Military Modelling

A fighter escort isn't going to do much good when you're attacking from low level against static targets ringed by flak . From memory, the majority of AASF losses in the air during the Battle of France were due to ground fire rather than air attack.
German AA weaponry development and deployment was miles better than the British equivalent, as evidenced by the comparative losses during the Blitz and subsequent RAF raids into Europe.
 
That is true, but my relative lies in France thanks to a 109. I suppose in a low level bomb run speed and surprise are your biggest assets. Again, I would have thought the Blenheim would fare better in that department.
Speed, surprise and ruthless efficiency
From Wiki:
A similar situation befell the German Luftwaffe during the early days of the Battle of Britain, when the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber suffered equivalent losses in a similar role. With the exception of a few successful twin-engine designs such as the de Havilland Mosquito, Bristol Beaufighter and Douglas A-20, low-level attack missions passed into the hands of single-engine, fighter-bomber aircraft, such as the Hawker Hurricane, Hawker Typhoon and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

The problem with any kind of tactical bombing was predictability - once on the bomb run, jinking about would ruin the aim, and therefore make the whole exercise futile.
So bomber crews were pretty much sitting ducks to both fighters screaming in at 150mph faster, using their height advantage, but also the flak operators would have a pretty good idea of height/speed/direction, and were also assisted by being able to plan fields of fire, and liaise with the Luftwaffe figher groups as to 'fire zones'.
 
That is true, but my relative lies in France thanks to a 109. I suppose in a low level bomb run speed and surprise are your biggest assets. Again, I would have thought the Blenheim would fare better in that department.
Only a (theoretical) 10mph speed advantage for the Blenheim over the Battle. Potentially a much bigger advantage for the Blenheim in addition to a 2nd engine was the presence of self-sealing fuel tanks, which the Battle didn't have at the time of the Battle of France.

I have nothing but admiration for your late relative. Anyone flying in a Battle after 10 May 40 know their chances of survival were very slim, but they continued to fly, and to volunteer for particularly difficult sorties. Brave men all.
 
There were a couple of VCs awarded to pilots for their actions during the attack on Albert Canal

Brave indeed.

Donald Garland - Wikipedia
Taking nothing away from Garland or Gray for their bravery and well-deserved awards, this one is notorious for the failure to give any recognition to the 3rd crew member, LAC Royston Reynolds who, being only a junior rank, was apparently just along for the ride.
 
I have nothing but admiration for your late relative. Anyone flying in a Battle after 10 May 40 know their chances of survival were very slim, but they continued to fly, and to volunteer for particularly difficult sorties. Brave men all.
Thank you. The photos I have of him show a good looking young man who was a talented musician. I would have loved to have known him.

I only know few of the details of his service and death. Would like track down more information. Where would be a good place to start?
 
From Budiansky's Air Power

To evade German fighters, Allied bomber pilots had at first been told to fly low. That advice had lasted for the first three days of the battle, during which time nearly half of the British bombers in France, 63 out of 135, were ripped apart by flak and brought down.
For the Sedan mission, pilots were now instructed to fly at medium height and head into their target in a shallow dive. The result was one of the war’s most tragic displays of blind courage. The British planes were single-engine Fairey Battles and twin-engine Bristol Blenheims. The problem was not so much that they were slow and obsolete as that they were flying missions that no aircraft of their type were capable of performing.
But the British had nothing else. Seventy-one British planes attacked at Sedan on the fourteenth; forty were shot down. Individual unit losses ranged from 66 to 100 percent. The French fared no better, especially when their antiquated Amiot 143 bombers were sent on a noon raid against the German bridgehead.
While the RAF had neglected battlefield-attack aviation as a matter of policy, the French had neglected it through muddling, political bickering, and bureaucratic inertia. With its single-minded emphasis on strategic bombardment, the RAF had simply shut its eyes to the battlefield support mission. (The experience of Poland, to be sure, had given someone in the RAF enough pause to make a token gesture; since September, the RAF had provided seven of its pilots the opportunity to practice dive-bombing. Each dropped an average of eight bombs during his training. This was Britain’s feeble answer to von Richthofen’s VIII Air Corps.)

As skipped mentioned, the pilots and aircrew volunteered. In fact, so many volunteered that there were more crew that serviceable aircraft, so often the crews were selected by drawing lots.
Very sobering thought on Sunday morning.
 
