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National Archives AIR81

Citation AIR81 Casualty File Description Link
AIR81/103805 unidentified personnel recovered from Lossiemouth Beach and Spurn Point, Yorkshire, November 1941.C16998627

Casualities in the CWGC Register for

Rank Name, Number, Trade & Details DateUnit Country Cemetary/Memorial & Loc Ref
LieutenantM C BEKKER (582086V) Pilot Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-05-0425 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 SerbiaBelgrade War Cemetery
SergeantJohn Geoffrey Hayler COX (1813120) Air Gunner Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-05-0425 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 SerbiaBelgrade War Cemetery
LieutenantDavid Buntine DICK (3997V) Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-01-3015 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 MaltaMalta Memorial
Leading AircraftmanWalter Ronald EATON (R/257777) Unidentifi  Ext Link 1945-04-1310 BGS CanadaOttawa Memorial
LieutenantWilliam Ewart ELLIS (328917V) Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-01-3015 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 MaltaMalta Memorial
Pilot OfficerRupert Brooke FRASER (J/50820) Unidentifi  Ext Link 1945-02-123 OTU CanadaVictoria (Royal Oak) Burial Pa
Warrant Officer Class IIGysbert Jacobus GELDENHUYS (138275V) Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-01-3015 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 MaltaMalta Memorial
CaptainDennis HARDING (103865V) Observer Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-05-0425 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 SerbiaBelgrade War Cemetery
Flying OfficerAlfred Earl JOYNT (J/29889) Pilot Unidentifi  Ext Link 1945-03-19225 Sqdn AIR27 ItalyMilan War Cemetery
Pilot OfficerGordon Thomas KINGSWOOD (J/48312) Unidentifi  Ext Link 1945-02-123 OTU CanadaBrantford (Greenwood) Cemetery
Leading AircraftmanJoseph Patrick LOWNEY (R/257955) Unidentifi  Ext Link 1945-04-1310 BGS CanadaOttawa Memorial
Leading AircraftmanHarold Ferguson McBRIDE (R/264599) Unidentifi  Ext Link 1945-04-1310 BGS CanadaOttawa Memorial
SergeantRoy Sidney NEALE (185957) Air Gunner Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-05-0425 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 SerbiaBelgrade War Cemetery
Air MechanicPetrus Barend PHEIFFER (544011V) Unidentifi  Forum Post 1946-01-23 ZambiaNdola (Kansenshi) Cemetery
Aircraftman 2nd ClassCecil John RIDDELL (1628999) Unidentifi  Forum Post 1945-05-023 BFTS United States of AmericaMiami (Grand Army Of The Repub
SergeantJohn William SLAUGHTER (1850953) Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-01-3015 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 MaltaMalta Memorial
Warrant Officer Class IJ SMIT (328853V) Wireless Op./Air Gunner Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-05-0425 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 SerbiaBelgrade War Cemetery
Warrant Officer Class IJohannes Nicholaas THIRION (581450V) Air Gunner Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-05-0425 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 SerbiaBelgrade War Cemetery
Flight SergeantJohn Alexander THOMSON (R/260044) Unidentifi  Ext Link 1945-04-1310 BGS CanadaOttawa Memorial
LieutenantLouis Jacobus VAN ROOYEN (18523V) Pilot Unidentifi  NA/PRO 1945-05-0425 Sqdn SAAF AIR27 SerbiaBelgrade War Cemetery
Aircraftman 1st ClassEric Norman HAWKSLEY (30764) Unidentifi  Forum Post 1941-04-051 ES AustraliaCarr Villa General Cemetery
Aircraftman 1st ClassGeorge Herbert William TAYLOR (403239) Unidentifi  Forum Post 1941-09-112 Sqdn RNZAF AIR27 New ZealandTemuka Cemetery

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Ballauff queryThis is left over business from the old board. I have received today the following message which is self-explanatory. Hopefully, those who were inquiring previously have re-registered on the new board: "Dear Mr Halliday "I picked up on a trawl through the internet a website RAF Commands where in early October there was a succession of exchanges trying to identify an Unidentified Offficer connected with Devon & there was some suggestion it might relate to my father TONY BALLAUFF. Whilst there are minor family connections with Devon I don't think that my father is the person iin question as he died in Camberley, Surrey in November 1948 & is buried in Camberley. "I am not sure how the RAF Commands website works but if you could forward back to the initiator of the request for information "Tonym" (DCForum ID6, Thread No 17376) the above information it might help him. "Regards "Chris(topher) BALLAUFF" ....Read More.HughAHalliday on 17th November 2007 07:17:38
