died on the same day as the accident I wonder if you have any information on the loss of aircraft BA250 and the circumstances surrounding its demise.

Also I came across this very powerful story whilst scouring the Internet which you may find interesting, albeit rather said.

15th Dec 2016, 23:11
Sorry it's been a late night... That link i referred to earlier: BBC - WW2 People's War - First Solo (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/34/a2053234.shtml)

17th Dec 2016, 20:00
For HappyIV re Blenheim BA250

Reported by Warner in The Bristol Blenheim, confirmed by Bailey/Air Britain RAF Aircraft BA100 BZ99 and by CWGC Nakuru graves register online as

8 May 1943 BA250 70 OTU Mk V
One flap failed on approach, rolled and dived into the ground, Nakuru.

1383923 Sgt WA Tait RAFVR Pilot
1456331 Sgt D Richardson RAFVR Nav/Bmr
1216487 Sgt F Barber RAFVR W.Op/A.G.
killed, buried in Nakuru North cemetery (graves 492,490,491 respectively).

During 1943, two 70 OTU aircraft were lost in the same circumstances, this being the second. The other was two days earlier: a Mark IV Blenheim with the same outcome for the RAFVR crew, all Sgts. These were the only Blenheim Middle East/Africa training losses to this cause in 1943.

Further to Kenya Blenheims above remarks re 70 OTU and 72 OTU Blenheim losses, I sent this summary to him previously:

A quick count from Warner, Appendices, shows that, for the period Nov
41 to May 43 (ie 72 OTU period), 70 OTU accounted for about 53% of
combined 70 & 72 OTU Blenheim losses.

Starting from Jul 41 (adding the period of 211 Sqn in training role at
Wadi Gazouza), the proportion is little different.

Counting from Feb 41 (Warner Appendices dates), the proportion rises
to about 60% - but reflects five months in which 70 OTU was training
(eg at Ismalia) but 211 was not and 72 OTU didn't exist.

70 and 72 OTU:
The 211 Sqn and 72 OTU story is also covered here:
The Middle East (http://www.211squadron.org/the_middle_east.html#WadiGazouza)
and here
RAAF personnel (http://www.211squadron.org/raaf_personnel.html#72OTU)

Along with my narratives for a number of individuals at both 70 OTU and 72 OTU, and on Blenheim I and IV losses.

Don Clark
No. 211 Squadron RAF (http://www.211squadron.org)

Kenya Blenheims
8th Apr 2017, 17:38
I will look into what I can find on BA250, but doubt I can add anything.

There are some advances on the two Blenheims that we know about and where wreckage still remains.

The first is Z7763 (crew Allen, Lemmer, Lloyd and Eliastam). Thanks to the efforts of the Ebo Trust, who got all the ducks in a row, and satisfied the CWGC requirements so that Memorial Stones could be placed in the Nanyuki War Cemetery, and their names to be erased from the Alamein Memorial for those missing in action. The Ebo Trust got family members there and there was a very moving ceremony organised by the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK). What became very apparent was the effect of having your loved ones 'missing in action'. The plane simply vanished -believe to have crashed in thick cloud, but they had no idea where -the Aberdares? Mt. Kenya? The families really did not know whether, one day their son might just walk through the door or they were genuinely killed.

Tropic Air (based out of Nanyuki Airstrip) kindly gave a flight at cost for the family members. It flew along the track that Z7763 was last known to have flown on, before getting lost. We then retraced the various sitings cited in the Court of Inquiry to the final crash site. The weather was vaguely similar to what it is believed it was like on the 23rd July 1942, albeit not as thick -just representative.

There are various bits of footage from SABC -all in Afrikaans with some interviews in English (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0paVSiF3VvQ). There is some good footage of the crash site itself, and makes it very apparent why the plane was never found. The Ebo Trust produced a small booklet for the occasion (see https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AOuhBFTSLQUeT74&cid=66CCC58B1E96BEFE&id=66CCC58B1E96BEFE%216694&parId=66CCC58B1E96BEFE%216657&o=OneUp) which gives a fairly full account of the whole saga.

The second plane is another Blenheim high on the Aberdare Mountains. This we 'found' when hunting for some Harvards that crashed up there during the 1950s. We were shown this site by some honey hunters, and with my limited experience, determined fairly quickly that this was a twin engined plane. It is confirmed by John Romain as a Blenheim. The next step is to get the ID on the crashed plane so that we can confirm the crew. Whilst it is not good for the moorland, there was a big fire up there in January which has exposed much of the wreckage which is scattered over an area about 500m x 200m.

Any help on anything on Blenheims in Kenya would be gratefully received. Bits and pieces are coming out of the woodwork, for example some kids (now old men!) who post war who raced go-carts and had a Blenheim seat for their go-cart. It came from one that crashed on their farm. Another crashed on a ranch called Suguroi, when the owner tried to rescue the crew, but could not get anywhere near the plane because of the flames. The fire then went on to burn a vast area of Laikipia and fences had to be cut to allow cattle to escape the advancing flames.

Another crash documented in a diary happened close to Ol Kalau and the crew were rescued by the formidable Daisy Griffin and her daughter Mrs. Rooken-Smith. The pilot was a fellow called Frank Brindlay.


14th Apr 2017, 13:45
Kenya Blenheims........... Have tried to PM you, without success. PM

14th Apr 2017, 15:07
Recent post on CWGC site re Z7763

CWGC hosts memorial for four WW2 SAAF airmen lost when their plane crashed on Mt Kenya in 1942 (http://www.cwgc.org/news-events/news/2017/3/cwgc-hosts-memorial-for-four-ww2-saaf-airmen-lost-when-their-plane-crashed-on-mt-kenya-in-1942.aspx)

PZU = Out of Africa (Retired)

Kenya Blenheims
24th Jun 2017, 15:30
Dear Happy IV,

In the end did you find out anything over and above about Blenheim BA250? I would be very interested in anything you have found out about it?

PZU -it was an incredibly moving ceremony for all in Nanyuki Cemetery, in particular for the next of kin. We had a great dinner after courtesy of Dr. Michael Eliastam, nephew to one of the deceased, and some very moving tales from each family. What was most remarkable was the 'Missing in Action'' bit and that nobody knew what had happened to the plane. There was always that half expectation that one day they might just walk through the door. Whilst I do not want to diminish the loss of the families whose loved ones killed the additional emotional burden of simply just not knowing was immense.

That chapter is now closed, and we continue to work on the next plane which we believe to be V6192, flown by Rusk, Geyer and Tzamatzis which crashed on 4th July 1942. If the crash we have is correct, it appears the plane went into the Aberdare ountains at speed. In January this year there was a large fire on the moorlands which exposed much of the wreckage. The crash site is about 500m long x 200m wide, with the engines having been thrown furthest. We are trying to get engine numbers, which in turn will lead to a confirmation of the identity of the plane and subsequently the crew.

PM -I am a bit of a Luddite when it comes to matters of IT. I will try to see if I can contact you... somehow.