|Date of Crash || 03 Jan 45 ||Aircraft Name || Liberator VI ||Serial Number || KH214 |
|Unit || 214 Sqdn ||Operating Airfield || ||Country || |
|Aircrew details ||Flt Lt Charles Milne BRODIE* (J/24393)|
|Details|| KH214 crashed on 3 Jan 1945 at Anakwin, Burma, an important Burma-Siam Railway target, after being shot down by antiaircraft fire from the adjoining hills while flying on a bombing run down a steep valley at 200 – 250 ft. Departed Dhubalia, India at 0721 hrs. Pilot: J/24393 F/Lt Charles M. "Steve" Brodie RCAF. The crew of 11 included 6 Canadians and an air gunner (112240 F/Lt Sao Khun U) who was the son of a Sawbwa (hereditary ruler) from the Shan State in Burma. All 11 were killed in the loss of KH215. Per official documents KH215 was hit in No. 4 engine and the starboard wing at approx. 1335 hrs and burst into flames. In a matter of seconds the wing folded up and the aircraft plummeted into the ground, exploding upon impact. Nobody was seen to have bailed out. The crew were buried by the Japanese within a bomb crater. This site was visited by the first Allied graves search team to reach the area, on 26 Sept 1945. The diary of Padre Henry C.F. Babb, a Burma-Siam Railway POW who had volunteered to join the graves search team, detailed the visit to the wellmaintained Liberator crew grave and included telltale facts of the crash learned directly from a Capt Sakai, the Japanese officer in charge of the Indian National Army gun crew which downed the Liberator. There is no doubt that this was the gravesite of the KH214 crew. The diary details attributed to Capt Sakai correlate very well with official Allied evidence of the 3 Jan 1945 attack, except for an important difference: location. Unlike official documentation on the loss of KH214, Padre Babb's evidence pinpointed the burial site to Anakwin, not Shitpyit village, situated 9½ miles southeast. The Australian War Memorial archives hold the Padre's diary and a captioned photo of the 26 Sept graveside memorial service led by the Padre. A solitary Australian POW's grave, located the same day in Anakwin village, was later exhumed and interred at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, only 28 miles to the northeast, but the KH214 crew's grave was forgotten – possibly due to an administrative snafu because they were not POWs. Lt Jack Leemon of the 26th Australian War Graves Unit was another member of Padre Babb's search team. Lt Leemon's unpublished manuscript also named Anakwin as the site where the Liberator crew's remains were buried. Anakwin (also spelled "Anankwin", among other variations) is currently inaccessable to Westerners due to ongoing turmoil between the Burmese military and the ethnic Karen people of the region.|
|Source|| Matt Poole|
|Meaning of "P.M.C." in 357 Sqn ORB||Hi, Dennis,
I don't know enough about the AM949 crew burial site yet, but it may be an example of a missed opportunity to exhume known remains for reburial post-war in one of the Burma cemeteries established by the then-Imperial War Graves Commission. There could be more to the story, such as lawlessness which kept the Missing Research & Enquiry Service team, or another searcher team, from reaching this remote site very close to the China border. Or perhaps vegetation growth obscured the wartime gravesite and prevented the local villagers from pinpointing the site to MRES or other searchers.
On the other hand, I have extensively researched several Liberator crashes where remains were known to have been buried, but then the RAF victims were left in the original graves for reasons that are just plain baffling, instead of being moved to a war cemetery like so many other casualties in the Far East. I wonder if the AM949 crew remains were essentially never recovered through neglect or poor decisionmaking or incompetence or whatever.
Take the case of Liberator KH250 of RAF 355 Sqn, shot down over Port Blair, S. Andaman Island on 17 May 1945. The Japanese forced the local villagers to bury multiple remains (10 men are officially missing) near the crash site just outside of Port Blair, the target. When the British reoccupied the Port Blair area in Oct 1945, they were soon made aware of this crash site and the nearby Liberator wreckage (some of which was visible into the late 1980s, according to local villagers who were interviewed). What was done about it? Instead of exhuming this communal gravesite, someone ordered the erection of a brick and concrete grave marker, complete with a cross and a names plaque listing the missing crew of KH250. No bodies were exhumed, yet less than five miles away the grave of their crewmate -- executed three months after his bale out/capture -- was exhumed post-war and moved to Kirkee War Cemetery in India. Not exhuming the communal gravesite is baffling -- and the families of the missing were not told the truth. I'm now three years into the ongoing battle to get the communal grave exhumed.