Master T8553 59 OTU 20/02/1943758018 / 114086 Flight Lieutenant John Edward Van Schaick, DFM A Canadian, on 8th March 1941 whilst flying Spitfires in 266 Squadron from Wittering, Sergeant van Schaick and Flying Officer Ferris attacked Ju.88A5 W/Nr 0404 FG+BM of Lessmöllman and shot it down into the sea off Skegness at 10:13hrs. As well as Lessmöllman, 86406 F/O Ferris was killed in this engagement. A British pilot, Sergeant van Schaick joined B flight of 609 Squadron on 14th July 1941 at Biggin Hill under S/Ldr Robinson. He Damaged 2 Bf.109F’s on 21st July whilst flying Spitfire PR-L on Circus 54, taking off at 07:44 hours and escorting 3 Stirlings to Lille. 609 were top cover of the Bigin Hill Escort Wing and flew in 6 pairs, 3 pairs on either side of the bombers, at 23,000ft. He was attacked by 2 fighters from up-sun shortly after leaving the target area and felt his Spitfire taking hits in the tail. He broke away downwards and headed for home reaching Calais at a height of 3,000ft. Seeing a gun emplacement he was about to attack it when he saw tracer going past his aircraft and then saw 2 Bf.109’s. All 3 went into a tight circle at 500ft over the rooftops, after which van Schaick broke away across the Channel. The Germans gave chase and hit the Spitfire in the starboard mainplane, only for van Schaick to execute a tight turn which put him on the tail of a 109, allowing him to shoot away a piece of the 109’s wingtip with cannon-fire. The other Bf.109 attacked head-on, and after turning full circle at sea level van Schaick opened fire and the 109 withdrew streaming oil and glyclol. Van Schaick had previously called M’Aidez on Button D and now, in answer to the Controllers query replied that he thought he could reach the coast, which he did and landed at Manston. On 5th August he hit a gun post in PR-S and on the 21st he was flying as part of the Biggin Hill Escort Cover Wing on Circus 83, 6 Blenheims attacking the Chocques Chemical Works. The bombers came under attack by Bf.109’s, van Schaick Probably Destroying a straggler, black smoke being seen after his attack. Arriving alone over Dunkirk at 3,000ft he spotted an E or R boat firing at him. Descending to 100ft he attacked it with cannon-fire, causing a bright flash followed by volumes of smoke, being credited with a Probably Destroyed. On 27th September he was flying as high cover to 12 Blenheims bound for Mazingarbe. Crossing the coast at Mardyck at 27,000ft, a large formation of Bf.109’s was spotted 5,000ft below. The wing dove after them, and van Schaick was attacked 4 times. On 9th October it rained, and in the morning the pilots watched a film on the use of oxygen at the Intelligence Office, followed by a recognition film on which they were tested. Pilot Officer du Monceau and van Schaick made no mistakes. On 7th November, flying Spitfire PR-V at 28,000ft as top cover with the Biggin Hill Wing on a Ramrod, van Schaick took off at 13:15hrs. Rendezvousing with the Northolt Wing, the formation swept east of Dunkirk, ....Read More.Mark Crame on 7th December 2007 05:07:55
Bellows argentina presentation whirlwindsNot a lot of help but 'Gifts of War' does not include the 2 serials you quote. It does however list that Bellows Argentina VII & VIII are unidentified. The two you mention are probabley these two. Regards Andy ....Read More.Andy Ingham on 15th December 2007 05:14:05
138 sqdn Whitley Z9275 NFGMy Fathers cousin, Frederick George Green was a member of the freeland crew when it crashed on the night of 26-27 September 1942. I have seen the thread "138 Squadron - Unrecorded ops" on the old board, and was interested to learn that Fred was flying as the W.op. if any body has more Information on this crew ,could they please let me know or tell me the best place to look . I have two pictures of Fred one in flying kit standing next to an (as yet unidentified )aircraft and one with four other men, possibly a complete crew, but as two are wearing W.op badges and Fred was also a W.op ,three W.ops does not seem to make sense, so may be it was taken in training. I will post the pictures if any one is interested. regards Peter ....Read More.MECHANIC on 22nd December 2007 05:38:03
