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Martin Baltimore

Old 8th Jan 2022, 09:57
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Martin Baltimore

I recently found this photo and I have absolutely no information on when or where it was taken. My guess would be N Africa or Italy. The reverse of the picture just says "Martin Baltimore". Is there anything that you experts can glean from the picture. Absolutely anything would be very welcome.

Many thanks

QP


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Old 8th Jan 2022, 10:09
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Joe Baugh says :

43-8663/8762 Martin A-30A-20-MA

43-8698 to RAF as Baltimore V FW541. Transferred to Italian AF Jun 27, 1946
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 11:42
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FW451, possibly m.s.no. 7465 and ex 43-8608.

Air-Britain "RAF Aircraft FA100 to FZ999": FW451 Baltimore FW451 13 Sqdn., and Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Forces Communications Flight. Struck off charge 14.3.46.

No.13 Squadron operated the Marin Baltimore Mk.V from January to October 1944. Converted to Baltimore in Eqypt, flown on operations in Italy from April 1, 1944.
Bases listed during this period: Biferno March 1944, Regina May 2, Tarquinia June 22, Cecina July 18, Perugia Oct 16, 1944. (“Squadrons of the Royal Air Force”, Jim Halley)

MACAF Communications Flight locations reported as 13.7.44 Pomigliano; 26.5.45 Marcianese and disbanded into the Mediterranean & Middle East Communications Flight 1.6.45. (“RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912”,Ray Sturtivant)

I could not find any reference to any squadron codes No.13 Squadron might have used on it's Baltimores in Italy.

No.13 Squadron's Record of Events for the relevant months can be viewed and downloaded (no charge if you sign up) from The National Archives. If FW451 was used operationally by the squadron it should be listed along with the individual code letter worn.

To me the single code letter suggest the photograph was taken whilst the aircraft was attached to a communications unit.

Tony Broadhurst
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 14:11
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I built one from a Frog kit in the '60s, although most photos I've seen are for the 'Baltimore' which was a forerunner of the Maryland.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 15:25
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To me the single code letter suggest the photograph was taken whilst the aircraft was attached to a communications unit.
Unlike Fighter and Bomber Commands, Coastal did not always display the two letter Squadron code. It was common to display only the letter identifying which of the Squadron's aircraft it was. Where there were two or more Squadrons based on the same airfield, a number would indicate which Squadron on the airfield it belonged to, i.e. 2 F.
I never understood why Fighter and Bomber Commands gave the enemy an indication of which Squadron the aircraft belonged to. They must have known all the codes, which were rarely changed, and it gave them an insight into the Order of Battle.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 16:53
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The Maryland was the forerunner of the Baltimore.
No.13 Squadron was not a unit of Coastal Command whilst operating in the Mediterranean Theatre. Gibraltar was the last Coastal Command station in that direction.
Whilst in Italy No.13 was part of No.3 Wing, South African Air Force, which in turn was part of the Desert Air Force.
This evening I have looked online for photographs of Desert Air Force and Mediterranean Allied Air Force Baltimores and that in few examples I found every one was marked with a single individual identity letter and wore no squadron code letters.
I concede therefore that my suggestion that the single letter may indicate a Communication unit was entirely unhelpful.

Tony Broadhurst
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 17:59
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It seems the aircraft was one of the aircraft belonging to the 13th Hellenic Squadron, which operated the RAF provided lend lease aircraft under RAF direction. The link has FW451 with the code "T", reflecting a change in code I assume.

Greek Baltimore V
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 18:25
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Megan,
Brilliant!
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 15:56
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Good article about 13 Sqn RAF operating Baltimores in N Africa and Italy in Aeroplane, July 2014.

Me
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 06:17
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Thanks to all who responded to this thread. Your opinions and knowledge help me a lot.

QP
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