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Thread: Sgt. Vincent Herbert Barr

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    Default Sgt. Vincent Herbert Barr

    I am new to the site and am very interested in contacting Sgt. Vincent Herbert Barr a member of his family or someone who knew him in connection with the shooting down of his aircraft, Whitley bomber N1383 over Aalborg, Denmark on 26th April 1940 and his subsequent time as a POW until 1945.
    My uncle F/O Owen Gerard Horrigan (102 squadron based at Driffield) was the pilot of Whitley DY-H N1383 which was shot down over Aalborg, Denmark on 26 April 1940. I have a great deal of information on this mission and am hoping to contact Sgt Vincent Herbert Barr (navigator) or from anyone who knew him or knows of his story of the happenings on that last flight. Sgt Barr alone survived the crash but was taken prisoner and held as a POW until 1945 when he was re-patriated (for more information Google the Air War over Denmark website and search N1383). I have a letter from Vincent to my grandmother written in September 1940 from Stalag Luft III which gives an address for his family in Coventry. I have nothing further than this other than the list of POW camps he resided in (Stalag Luft I, III, VI, Stalag 357 Thorn, Stalag 357 Fallingbostel).
    The 102 squadron crew were based at Driffield but some Whitley Vs were transferred to RAF Kinloss at the start of the invasion of Scandinavia. A local Aalborg historian has provided me with many interesting details and has written a book about the ill fated Blenheim raid on Aalborg airfield in August 1940 when all 11 aircraft were shot down...the first chapter is about the Whitley N1383 incident.
    May 5th is always marked by a wonderful ceremony at the Vadum cemetry and yesterday the splendid tradition was upheld again (approx 30 RAF crew are buried there). The ceremony is organised by the local Danish community and is supported by the Danish Air Force. The graves are immaculately tended by local representatives of the War Graves Commission. I would like to provide them with whatever details I can of the young men who lie there and Vincent Barr may well still be contactable or may have have passed on some details of that flight.

    If anyone has any memories of my uncle, Owen Horrigan I would be most grateful to hear from you,

    Many thanks,

    Chris Beith

    The picture below shows the graves in 2008.
    http://i874.photobucket.com/albums/ab306/cbeith/iVedumcemetryRAFN1383crewOctober200.jpg

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    Hello Chris,

    I had an inquiry back in 2007 from a Paul Brennan. He asked for some informations about your uncle Owen Horrigan.

    We exchanged some details, included a photo from Vadum Cemetery showing the graves with the original wooden crosses.

    It was his intention to write an article on former London Irish rugby players, one of which was Flying Officer O.G. Horrigan (born 1914 in West Derby, Lancashire).

    He returned with some basic details about your uncles life from birth to his death.

    In 2002 I was i contact with a niece of Sgt John Francis Hayes, living in NZ.

    Best regards

    Finn Buch
    Last edited by Argus; 7th May 2011 at 22:04. Reason: Additional details

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    Dear Finn,
    Thank you for your kind reply. I have seen Paul Brennanís tribute to my uncle on the London Irish website, it is heartening to see that the war time sacrifices that were made by their players are recorded as part of the history of the club. It will be quite something for their young players to think about. My uncle loved his rugby.

    The photo of the four white crosses on the graves shows how dignified the burial was and it reflects the peace of their final resting place. Other photos in August 1940 show how equal respect was shown to the 22 Blenheim bomber crew who also fell in those early days of the war.

    I made contact with Sgt John Francis Hayesí niece in 2010 and she sent me a photo of her uncle in uniform. I passed it to Ole Ronnest who ensured that it was posted on Soren Flenstedís Air War over Denmark site. It is my intention to obtain photos of all the crew and, in particular, to try my best to trace Vincent Herbert Barr, his family or friends to record any details that may exist of their final flight or any aspects of their times in 102 squadron. I believe that I now know the name of the town in Ireland where AC2 Cyril Cecil Whitley came from but my trail has run cold on Sgt Norman Haithwaite.

    I imagine that you have read Ole's book Den Donte Eskadrille which covers the Blenheim raid but also has the first chapter devoted to the fate of Whitley N1383.

