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Thread: Church War Memorial - 617 Squadron

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    Default Church War Memorial - 617 Squadron

    Hi all - Just as a little project I carried out some research into the names of those WW2 casualties listed on our local Church War Memorial, and discovered there was a member of 617 Squadron listed who died on the Dams raid and further investigation revealed he lived across the road from the Church!

    The individual was F/O Donald Hopkinson, and he was the Bomb Aimer on F/L Bill Astells aircraft.

    Would be grateful if anyone can give me an idea of his service career?

    Many thanks

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    Hello,

    Flying Officer Donald Hopkinson (127817) Bomb aimer.
    Born: 19 September 1920, Royton, Oldham, Lancs. - Clerk.
    Killed in Action 17 May 1943.

    Joined RAF 1941.
    No.3 Recruit Centre 13 Feb 1941 - (LAC No. 1036687).
    No.1 Recruit Wing 28 Jun 1941.
    Initial Training Wing 5 Jul 1941.
    No.1 Depot
    No.13 Elementary Flying Training School 24 Sep 1941 - (Canada).
    Combat Training School 9 Nov 1941
    No.7 Air Observer School 5 Dec 1941.
    No.3 Bombing & Gunnery School 14 Mar 1942.
    57 Sqn.
    617 Sqn.

    Plt Off. 25 May 1942.
    Flg Off. 25 May 1942 [sic] - 25 Nov 1942.

    See:
    The Men Who Breached The Dams.
    Cooper,Alan.
    Shrewsbury:Airlife Publishing,2002.
    p.156

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th May 2011 at 08:31.

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    Hi,
    Astell and crew posted to 57sqdn 27/01/43........
    February 43...
    13th...Lorient.
    14th...Milan.
    16th...Lorient.
    21st...Bremen.
    25th...Nuremburg.
    26th...Cologne.
    March 43...
    1st...Berlin.
    3rd...Hamburg.
    5th...Essen.
    25th...Posted to 617sqdn

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    Beware, 'The Men Who Breached the Dams' book is notoriously inaccurate on many points.

    Don joined the RAF on February 13th 1941. After No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School he returned to the UK and passed through No 3 Personnel Reception Centre, moving on to No. 19 Operational Training Unit. He ten went to No. 1654 Conversion Unit on October 15th 1942 where he met some of the Astell crew, and with them joined 9 Squadron on December 23rd 1942. They were posted to 57 Squadron on January 23rd.

    I know some of the family quite well.

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    Col Bruggy, Alan W & Airman 1

    Many thanks for your contributions, very much appreciated!!

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