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Thread: Boston collision with German aircraft

  1. #1
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    Default Boston collision with German aircraft

    I 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 ?

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    Default

    Hi Hugh;

    My notes show the German aircraft was from IV/KG2. I think this information came from a post on the old Forum. Like you, I would be interested in knowing the aircraft type.

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    Default For Bill and Hugh

    In Vol.2, page 454 of "Der Luftkrieg 1941-1945 in Europa" (Die Einstätze des Kampfgeschwaders 2), author Ulf Balke:

    I./KG2 - Dornier Do 217 E4 - c/n 3467 - serial U5 + TW - training flight - collided with British night fighter St.André - crew:

    Lt (Leutnant - Pilot) Walter Held - killed
    Uffz (Unteroffizier - Obs) Wilhelm Schartl - killed
    Gefr (Gefreiter - Ag) Ernst Wörmann - killed

    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Default Boston W8325 418 RCAF Squadron

    Hi Hugh

    Who were the crew of the Boston?

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Default Boston crew

    Crew 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."

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    Default Boston W8325

    Thanks Hugh, much appreciated.

    Cheers
    Brian

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