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National Archives AIR81

Citation AIR81 Casualty File Description Link
AIR81/7595Sergeant Howard, Sergeant Wignall: injured; Sergeant Wlazlo, Sergeant Ward: uninjured; aircraft accident near Boston, Lincolnshire, Blenheim Z5730, 1 Air Armament School, 13 July 1941.C16756892
AIR81/8788Sergeant M Boynton: died of injuries; Sergeant J A Gunn (RNZAF): uninjured; aircraft accident at Upwood Aerodrome, Cambridgeshire, Boston AE472, 1451 Flight, 2 September 1941.C16924630
AIR81/9951Pilot Officer L Stokes: killed; Flight Sergeant Parkinson: uninjured; aircraft accident at RAF Ringway, Boston W8271, 88 Squadron, 30 October 1941.C16998198
AIR81/10473Lieutenant G A Chalkeley (SAAF), Lieutenant M R Bour (SAAF), Sergeant A B Le Roux (SAAF), Sergeant L D Shanley (SAAF): missing believed killed; aircraft failed to return from operational flight over Gambut, Libya, Boston W8375, 24 Squadron, 22 November 1941.C16998720

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ThreadPost TextAuthor
Dieppe Raid ASR OperationsAmrit, Thanks for that, yes I knew he was from 401 Sqn (a typo on my part, I guess the perils of making a post after a week at work). According to post raid reports ASR vessels from Newhaven recovered ten aircrew (one of whom died onboard and another who died on the way to hospital), whlist vessels from Dover recovered another four (including one who was already dead). A further three were recovered by a tender from Littlehampton (the 418 Sqn Boston crew). As the list shows others were recovered by the naval force. Regards Steve ....Read More.Steve49 on 5th December 2007 04:00:29
Air Combat ReportsI am well chuffed, thank you for posting this info. I downloaded the (3) combat reports of F/Sgt Alan Haddon which were a great addition and can see at least 5 more I need to get. However, one entry on 609 has me lost: Description Name: Robb, K I Rank: Flight Serjeant Squadron: 609 Date of Combat: 24 March 1942 i ahve no record of a pilto by the name of Robb with the squadron, and furthermore the Form 540 makes no mention of a 'kill'. Any ideas? "March 24 After two eggs each for breakfast, pilots of the West Riding Squadron assemble at Dispersal, ready to take-off for Redhill, thence to go on an offensive Operation. Despite the sunshine of a real spring day, fog comes down and delays the take-off until 11:40 - 15 A/C including W/Cdr Blatchford, and all Officers except the two senior Sergeants, Dickson and McConnell, who are in reserve. After losing the way and appearing over Southampton, they eventually find Redhill, whence the 12 Group Duty Wing comprising 609, 412 and 19 Squadrons duly takes-off as close escort to 6 Boston's raiding Abbeville marshalling yards, with the Biggin and Tangmere wings above. In that the bombers are successfully brought home again, the wing does well. 609, top cover at 14,000 feet, see nothing but 4 Fw.190s below and behind as they reach the Somme estuary. 30-plus are however reported over the target, and at least 15 are found waiting by the lower Squadrons. As the Boston's turn right they are attacked from port and behind simultaneously, and the CO of 412 (Canadian) Squadron and his No. 2 are shot down, also 2 of 19 Squadron. The wing lands back at Redhill, and 609 reaches Digby by 1800 hours, all except Sgt Dickson (NZ) whose aircraft is pinched by F/Lt Cotes-Preedy, the latter having been prevented from visiting France by magneto trouble. F/O Dieu becomes stuck in the mud at Redhill, and arrives a bit later. 601 Squadron is supposed to arrive at Digby today, preparatory to going overseas, but only the ground staff arrives except F/Lt Barnham, who has just been appointed Flight Commander in that Squadron, and the night before has rung up 609's IO to discover where his new Squadron is and what sort of aircraft it now has - the Airacobras have in fact been abandoned and sent to Russia. What with S/Ldr Bisdee D.F.C, and F/Lt Barnham, 609 is pretty strongly represented in 601. The other Flight Commander is F/Lt Beake, late of 92." ....Read More.Mark Crame on 8th December 2007 05:02:09