Hudson crew for N7249 224 Sqdn lost 23-04-1940Hello Linzee, Hudson N7249 224 Sqdn. Two crewmembers survived the crash caused by "friendly fire" according this report below: Report upon operations carried out by force "Primrose" commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel H W Simpson, Royal Marines, during the period 13th to 30th April, 1940. 25. On the 23rd April occurred a most regrettable and disturbing incident. At about 1100 hours I had met the Air Staff Officers at a conference and had been informed that no British planes could be expected for 48 hours. Some little while afterwards I received a signal from H.M.S. "Curacoa" saying "Battle flight expected 1600". I discussed this with my Adjutant, and ask for a check from my own signal station. Lieutenant Colonel Clarke, the War Office liaison officer, who was also at my H.Q. also saw the signal which was interpreted to mean that we were being warned a of enemy action at about 1600. At about 1605 three planes appeared, and one, if not two, were shot down by either ships or shore A/A guns. (As I did not see the actual shooting had my evidence is a only hearsay, but the navigator and wireless operator of one of the planes, who escaped by parachute, were interviewed by me and they both said that ships’ guns opened fire upon them for a short while, and this was confirmed later from H.M.S. "Curacoa"). Linzee, suppose you are trying to find a connection between the unidentified airman, buried at Andalsnes Church Cemetery and P/O Hector Garmen Webb, RAF, 43154 from Hudson N7249, who is lost without trace. P.S. Hudson N7264 of 224 Sqdn returned to Wick heavy damaged. Best regards Finn Buch ....Read More.Argus on 9th January 2008 04:39:54
32 OtuG'day Chaps The following might help answer some questions. It was extracted from the O.R.B.'s, crash cards and aircraft record cards. Cheers...Chris No. 32 (RAF) Operational Training Unit Known Codes: HA, HM, RD, DK, LB, OP No. 32 (RAF) Operational Training Unit was located at Patricia Bay, British Columbia and had formed at West Kirby, Cheshire, England on 7 August 1941. The OTU moved to Patricia Bay as of 22 August 1941 and became operational as of 10 December 1941. No. 32 (RAF) OTU was formed to train torpedo bombing crews. Immediately after the Pearl Harbour attack by the Japanese, the OTU was temporarily designated as No. 32 (Torpedo-Bomber) Squadron RCAF. No. 32 (RAF) OTU was part of No. 4 Training Command. The Squadron reverted back to OTU status within a very short period of time. The OTU was later reactivated as No. 32 (TB) Squadron for a short time when the Japanese invaded the Aleutians. On 10 December 1943 the OTU converted to training Dakota crews and on 25 May 1944 moved to RCAF Station Comox, British Columbia. No. 32 (RAF) OTU was part of No. 4 Training Command. No. 32 (RAF) OTU was turned over to the RCAF and redesignated as No. 6 (RCAF) Operational Training Unit on 1 June 1944. As No. 6 (RCAF) OTU they moved to RCAF Station Greenwood, Nova Scotia on 15 January 1946 and were then disbanded on 31 March of that year. Beaufort Mk. I - L9967 RD*K later OP*K, L9968 RD*L later OP*L (Swung off the runway on landing at Patricia Bay on 4 February 1942 and ran into a three foot trench. The aircraft was repaired), N1005 RD*A later OP*A also DK*R (Swung to first to port then to starboard while taxing at Patricia Bay on 31 December 1941, went off the runway into a bank of earth and collapsed the starboard landing gear damaging the starboard wing, engine and propeller. The aircraft was repaired), N1006 RD*B (Glided to a landing at sea 8 miles south-east of Patricia Bay on 16 February 1942 after the starboard engine failed. The aircraft was written off), N1007 RD*C later OP*C, N1021 RD*D later OP*D, N1026 RD*O (Nosed over and struck the water after the port engine caught fire shortly after take-off from Patricia Bay on 29 May 1942. The aircraft was destroyed), N1027 RD*P later OP*N (Was struck by taxying Hampden AN107, same Unit, while parked at Patricia Bay on 26 October 1943. The aircraft was repaired), N1029 RD*E later OP*E, N1030 RD*F later OP*F, N1045 RD*G later OP*G, N1078 RD*H later OP*H (Jumped the chocks and the propellers struck wooden trestles while on an engine run-up at Patricia Bay on 7 November 1941. The aircraft was repaired), N1107 RD*J (The starboard landing gear struck an open drainage ditch after swinging to starboard on landing at Patricia Bay on 14 January 1942. The aircraft was repaired), W6473 RD*M (Made a force landing on rough ground Rodeo, New Mexico on 27 March 1942 after the port engine failed then fell from the aircraft. The aircraft was written off), W6484 RD*N later OP ....Read More.Dakota on 4th February 2008 02:50:16