Liberator KH214 of 215 Sqn was shot down during a low-level attack on a Burma-Siam Railway bridge in western Burma on 3 Jan 1945, killing the crew of eleven. On 26 Sept 1945 the first Allied search team looking for Death Railway POW graves stopped in the village of Anankwin, Burma, along the railway. A Japanese officer who had been in command of the anti-aircraft gun crew which downed the Liberator took the searchers to the communal gravesite of the KH214 victims. A memorial service was held (led by Padre Henry Babb, a POW who had volunteered to participate in the search for graves), and a photo was taken of the grave and the service-in-progress. The Japanese officer had provided a date for the Liberator's downing -- 3 January -- and a description of the Liberator downing which matched up, without question, ....Read More.||Matt Poole on 18th December 2012 07:49:39|
|Cliff Clegg, re 215 Sqn Lib KH214, 3.1.45 Burma loss||CLIFF CLEGG, or anyone involved in the visit to the wrecksite of Liberator KH214, if you see this, please email me as soon as possible at feb2944 AT aol DOT com (making the obvious changes).
Jagan kindly sent me Cliff's recent reply to an archived 2005 RAF Commands thread on the loss of 215 Squadron Liberator KH214, shot down at low level attacking a Burma-Siam Railway target at Anankwin, Burma on 3 Jan 1945. Cliff's reply links to Facebook, where I have written him a message. No reply yet, though it has been less than 24 hours since I wrote.
I had heavily researched this mystery, and now Cliff has posted that the wreck was visited in Nov 2015 by Australians who recovered a few small pieces of wreckage. The eleven men aboard KH214 are missing with no grave, though in Sept 1945 a Japanese Capt. Sakai had led a graves search team to an alleged grave of a Liberator crew shot down by the anti-aircraft guns commanded by the captain. The grave was inside a bomb crater, and in Sept 1945 crosses marked the site. The ex-Death Railway padre who had volunteered to search for POW cemeteries, Henry Babb, led a memorial service for the bomber crew, and a photo was taken. But no bodies were ever recovered. It may have been that there were no remains buried there -- that's part of the mystery.
I made contact with the kin of all eleven casualties. I'd like to learn more from Cliff, and to be put in touch with those who visited the crash site. I can find nothing on this expedition via google.
The link to the archived message is: [url]http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/08081.php[/url] You will see Cliff's new info at the end.
Matt ....Read More.||Matt Poole on 30th August 2017 03:49:35|
|Visitor Comments on Old Forum Archive Threads||I have 'activated' Facebook comments on the old Board Archived threads. The response has been good, Atleast a comment every day.. will post them here so that members can follow up. The links to the name take you the the Facebook Profile - Feel free to reach out.
[TD][URL="https://www.facebook.com/petersolarifineart"]Peter Solari[/URL] · Commented on [URL]http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/11470.php[/URL] [I][B]Lancaster ME453 was Ronald Victor Smith, Flight Sergeant, bomb aimer[/B][/I]
I have come accross this some years after you wrote it. My grandad was John Henry Rayns (Mid-Upper Gunner). He was in contact with many old Lank flyers and engineers/ground crew up until his death in 1988. His wife Jean is still alive and fairly well at the ripe old age of 97. Harry (as we all called him) flew with Fisher, Beamish etc. I did see an email about Beamish being a retired butcher and still around about seven years ago.
Public · 12 hrs[/TD]
[URL="https://www.facebook.com/cliff.clegg.9"]Cliff Clegg[/URL] · Commented on [URL]http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/08081.php[/URL] [B]3-1-1945 - Liberator - 215 Sqdn[/B]
In November 2015, an Australian led expedition to the trace of the railway in Myanmar located the crash site of KH214 in the village of Anankwin (one of many spellings). Wreckage was recovered, including small aircraft parts, burnt wiring, and damaged 50 calibre cartridges. No large metal was found. The local Karen farmers would have scavenged any metal they found at the time, and since. The parts found by our expedition are presently in the museum at Thanbyuzayat.
Captain Sakai, the purported commander of the near-by POW camp, may have spun a story to the War Graves Team, leading to the memorial service conducted by Padre Babb at a bomb crater in the area. Some of his dates were wrong, his description of the crash, however, was reasonably accurate..
I doubt that the burial of the airmen ever took place. The location of the supposed grave was meticulously marked and noted by the leader of the location team, a British Lieutenant Eldridge. When the graves recovery team came thro...[URL="https://developers.facebook.com/tools/comments#"]See More[/URL]
Public · Aug 27, 2017 9:14pm
[URL="https://www.facebook.com/gilbert.thomas.735"]Gilbert Thomas[/URL] · Commented on [URL]http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/08397.php[/URL] [B]RE: Heninger brothers RCAF[/B]
Ray Heninger passed away in Calgary Alberta. He worked for Imperial Oil. He has two children Gillian Heninger - she may use the surname Maitson - who last lived in Vancouver BC and Daryl Heninger who may be the son of Harold - but address unknown.
Public · Aug 26, 2017 7:33pm
[URL="https://www.facebook.com/geofflynne.raebel"]GeoffLynne Raebel[/URL] · Commented on [URL]http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/05947.php[/URL] [B]P/O 43945 Richard Remer BANKER[/B]
Public ....Read More.||Jagan on 30th August 2017 11:02:34|