For Henk especially - F/O BH BaileyHallo all, Shortly before the 'Big Crash' on this website in February I posted an appeal for information on this airman who died on 26 January 1943. Several members replied with details that allowed me to find the relevant entry in his unit's ORB at Kew, for which my thanks again. Henk Welting indicated then that Bailey was in his 'unaccounted file'. Hopefully the following will allow him to remove Bailey from this 'Limbo'. Bailey was indeed on board Wellington DV927 / 'F' of 3 (C)OTU when it crashed on 26 January 1943. It was engaged on a Fighter Affiliation exercise with a Beaufighter. The Wellington was seen to take evasive action but then crashed into the ground at Swineshead, near Boston in Lincolnshire. All six on board were killed, including the instructor F/O Bailey. No details of any follow-up investigation or burials were noted in the ORB (AIR 29/705), but the entry speculates that a failure occurred in the aircraft due to the violent manouvers. Sgt. B.H. Bailey (581429) served with 502 Squadron RAF from at least October 1940 as an air gunner. Commissioned as a Pilot Officer (46343) on 7 August 1941 he continued to serve with 502 Squadron until 19 April 1942 when he was posted to 3 (C)OTU for Gunnery Instructor duties (AIR 27/1958 and 1959) Hope this helps, Regards, Martin Gleeson. ....Read More.Martin Gleeson on 8th December 2007 06:33:56
Bomber crashlanding on Ouessant (Ushant)Gildas, Have done some googling, but found no bomber crash somewhere in March 1942 on Ouessant (yet). Remarkably however, JG2 lost two Bf-109s on 26 March 1942, one of which (Wnr. 7203) was shot down by own Flak. Unknown pilot could bale out. The other one (Wnr. 13015) was lost due to enemy fighters/aircraft. Pilot Uffz. Heinz Jahnke was killed. But there's one big problem: above losses were near Le Havre, quite a distance from Ouessant..... That day 24 Bostons attacked Le Havre, one of which was shot down by Flak and two others crashed back in England due to Flak damages. Regards, Leendert ....Read More.Leendert on 14th December 2007 11:36:05
Mosquito Loss 10 February 1945Jim Mosquito VI HR718 of 2 GSU FIG at Oaklands Farm, New York, Boston. I don't have the crew names. regards DaveW ....Read More.davew on 28th December 2007 08:29:04
400706 - Unaccounted airmen - 6-7-1940Thanks Doug for the Boston info. Was not listed 'Crashes in UK' Air Britain Aeromilitaria from which I quoted. Thanks Finn for info on unit Jacobs. Checked oncemore svcnrs of Ramsay and Burraston and both are identical. Also Burraston not listed on the Australian Nominal Roll. Let's wait for Dave whether he has more info on these casualties. Good weekend, Henk. ....Read More.Henk Welting on 12th January 2008 09:56:09
400706 - Unaccounted airmen - 6-7-1940Sorry for 'Boston' in lieu of 'Oxford'. Henk. ....Read More.Henk Welting on 12th January 2008 10:01:35
U.S.A.A.F. Officers in Bomber Commandhello, In some cases, americans crossed the border and joined the R.C.A.F.. Gaining their wings with the R.C.A.F., some joined the U.S.A.A.F. when the United States entered WW2. I have such an example with 1st Lt Eugene L. ROSNER, who started his tour flying Lancasters with No. 106 Squadron. He passed on to U.S.A.A.F. about June 1943 but at the condition to finish the tour he had started with the R.C.A.F. (in this case in a R.A.F. Squadron). He was shot down on his very first mission as a U.S. 1st Lt, 8/9 July 1943, initially buried with his crewmates in Cambrai, but later moved to the Normandy American Cemetery. There's a mention about this story in "Lancaster at War", in the chapter by Fred Smooker, the bomb aimer and only survivor of the crew. A few U.S.A.A.F. aircrew also flew with R.A.F. units to gain experience. I've seen a few flying Bostons with No. 226 Squadron in 1942, and others in No. 88 Squadron in 1943. Sure other forumites will be able to expand on the subject. Joss ....Read More.jossleclercq on 17th January 2008 03:03:53
October 1942hello, There are some details about the loss of P/O Raymond "Iggy" Phillips of No. 486 Squadron in "The Wild Winds" by Paul Sortehaug. In short, the operation was Circus 221, the Squadron took off from their base at 8.30 am for Thorney Island. Landed there 9 am, refueled, after several postponements eventually took off at 2 pm. flew across channel at sea level with 609 Squadron, climbing to 18,000 feet when approaching Le Havre. Attacked by Fw-190s. Dived down to sea level and made for home as the Boston were on their way back. P/O Phillips didn't return. Landed at 3.15 pm. Phillps was probably shot down by JG 2 over the mid-Channel. Remembered on the Runnymede memorial. Errol Martyn's "For your tomorrow" volume 1 contains the same details Donald Caldwell has also a few lines about the JG 26 engagements over the St Omer-Dunkirk area, with 1st F.G. and R.A.F. Spitfires, in his JG 26 War Diary. Joss ....Read More.jossleclercq on 26th January 2008 04:35:33