400617 - Unaccounted airmen - 17-6-1940Henk, One of the difficulties of the 17th June 1940 is that there was a second disaster. On the CWGC-page of the Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery this text can be found: 'The majority of the men who rest here were casualties from a troop train which was bombed by the Germans on 17th June, 1940. There are 252 Commonwealth burials of the 1939-45 war here, of which 81 are unidentified.' Among those buried there are these RAF members: Corporal Robert Conkie, RAF 543598, age unknown, 17/06/1940, Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery, F Flying Officer Robert C. Hodgson, RAF 31444, 17/06/1940, Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery, F Leading Aircraftman Lawrence Traynor, RAF 268892, age 40, 17/06/1940, Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery, F Which raises this question: who are the other missing RAF men killed on this train (and not aboard the Lancastria)? Regards, Bart -------- ....Read More.Bart FM Droog on 8th February 2008 03:24:08
RAF Museum logbooksConsider the thread closed folks. Right at the top of Linzee's list is the log book of an unidentified test pilot which covers my period of interest. Many thanks Linzee. Brian ....Read More.Lyffe on 27th February 2008 05:46:52
Air Force List (inter war years) availability, south east EnglandAccording to rafweb: BROWNING, LANCE HAROLD MC, DFC was killed in a flying accident on the Holbeach Ranges, whilst flying an unidentified Woodcock of No 3 Sqn in1928 A ....Read More.Amrit on 29th February 2008 04:53:57
25/8/44Heres a possible answer The following site lists this: Spitfire MK576 LFIX 412 Squadron 22-6-44 CAC ops 29-6-44 Hit by flak on sweep FTR 13-8-44 W/O G J Young killed - Thought to have been shot by the Gestapo as a PoW Ranks are different but maybe someone can explain that. You could request his service record from the Canadian Library and Archives. Looking at it, all the four men buried in that cemetary were killed around that same date and are from army and air force which must indicate theydid not dy in accidents. F/L D Clark - RAF - 25 Aug 1944 L. Bmdr J Martin - Royal Art. 28 Aug 1944 Tpr. S L G Upton - Recon Corps - 30 Aug 1944 P/O G J Young - RCAF - 25 Aug 1944 There is an unidentified solider buried there also. This site has someone looking for relatives of the other men so might be a relative of Griffens? regards Dennis ....Read More.dennis_burke on 10th March 2008 05:49:19
Ramegnies-Chin Churchyard, BelgiumCWGC Ramegnies-Chin Churchyard (Belgium) contains 21 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, six of them unidentified. One of them could be: Leading Aircraftman Jack Bromley, RAF 550718, 53 Sqdn., age 20, 15/05/1940, missing (buried as 'unknown airman' in Ramegnies-Chin Churchyard, Belgium, according to Cynrick De Decker and Jean Louis Roba in 'Mei 1940 boven België'. My question: has anybody been at this cemetery and knows what the inscriptions on the headstones of the six 'unknown' graves are? LAC Bromley was air gunner on this plane: Type: Bristol Blenheim Mk IV Serial number: L9399, TE-? Operation: ? Lost: 15/05/1940 Pilot Officer (Pilot) Peter K. Bone, RAF 40795, 53 Sqdn., age 27, 15/05/1940, Templeuve Communal Cemetery, Tournai, Belgium Sergeant (Obs.) William J. Cronin, RAF, 365686, DFM, 53 Sqdn., age 31, 15/05/1940, Templeuve Communal Cemetery, Tournai, Belgium Regards, Bart ....Read More.Bart FM Droog on 31st March 2008 07:16:48
Sgt Frederick Joseph John Evans - 561705 - 59 Sqd - Died 14/5/40Regarding Chamberlain: From my 'For Your Tomorrow - a record of New Zealanders who had died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Vol One: Fates 1915-1942)': Tue 14 May 1940 British Air Forces France Reconnaissance over the Sedan area, France 59 Squadron, RAF (Poix, France - 52 Wing, British Expeditionary Force Air Component) Blenheim IV N6173 - lost without trace, all three crew being commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. While some records indicate that the Blenheim took off and was lost on the 13th others, including the CWGC register, confirm that the crew died on the 14th. Actual take off time is unknown but, being a reconnaissance operation, the sortie would almost certainly have been undertaken in daylight, hence it is unlikely to have taken off late on the 13th and been brought down in the early hours of the 14th. Pilot: 40508 Plt Off Croydon Jelfs Edinborough CHAMBERLAIN, RAF - Age 20. Valiant Wings suggests that Chamberlain, of the ‘RNZAF’[sic], ‘later turned up in Luxembourg, although he had been wounded,’ but this account cannot be corroborated and may have been based on hearsay evidence. Update to appear in Vol Three: Recent research in Belgium suggests that the aircraft may have crashed there, at Neerwinden, at about 1700 on the 13th. Unidentified remains of a Blenheim crew from this locality were in 1955 transferred to the Hotten War Cemetery. Errol ....Read More.Errol Martyn on 3rd April 2008 05:14:08
