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'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940

'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940
Author: Henk Welting (Guest)
Time Stamp:
12:13:17 Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Post:
A difficult one this time.......

What caused the death of Sgt (Air Frame Fitter) Leslie ARMSTRONG - 561022 - 4 Sqn (Lysander - Lille-Ronchin), whose name is commemorated on Panel 11 of the Runnymede Memorial.

Regards and thanks for your help.

Henk.


RE: 'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940
Author: Pierre Renier (Guest)
Time Stamp:
22:52:26 Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Post:
Hello Henk

Other than his name appearing in a list of personnel when the unit moved to France in 1939 (appendicies, AIR 27/51) there is no record of his death in 4 Sqn's ORB in May'40. I wonder if he was travelling on a ship sunk on that date returning from leave in the UK, hence no grave?

Kind regards

Pierre


RE: 'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940
Author: Henk Welting (Guest)
Time Stamp:
10:13:30 Thursday, October 18, 2007
Post:
A possibility Pierre. He too could have been a member of a party retreating to the Dunkirk perimeter for evacuation ?

We'll never know.

Regards,

Henk.


RE: 'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940
Author: Dick
Time Stamp:
10:48:19 Thursday, October 18, 2007
Post:
Hi Henk

On 19th May 40 No 4 Sqn lost 2 a/c flying in the Lille circuit when the airfield was attacked by Bf109s.The names of crew mwmbers are not recorded but the 19th was also the day when orders were issued to withdraw the RAF Component of the BEF in France. It was followed by the start of the Dunkirk Evacuation on the 26th. Pierre could be right but it could be that Armstrong was travelling back to UK following the orders to withdraw.

Regards

Dick


RE: 'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940
Author: Pierre Renier (Guest)
Time Stamp:
11:24:53 Thursday, October 18, 2007
Post:
The records for 4 Sqn are fairly comprehensive for the May period and go so far as to record that only the Apr'40 ORB portion was lost in the general evacuation.

My reason for suggesting a shipping loss is because a synopsis is found in the appendicies about the evacuation and as I recall there were no losses personnel reported. The squadron appears to have been fairly cohesive at the time despite the fluid state of affairs and was successfully evacuated as a whole unit. I'd need to go back to the ORB but I believe the first inklings of an evacuation were issued on 21 May'40.

There are some shipping losses claimed by KG.30 on 19 May which might suggest being lost at sea. From the following website: http://www.wwiidaybyday.com/ Access via then choosing the relevant month, the relevant day under and also .

Kind regards

Pierre



RE: 'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940
Author: Joss Leclercq (Guest)
Time Stamp:
12:00:12 Thursday, October 18, 2007
Post:
hello Dick,

The four aircrews lost on 19th May 1940 in the circuit of Lille-Bondues airfield are :

F/O L.J. OLDACRES (pilot)

P/O J.A. PLUMB (pilot)

LAC C. BUTTERILL (air gunner)

LAC R.J. THORNTON (air gunner)

Unfortunately I can't tell who was flying with who, neither the serial numbers of the two Lysanders. These four airmen are buried in St Andr Communal Cemetery, a couple of miles from the airfield.

The two Lysanders were shot down by Oblt von VANGEROW and Lt TISMAR, both of 2(J)./LG 2, about 10:00 AM. Von VANGEROW was shot down a few minutes later by Hurricanes who had taken off right after the beginning of the attack against the Lysanders.

It is a possibility indeed that the man mentioned by Henk was lost in a sunken ship, or was killed in action during the frantic action all around Dunkirk at the time of Dynamo. Cemeteries in northern France contains lots of graves of unidentified soldiers and a few airmen, who lost their lives at about that time.

Joss


RE: 'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940
Author: Henk Welting (Guest)
Time Stamp:
15:49:42 Thursday, October 18, 2007
Post:
Thanks gentlemen.

Plumb, Butterill, Thornton and Oldacres are known to me and in my files as being killed on Lysanders (temp. serials Y0069 and Y0078). As 'wrong-duer' I've Lt Tismar and Fw Hanz Schmitz (in lieu of Von Vangerow).

Also have a note that on 18-5-1940 Butterill flew Lysander N1302 and Plumb N1296 from Ronchin to Marcq.

Regards,

Henk.


RE: 'Unaccounted' airman 19-5-1940
Author: Henk Welting (Guest)
Time Stamp:
15:51:15 Thursday, October 18, 2007
Post:
Correction previous threat..........

For Butterill read Oldacres.

Sorry for that.

Henk.