Battle on 20/09/1939Hello Joss, Thanks for the tip and info about sorting FC at first and then BC etc. I have checked higher numbers in AIR 50 reference and found AIR 50/198 for the 88 Sqn unfortunately only for Boston period March - December 1942. Further deeper searching in th reference did not help me till now. Any chance to find the report in the AASF command record(s) ? I have Czech version of the Fledling Eagles. There is detailed description of mele inside but without a word from / about combat report. Michal ....Read More.Fairlop on 19th February 2008 04:29:14
114 Sqn loss Italy - 1/2 Oct 1944Pete, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission register, under 2 Oct 44, gives the full crew of the 114 Sqn Boston as: Sgt BINGHAM William John 1796293 RAFVR Sgt HINCHCLIFFE Denis Aubrey 1622991 RAFVR Sgt WRIGHT Edward John 1800527 RAFVR 2nd Lt VERITY Leighton Aaron 542746V SAAF All are buried in a collective grave in Italy's Argenta Gap War Cemetery. You can check out further details on each on the CWGC's website at Someone else on the forum may have the aircraft serial to hand. Errol ....Read More.Errol Martyn on 25th February 2008 03:25:22
114 Sqn loss Italy - 1/2 Oct 1944Boston Havoc probably lost on a night intruder mission. Most likely BZ serial but I can't find this one on my Boston list. ....Read More.John Larder on 26th February 2008 04:17:07
114 Sqn loss Italy - 1/2 Oct 1944Having looked through the Havoc list, I cannot find any losses for the 1st. There is one for the 2nd but that crashed on the other side of Italy to where the aircraft shown on the above link was found. However, Boston IV BZ559 was missing from a night intruder mission on the 3rd. So the 2nd/3rd seems to be a fit. A ....Read More.Amrit on 26th February 2008 08:57:17
bomber, landed in Heurne-Oudenaarde (Belgium) in WWIIUnless a more precise date comes up, possibilities over Belgium may range from a Wellington, Mitchell, Ventura and Boston (RAF) to B-26 (USAAF, but then only in 1943). Two-engined bomber and more than a two-men crew, dismissing a Mosquito... I've been in contact with the gentleman who placed the ad in the newspaper and unfortunately nothing more can be added than is already posted in this thread. There was a USAAF B-26 loss on the date Luc suggested (27/8/43) but this a/c apparently went down between Rouen and the French coast. Moreover, 3 RAF Bostons of 107 Squadrons were lost that day as well, but again, over France. Interestingly, Boston BZ399 of 88 Squadron made a belly landing on 26 July 1943 after a mission to Courtrai (Belgium). Picture here: However, I don't know where this happened, but there were four crew taken prisoner. No RAF losses found near Oudenaarde/Audenarde (at least Bomber Command) that match the account of the eyewitnesses. Regards, Leendert ....Read More.Leendert on 29th February 2008 12:29:00
bomber, landed in Heurne-Oudenaarde (Belgium) in WWIIhello, I'm quite interested in this thread as for the date of 27th August 1943. I concur with Leendert, both 3 Bostons of No. 107 Squadron crashed in the Pas-de-Calais departement (two collided and crashed, the third force-landed). We can also dismiss the Mosquito for it was an unarmed bomber (contrary to the statement of an heavily armed bomber...). 3 B-17s were also lost in northern France that day, during the raid against Eperlecques. This could be a R.A.F. Wellington (the last one that crashed in northern France during an ops did so during the night 30/31st August 1943, HE500 of No. 26 OTU). Joss ....Read More.jossleclercq on 29th February 2008 01:17:52
bomber, landed in Heurne-Oudenaarde (Belgium) in WWIIJoss, I've sent a mail to the gentleman and asked if he can show the pictures of the belly landed Boston to the eyewitnesses. Perhaps it may ring a bell? Any idea where BZ399 came down? In Tony Wood's Luftwaffe Claims it says that Hptm. Hans Naumann of 4./JG26 claimed a/the Boston over Lille/Vendeville airfield, while in Shores & Thomas, 2 TAF, Vol. 1 the Boston was "last seen over St. Amand". This, I believe, is a small village in your area... Regards, Leendert ....Read More.Leendert on 29th February 2008 02:01:49