Plane vs U-Boat off Beachy Head - July 1917Hello all, I would like to know if someone knows more about an aerial attack which occurred on 13 July 1917 off Beachy-Head : an unidentified (very probably Brittanic) plane attacked the German minelayer submarine UC 48 at surface. At the third passage the plane launched a bomb which fall down the sea next to the submarine but did not damaged her. The submarine crash dived but was forced to surface after a few minutes because of a flood in the machines room. German then saw the plane over Beachy Head before disappearing in the sky. Can someone help me or advise me for a specialized website ? Thanks a lot for your help, BR MAX ....Read More.MAX on 6th April 2008 08:40:53
Sgt Marmaduke RIDLEY - 565201 KIA 26-8-40Hi Paul, 'Dukey' Ridley was a Newcastle born pilot therefore of special interest to me. He was shot down over Dover and his death is registered there....buried in Folkstone New Cemetery. As for the number of his Spitfire: this is unidentifiable. William Walker, shot down at the same time, informed me that they did not know which Spitfire they flew that day as they jumped into the nearest one. 'Dukey' Ridley is under represented today, only one photo of him survives, taken by William Walker. Best Wishes. Robert. ....Read More.northeagle on 8th April 2008 11:16:26
AC2 V. Bishop, RAF 530720, 273 Sqdn, 09/01/1940, Singapore MemorialBart, From my 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services Since 1915 (Vol One: Fates 1915-1942)': Tue 9 Jan 1940 Far East Routine patrol off Colombo to identify shipping, etc 273 Squadron, RAF (China Bay/Trincomalee, Ceylon) Vildebeest III K4156 - took off at 0555 piloted by Sgt D B Ross, RAF, and crashed 18 miles off Colombo at 0620 while circling an unidentified ship at 50 to 100 feet. K4156’s starboard wing apparently stalled, causing the Vildebeest to spin into the sea and sink. One of the crew survived, injured, but the other two, including a New Zealander, are commemorated on the Singapore Memorial. (Pilot): 40583 Plt Off John Denys WILLIAMS, RAF - Age 20. 341hrs. 17th op. Although a pilot, Williams was acting as observer on this flight. From information received post-publication - the vessel was the cargo ship 'Demodocus', whose lifeboat rescued the slightly injured Ross. The other two crew were unable to struggle free of the wreckage before it sank. Williams was a New Zealander serving in the RAF on a short service commission. Bishop's age is unknown to me. Errol ....Read More.Errol Martyn on 9th April 2008 04:40:49
425 Squadron - F/Lt Joseph R. LaporteHere is your answer. F/Lt J. Laporte RCAF and crew flying Halifax III PN-172 coded KW-G were hit by flak over the target, the damage was not serious. On the return flight they were attacked by an unidentified twin engined enemy aircraft. The nose was blown off, stbd inner caught fire and the fuselage. P/O Arcand, the flight engineer tried unsuccessfully to put the fire out. On the second pass the stbd outer was on fire and pieces started coming off the stbd wing and the crew was told to bail out. P/O J. Arcand RCAF flt/engineer F/O J. Rodrigue RCAF navigator F/O J. Foley RCAF bomb aimer W/O1 P. Lamontagne RCAF wireless operator F/Sgt J. Veronneau RCAF mid upper gunner F/Sgt J. St. Onge RCAF rear gunner All of the crew parachuted safely except the flight engineer who was found in the wreckage. ....Read More.Richard.K on 16th May 2008 08:36:41
Crashes off the Scilly IslesCorrection of the statement given earlier: identified bodies of airmen crashed off the Scilly Isles did NOT wash ashore in France or elsewhere in mainland Europe. Unidentified bodies from Scilly area sea crashes may have washed ashore in France or elsewhere. This seems unlikely, but the number of Scilly sea losses - at least as found so far - is too low to be sure. ....Read More.Rob Philips on 17th May 2008 05:52:16
Crashes on St Kilda during WW2There is a program on BBC1 tonight, Thursday 26/06/08 at 21.00 "Britain's Lost World" includes reporter Dan Snow investigating a World War Two plane crash on St. Kilda. There were 3 crashes on St Kilda - Beaufighter LX798 crashed into Conachair night of 3-4 June 1943 Sunderland ML858 crashed at Gleann Mor on 7 June 1944 Unidentified aircraft, possibly Wellington which crashed on the south coast of Soay during 1943 (possibly the one lost 28 September 1943) as an RCAF cap band was found - can anyone ID the Wellingtomn lost on 28 September 1943 Possibly LA995 Thanks Paul See also ....Read More.paulmcmillan on 26th June 2008 05:01:15