    Thanks again and my best regards,

    Chris Beith

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    The name Cyril Cecil Whitley is registered born in Belfast in third quarter of 1920 in the Belfast registration district. (www.familysearch.org)

    I didn't find a Wills Calender index entry for him here:
    http://applications.proni.gov.uk/DCAL_PRONI_WillsCalendar/WillsSearch.aspx

    this chap was also looking for them in 2007, http://irishgenealogy.net/cp/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1851
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hello Dennis,
    Many thanks for your message. My previous search led me to Larne which is just short distance north east of Belfast. I understand that his name appears on a war memorial there. I could not find a Whitley in the telephone directory there but there are many Whitleys in Belfast.

    I guess that my next move should be letters to local papers in larne and Belfast.

    The birth in 1920 looks to be in keeping with the fact that he was probably a 19 year old AC2 and was the rear gunner. The death reported in 1946 could be an error as N1383 went down in 1940 and one so young is more likely to have been killed in the war than to have died just after.

    Thanks again for your kind search on my behalf.

    best regards,

    Chris
    Last edited by Chris Beith; 10th May 2011 at 23:21. Reason: typo!

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    Vincent Barr was alive and working in Coventry in the late 1970's, he may still be there now.

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    Hello Pete, many thanks for your very interesting information including the further e-mail about Sgt Vincent Herbert Barr's recorded marriage in Coventry in 1972. I would like to follow this up and travel to Coventry if necessary to find the recorded address on the marriage certificate. Do you have any further tips on the best way for me to take this next step in tracing his whereabouts or that of his family?

    Many thanks again, the first positive news in 2 years of my internet searches!


    Best regards,

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis_burke View Post
    The name Cyril Cecil Whitley is registered born in Belfast in third quarter of 1920 in the Belfast registration district. (www.familysearch.org)

    I didn't find a Wills Calender index entry for him here:
    http://applications.proni.gov.uk/DCAL_PRONI_WillsCalendar/WillsSearch.aspx

    this chap was also looking for them in 2007, http://irishgenealogy.net/cp/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1851
    Dear Dennis,
    I followed up your Irish geneology route quoting your 1920 Belfast birth info and have had a response from the 'chap' (actually the nickname was of a chapess!) who was searching in 2007 and who turns out to be Cyril Cecil Whitley's great niece. Once I have made further contact I shall let you know the full outcome. Promising news also on sgt Vincent Barr who was married in Coventry in 1972.....I now hope to find out an address from the records.

    Many thanks, your help which was the key and I hope now to obtain Cyril Whitley's photograph for the Danish website.

    chris

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    Default Norman Haithwaite

    Chris - I found your postings by accident. Is there anything I can help you with in regard to Sgt. Norman Haithwaite? I am his niece.
    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards

    Anne Holmes



    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Beith View Post
    Dear Finn,
    Thank you for your kind reply. I have seen Paul Brennanís tribute to my uncle on the London Irish website, it is heartening to see that the war time sacrifices that were made by their players are recorded as part of the history of the club. It will be quite something for their young players to think about. My uncle loved his rugby.

    The photo of the four white crosses on the graves shows how dignified the burial was and it reflects the peace of their final resting place. Other photos in August 1940 show how equal respect was shown to the 22 Blenheim bomber crew who also fell in those early days of the war.

    I made contact with Sgt John Francis Hayesí niece in 2010 and she sent me a photo of her uncle in uniform. I passed it to Ole Ronnest who ensured that it was posted on Soren Flenstedís Air War over Denmark site. It is my intention to obtain photos of all the crew and, in particular, to try my best to trace Vincent Herbert Barr, his family or friends to record any details that may exist of their final flight or any aspects of their times in 102 squadron. I believe that I now know the name of the town in Ireland where AC2 Cyril Cecil Whitley came from but my trail has run cold on Sgt Norman Haithwaite.

    I imagine that you have read Ole's book Den Donte Eskadrille which covers the Blenheim raid but also has the first chapter devoted to the fate of Whitley N1383.

    Thanks again and my best regards,

    Chris Beith

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    Default Sgt Norman Haithwaite

    Dear Anne,
    I am so pleased to have heard from you. I have visited the home in Carr Road in Nelson where your uncle lived and have made local inquiries in the hope of contacting a family member. I have a lot of information which will be of interest to you. I also have a newspaper cutting with an obituary and photo of Sgt. Haithwaite and would really like a better quality photograph for posting on the Air war over Denmark website. Unfortunately I have been inactive on this website for too long and missed your posting, my apologies.

    I must try to find out how I can make contact with you directly using the official website route.

    With my best regards,

    Chris

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