bomber, landed in Heurne-Oudenaarde (Belgium) in WWIIhello Leendert, So far, I don't have a location for BZ399 but I've always assumed (yes, I know it's a risky business in our kind of research) that actually it ended on Lille airfield, as stated in Caldwell's JG26 WD. There's a good description in the event on pages 121 to 124. There are two pictures of that Boston in a german language magazine (it should be Jagerblatt, the newsletter of the German fighter pilot association). One shows Naumann seated over the rear gunner blister, the other shows the force-landed Boston. Not a lot of the background can be seen, but one building is really looking like an aircraft hangar. I think I have seen pictures in another book. If BZ399 actually force-landed on the airfield, I won't find any Police or Gendarmerie reports about it, as it was a forbidden area for Frenchmen (or just a few workers and farmers). I'll probably be able to give more details next week. Joss ....Read More.jossleclercq on 29th February 2008 03:42:25
bomber, landed in Heurne-Oudenaarde (Belgium) in WWIIhello, There's another picture of the force-landed Boston on page 120 of Caldwell JG26 photographic history, published by Airlife. Joss ....Read More.jossleclercq on 2nd March 2008 06:24:50
Boston collision with German aircraftI have been doing some research for a person in New Zealand. Looking at circumstances re loss of Boston W8325, No.418 Squadron, 9 April 1943, I consulted the file of J15823 Henry Douglas Baker, one of the two RCAF crewmen killed, and found the following: The Germans initially reported his death and stated that the aircraft had been "shot down". Boston W8325 had taken off from Ford at 2202 hours, 9 April 1943 for an intruder mission to the Melun-Bretigny area and did not return. Grave located at St. Andre-de-l'Eure, about 10 miles southeast of Evreux, May 1945. An investigation carried out determining grave locations and included the following as noted by a Squadron Leader Wood interviewing French civilians: "The crash occurred between 2130 and 2200 hours on April 9th, 1943, as a result of a collision between a large German aircraft and the Boston aircraft W8225 [sic should read W8325], the two aircraft falling within a few hundred metres of each other on the outer perimeter of the St. Andre airfield. "M. Bulot [mayor] arrived at the scene of the crash within a few minutes but had to return when the Germans arrived with a crash wagon and fire extinguishers. "I contacted a Madame Bertran who visited the scene of the crash the next morning. She told me she saw three bodies whom a German soldier told her were British. She was not allowed to see the bodies of the Germans killed in the other plane but she saw five coffins for the Germans and three for the British" Would records be available to identify the German aircraft and unit involved in this collision ? ....Read More.HughAHalliday on 8th March 2008 07:45:43
Boston collision with German aircraftHi Hugh Who were the crew of the Boston? Cheers Brian ....Read More.brian on 8th March 2008 12:57:47
Boston collision with German aircraftCrew were F/L Hugh Drummond Venables, DFC, F/O H.D. Baker, RCAF and P/O D.J. McKay, RCAF. See below for more on Venables: VENABLES, F/L Hugh Drummond (RAF 106029) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.418 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 March 1943. Born 1915 in Lower Walton, Warrington; educated at Worksop Collegiate, Nottinghamshire; home in Helsby, Cheshire; enlisted 1941 (service number 1032771); commissioned 3 September 1941 (106029) when he qualified as pilot. Promoted Flying Officer, 3 September 1942. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 19 March 1943, although he was a substantive Squadron Leader when killed in action, 9 April 1943; buried at St. Andre-de-l'Eure, France (killed on Boston W8235). DHist card cites Air Ministry Bulletin 9669. "This officer has taken part in 29 sorties, including a number of attacks on airfields in Holland, Belgium and France. In attacks on lines of communication and installations Flight Lieutenant Venables has damaged numerous locomotives storage tanks by machine gun fire. His inspiring leadership, great ability and outstanding devotion to duty have contributed materially to the high standard of operational efficiency of his flight." ....Read More.HughAHalliday on 8th March 2008 07:17:21