F/Sgt Joseph E F Jean RCAF R/96956Hi, can anyone confirm which Squadron this pilot flew with please ? Both 425 and 426 are quoted in differing websites. Hugh Halliday's excellent research available at quotes 425 Sqdn. Where as Richard Koval's equally good research on gives him as being with 426 Sqdn in a number of incidents in his "daily ops" list but at the same time as his DFC was awarded he quotes 426 Sqdn. Thus only one can be correct. Another query is, can anyone supply the names of his crew please. I know that his rear gunner was Sgt J Favreau RCAF who was injured in the events leading up to Jean's DFC. The others remain unidentified. My initial interest is that the then, F/Sgt Jean and crew had a mishap with a Lancaster at Wombleton's 1666 HCU on Christmas Eve 1943. Thanks in advance in the hope that the 1st question is easily answered, the 2nd may prove trickier and if anyone can help I would very much apprciate it, regards Rich Allenby ....Read More.Rich Allenby on 4th July 2008 01:28:02
Concentration of Allied graves in the former DDRHi Bart, The official name of Berlin Charlottenburg is found on the CWGC website. "Berlin (Charlottenburg) 1939-1945 War Cemetery" is on the south side of the Heerstrasse, a major road that leads from the west to the centre. I consider the name declared by the CWGC to be the official one, as the cemetery is in the care of the CWGC. In fact, this cemetery, as all other concentration cemeteries, is legally part of the United Kingdom. I'm aware of all CWGC cemeteries in all countries, as the CWGC has made access to such data easy. I'm looking for only WW2 graves, and then only of aviators. In Germany, all RAF WW2 casualties are buried in the following concentration cemeteries, mentioned roughly North to South: Kiel, Hamburg Ohlsdorf, Berlin Charlottenburg, Retzow, Sage, Becklingen, Hannover, Münster, Reichswald, Rheinberg, and Dürnbach. One unidentified Allied WW2 casualty remained buried in Wittenburg, and the CWGC mentions that one identified casualty would be buried in Niederkruchten, which is just across the border in the Venlo area. I could not find that last grave, and believe that the CWGC administration may have missed a relocation of this grave. Gardelegen is not in the care of the CWGC. The cemetery was made as an initiative of the Americans, who liberated the area. The memorial & cemetery are in the care of the Germans: Stadt Gardelegen, Altmarkkreis Salzwedel & Bundesland Sachsen-Anhalt. Texts on the crosses are in German. The site is called "Mahn und Gedenkstätte Gardelegen". The cemetery is known as "Gardelegen Gräberfeld" or "Gardelegen Militär-Friedhof". The last name is interesting, as - most of the - casualties were civilian POW's. The name comes from the American decision that the Gardelegen casualties would be treated quite the same as military casualties. Two Dutchmen are believed to be buried here, as unknowns, out of the only 168 from 1.016 casualties who could be identified to their country of origin. The site is in the eastern outskirts of Gardelegen, on the Heideweg. Other non-CWGC sites of burial of Allied aviators in Germany would be the former camps, where POW's were killed and "cremated". There are no graves there, that one can point to. The number of RAF aviators lost over Poland, or in POW camps in Poland, is limited. As far as I know, these 238 graves were concentrated in Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery. But you are right, the question I raised for the DDR applies to Poland too. In addition to the DDR/Poland accessibility issue to parties such as the GCU's and the MR&ES, the US JPAC organisation reported in 2006 to have been denied access to the former DDR area in earlier years. This was declared after a US fighter & pilot were found & salvaged by JPAC from the former DDR area. This would indicate that the Sovjets did allow the grave services to concentrate known graves, but did not allow active searches for lost aircraft and graves. Fact is that many of the casualties of people movemen ....Read More.Rob Philips on 7th July 2008 04:21:24
Three losses in Danish watersThanks, Mikkel. Great site indeed. Søren Flensted should consider that at least some of the the other crashes at sea near Denmark have led to the burials all over Denmark of 90 unidentified Allied airmen. Regards, Rob ....Read More.Rob Philips on 11th July 2008 11:28:18