Given your earlier comments regarding Battles v Blenheims:

'No. 105 Squadron began the war as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force, making it one of the first squadrons to be sent to France. The Fairey Battle squadrons suffered very heavy loses during the Battle of France, and No. 105 Squadron was no exception. It suffered so badly that on its return to Britain in June 1940 it immediately converted to the Bristol Blenheim, while many other Battle squadrons were simply re-equipped with the Fairey aircraft.'

No. 105 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War
 
With the date of your relative's death being 6 weeks before the Battle of France, if flying-related, I guess it was either damage sustained from a recce sortie while trying to get back to base, or a training accident.

Looks like the whole crew bought the farm together.

Pilot Officer (Pilot) Allan M. Edgar, RAF 41270 (Australia), 105 Sqdn., age 27, 26/03/1940, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France
Sergeant (Obs.) Hugh E. Pettit, RAF 580495, 105 Sqdn., age 20, 26/03/1940, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France
Corporal (W. Op.) Alexander E. Jones, RAF 531577, 105 Sqdn., age 22, 26/03/1940, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France

World War 2 - No. 105 RAF Squadron, May/June 1940
 
As far as I know they were shot down. A French family found the crashed aircraft and they wrote to my family. They remained friends for over 30 years.

I'm reminded that he must have been alive when found, as the family tried to nurse him. He died from his wounds shortly after the crash.
 
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As far as I know they were shot down. A French family found the crashed aircraft and they wrote to my family. They remained friends for over 30 years.
The Battle I L4980 of 105 Sqn RAF crashed during a night training flight near Cheniers (Marne), 7 km south-west of Châlons-sur-Marne. The three crew (Plt Off Allan Matheson Edgar (pilot), Sgt Hugh Edward Pettit (observer) and Cpl Alexander Egerton Jones (wireless operator)) were killed.

Accident Fairey Battle Mk I L4980, 26 Mar 1940

The circumstances of the crash are listed as unknown.

Recherche de France-Crashes 39-45

C'est donc de Villeneuve-les-Vertus qu'en ce mardi 26 mars 1940 s'envole le Fairey Battle Mk. I S/n L4980 aux commandes duquel se trouve le Pilot Officer Allan Matheson Edgar. Ce pilote de 27 ans est accompagné pour ce vol du Sergeant observateur Hugh Edward Pettit, âgé de 20 ans et du CorporalAlexander Egerton Jones de 22 ans qui occupe la fonction d'opérateur radio/mitrailleur.

Tout trois participent là à un vol d'entraînement nocturne qui tourne malheureusement au drame lorsque le Battle percute le sol sur le territoire de la commune de Cheniers, un village situé à 7 Km. au Sud-ouest de la localité de Châlons-sur-Marne (aujourd'hui rebaptisée Châlons-en-Champagne).

Fairey Battle Mk I GB-, S/n L4980, No 105 Squadron perdu à Cheniers, Marne, France
 
Recherche de France-Crashes 39-45

C'est donc de Villeneuve-les-Vertus qu'en ce mardi 26 mars 1940 s'envole le Fairey Battle Mk. I S/n L4980 aux commandes duquel se trouve le Pilot Officer Allan Matheson Edgar. Ce pilote de 27 ans est accompagné pour ce vol du Sergeant observateur Hugh Edward Pettit, âgé de 20 ans et du CorporalAlexander Egerton Jones de 22 ans qui occupe la fonction d'opérateur radio/mitrailleur.

Tout trois participent là à un vol d'entraînement nocturne qui tourne malheureusement au drame lorsque le Battle percute le sol sur le territoire de la commune de Cheniers, un village situé à 7 Km. au Sud-ouest de la localité de Châlons-sur-Marne (aujourd'hui rebaptisée Châlons-en-Champagne).
Search for France-Crashes 39-45

It is therefore from Villeneuve-les-Vertus that on this Tuesday, March 26th, 1940, the Fairey Battle Mk. I S / N L4980 is flying, in front of which is Pilot Officer Allan Matheson Edgar. The 27-year-old pilot is accompanied by Sergeant Watcher Hugh Edward Pettit, 20, and 22-year-old CorporalAlexander Egerton Jones, who is a radio operator / gunner.

All three are involved in a night training flight which unfortunately turns to drama when the Battle hits the ground on the territory of the town of Cheniers, a village located 7 km southwest of the town of Châlons-sur- Marne (now renamed Châlons-en-Champagne).
 
Thank you so very much! I was told and believed he had been shot down, rather than an accident. Perhaps the family didn't want to think that his life was over due to a possible mistake.

Again, thank you one and all for your help. This is a wonderful community on here. Now back to modeling!
 

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