bomber, landed in Heurne-Oudenaarde (Belgium) in WWIIhello Leendert, Can't confirm about the Marauder loss, but I'm back with information about the crew of Boston BZ399, from the Squadron ORB and PoW questionnaires : This Boston took off at 9:45 on 26th July 1943 to bomb Courtrai airdrome [10 of 88 + 2 of 107 to complete the formation of 2 boxes of 6]. Seen in Poperinge area after bombing to fall out of formation last sen 2000' below formation still under control. Believed bombed with formation. Rest of the Squadron landed 12:44 or 12:45 apart BZ212 which landed 11:31 owing to engine problems. F/O (A/F/L) PARTRIDGE was the Squadron Gunnery Leader, flying in this machine as Wireless operator air gunner. Sgt HUNT was a motion picture cameraman from the RAF Film Unit. F/O WILSON, P/O MacDONALD and F/L PARTRIDGE give their place of capture as "Lille", while Sgt HUNT gives the place of capture as "Courtrai - France" [sic]. Joss ....Read More.jossleclercq on 13th March 2008 08:37:17
45 GroupHello Dennis, Kvm (Kvartermester/Sergeant) Nils Bjrn RASMUSSEN, born 2-8-1917 at Dybvaag, died 26-10-1942 in an emergency landing on Boston BZ200. The aircraft crashed 11.20 hrs on a ferry flight 5 miles W of Crossmolina, Mayo County. He was jammed in the aircraft and drowned. Two British airmen (unfortunately names not known) survived with only minor injuries. Rasmussen lies buried in the Kilmurray Cemetery at Crossmolina. Regards, Henk. ....Read More.Henk Welting on 13th March 2008 11:50:06
45 GroupActually, I haven't got the book myself yet (a regular book from the library!). He is mentioned briefly in Frederik Meyer's book on the same subject (again in Norwegian): Facts: 25 Oct 1942, died on delivering a Boston, near Crossmolina, and near destination. His 5th delivery. Mikkel ....Read More.Mikkel Plannthin on 13th March 2008 11:50:50
Young pilots flying bombers from CanadaI realize that decorated RCAF personnel are a relatively small portion of total aircrew but I decided to check through a few award entries, looking for "ferry" or "45 Group", and stopped half-way through "C". The following examples demonstrate to a point my contention that ferry crews were not raw graduates - the obvious exception is that of Colin S. Campbell. ANDERSON, F/L Thomas George (J4250) - Air Force Cross - No.12 SFTS - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 82/46 dated 25 January 1946. Born 1920.Enlisted at Winnipeg (home there), 19 July 1940. Posted to No.2 ITS, 31 August 1940 (graduated 12 October 1940 and promoted Leading Aircraftman); posted to No.10 EFTS on 12 October 1940, and No.4 SFTS on 9 December 1940. Graduated 21 February 1941 when promoted Sergeant; commissioned 22 February 1941. Posted to No.12 SFTS for instructional duties, 16 May 1941. To No.5 Manning Depot, 28 March 1943. To No.45 Group (Ferry Command), date uncertaib. Ferried Boston BZ329 to Britain, 14-16 May 1943. (In short, got his wings in February 1941 but not engaged in ferry work until May 1943). BRISCOE, F/L Deryk Anderson (J11628) - Mention in Despatches - ACSEA Communications Squadron - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946. Born 1919. Enlisted Vancouver 4 March 1941. Trained at No.2 ITS, Regina (graduated 9 July 1941), No.5 EFTS, High River (graduated 30 August 1941) and posted to No.10 SFTS, Dauphin; ceased training on 19 September 1941; posted to No.3 AOS, Regina, 21 November 1941 (graduated 2 March 1942), No.2 BGS (graduated 11 April 1942) and No.1 ANS (graduated and commissioned, 11 May 1942). Further trained at No.31 OTU, Debert, 26 May to 30 June 1942; to RAF Ferry Command, 1 July 1942. Arrived in Britain, 13 July 1942. (In short, graduated as a navigator, May 1942 but took an advanced course at 31 OTU before going to Ferry Command). BROWN, F/L Arthur Leland (J9354) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.216 Squadron - Award effective 19 September 1944 as per London Gazette dated 29 September 1944 and AFRO 2373/44 dated 3 November 1944. Year of birth not in my records. Enlisted in Vancouver, 14 May 1941. Trained at No.4 ITS (graduated 5 August 1941), No.5 EFTS (graduated 25 September 1941) and No.7 SFTS (graduated 19 December 1941). Further trained at No.31 GRS (Charlottetown) and No.31 OTU (Debert, Nova Scotia). To Ferry Command, Dorval, June 1942; sent overseas in September 1942. (Six months between receiving his wings and going to Ferry Command). BYRNES, F/O John MacEachren (J28308) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.437 Squadron - Award effective 8 June 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1219/45 dated 27 July 1945. Born 1922. Enlisted Hamilton, 11 June 1942. To No.31 OTU (guard duty), 1 August 1942. To No.3 ITS, 21 September 1942. Graduated 5 December 1942 on promotion to LAC. To No.4 EFTS, 27 December 194 ....Read More.HughAHalliday on 23rd March 2008 11:20:52

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