Halifax hit by "friendly" bombsThis was the subject of a recent thread which I have been unable to locate. This is additional information on the subject, gathered from a review last week of Flying Officer L.E.J Murphy's service file. Murphy was awarded a DFC for services in No.427 Squadron (London Gazette, 6 October 1944, AFRO 2534/44, 24 November 1944), the following citation being published: "Flying Officer Murphy has completed very many sorties as captain of aircraft. In August 1944 he piloted an aircraft of a bomber force detailed to attack Foret de Nieppe. Whilst over the target area the aircraft sustained severe damage. Despite this he flew the aircraft safely to base. He displayed the highest standard of airmanship, coolness and determination in a most difficult situation. This officer has completed many sorties." A more complete record of the "severe damage" sustained comes from a report on file. The following is in part my digest of the document, in part direct quotation: Involved in accident, 3 August 1944, 2005 hours during operational mission (day bombing) over target (Foret de Nieppe, near Hazbrouck, France). Aircraft was Halifax LW163. Crew consisted of F/O L.E.J. Murphy (captain, whose flying times were recorded as 232 solo hours on Halifax aircraft and 445 hours 25 minutes on all types; of these, 190 solo hours by night on Halifax, 189 hours 55 minutes night solo on other types); R110424 Warrant Officer J.S. Niven (navigator), J28082 F/O K.K. Young (bomb aimer), 179228 P/O J. Cheese (WOP/AG), R187956 Flight Sergeant B.E. White (mid-upper gunner), R195822 Flight Sergeant G.K. Bygrove (rear gunner) and 1836521 Sergeant S.R.A. Burn (flight engineer). No injuries. Aircraft damaged Category "B" ("for repair at contractors or RAF Depot). His narrative read as follows: "Aircraft was hit by three bombs from a friendly aircraft just as bombs were released. R/T aerial was taken away. Holes in port mainplane outboard of Port Outer engine and in outer section of port flap. Third bomb passed through fuselage above entrabce hatch and passed through floor. "Difficulty was experienced in holding port wing up level flight and on landing. Ailerons were jammed and aircraft had a tendency to turn starboard in a skidding turn. Height and airspeed were easily maintained." The assessment of the incident blamed it on "gross carelessness of Bomb Aimer" in unidentified aircraft that had been above. Air Commodore J.G. Bryans (Officer Commanding, No.61 Base) noted, "Development of tactics is at present under way to permit heavy concentration over target combined with safety from falling bombs." ....Read More.HughAHalliday on 8th August 2008 07:04:33
Concentration of Allied graves in the former DDRTo Finn: You may be right about the burials of Camm, Palmer & Hartley in Retzow. 9 CWGC burials here, 6 unidentified. No mention of any special memorial in Retzow on the CWGC site. The site offers a picture, showing a group of five standard issue CWGC headstones. Pic quality is not good enough to read texts, but there do not seem to be top lines making - some of - these headstones into special memorials. The pic shows headstones of identified casualties, as there does not seem to be the bottom line "KNOWN UNTO GOD" We'll know for sure in a couple of weeks. Then the question may arise when, how and by whom these men were identified, as literature has it that they are missing. Regards, Rob ....Read More.Rob Philips on 13th August 2008 10:02:00
Stirling LK383, Brest, 7th August 1944Thanks for your comments, gentlemen. Bill, perhaps you or someone else can tell me a bit more about these mines. ABSA inform me that each Stirling carried 7 mines, and that 48 were dropped in the harbour, which implies a fairly high rate of misses. We'll never know, I suppose, if LK383 dropped its mines, or if it was hit by flak with them still in the plane and the mines exploded. But it would be helpful to know a bit more about what they were actually doing, and what the mines were. I do think it's very sad that it was the very last Stirling lost. My father has always been very down on Stirlings, saying that they were terrible planes, and I know he has always believed that in a Lancaster he would have had more chance. To be honest though, while the Stirlings obviously did have limitations as aircraft, I would imagine that a Lancaster would have been hit just as easily as a Stirling at 600 feet. They were just in the plane that was in the wrong place at that particular moment. Thanks for looking up the flak batteries, mhuxt: I appreciate the thought. Rob, I think the thing I am starting to get most upset about is the fact that my grandfather, grandmother, and two of John's siblings seem to have died without ever knowing for certain what happened to him. One of my cousins in the UK has