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Thread: The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

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    The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

    My Collins/Janes WWII Aircraft pocket guide mentions a Bolingbroke edition of the Blenheim that was built under license in Canada and sold to 8 different countries. I'm hoping someone here might know something about it; such as was it comparable to the original Blenheim or the MK IV? I'm also curious if any of the RCAF airmen in the early years of the war flew in squadrons featuring them? I'm a Canuck, so knowing more about it would get me more enthused about flying one in Blitz.

    On a more personal note, I had an uncle that was KIA over the Irish sea in the early years of the war while serving as a bombadier on a light bomber. The local newspapers (apparently due to the vagueness of the release from RCAF command) never did specify the exact type of aircraft. So whether the Bolingbroke-Blenheim was a bomber Canadian airmen might have been serving on in the early years, holds some particular interest for me.

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    Re: The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

    Quote Originally Posted by kronovan View Post
    My Collins/Janes WWII Aircraft pocket guide mentions a Bolingbroke edition of the Blenheim that was built under license in Canada and sold to 8 different countries. I'm hoping someone here might know something about it; such as was it comparable to the original Blenheim or the MK IV? I'm also curious if any of the RCAF airmen in the early years of the war flew in squadrons featuring them? I'm a Canuck, so knowing more about it would get me more enthused about flying one in Blitz.

    On a more personal note, I had an uncle that was KIA over the Irish sea in the early years of the war while serving as a bombadier on a light bomber. The local newspapers (apparently due to the vagueness of the release from RCAF command) never did specify the exact type of aircraft. So whether the Bolingbroke-Blenheim was a bomber Canadian airmen might have been serving on in the early years, holds some particular interest for me.
    Check out a real Bolingbroke at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton airport. Currently being restored to flying conditon.

    http://www.warplane.com/aircraft/col...x?aircraftId=7

    If you can find your uncle's squadron number and the date he was lost I can find out what they were flying at that time.

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    Re: The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oskar View Post
    Check out a real Bolingbroke at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton airport. Currently being restored to flying conditon.

    http://www.warplane.com/aircraft/col...x?aircraftId=7

    If you can find your uncle's squadron number and the date he was lost I can find out what they were flying at that time.
    Oskar, thanks for the link and offer to find some info on the fate of my uncle. My uncle was the eldest son in his family and the family was very pained by his loss. To the extent, that over the years it's been near impossible for me to bring up the subject with my father and aunts and uncles. My aunts and uncles have all passed on, but my father, now in his early 90's, is still going strong. He unfortunately doesn't recall many of the details such as the particular squadron, but even worse discarded the newspaper clippings last decede. My father claims though that the reason for my uncle being KIA was due to a training accident, which occurred in Northern Ireland and that the official RCAF release was inaccurate or errant. I wish I had the truth about it, but I might very well never know. I think something I need to do when I have a free weekend, is go to the public library and search through the newsclippings microfiche for the actual article.

    Very cool that the CWHM is doing this Bolingbroke project.

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    Re: The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

    Quote Originally Posted by kronovan View Post
    Oskar, thanks for the link and offer to find some info on the fate of my uncle. My uncle was the eldest son in his family and the family was very pained by his loss. To the extent, that over the years it's been near impossible for me to bring up the subject with my father and aunts and uncles. My aunts and uncles have all passed on, but my father, now in his early 90's, is still going strong. He unfortunately doesn't recall many of the details such as the particular squadron, but even worse discarded the newspaper clippings last decede. My father claims though that the reason for my uncle being KIA was due to a training accident, which occurred in Northern Ireland and that the official RCAF release was inaccurate or errant. I wish I had the truth about it, but I might very well never know. I think something I need to do when I have a free weekend, is go to the public library and search through the newsclippings microfiche for the actual article.

    Very cool that the CWHM is doing this Bolingbroke project.
    You should check into getting your uncle's Personnel File from the National Archives of Canada.
    For $5.00 dollars I got my uncle's back in 1999. 175 legal size pages of foot prints, dental records, discipline, pay....the lot.
    I have not been to their website for years and it may cost you more now.
    Everything would be available as your uncle was killed. I gave them the reason "personal family research", "subject was my uncle"
    when I requested "all available information".
    I even got photo copies of letters my aunt had written to the army during the war asking about him for my grandparents.
    I am sure you will find all you are looking for through this source.
    Good luck in your search and look into Lewis's "A Tribute To Those Who Served" thread that is on here.
    Perhaps you could post your uncle's story there when you've found the information you seek.

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    Re: The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

    There is also a Bolinbroke on display at the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island. It's a great museum if you have the time to go. Their website is https://www.bcam.net/
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    Re: The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

    Hi

    The Bollingbroke differed (in the main - the first few were built to the british spec) from the Blenheim IV most noticeably in the cockpit layout. US instrumentation and differences to the position of many controls are quite obvious compared to the blenni. I think it had a better heating system in the cockpit too (well...blenni better anyhow). The original prototype used different engines but I think the Bolly IV and the Blenni IV used the same Mercury XV.

    It wasn't solely an RCAF "copy" or pattern perfect licence built version of the Blenni IV as such but rather an adopted evolution of an earlier blenni maritime prototype (rejected by the UK air ministry before the war). This was adapted to beome a more bespoke version suited to RCAF needs after the first 18 aircraft were produced by Fairchild Quebec. Many features of the design originally rejected by the British re-emerged in the Blenni IV making the aircraft very similar in appearance.

    With the exception of a single airframe in Finland, every "Blenheim" you see in museums and the one in flying condition in the UK is actually a Bolly.

    No operational squadron of Bollys existed in the ETO. Bollys were employed in Canada and Alaska and the Aleutians. The vast majority of Bollys (approx. 460) were produced as trainers and used in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

    Canadian airmen flew pretty much every aircraft the RAF did and may even have formed mixed nationality crews so getting your Uncle's records is the crux of it all I think.

    Good luck with your search. No one who served should ever be forgotten.

    Kind Regards

    BOO
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    Re: The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

    Hello from the Niagara region (actually Im in UK at the moment on holiday) and I spend most my online time flying the Blenheim. It's a great aircraft to fly and make a 'difference' in the online maps. The fighter boys have their fun upstairs but maps are only won by achieving target objectives. There are several Blennie pilots who are also terrific rear gunners, and you need to be believe me. Those black crossed aircraft don't often give us much of a chance. Get handy with your bailout control ! I'll look forward to flying with you once I'm back home in my cockpit.

    There's plenty of Youtube vids from the Aircraft Restoration Company Blenheim Mk1. The only flying Blenheim.

    Daz

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    Re: The Bolingbroke Edition of the Blenheim?

    Bolingboke cockpit showing larger instrument panel and throttle pedestal on right hand side of pilot's seat. Taken at Duxford Oct 2008. DSCF1037.jpg

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