all the correspondence which was sent to my grandfather, and there is absolutely nothing in it except that the plane took off at such and such a time, bound for Brest to lay mines, and that it went "missing without trace". This is said repeatedly and it implies to the average person that no one knew what happened to it. This is clearly not the case. Given that eyewitnesses, presumably from the other crews, clearly saw the plane crashing into the sea, I think the least they could have done is pass that information on, and say to the family gently that in such a case there would little chance of survival unless someone happened to bale out. (Not that there would be much chance to do that if the plane was flying at 600 feet.) This information is scarcely sensitive. It is not gruesome, just factual; yes, it is distressing, but it would also have saved John's family the anguish of hoping that he was alive. However unlikely, they hung onto the knowledge that airmen sometimes did reappear after going missing, and the fact that they hoped he was hiding in some French village pretending to be a local only compounded that. Your research into the remains of the unidentified aviators is interesting, and it is also very relevant to the families, because people don't forget these sort of deaths. Most of these men were very young when the died, often teenagers or in their early twenties, and that is a very hard loss for a family to cope with. Also, if something is to be done, it does have to be done now. John's surviving siblings are now in their seventies and eighties; the men's children, if they had them, are in their sixties. My father is 77 and in poor health, and ....Read More.Natalie on 9th September 2008 06:36:34
Stirling LK383, Brest, 7th August 1944In1996 in US, they changed rules for getting records ICPR (casualty file). Each file had to be cleaned of addresses!. All other information was there however. Well an 18mth backlog built up and eventually the man in charge decided that after 50 years enough was enough and the records were released without any review. That was great for us researchers. But under FIA they cannot give part of file,you get everything !!!!! In one case I got 50 pages that I didnt want, The copies of letters sent by families of missing airmen to US army for information. It was pretty hard reading these letters ,all the heartache of knowing their loved one wasnt coming home but not knowing what had happened. In some cases from 44th bomb Group there were letters sent out from Gen Leon Johnstone who had commanded 44th earlier in war. He was awarded Medal of Honor leading them at Ploesti on black sunday 1943. He for period seems to have been involved in the recovery/investigation of MIA from Europe after ww2. The format generally was uniform, more information than UK; in case of 44th casualties.they were personally signed and seemed more personal. Johnstone was real CO,given the stories of him by his boys( he was 42,average age in 44th was 21) They would be told mission,what happend ,if recovered where buried initially and where body was reburied. If body not identified /recovered statement that furthrer investigation was undergoing. Later the QMC war graves units consolodated 10000 bodies at neuville in Belgium and up to 1951 had only 700 or so left unidentified,3000 weren't US. Some were Commonwealth others german. In cases where identification was in doubt ,the evidence would be put to families for them to make decision as to whether they would accept it. In reading the files and I also tracked down one of the mortuary techs and CO of one of units, i came to conclusion that these men did their utmost to identify casualties. Some families refused to accept identification,unwilling to accept inevitable. In one case old wrist fracture, dental chart, bible (with prayer written by airmans school teacher) that had been buried with him,all pointed to identity but parents wouldnt sign agreement. Without that body couldnt be repatriated in1948,however was interred at Neuville with correct identity. Airforce had even sent out officer to speak to patents but they just couldnt accept situation.. In another case family werent sure but mother said "if he aint mine ,We'll make sure his grave is looked after". She did and in 1997 we were able to tell her it definitely it was her boy having gotten witnesses and more information at crash site in Germany. She was 99 years old . The US spent a lot of time and resources in bringing back casualties. robert ....Read More.robert reid on 13th September 2008 06:54:17

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